Students serve up cheer at King’s Lynn Shallow Lunch

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The youth of West Norfolk stepped forward to help the elderly this week as students served up one of Lynn’s long-standing traditions in the run-up to Christmas.

Organisers of the town’s annual Shallow Lunch say they moved the event away from the town hall this year because of the difficulties they had recruiting caterers to work there.

But, thanks to the help of catering students at the College of West Anglia, dozens of elderly residents sat down for the traditional meal on Tuesday afternoon in the Novus restaurant at the Tennyson Avenue campus.

And Keith Blythe, a trustee of the King’s Lynn General Charities, which stages the event, said the students had served up an “absolutely delicious” menu, which he hopes will also help them in their development.

He said: “The college were keen to have us because it’s a challenge for the chefs and service staff, but it was a wonderful experience.”

The lunch was established through money left by former councillor George Swallow in 1939 for a Christmas meal to be provided annually for the poor and needy of Lynn.

Next year is due to the 70th year of the lunch, which continues to be provided free to all of the guests who attend.

But, because of the difficulties they had endured trying to find catering at the town hall, Mr Blythe said they had used last year’s event to canvass guests on whether they would still attend if it moved to a different venue.

He said: “There was one caterer we used for years and they retired.

“We had one last try with a different caterer last year and then they retired.

“I was delighted and a little surprised that the majority (of guests) said they enjoyed it so much they didn’t mind, within reason, where it goes. It went very well.”

The afternoon also featured carols performed by around 50 youngsters from Lynn’s Greyfriars Primary School.