Sun shines on King's Lynn as town's annual Mart fair opens
Hundreds of people have gathered in the centre of Lynn this lunchtime for the start of the town's 815th Mart.
The historic fair opened under bright blue skies and in unusually mild weather, which made it feel more like spring than winter.
Borough mayor Nick Daubney joked that showed the town must be benefitting from having a "very righteous" civic leader this year, as he reflected on the origins of the fair's charter, granted during the reign of King John.
He said: "No doubt it was very different, but I'm sure it caused the same excitement and I'm sure it gave as much fun and pleasure as we now look forward to.
"We wish the Mart well in King's Lynn and on its travels throughout the country in 2019."
John Thurston, senior vice-president of the Showman's Guild of Great Britain, thanked the public for a "fantastic" turnout to the opening ceremony.
He said: "The Mart holds a special place in the heart of the Showmen as the beginning of the travelling season.
"It's always been a pleasure of mine to attend this event. I've been attending for over 30 years but it's the first time I've had a chance to address you all and thank you for the continued support."
The Mart's charter was read by West Norfolk Council deputy leader, Elizabeth Nockolds, while the fair was blessed by the Bishop of Lynn, the Rt Rev Jonathan Meyrick.
Prayers were also said for former Mayor's staffbearer John Savage, who died recently, and was involved in the opening of the Mart for many years.
This year's Mart is on until next Saturday, February 23.