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Letter: Ken Hill, December 1, 2017

Purfleet Quay - Capt Vancouver statue.
Purfleet Quay - Capt Vancouver statue.

West Norfolk Council and its consultants are working on a new South Quay riverfront scheme and have decided amongst themselves to call it Nelson Quay.

Nelson may have won more battles, sunk more ships and been responsible for more deaths among seamen than other mariners, but there is no record of him having any Lynn connections. Whereas his contemporary, George Vancouver, whose father ran Lynn’s Custom House, must often have played around the quay area with his brother as a boy before he joined the navy, and learned boating skills in the River Great Ouse.

Vancouver in his 41 years of life became a world-class navigator, producing maps and charts of the west coast of the Americas that were in use saving lives for more than a century after his death. In 1850, for example, his charts helped HMS Investigator to take Samuel Gurney Cresswell halfway across the top of Canada en route to completing the North West Passage and circumnavigation of the Americas. Cresswell was born, bred and died in the Bank House, Lynn. He would be my second choice of name for the quay. And in these days when the morality of heroes is coming under increasing scrutiny, Nelson might be third.


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