Monday, 13 June 2022 00:00

Crowds flock to celebrate King’s Lynn Hanseatic heritage

Written by  Tim Baldwin
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Crowds flock to celebrate King’s Lynn Hanseatic heritage

Flags were waved, boats walked down the high street, there was dancing and sea-shanties sung in King’s Staithe Square, along with a festival regatta on the river as part of the 12th King’s Lynn Hanse Festival.

Cllr Graham Middleton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Business, Culture and Heritage at the borough council, said: “The sun was shining and the crowd flocked to see the parade of flags through town and the entertainment on stage in King’s Staithe Square.

“I would like to thank King’s Lynn Hanse Group, Wells and King’s Lynn Coastal Rowing Club, Stories of Lynn, King’s Lynn Town Guides, the teams at the Minster, Hanse House, Marriott’s Warehouse, Clifton House Tower and The Place for making this a great event again and for encouraging people to visit King’s Lynn and enjoy what the town has to offer.”

Nick Daubney, Chair of King’s Lynn Hanse Group, added: “Everybody I met enjoyed themselves thoroughly and we’ve done King’s Lynn proud. It was important to celebrate our friendship and links with towns and cities all over Northern Europe. King’s Lynn has an amazing history with the Hanseatic League and we were the first English member of the new Hanse back in 2005. I thank everyone who made the event a success once again.”

Summer events continue in King’s Lynn this weekend with the launch of King’s Lynn Festival on Sunday 17 June. Find their calendar of events online kingslynnfestival.org.uk/

At the end of June it’s the return of Festival Too. Organised by the Festival Too committee, it’s a free, unticketed event held in King’s Lynn over three weekends. Read more about whose performing and when at festivaltoo.co.uk/

In July Folk in the Town is back and there will be soulful tunes in the Tuesday Market Place too. August sees the return of motorboats on the river, scooters and motorbikes in the Tuesday Market Place as the Hanseatic Festival of Watersports and Mods and Rockers return.

Read about the borough council programme and supported events at west-norfolk.gov.uk/events.

The Hanseatic League – then and now

The Hanseatic League was a historic and powerful trading alliance which began in Germany in the 13th century and dominated Baltic and North Sea trade for three centuries. The alliance brought wealth and prosperity to King’s Lynn, as it became one of the league’s main UK ports. Merchants thronged the Great Ouse waterfront. The Hanseatic warehouse was built by German merchants, and Lynners built fine homes, guildhalls and churches alongside the busy river. The legacy of these great merchants can still be seen today.

The new Hanseatic League was created in 1980, its purpose was to keep the spirit of the original league alive in terms of a social and cultural alliance. The new Hanse consists of 192 cities across 16 countries. In July 2005, the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk became the first English city to become a member of the new Hanse. Cllr Nick Daubney represents England on the International Commission for the league and sits alongside representatives from each of the other member countries.

It is hoped that membership of the Hanse (which is free) will help with international networking, raising awareness of King’s Lynn across the member countries and increase overall recognition, both locally and further afield, of this important facet of King’s Lynn’s rich heritage.

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