Pictures capture the early days of King’s Lynn southern bypass

Work on Lynn's roads in the 1970s. Photo: SUBMITTED.
Work on Lynn's roads in the 1970s. Photo: SUBMITTED.

As work continues on Lynn’s Saddlebow Interchange, the Lynn News is taking a look back at the construction of the flyover and the southern bypass more than forty years ago.

The A47 bypass, including the Saddlebow flyover and a bridge over the River Great Ouse, was built in 1975.

Work on Lynn's roads in the 1970s. Photo: SUBMITTED

Work on Lynn's roads in the 1970s. Photo: SUBMITTED

Forty-three years later, and repair work to the bridges of the Saddlebow Interchange is underway, which has caused a number of delays in the area since work began in October.

The recent headlines regarding Saddlebow Interchange have brought back memories for one Lynn News reader, who has supplied photos that he took of the construction work in the 70s.

Thomas Eggett, from Downham, said he was 29 when he snapped the progress of the work in 1975.

Mr Eggett said: “Wisbech Road was constantly queued back until the bypass was built.

Tailbacks on Lynn's roads in the 1970s. Photo: SUBMITTED.

Tailbacks on Lynn's roads in the 1970s. Photo: SUBMITTED.

“I took some pictures at the time and I came across them about a year ago, and it’s in the news all the time at the moment.”

Mr Eggett said the queues stretched back as far as a number of villages in the area until the new route was completed: “I recall Wisbech Road in Lynn was queued from early on Saturdays in May onwards, as were all the villages to the west of Lynn – West Lynn, Clenchwarton, Terrington St Clement, Walpole Cross Keys,” he said.

“On occasion the queuing traffic stretched as far back as Sutton Bridge.”

He said drivers stuck in the jams often asked nearby residents to use their phones to inform friends or family of their likely late arrival due to the queue.

Work on Lynn's roads in the 1970s. Photo: SUBMITTED

Work on Lynn's roads in the 1970s. Photo: SUBMITTED

“In Clenchwarton, tea, cakes, sandwiches and strawberries were sold to the waiting holidaymakers in their cars,” Mr Eggett added.

“The fish and chip shop in the village had a queue from late morning onwards.”

Drivers left frustrated by the roadworks in Lynn in the present day will be pleased to know the work is due to finish in April.

Leslie Rattenbury, top left, Karen Youngman, bottom left, with Mrs Barbara Smith, right, serving drinks to the travellers stuck in the traffic in Clenchwarton in 1974, with the Victory pub in the background. Photo: SUBMITTED.

Leslie Rattenbury, top left, Karen Youngman, bottom left, with Mrs Barbara Smith, right, serving drinks to the travellers stuck in the traffic in Clenchwarton in 1974, with the Victory pub in the background. Photo: SUBMITTED.

Work on Lynn's roads in the 1970s. Photo: SUBMITTED

Work on Lynn's roads in the 1970s. Photo: SUBMITTED

Work on Lynn's roads in the 1970s. Photo: SUBMITTED

Work on Lynn's roads in the 1970s. Photo: SUBMITTED

Work on Lynn's roads in the 1970s. Photo: SUBMITTED

Work on Lynn's roads in the 1970s. Photo: SUBMITTED