An historic title, which hasn’t been used for nearly 300 years, has been bestowed on a Lynn heritage volunteer during a surprise ceremony.
Barry Howard was appointed as Custodian of the South Gate and Keeper of the Muckhill during a civic reception held at the town hall on Thursday night.
The presentation was part of a civic reception at the Stories of Lynn complex, hosted by borough mayor Carol Bower, to thank heritage volunteers for their work.
The Keeper of the Muckhill would once have been responsible for organising the sweeping up of the rubbish in the street and turning it into salt petre for gunpowder.
Mr Howard said: “I am chuffed with the title. I have a passion for the South Gates because I spent my childhood in that area.
“We used to be able to roller skate from the South Gates all the way down London Road because there was no traffic.
“In the 50s, we didn’t have Lynnsport or anywhere like that to play so we used to play in the South Gates and play in the parks.
“I got into the South Gates around 10 years ago when they were asking for volunteers. I only volunteer at the South Gates. The South Gates is open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm.
“The Red Mount gets more visitors than the South Gates because people walk by it and go in whereas people just go through the South Gate and may not think of coming inside. There is so much history to the South Gate. I am chuffed to have this title. The title lasts three-years.”
West Norfolk Council deputy leader Elizabeth Nockolds said: “Our heritage volunteers make it possible for thousands of people to visit our historic buildings, and we are incredibly grateful to them.
“When the volunteers at the South Gate told us about this ancient title, we thought it would be only fitting to revive it, as a small sign of our appreciation.
“We’re delighted Barry has agreed to accept this title – we don’t intend to hold him to the part about the muckhill!”