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ISSUE 111 DECEMBER 2019 PRICELESS

magazine

WEST NORFOLK | NORTH NORFOLK | COASTAL


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welcome

Y

ou wouldn't ordinarily associate King's Lynn with political activism and revolutionary art, but towards the end of the 1950s they came together as the artist Gustav Metzger fought to save the old fishing community of the town's North End. His campaign ultimately failed, but the experience led Metzger to experiment with the possibility of using art to change the world – and it influenced his radical ideas on the creative power of destruction. Metzger’s reputation as an important artist of the 20th century has grown significantly since his death two years ago, and you can read about his life and work in King's Lynn on page 104 of this month's magazine. Oddly enough, both the fishing community and North End that were so important to Metzger feature elsewhere in this issue - with in-depth looks at the

Fisher Fleet and the remaining properties on Pilot Street. Of course, we're all in a festive mood at the moment (general elections notwithstanding) and this month's magazine gets into the spirit by including some fantastic local wines for you to try; the tastiest mussels in the country; the brave souls in Hunstanton who’ll be ‘enjoying’ a bracing dip in the sea on Christmas Day; and the warm welcome visitors are currently receiving at the beautiful Peckover House in Wisbech. Christmas was a little bit warmer (and a lot less pleasant) at the end of the 19th century, however, as the High Street in King’s Lynn suffered two devastating fires over the course of 13 years in exactly the same location at exactly the same time of year. It’s a fascinating piece of local history you can read on page 32. Finally, it’s time to gather round the

COVER IMAGE

meet the team

dining table with your friends and family and play your favourite board game, and if you turn to page 26 you’ll see that The Norfolk Hospice has produced a special North & West Norfolk edition of Monopoly. Not only does it feature some of the area’s most iconic landmarks and businesses (including your favourite magazine!) it’s also raising valuable funds to help the charity continue its amazing work. So before we pass Go and try to avoid going Straight to Jail we’d like to wish all our readers and advertisers a very happy Christmas and a great New Year. See you in 2020!

Eric Secker EDITOR KL magazine

Blickling Hall by Ian Ward

MANAGING DIRECTOR Laura Dunn

WRITER

EDITOR

PHOTOGRAPHY

GRAPHIC DESIGN

DISTRIBUTION

Eric Secker

Stephanie Lewis Lisa Barrett Amy Phillips

Ian Ward

Pete Tonroe

ADMINISTRATOR

ADVERTISING Jessica Smith Gemma Smith Eloise Wilson

CONTRIBUTOR Clare Bee

contact

18 Tuesday Market Place King’s Lynn PE30 1JW 01553 601201 info@klmagazine.co.uk

Sophie Allen

KL magazine is published monthly by KL Publications Ltd. The magazine cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and KL magazine takes no responsibility for omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letters. All rights reserved.

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contents

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14 19 20 26 32

38 44 50 58 KLmagazine December 2019

DIARY DATES This month’s forthcoming events A VERY SPECIAL CELEBRATION Christmas at Peckover House TAKING A DIP ON CHRISTMAS DAY Hunstanton’s famous festive swim YOU AND YOUR PETS With London Road Veterinary Centre THE HISTORY BEHIND THE DOORS... The fascinating story of Pilot Street MONOPOLY COMES TO NORFOLK A special edition from a special charity THE DAYS WHEN XMAS CAUGHT FIRE Alison Gifford’s look at local history THE EYE IN THE SKY How CCTV is helping to keep us safe DECEMBER IN THE GARDEN Expert advice with Wendy Warner FASHION Wrapping up warm for winter INSIDE THE FISHER FLEET 700 years of maritime traditions

IMAGE BY CLIVE STEPHENS

DECEMBER 2019

64 69 75

78 84 89 90 96 104 110 114

BRANCASTER’S TASTY SECRET Enjoying a local taste of the sea FOOD AND DRINK Recipes and recommendations FLAVOUR OF THE MONTH Visiting Naxos in Downham Market IS THIS THE NEW CHAMPAGNE? Some of Norfolk’s best wines THE BIBLE FROM BRISLEY... Richard Taverner’s life and legacy THEN & NOW How the local area has changed THE SOUNDS OF RECOVERY Tuning into Hospital Radio Lynn TOP OF THE TABLES Mollie Patterson’s rising star... THE ART OF DESTRUCTION... The life and work of Gustav Metzger REVISITING A TV LEGEND The local creator of Button Moon MICHAEL MIDDLETON The 12 days of Christmas 5


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NOW IN STORE! Experience Thaxters Winter Wonderland Christmas display

We have an extensive range of Christmas decorations, lights, artificial trees plus a large selection of gifts Our premier deluxe Nordman Fir Real Christmas Trees with low needle drop are NOW AVAILABLE!

49 Hunstanton Road, Dersingham, King’s Lynn PE31 6NA Tel: 01485 541514 | Web: thaxters.co.uk | Open: Mon-Sun 8am-6pm 6

SANTA’S GROTTO

Opening times: 30th Nov & 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th & 21st Dec -10:30-3:30 Only £5 and d no need to book

Garden Centre & Coffee Shop KLmagazine December 2019


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Diarydates LOCAL EVENTS IN DECEMBER

NORTH NORFOLK WOODCARVERS CLUB A club for anyone who enjoys working with wood, covering relief carving, incised carving, lettering, complex sculptural work, and everything in between. The ability level of club members varies greatly from complete beginner to high class sculptural work. The club has a selection of tools for beginners to use, and can provide help and advice. Call in to one of the club’s meetings to see their work. You may even be tempted to join, in which case the first meeting is free, after which the membership fee is £20 for 3 months. If you would like more information please call Bryan on 01328 878343 or email bryanrackham231@gmail.com

WHEN: 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month, 9am - noon

WHERE: Church rooms, The Green, Hempton,

TITCHWELL'S WINTER WONDERLAND At Christmas time, Mother Nature dusts the forest at RSPB Titchwell nature reserve with a crunchy frost. In her woodland grotto, all the animals snuggle around her for warmth. Join us at this special time when Titchwell Marsh transforms into a Winter Wonderland. Gather round for a festive afternoon tea, seasonal stories and activities in our wonderfully cosy gingerbread house. Then be guided through our magical forest for a special encounter with Mother Nature herself. You may even be visited by our friendly Christmas robin! Our gift shop will also be open for a spot of late-night shopping. Every child will receive a Christmas gift during their visit with Mother Nature, who is making a special appearance to the reserve during her busy winter schedule. For more details and to book, visit rspbtitchwell.eventbrite.co.uk.

WHEN: Saturday 14th December, sessions at 3:30pm and 6pm WHERE: RSPB Titchwell Marsh PE31 8BB

Fakenham NR21 7LQ

EACH CHRISTMAS CAROL SERVICE A family Christmas concert where everyone is welcome. Join East Anglia's Children's Hospices for their annual carol service at St. Margaret's/the Minster where they will be joined by the Minster choir and the St Martha's Primary School choir. The service will be followed by light refreshments and tombola. A retiring collection in aid of EACH (East Anglian Children’s Hospices) will be made. For more information call 01508 500894 or visit www.each.org.uk to let them know you would like to attend.

WHEN: Thursday 12th December, 6:30pm WHERE: King’s Lynn Minster, Saturday Market Place, King’s Lynn, PE30 5DL KLmagazine December 2019

KING’S MORRIS DANCING ON BOXING DAY Since being formed in 1978, King’s Lynn’s own Morris side have performed on Boxing Day and May Day – their sunrise presentation of the May Day garland is a famous local tradition. They present dancing tours on bank holidays, and on some Friday evenings in summer they dance outside local village pubs. On the second Sunday in September we invite several other dance teams to join us for massed Morris in King's Lynn (as part of Heritage Open Day). Join them on Boxing Day and watch as they perform Cotswold Morris dances from many traditions across middle England.

WHEN: Thursday 26th December, noon WHERE: The Swan Inn, Nursery Lane, South Wootton PE30 3NG 7


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IMAGES SUPPLIED BY CLIVE STEPHENS

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Christmas at Peckover – a very special celebration

PICTURES: Christmas at Peckover House concentrates on the two main passions of the Peckover family – community and philanthropy

Thanks to the Quaker beliefs of the Peckover family, this beautiful National Trust property uses the festive season to focus on community and philanthropy – and stress their importance all year round...

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eckover House is a true cabinet of curiosities, an elegant Georgian property that's full of surprises. It's elegant and refined, but it's also intimate and relaxed, with a stunning two-acre Victorian garden full of hidden corners, paths and the occasional touch of the exotic. It would seem to be the perfect place to celebrate a traditional Christmas, but therein lies a paradox - because the Peckover family (who occupied the house for some 150 years) were Quakers and didn't celebrate the festival, believing that the central messages of the festive season should be celebrated all year long. However, surviving documents and diary entries make clear that the Peckovers gathered together as a family KLmagazine December 2019

in December and exchanged small but meaningful gifts such as Bibles and books. Such an attitude allows the National Trust (which has cared for the property for the last 76 years) to hold a very special kind of Christmas celebration. "We use our Christmas opening times as a way of celebrating one of the Peckover family’s most enduring legacies," says Operations Manager Ben Rickett. "That's the idea of community involvement. We invite the local schools, businesses, groups and people we've worked with over the year to bring in Christmas trees and decorate them in keeping with their interests and aims. Over the years this has grown to the point where we'll have almost 40 trees adorning the rooms in Peckover House this year."

Ranging from Meadowgate School and various charities to the local tennis club and Wisbech WI, the trees never fail to attract interest and admiration and are a popular way of fundraising. Trees aren't the only floral decorations at Peckover House at the moment, however. Working to the 2019 theme of 'stars' the property's team of around 12 flower arrangers have given their creativity free rein in Peckover's stunning rooms - giving the house a beautiful Christmas makeover. "A huge amount of preparation and hard work goes into these creations and we're always grateful for their time and dedication," says Ben. "I'm constantly amazed at the different ideas and creations they come up with, and I know our visitors will be as well." Peckover's library and Reed Barn tea 9


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exhibition we were blessed with an extraordinary coincidence," says Ben. "I received an e-mail from James Penrose, the great-greatgrandson of Lord Alexander Peckover, and he offered to loan the house some original family items including several travel journals and a complete one for 1872!" The exhibition will also feature some of the watercolour albums produced by the family while they toured the continent - featuring places such as Lungo Arno in Florence and the Baths of Caracalla in Rome. The exhibition opens next February, and will be accompanied by a range of activities and events for adults and children - who'll be able to make everything from a postcard to a mini cabinet of curiosities. Of course, December may not be the best time to appreciate the splendour

IMAGE: NATIONAL TRUST PHOTO LIBRARY

room will also be getting into the Christmas spirit with the help of local musicians and a special seasonal menu, while the property's gift shop will be packed with a wide selection of gift ideas. "The most important thing about Christmas at Peckover House," says Ben, "is that it allows visitors to experience the festival through the lens of the family's main passions community and philanthropy." The Peckover family will also be at the centre of the property's 2020 exhibition, which will concentrate on their Grand Tour of 1872. The idea was inspired by Peckover House volunteer Aldo Ierubino, after extensive research at the Wisbech and Fenland Museum revealed how the Peckovers got to (and toured) Europe, what they wore, where they stayed, and who they met on their travels. Much of this fascinating information came from some of the family's original travel journals held by the museum although a significant part of the 1872 journal was missing, presumed lost. "While we were preparing the

ABOVE: This charming watercolour of Lungo Arno from an 1878 travel journal will form part of next year’s Grand Tour exhibition at Peckover House 10

ABOVE: The restored rock garden at Peckover House, which took Senior Gardener Jenny Windsor and her team a year to complete

of the gardens at Peckover House (a return visit during spring and summer is essential) but visitors shouldn't miss the opportunity to see the property's newly recreated rock garden, which has been missing from the grounds for over half a century. Under the expert guidance of Senior Gardener Jenny Windsor (who's been at Peckover for 16 years) the team searched the archives for clues as to the appearance and precise location of the horseshoe-shaped garden, which had been created between 1867-87. "We only had a few photographs and an OS map from 1887 to work from, but we've been able to build the new rock garden in its original position," she says. "We also had a huge amount of help for a variety of sources particularly Dr John Page, who gave us invaluable advice on planting techniques and the ideal conditions for alpine plants." Taking a year to complete, the garden is now growing into another addition to the many wonders of Peckover House a local treasure that's worth celebrating all year round. The Christmas celebrations at Peckover House take place from Saturday 7th December to Sunday 15th December, from 11am to the last admissions at 3.30pm. The event is free, but normal admission charges do apply. More information and details of all events and opening times can be found by calling 01945 583463 or at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/peckover

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Diarydates

EVENTS IN DECEMBER

Thursford Christmas Spectacular KL magazine goes behind the scenes at one of the biggest festive shows in Europe...

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he biggest Christmas show in the country is well into its 2019 run, and if you move fast you might still get tickets. If you aren’t lucky, then put it in your diary for 2020 now, because this show is truly unmissable! We were lucky enough to go along and see the spectacular in November, and take a look around backstage during the interval, and we’ve been firmly in the Christmas spirit ever since! From the moment you arrive at the Thursford Collection of steam engines and carousels where the Cushing family has put on the show since 1977, you step into a lavishly-decorated festive wonderland. Taking your seat in the huge main auditorium, you look up to see lights, decorations, even carousel horses hanging above your head. But from the moment the show begins, you won’t take your eyes from the stage. The Thursford Christmas Spectacular is a three-hour nonstop whirlwind of West End-standard songand-dance numbers, thrilling acrobatic acts, entrancing musical performances and hilarious comedy. Ventriloquist Steve Hewlett acts as a host introducing the other acts and also performing several times with his puppets: the cheeky jokes of Arthur Lager brought the house down. The brilliance of the choreography by Tracey Iliffe and the costumes by Stephen Adnitt (both were interviewed in our October issue) are showcased by the sheer variety of the musical numbers. KLmagazine December 2019

The chorus line numbers that Thursford is known for really make the most of the unusually long stage – a charming tradition explained to us by John’s son George Cushing is that it’s not stage left or right, it’s the ‘Gondola’ or ‘Unity’ end; named after the collection’s two famous carousels. Standout numbers were the Irish dancing the troupe had learned from scratch, and the elaborate costumes of the masquerade number. All the music in the show is performed and sung completely live and of an incredibly high standard: a rendition of One Day I’ll Fly Away that would have been a highlight of any other show was an accompaniment to an ethereal silks aerial ballet. And the show wouldn’t be the same without the legendary organist Phil Kelsall – now in his 39th season playing the Wurlitzer organ – his solo performance was mesmerising. The stunning finale saw the whole cast on stage singing as live doves flew across the auditorium and the entire audience rose to a standing ovation – there truly is no show like it. Tickets are available for the 2020 spectacular www.thursford.com/christmasspectacular. WHEN: 2pm and 7pm, throughout December WHERE: Thursford Collection, Thursford, Fakenham, NR21 0AS

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ABOVE: Last year, the Hunstanton Round Table Christmas Day Swim attracted 184 swimmers and around 4,000 spectators – organisers are hoping to set another record attendance in 2019 14

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Brace yourself for the Christmas Day Swim... Taking a dip in the Wash in December may sound bizarre, but for over 60 years that’s how some people in Hunstanton have been spending Christmas Day - raising money for local causes at the same time

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bracing Christmas Day swim has been a tradition in the Wash at Hunstanton since the end of the Second World War, and people have probably been enjoying a festive dip in the waters for a long time before that. The first official swim took place in 1957 and was organised by the Hunstanton Seagulls Swimming Club. There were very few hardy folk who took part in those days, but the idea of using the event to raise funds through sponsorship began to grow, and the event was taken over in 1979 by the Hunstanton and District Round Table – which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, having been chartered in September 1959. It means this Christmas will be a double celebration, and it’s hoped this year’s event will KLmagazine December 2019

attract a record number of intrepid swimmers. The original idea for the Christmas Day swim came from founder George Raines and Margery Cook of the Hunstanton Seagulls Swimming Club. George was a well-known shop owner in the town until his death, and he was involved in many local organisations and clubs. He was a regular swimmer off Hunstanton beach throughout the 1950s along with fellow local man Tom Drew, and he took part in every Christmas Day swim throughout his life. After its inception, the swim became a regular event in the Hunstanton calendar, but it wasn’t until people began fundraising through sponsorship that it became the popular event it is today. In fact, the idea of sponsorship was

only decided on four weeks before the 1971 swim – which featured 49 swimmers (many in fancy dress) with almost 300 spectators. The total of £169 raised by the event was presented, appropriately enough, to the area’s school swimming pool. At the time, Hunstanton was hosting the largest Christmas Day swim in the UK. From then on, the swim has become even more popular, both as a participation and spectator sport. “We’re getting more and more people turning up to take part in the swim, and we had our biggest attendance last year,” says events organiser and secretary Mark Williamson, one of the main players in staging the event. “We’re hoping for even more this year as it’s our charter year.” 15


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2018 saw the highest-ever number of swimmers taking part, with 184 in total – who drew an estimated 4,000 spectators, which set a new attendance record. The event also raised a record amount for charity, with over £7,300 raised. This year, organisers are hoping to top that number, but won’t know the final number of entries until the day, as people can register right up until the morning of the swim. Although it’s actually called a ‘swim’, the only obligation is for participants to walk out into the Wash and go under the Round Table banner, which is carried out into the cold waters of the North Sea. The temptation would be to simply run into the sea and quickly run out again, but in order to qualify as having actually taken part, all entrants have to go out as far as the banner and return to the shore – which could be a long way depending on the tide times on the day. “The Chairman and the Vice Chairman have the honour of walking out with the banner, and everyone has to go under it in order to ‘complete’ the swim,” explains Mark. “It’s up to them if they actually swim, and some of them actually do!” Nearly everyone dresses up in fancy dress, as it’s likely to raise more money and makes the event more colourful and interesting to watch. No wetsuits or dry suits are allowed, as this would take away the challenge (and discomfort!) of taking part. There are prizes for the best individual and best group fancy dress, and after the swim participants can return to the Oasis Swimming Pool for a welcome hot drink and shower. As a fundraiser, the event is obviously one of Hunstanton and District Round

“For us, it’s more about the individual as we like to see how our donation can make a real difference...” Table’s biggest, and alongside the swim, many willing members walk up and down the promenade with collection buckets. Also on the day, a replica vintage car travels up and down the promenade, offering free rides for spectators. All the money raised at the swim goes into the Round Table’s charity account and the members then discuss how the funds are allocated. “We normally give donations to individuals,” says Mark. “For example, we recently helped the family of a disabled child who needed a specialist car seat and soft play room. For us, it’s more about the individual, as we like to see how our donation can make a real difference.” The Hunstanton Round Table Christmas Day Swim takes place at 11am on the big day itself and there’s still time for you to enter. Visit the website at www.hunstantondistrict.roundtable.co.uk for more details and information.

ABOVE: Brave souls enjoying the Wash in the middle of December at last year’s Hunstanton Round Table Christmas Day Swim – which raised over £7,300 for charity 16

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Wellesley Street, King’s Lynn, Nor folk PE30 1QD 01553 772382 | www.goddardsonline.co.uk


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Wreaths & freshly cut flowers also available Open up until Christmas Eve!

One of the biggest displays

in West Norfolk!

Moat Rd, Terrington St Clement, King's Lynn, PE34 4PN Tel: 01553 828723 | Open: Mon-Sat 9-5, Sun 10-4

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Animalmatters

Our monthly look at the issues concerning you and your pets with our Clinical at London Road & Hollies Vets... Director

Jennifer Sinclair

Smallbites

While we want to make you aware of the extra hazards posed to our pets at this time of year, everyone here at London Road and the Hollies wishes you (and all your pets!) a very Merry Christmas, and we look forward to seeing you and your furry friends in the New Year.

The twelve pets of Christmas...

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n the first day of Christmas, an owner brought to me a kitten that had eaten a ribbon from the tree... Ribbon and tinsel can cause blockages in the intestines, which may need surgery to resolve. On the second day of Christmas, an owner brought to me a spaniel that had eaten two mince pies... Currants, sultanas and raisins are toxic to dogs. Any amount can cause poisoning, and potentially irreversible kidney damage if left untreated. On the third day of Christmas, an owner brought to me a Maine Coon that had munched the Christmas tree... Cats love chomping on plants, but pine needles can cause gastrointestinal upset, and lead to vomiting. On the fourth day of Christmas, an owner brought to me a Lhasa Apso that had walked on gritted pavements... The

rock salt in grit can get stuck to a pets’ paws and fur. When grooming, ingestion can lead to high blood salt levels causing thirst, vomiting, lethargy, and in severe cases seizures and kidney damage. On the fifth day of Christmas, an owner brought to me five empty packs of chocolate and one guilty Labrador... Chocolate is toxic above a certain amount in both cats and dogs, and can cause gastrointestinal upset, heart rhythm disturbances and seizures. On the sixth day of Christmas, an owner brought to me a Border Terrier that had eaten a bowl of stuffing... Onions, garlic and leeks added to recipes at this time of year can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats and dogs – and eating enough of them can cause a type of anaemia. On the seventh day of Christmas, an owner brought to me a domestic

LONDON ROAD Hospital Walk, King’s Lynn • 01553 773168 HOLLIES Paradise Road, Downham Market • 01366 386655

KLmagazine December 2019

shorthair cat that had been drinking cups of tea... Caffeine is toxic to dogs and cats if they ingest enough, and may lead to gastrointestinal upset, high heart rates and temperature, cardiac signs, and even seizures. On the eight day of Christmas, an owner brought to me a Bengal that had licked antifreeze... Even tiny amounts of ethylene glycol in antifreeze can be poisonous, and potentially fatal to our pets. Vomiting, lethargy and neurological signs may be seen in affected pets. On the ninth day of Christmas, an owner brought to me a Chihuahua that had eaten turkey bones... Bones can cause blockages and perforation of the gastrointestinal tract. Cooked bones become brittle and are likely to break. On the tenth day of Christmas, an owner brought to me a Sphynx that had eaten Poinsettia leaves... While this doesn’t cause serious toxicity, the plant can cause irritation to the mouth, hypersalivation and vomiting. On the eleventh day of Christmas, an owner brought to me a Cavalier that had eaten macadamia nuts... Certain nuts can cause weakness, tremors, raised body temperature and vomiting in pets. On the twelfth day of Christmas, and owner brought to me a Greyhound that had eaten sweetened cake... The sweetener xylitol can cause low blood sugar and also liver failure in dogs.

info@londonroadvets.co.uk www.londonroadvets.co.uk

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

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The history behind the doors of Pilot Street Today it’s a picturesque row of period properties, but it was once the hectic and bustling heart of the ancient fishing community of King’s Lynn. We take a look at the fascinating history of Pilot Street...


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nown as Dowshill Street until 1809, Pilot Street in King's Lynn is a beautiful and tranquil row of attractive properties that gently runs behind the graceful lines of St. Nicholas' Chapel. It's popular with tourists to the town and much-loved by photographers and artists, but this rose-tinted view hides the fact that this is all that remains of the very heart of a long-established and thriving community. Pilot Street was the high street of the North End fishing community, and although it was never wider than it is today it was certainly at least twice as long. It was the only thoroughfare to the Fisher Fleet, on which so much of the town's industry depended - and herds of livestock were a frequent sight along it. It wasn't unusual for over 200 sheep to be led past the houses - and even more common for several of them to make a quick escape into one of the many alleyways leading off the street. The central position of Pilot Street to the North End can be gauged by the fact that at the turn of the 20th century the whole community comprised six streets - yet Pilot Street contained no less than 40% of its 35 yards, a third of its houses, and 35% of its total population. And those 306 people were a microcosm of King's Lynn at the time. According to the 1901 census, if you discounted the 80 housewives, the 76 schoolchildren and the 34 toddlers too young to be either, one in three of the working population was a fisherman and a further 13 people were involved in the selling of fish. This was an incredibly diverse street five women worked as dressmakers (one specialised in corsets), while six 22

worked as domestic servants. Six men worked in the docks, three worked in the town's iron works, one was a builder, and three were bricklayers. From septuagenarian army pensioner James Gamble to 14-year-old Jessie Howard who worked in a paper factory, the street was also home to a railway engine stoker, an insurance agent, a blacksmith, a bookbinder, a money lender, a gardener, a shoemaker, and hairdresser and two bakers - with the remainder working in almost 10 other trades. But there were clouds on the horizon. The number of fishermen had dropped by 25% in ten years, and while six properties on Pilot Street were unoccupied another eight had been condemned. The Housing Act of 1930 was passed to address the country's endemic slum problems, but the more pressing concerns of the Second World War meant that work didn't start in earnest until the 1950s - and Pilot Street was directly in the firing line. Yards were demolished and new estates were built elsewhere to house the residents forced out of the North End - and it took only four years to sweep away a community that had developed over the course of six centuries. The creation of John Kennedy Road in 1963 reduced Pilot Street to a mere handful of houses which were condemned and scheduled for demolition. They were saved by the King's Lynn Preservation Trust, who purchased the remaining properties and spent £100,000 restoring them between 1976-78. Today, Pilot Street is one of the most attractive residential areas in the centre of King's Lynn - but look closer and you'll discover the legacy of a lost local community.

True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum has an extensive archive of local history that concentrates on the community of the North End (including Pilot Street), and its research centre is freely accessible. See www.truesyard.co.uk for more details. KLmagazine December 2019


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Designing for the future For over 30 years Peter Humphrey Associates has been enhancing the local landscape and building a reputation for architectural excellence

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lthough the media seems to be full of gloom and doom when it comes to the housing and construction industries it's nothing but good news at Peter Humphrey Associates in Wisbech, which has been going from strength to strength for over 30 years. Not content with refurbishing the company's existing offices, purchasing the adjacent property to allow for natural expansion, working on a £9 million project in King's Lynn and designing a wide range of domestic new builds, extensions and barn conversions, the business has recently completed a fully-detailed plan for a 100-bedroom retirement development in Wisbech. "It's a perfect demonstration of the in-house expertise we have here and the size and the scale of the project we're capable of handling," says Peter Humphrey. "We've completed some amazing one-off projects for individual customers, but multi-property developments require a little more

experience. Not everything has to be an architectural masterpiece largely designed to impress other architects – often it's far more important to deliver something that looks attractive, is costeffective, and is enjoyable to live in." The fully-accessible development (which is hoped to be completed next year) includes community areas, staff rooms for care staff, facilities specially designed with the needs of the residents, plenty of open spaces (including a sensory garden) and even a proposed pedestrian crossing where it meets the main road. "Architecture is all about attention to detail," says Peter. "Whether you’re working for a single family or a largescale developer you have to respect the

customer and focus on how people are eventually going to live in that space. That's the most important thing." It's obviously an approach that works. In addition to single builds, Peter Humphrey Associates has also recently designed a 118-property development in March, a 200-property estate in Clacton (currently awaiting approval) and two further projects in Wisbech comprising a total of 345 houses. Whatever building project you’ve got planned and whatever stage it’s at , Peter Humphrey Associates can help get your big ideas off the ground.

31 Old Market, Wisbech, Cambridgshire PE13 1NB | T: 01945 466966 E: info@peterhumphrey.co.uk | W: www.peterhumphrey.co.uk

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Driveways, Patios & Paving Commercial & Domestic

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ur

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Great for your home and even better for the planet Reducing your use of plastic and enjoying a new look for your home sounds too good to be true, but Rudd Joinery has the answer...

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e don’t need any more reminding that we need to cut down our use of plastic, but it's always good to find practical ways of contributing to a healthier environment – especially when it applies to our homes. Just outside Fakenham, Jamie and Martin Rudd of Rudd Joinery are producing a range of handcrafted windows, doors, staircases and conservatories that are just as good for the planet as they are for your home. By using high quality, responsibly sourced and FSC-certified timber (some of which has a negative carbon footprint) Rudd Joinery offers a complete design, manufacturing and installation service - and could well change your view in a very literal sense. "The production of PVC-u involves six of the 15 most hazardous chemicals listed by the EU for elimination, and its disposal can be harmful to both the planet and our health," says Jamie. "Our modern and highperformance timber frames need minimal

RUDD

maintenance and can actually have a significantly longer life than PVC-u alternatives." The idea that handcrafted timber is an expensive choice is a thing of the past. The National Housing Federation and a number of local authorities have found that the cost of PVC-u frames can actually be more expensive in both the long- and short-term. "Our production techniques mean that today's timber windows perform just as highly as PVC-u, and we're one of the only companies in the area offering frames that have passed the PAS24 standard for enhanced security," says Jamie. "The truth is that against PVC-u, timber frames can last up to 10 years longer and can be up to 35% cheaper." Over the last 30 years, Rudd Joinery has worked across Norfolk on countless refurbishment and new build projects, commercial buildings and heritage properties - supplying a range of exquisitely-crafted bespoke joinery from its on-site workshop and manufacturing facility.

JOINERY

BESPOKE WINDOWS & DOORS

KLmagazine December 2019

"It's also worth noting that the use of PVC-u is often restricted in conservation areas and on listed buildings," says Jamie. "The good news is that we can offer a fully sustainable and high performing alternative that looks fantastic - and doesn’t have an impact on the environment." For a totally new view of windows, doors and conservatories, visit the Rudd Joinery showroom today to view the choice of styles and finishes currently available - or call Jamie and the team at Rudd Joinery today to discuss your project in more detail.

Sculthorpe Boulevard, Tattersett Business Park, Fakenham NR21 7RL 01485 529136

ruddjoinery.co.uk

enquiries@ruddjoinery.co.uk

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ABOVE: The Norfolk Hospice is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, and the proceeds from its North & West Norfolk Monopoly set will help the charity continue its amazing work

The Norfolk Hospice officially passes Go!

As part of its 35th anniversary celebrations, The Norfolk Hospice is releasing a special localised version of the world’s best-loved board game – and continuing its invaluable work and support services...

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t's one of the most popular board games in the world, having been played by more than one billion people in 114 different countries, and as it prepares to celebrate its 85th anniversary Monopoly is about to

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come closer to home with the release of a special North & West Norfolk edition – produced in association with The Norfolk Hospice, which is currently celebrating 35 years of outstanding compassionate care. However, the process of creating a limited edition Monopoly set isn't quite as easy as rolling a couple of dice and moving a metal top hat (or racing car) the appropriate number of spaces. “A company called Winning Moves has the licence to produce special editions of Monopoly, but they only produce three sets a year,” says The Norfolk Hospice’s Senior Fundraising

Manager Tammy Green. “We were absolutely thrilled to be told back in June that our pitch had been successful – but then the hard work really started. Special sets of Monopoly can take up to a year to produce, but we wanted ours to be out by Christmas – which was only six months away!” The limited North & West Norfolk edition of Monopoly hasn’t just been produced to provide a lasting reminder of The Norfolk Hospice’s 35th anniversary – it’s also been designed to raise awareness of the registered charity’s invaluable work and to raise much-needed funds for its future. In

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fact, if the initial supply of 6,000 sets sells out, it will raise almost £80,000 for the charity. Work on the special edition was more complex than you might think, however. Sponsors had to be found for the traditional property spaces, in addition to replacements for the four railways stations, which became some of Norfolk’s best beaches. “We were very fortunate to have the support of No Twenty9 restaurant in Burnham Market as our headline sponsor, and it was interesting how many other potential sponsors were insistent on having certain spaces,” says Tammy. “As you might expect, Park Lane and Mayfair were in particularly high demand!” Interestingly, although the dark blue properties in question – now Houghton Hall and Sandringham House respectively – may be the most prestigious on the board, they’re not actually the most lucrative. Monopoly experts have worked out that the properties most likely to be landed on are Trafalgar Square (now replaced by Fakenham Racecourse), Vine Street (Pentney Abbey) and Marlborough Street (Oxnead Hall). Your favourite magazine can now be found on the third Community Chest space (you’ll find KL magazine sitting between the spaces traditionally occupied by Oxford Street and Bond Street), and the spaces usually reserved for paying income tax have been replaced by making donations to The Norfolk Hospice – a clever reminder that all Gift Aid donations to the charity are boosted by 25%. Even the Chance and Community Chest cards have been given a local makeover. Instead of paying doctor’s fees (a legacy of the game’s American origins) or coming second in a beauty contest, you’ll now be giving other players M50 for becoming the mayor of Cromer or paying M15 harbour dues to the port of Wells-next-the-Sea. “The sale of this set will help us to continue providing care to the communities of west and north Norfolk,” says Tammy. “We reach out to

KLmagazine December 2019

End-of-life care doesn’t mean the last few days of life – it means the last year – and palliative care is for anyone with a non-curable and/or life-shortening illness. At The Norfolk Hospice, we support people with any illness, not just cancer. If you are worried about yourself, a close friend or a relative, I would view our website at www.norfolkhospice.org.uk, visit us at the Hospice, or telephone us for advice. We want to meet you and your family members before you struggle – and we want to ensure you receive the care you need and deserve.

LYNDSAY CARTER Chief Executive, The Norfolk Hospice

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Monopoly facts American heating salesman Charles Darrow is credited with inventing Monopoly in 1935, although it’s argued that he ‘borrowed’ the idea from The Landlord’s Game, which had been created by Lizzie Magie 32 years previously Toy manufacturers Parker Brothers initially rejected the game on the basis it contained 52 fundamental errors, but within a year of its release it was selling over 35,000 sets a week

ABOVE: For 35 years, The Norfolk Hospice has provided a calming environment and palliative care to those suffering from life-shortening conditions and their family members

“The sale of this set will help us to continue providing care to the communities of west and north Norfolk ...” more than 1,200 families every year, and this Monopoly edition will enable us to provide first-class care for even more families who desperately need our help.” Headline sponsor No Twenty9 is also looking forward to people buying Cromer Pier and developing hotels on Fakenham Racecourse. “I absolutely love the idea of a North and West Norfolk Monopoly," says owner Tim Roberts, whose restaurant will be found on the space usually occupied by Oxford Street and on the third Chance space shortly before players reach Go and receive their

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M200 salary. “This area of outstanding natural beauty and historic interest really deserves to be immortalised in a Monopoly board, and it gives everyone the opportunity to support the wonderful work of The Norfolk Hospice – which I’ve seen at first hand.” Released on the 9th December, the North & West Norfolk edition of Monopoly (£29.99) will be available from The Norfolk Hospice (both on site and via all the charity’s shops) and most of the board’s sponsors – all of whom can be found on the website at www.norfolkhospice.org.uk

Following a public vote in 2013, the Scottie dog was chosen as the favourite counter, while the iron was replaced by a cat To date, Monopoly is available in 47 languages and 114 countries around the world During the Second World War, intelligence officers created special Monopoly sets for British POWs that included maps, compasses and real money In communist-era Czechoslovakia the property theme was changed to horse racing – because there were no such things as mortgages in the country People who think the game is too long will be pleased to learn that the shortest possible game involving two players requires only four turns, nine rolls of the dice, and 21 seconds – but statistically that will only happen once in every 253,899,891,671,040 games

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Daniel Sims SOLICITOR

The real generation gap Family Department

Maintaining contact with grandchildren when a relationship ends can be very difficult, as Daniel Sims of Fraser Dawbarns LLP explains...

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ith Christmas around the corner, many families will be making preparations to spend time together, but in cases where parents have separated or divorced, this isn’t always so straight forward. While both parents automatically retain the right to see their children after a relationship breaks down, grandparents don’t – and this can make it difficult for them to see their grandchildren. It can be heart-breaking to be denied the opportunity to spend time with your grandchildren, but a recent study has shown it’s a common situation. In some areas, as many as a third of grandparents have been restricted from seeing their grandchildren and many believed that parental divorce or separation had played a role in this. After a relationship or marriage comes to an end, if the separated parents can’t agree on the living and contact arrangements for their children,

either can make an application to the Court for an order setting them out. The law specifically includes a presumption that it’s in the child’s best interests to have both parents involved in their upbringing. However, there is no similar presumption in favour of grandparents – and although they can initiate legal proceedings, the Court must give them permission to start a case. The Court will also have to consider the relationship they have and any risk of the case causing harm and disruption to the child(ren). The Courts do recognise the importance of the grandparent/child relationship, and when an application for contact is made by a grandparent it is often granted unless there is a good reason why it should not be. The reality is that grandparents face additional hurdles when fighting for contact. Last year, it seemed as though some of these hurdles were going to be removed. In the summer of 2018, some MPs called for a change to the Children Act to ensure that relationships between grandparents and grandchildren were maintained in the

event of parental separation. The House of Commons suggested amending the law to extend the presumption of involvement to include grandparents, and to remove the requirement to apply for permission. Unfortunately, these proposals did not get off the ground and at the moment the legal position for grandparents remains unchanged. Calls for legal reform continue, and it’s hoped this will be addressed in the future, so the law will come to formally recognise the role grandparents play in their grandchildren’s lives. The family solicitors at Fraser Dawbarns LLP are always happy to offer advice and have experience assisting grandparents who are making an application to the Court for access to grandchildren – as well as helping with a range of family disputes. We offer a range of pricing options and levels of involvement, so we are able to tailor our service to best fit your needs.

21 Tuesday Market Place, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE30 1JW Tel: 01553 666600 Fax: 01553 767221 DX: 57800 KINGS LYNN Web: www.fraserdawbarns.com E-mail: info@fraserdawbarns.com

KLmagazine December 2019

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Lettingbetter

Our monthly round up of the latest news and legislation concerning landlords and tenants in the private rented sector with Edmonton Estates Director

Damien Simone

Quickfact December is the most common month for tenants to fall into rent arrears due to over-spending on Christmas

The Season of Giving?

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he old saying “Christmas comes but once a year” doesn’t really inspire as much excitement for me as it used to when that once-a-year period spans 3 months starting from October. That said don’t let my opening line mislead you, I am very much a Christmas enthusiast and becoming a father in 2017 has only increased my passion on the subject at home. As well as being a family event I have always seen Christmas as an opportunity to recognise those that have contributed to my business in a positive way over the course of the year. Our landlords both present as well as some past always receive a Christmas card from us, (whether they want it or not) separate from any other business-related correspondence. Other gratuities are also extended to complementary businesses which we engage with and also a couple of other

Estate Agencies who, whilst on the surface are our competitors, in reality the mutual respect that is given and received back allows us all to fluidly get on with what is not an easy job – despite some common misconceived stereotypes. This ties in with the results of a rather interesting survey that was conducted earlier this year which found that over a third of landlords admitted to having given a welcome or farewell gift to a tenant and 30% of tenants claimed to have received an act of kindness from their landlord. The research also suggested that those tenants who had received a gift from their landlord were more inclined to stay in the property for longer. Some 70% of tenants who said they received an act of kindness from their landlord stayed in their property for 24 months or more. This is compared to just 53% of those who didn’t.

Edmonton Estates Ltd, Nelson House, Bergen Way, King's Lynn PE30 2DE 01553 660615 www.edmontonestates.co.uk info@edmontonestates.co.uk

KLmagazine December 2019

I am not suggesting that, on the basis of this study, every landlord should be sending their tenants gifts in the hope that they will remain in their property for longer. Come to that I can think of a few that I’d gladly reward if they left! However, it did inspire me to look at the tenancy durations of those within our managed portfolio that I know receive a Christmas gift or partial rent rebate from their landlord and sure enough they have some of the longest tenancies that we’ve been managing. Sometimes a little recognition and a small act of kindness can go further than you think. Let’s finish 2019 on that positive thought and have a Merry Christmas.

Independent Lettings & Property Management Specialists

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The days when Christmas caught fire

ABOVE: Members of the King’s Lynn fire service outside their station at the town’s Common Staithe Quay in February 1905

Shortly before Christmas 1884, a devastating fire took hold in the centre of King’s Lynn – and as Alison Gifford explains, history repeated itself almost exactly 13 years later...

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hey say that lightning never strikes in the same place twice, and while that’s demonstrably untrue the same can’t be said of the High Street in King’s Lynn – where Christmas turned to disaster twice in the space of 13 years. On Tuesday the 17th December 1884, the central window of Jermyn’s department store (today’s Debenhams) had been dressed with cotton wool to represent a festive snow scene – but things were soon to heat up in a very literal sense. As the Lynn News and County Press reported: “It was in this window that the fire originated on Wednesday morning. About half-past eight o’clock, at which time the shutters had been drawn but the doors remained shut, one of the KLmagazine December 2019

young women assistants went into the window to light the gas. Immediately afterwards she gave an alarm of fire, and simultaneously the other assistants observed flames darting from the window. These flames caught the wrappers which were lying over the fancy goods, ascended to the ceiling, and in an incredibly short space of time spread to consume the building and the case was hopeless.” As the building burned to the ground, true heroes emerged during the day – especially when three young female shop assistants became trapped in the upper rooms of the building where they lodged. Reported to be “quite helpless through fright” they were saved by Mr. Jermyn Smith and a couple of other men who climbed onto the roof of the carpet arcade and rescued the women

from their bedroom windows. “They were standing in great fear, being scorched by the heat and almost suffocated by the smoke,” ran the report. “Utterly helpless, the young women were dragged along the glass roof of the carpet arcade, hot with the immense body of fire beneath it, and

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which was bursting through the windows all along, and they had scarcely reached a place of safety when the roof over which they had been brought fell in, and the rooms they had left were all aflame. But for the timely aid rendered they must have perished.” This was disaster on a grand scale. Hundreds of people rushed into the High Street from all directions, and the fire engine arrived (with bells ringing) from the fire station behind the Corn Exchange. It was too late to save the building or any part of it, however, and a few seconds after the arrival of the fire engine the entire front of the building collapsed and fell in a heap into the street. The building was utterly destroyed only 30 minutes after the alarm was first raised, and it wasn’t the only casualty. The store’s two neighbours – Mr. Andrews’ butchers shop on one side and Mr. Jex’s tobacconists on the other – also burned down, and Mr. True’s house in Union Lane also caught fire. The men could only watch helplessly as their livelihoods and premises went up in smoke and

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flame – but other nearby shops and houses were saved by the handcranked fire engine. “A strong jet of water was kept playing upon the buildings in danger, and though for two or three hours the issue was doubtful, the premises were saved from destruction, though much damaged.” Rising like the proverbial phoenix, Jermyn’s was rebuilt, and the magnificent new store was only 13 years old in 1897 when the Christmas decorations surrounding the fancy goods in the central arcade caught fire on 27th December 1897, a ferocious blaze rapidly spreading to the rest of the store. This time, the scale of the fire and the destruction was of such enormity that the story even made the pages of the New York Times. About 7.40pm the fire brigade arrived with their new steam fire engine, which

was placed in a position on the High Street close to a good supply of mains water. Unfortunately, ten minutes later the steam engine collapsed and the fire engine became completely useless, although water still gushed from the hydrants. Buckets were optimistically (but hopelessly) filled by helpers “where such feeble means could be rendered serviceable.” To add to the problem, several “zealous people” smashed the glass windows of the burning store in an attempt to ‘save’ some of the goods (at least that was how it was reported) – but that only let in a rush of air which fed the flames. No less than 13 shops burned to the ground on both sides of High Street, and people watched in dismay as this “huge fiery monster engulfed the street.” One of the onlookers was the unfortunate Mr Jex, who lost his tobacco shop once again. Another victim of the fire was Trenowath’s drapery store, which was rebuilt and still looks very stylish to this day. Look up and you’ll see a date stone above the parapet that reads ‘REBUILT 1898’ while below it on the fascia ‘THE LYNN DRAPERY EMPORIUM’ is written in gold lettering on a red background. While there, it’s worth looking across the street from Debenhams. You’ll notice that as a result of this second fire the premises on the west side of the High Street were rebuilt further back to create a wider street than runs from the former Sue Ryder shop (itself the victim of a recent fire) to the hairdressers at number 108. As for Jermyn’s department store, it continued to flourish and was renamed Jermyn & Sons in 1927 before eventually being acquired by Debenhams – which occupies the same site today.

ABOVE: The facade of the former Lynn Drapery Emporium, which was built on the site of the Trenowath’s drapery store destroyed by fire the day after Boxing Day in 1897

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We would like to wish all of our clients a very Merr y Christmas and a Happy New Year

We are a local firm of solicitors and our professional lawyers can offer you speccialist legal advice and make sure your needs are meet. We are experienced in;

Conveyancing, family, resid dential and commercial lease, debt recovery, litigation, wills and a probate, and personal injury, contract and professional neegligence and dispute matters. Wee can often offer fixed feess so you know where you stand W on costs and an introductoryy 1/2 / hour free of charge. g (not available for fixxed fee arrangements)

Staveley, Johnson n & Procter Solicitors Waverley House, 37 Greevvegate, Hunstanton PE36 6AB Telephone: 01485 532 Te 2662 Fax: 01485 534802 DX: 95250 Hunstanton | info@sjpsolicitors.co.uk So Solicitors acting in th he North Norfolk area, including King’s Lynn and Norw rwich

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From old storage space to stunning apartment... Whether you’re restoring, renovating, extending or building from scratch, RGR Developments can help bring your plans to life

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or the last five years, Ryan Rix and Gary New of RGR Developments have been (literally) building a reputation for work of exceptionally high standards on everything from simple extensions and new builds to the renovation of listed properties. Every project speaks volumes for the care and attention RGR Developments brings to every site, and that's certainly the case with their recently-completed transformation of an old storage space above a barn in Barton Bendish into a stunning self-contained apartment. “Although it was only used for storage, it was a really attractive space,” says director Ryan Rix, “but when we first arrived it had bare chalk walls, it wasn't insulated, and it had old chipboard floors. It was easy to see the potential, though.” Little more than three months later, RGR Developments has created a fantastic living space with a fully-

independent heating system, open lounge/dining area, walk-in shower, a modern kitchen (designed by RGR Developments) and a spacious bedroom with a separate dressing room. Although it's hardly recognisable from the barn it was before, the apartment retains a sense of its origins. "We kept as much of the original structure as we could," says Ryan's fellow director Gary New. "Part of the old chalk fabric is now a feature wall, and we've highlighted the roof beams to give the apartment some character." The attention to detail is extraordinary, with cleverly-placed blinds making windows appear larger and internal oak doors underlining the building's history – and it's a perfect example of the approach RGR Developments brings to every project. In fact, the property’s owners were so impressed with the results they’ve now asked RGR Developments to work on a number of areas in the main house.

“We always try to go the extra mile,” says Ryan. “We even set up a WhatsApp group to keep the customers up to date on the project’s progress and to exchange ideas on interior decoration, tiling and furnishings – and they really appreciated that.” Whether you’re thinking of extending your kitchen or creating a new fivebedroom house, contact RGR Developments today for an initial chat about your plans – and discover a new approach to building that puts you and your home first.

8 Mill Road, Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen King’s Lynn PE34 3BZ | Tel: 07921 910651 /

07817 941897 | Web: www.rgrdevelopments.co.uk | Email: info@rgrdevelopments.co.uk

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ABOVE: The CCTV control room at the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk receives images from almost 800 cameras in the area – and over the last 12 months has dealt with an average of 20 incidents every day of the year

The eye in the sky that’s keeping everyone safe

CCTV is now an accepted part of everyday life, but over 30 years ago King’s Lynn became the first town in England to introduce the new technology to keep residents and visitors safe around the clock...

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part from London, King’s Lynn was the first place in the country to introduce CCTV. Back in 1987, the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk took the decision to install CCTV cameras around the North Lynn Industrial Estate. Before long, the council extended the system to cover the town centre and car parks – and a 90% reduction in vehicle crime demonstrated the effectiveness of the system. Back then, technology was slow and costs were high. Although the system was effective, it was a far cry from the modern CCTV control room that now covers many more areas of the

KLmagazine December 2019

borough, along with parts of Breckland and North Norfolk. Those of us old enough to remember dial-up internet connections will know how slow it was in comparison with today’s superfast fibre services, and the same goes for the CCTV service. An enhanced digital network and increased bandwidth has led to increased capacity, capability and coverage. CCTV has now been extended to areas where previously it wouldn’t have been viable either because of the (un)reliability of the digital network or the excessive cost. The new car park in Burnham Market is a prime example. The car park operates on a domestic broadband

service, which controls the parking ticket machines, access control for the toilets and nine cameras, which are monitored from the King’s Lynn control room. The key to the success of the CCTV control room is partnership working. It enables partners to share costs while the service is improved and coverage broadened. It is far easier and more cost effective for partners to buy into an existing service as all the background infrastructure is in place. Breckland District Council benefits from the service, which costs a fraction of the expenditure required for the installation of a whole, new standalone system.

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BETTER USE OF RESOURCES

ABOVE: Although CCTV often gets a bad press, its ‘Big Brother’ reputation ignores the fact that it plays a vital role in reducing the fear of crime and helping a rapid response to incidents

Similarly, the control room in King’s Lynn monitors various parts of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital such as the car park so that security can be called if there is a disruptive patient, or a search can take place if a vulnerable patient has wandered out of the hospital. The borough council’s control room staff also monitor bus stations in Thetford and Cromer on behalf of Norfolk County Council. A total of 768 cameras (including 22 body-worn cameras) now feed data into the control room, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year. A further 80 radio holders are also connected to the control room to report on issues in the town centre during the day and disorder in the evening – helping keep the town centre an inviting and safe place where any concerns are dealt with rapidly. In the last 12 months alone, CCTV control room staff have dealt with over 7,000 incidents. Those incidents can range from locating lost children and reuniting people with dementia with their loved one or carer, to monitoring town centre events and Fawkes in The Walks. The control room monitored the South Quay during the 2013 flood, and ensured appropriate resources were deployed to cordon off the 2018 fire in the High Street. Recently a bike thief was stopped in his tracks as police were able to catch him in the act thanks to information from the control room. A juvenile, who had been maliciously setting off fire alarms in the multi-storey car park causing unnecessary call outs was 40

traced and the behaviour stopped through appropriate police intervention. “All public authorities are trying to do more with less,” says Assistant Chief Constable Nick Davison of Norfolk Constabulary. “Working in partnership with the King’s Lynn CCTV control room means we have additional eyes and ears helping us make the right decision about what resources to deploy and means we can use those resources more effectively. For example, we may get a report of a big fight, which CCTV can then confirm is actually two people having a disagreement and several people watching. It enables us to scale back the response to an appropriate level rather than responding in a manner that’s disproportionate to the incident. It’s a partnership I want to see continue.”

The Office of the Police and Crime has committed to a grant of £15,695. This is to fund the installation of five new cameras in the Gaywood area, where 18 crimes have taken place in the last 12 months. The borough council will fund the ongoing maintenance of the cameras and the monitoring. This will enable the CCTV control room to gather information and pass it directly to the police who can consider relevant staged interventions and diversionary opportunities with local youths as appropriate. “Preventing offending is one of the key strategic aims in my Police and Crime Plan for the county, and I want local residents and businesses to feel reassured that steps are being taken to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in this area of King’s Lynn,” says the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, Lorne Green. “This partnership with the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk and local police will support the gathering of intelligence, and the monitoring and response to incidents, as well as deterring would-be offenders and reducing the fear of crime.” Cameras are due to be installed in the next few months.

ACCESSING CCTV If you believe you are the victim of a crime or a crime has been committed you should report it to the police. CCTV recordings are generally stored for 28 days and can be accessed by the police after a crime. The police have their own process requesting access as part of their investigation. If the police are not involved (minor damage-only collisions or civil cases) your solicitor or insurance company can request any relevant footage via a Section 35 request. If the request is approved, a fee is payable on release of the data. Details of how to make a Section 35 request are available by searching for CCTV on west-norfolk.gov.uk. People also have the right to request CCTV footage of themselves. There is no charge for this and details are on the council’s website.


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Insuranceinsights

Our monthly look at insurance issues for you and your family with the experts at Adrian Flux... Before you even start the engine, you should ensure your window washer fluid is topped up (it will usually have de-icer mixed into the solution) – and make sure you clear any ice. Although it might seem tempting on a freezing cold morning, it is extremely dangerous to drive while peering through a letterbox-shaped clearing in your  iced-up window. Clear any interior misting by running the engine with the heater on.  ALWAYS BE PREPARED... Over the winter, the things you use to defrost your car in the morning should be with you throughout the day. Leaving the de-icer and ice scraper at home once you set off for work won’t help you much at 5.30pm when you want to go home and discover your car is frozen solid again. 

Safe winter driving As winter draws in, Adrian Flux has some useful tips to keep you safe on the roads...

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inter is coming, bringing with it frost, fog, snow, floods and gales – which is bad news for motorists unless you’ve got the breakdown insurance team at Adrian Flux on your side. Being stranded by the roadside in the cold or wet and having no idea how to fix the problem yourself is bad enough, but worse still is the idea of loved ones being left alone and helpless when their car breaks down in rotten weather.  After last year’s ‘Beast From the East’ caused insurance claims to skyrocket, we’ve compiled some useful tips to ensure your car stays on the road this winter:  CHECK YOUR TYRES... Look at the tread depth (it needs to be at least 3mm to be safe) and tyre pressures – and don’t forget the spare!

For safe winter driving, your tyres should be in good condition, so don’t ignore any gouges or bulges, and check the manufacturer’s requirements for the correct pressures. If you live in an exposed or rural area, it’s well worth investing in a set of winter tyres.  CHECK YOUR ANTIFREEZE... It only takes a few minutes and it’s very simple to top up or replace the antifreeze in your car’s radiator – which is very little compared to the cost (and the inconvenience) of having it freeze, crack or burst when you least expect it.  MAKE SURE YOU CAN SEE... With all the mud and slush and dirty water on the roads over winter, it’s vital you keep your car’s windows clear and ensure your lights are clean. It only takes seconds to run a cloth over them before you set off, but it really could could save your life.

WHEN THE WORST HAPPENS... If you do break down or a road becomes impassable, the first thing to do is ensure you and your passengers are in a safe place. Don’t leave your bonnet open while you wait for the recovery vehicle, because an engine compartment full of snow and rain will not help matters – perhaps you should reconsider taking out Flux Rescue Breakdown Cover with your motor insurance policy! ADJUST YOUR TECHNIQUE... In extreme weather, your driving style has to change. Stopping distances can be 10 times greater in snow or ice, so apply the brakes gently and avoid sudden movements. Pulling away from snowy or icy junctions may be easier in second gear and lower revs will help prevent wheel spinning. If your car does begin to slide, don’t panic – ease off the clutch, steer in the direction the car is skidding, and keep your foot off the brake.  Patience and common sense is vital when it comes to driving in bad winter weather. Breakdown operators in the UK tend to have an exclusion timeframe of between 24 and 72 hours from the policy start date, and in that time no recovery claim can be made until the policy has been running for up to three days.

TEL: 01553 400399  |  EMAIL: contact-us@adrianflux.co.uk WEB: www.adrianflux.co.uk  E

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F I N A NC I A L A DV I C E OF R E A L FA M I LY VA L U E Our intergenerational wealth management advice is designed to protect the wealth and financial future of your family. We provide a range of family-oriented financial products and services, enabling you to work together to support each other across the generations. Whether you would like to help younger family members onto the housing ladder, contribute to a grandchild’s education or wedding, or help an older relative with later-life planning, careful consideration can ensure your wealth works harder for all your family without compromising your own retirement needs. Contact us for further information.

PLUMMER AND ASSOCIATES Associate Partner Practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management

Tel: 01485 500025 Email: jeremy.plummer@sjpp.co.uk Web: www.plummerandassociates.co.uk

The Partner Practice is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products. The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives.

H2SJP33398 10/19

K I T C H E N S • B AT H R O O M S • T I L E S

BEDROOMS • PLUMBING SUPPLIES

One of our area’s largest in nd dependent kitchen & bathroom showrooms

A HU UG GE thank you from our families to yourrss...

The heart of Christmas is having special times with family and friends. We wish all of our customers old a new a happy healthy and joy filled Christmas from all of the team at the Quay Centre Experts in designing and installing beautiful kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms to suit all tastes and budgets • Free design and survey • Trade & new build accounts available • Supply only or full installation service

Address 28-31a North End, Wisbech, Cambs, PE13 1PE | Tel 01945 476797 | Fax 01945 463495 | Web www.quaycentre.co.uk

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Veronique Smith ACA can withdraw money from an ISA providing you’ve held it for 12 months and you are either: - buying your first home - aged 60 or over - terminally ill

Say hello to LISA – a new option for savers... With Help-to-Buy ISAs now closed to new savers, Veronique Smith ACA of Stephenson Smart explains the other options open to you...

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elp-to-Buy ISAs were a decent option for first-time buyers looking to save a mortgage deposit, with the government contributing an extra 25% on top of whatever you saved. But with this no longer an option for new savers (it closed on 30th November), what other options do you have? You may want to consider the Lifetime ISA (LISA) which was launched in April 2017 and just like Help-to-Buy offers a 25% bonus on top of what you save – plus your account will earn

interest on whatever you save too. But to give you added flexibility, the LISA is designed to help you buy your first home (or to save for retirement) and an account can be opened by anyone between the ages of 18 and 39. Savers can add up to £4,000 to their LISA pot in a lump sum or as often as they like, with the bonus being paid out monthly every year until the account holder reaches 50. Many of the queries we receive concern the withdrawal of funds from ISAs, so it’s worth pointing out that you

It’s possible to withdraw cash or assets for another reason, but if you do you’ll pay a 25% charge. The withdrawal charge aims to recover the government bonus received and apply an extra charge to the original savings. Please note that the LISA is a longterm savings account, and if you treat it as a short-term savings product you will probably get back less than you pay in – equivalent to a loss of 6.25% on your initial investment. However, assuming you paid in the maximum contribution of £4,000 every year between the ages of 18 and 49, the bonus you’d receive from the state would be £33,000 – and that’s not a bad return at all in today’s market. In addition, you’ll earn interest on your savings and bonus – top LISAs are currently paying in the region of 1.4% tax-free. Whatever you decide, please remember that the amount you pay is linked to your annual ISA allowance – which is £20,000 for 2019/20. For further details and information, or to talk further about your finances and tax liabilities, please contact Stephenson Smart and our team of advisors will be more than willing to help.

Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors

KING’S LYNN 01553 774104 FAKENHAM 01328 863318 WISBECH 01945 463383 MARCH 01354 653026 DOWNHAM MARKET 01366 384121 GREAT YARMOUTH 01493 382500 www.stephenson-smart.com

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Using your garden to celebrate Christmas... With growing concerns about reducing our use of plastic, it’s time for a greener approach to Christmas decorations, and you don’t have to look further than your garden, as Wendy Warner explains...


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here’s a reason why two of our most popular Christmas songs (Deck the Halls and The Holly and the Ivy) focus on foliage. There’s no better time than the festive season to bring your garden indoors – especially as it can be a great source of natural products for creating attractive seasonal decorations such as wreaths, swags, garlands, arrangements or table decorations. For starters, note that all Christmas arrangements require some evergreen foliage to create the basic structure and background. This can take the form of excess clippings from your Christmas tree, other conifers, holly, ivy, mistletoe, Pittosporum, laurel or other shrubs. Choose Eucalyptus, blue fir or cedar, Convolvulus cnerorum or Calocephalus if you are looking for a silvery blue look – although other evergreens with red or yellow leaves can be used for a warmer colour scheme. Some of these will have the added bonus of berries as long as you get to them before the birds have been feasting! Holly, ivy, Skimmia, Cotoneaster, Gaultheria and Pernettia can all carry berries. Meanwhile, long stems of ivy and other climbing plants lend themselves to garlands or arrangements where they can trail down. The bare stems of deciduous trees and shrubs can also be useful in arrangements. Birch branches make a very easy alternative to a Christmas tree when simply decorated with pinwire lights and small baubles or other decorations, as can twisted willow or hazel. The bright stems of Cornus or pruned vine stems are often flexible enough to be shaped round to add texture and colour to wreaths. Use dried seed heads or flowers to give another dimension. You may find some of these still in the garden if your autumn tidying wasn’t too thorough. Otherwise, for future years it’s a good idea to save the stems and seedheads of flowers such as poppies, alliums, love-in-a-mist and Hydrangeas after they’ve finished flowering and hang them in a shed or garage until required. Don’t forget pine cones either, as they’re another Christmas essential. You may not have pines in the garden, but cedars and other conifers will produce cones too. If you don’t have these, I’m sure you can find some in a local park or forest – as long as you only gather them from the ground and don’t take them from the trees. And whilst you’re there, look out for acorns as these can be attached to wires to use in your decorations. All of these can either be used naturally as

KLmagazine December 2019

ABOVE: The bare stems of trees and shrubs can be really useful in festive arrangements, and branches from birch trees can make an easy and attractive alternative to a Christmas tree

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“Your garden can be a great source of natural products for creating attractive seasonal decorations...” they are, or sprayed with a metallic or glitter spray. You’ll find yourself limited to the amount of fresh flowers available in the garden at this time of the year, but you may be able to gather some sprigs of heather, early flowering hellebores or the sweetly-scented Christmas box – or you can buy fresh flowers such as carnations and roses to add to your displays. Another popular addition to seasonal arrangements is dried fruit. Oranges, lemons or limes can be used and either cut into slices or left whole and then slowly baked in the oven. Even dried

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chillis can make quite a statement if you’re after a more dramatic look! If you plan on making a wreath using a wire frame, you’ll require moss which can be gathered from the garden or lawn if you have it. Otherwise, you can use an oasis foam ring or block to hold the stems in place. When assembling a wreath or garland, try to keep the material you’ve cut from the garden in water before using it to ensure it’s fresh – and (if possible) position it in the house not too close to a radiator or fire and keep it watered or sprayed throughout the festive season. For a very natural look, you can finish your arrangements using feathers, raffia or twine and hessian. Otherwise, you can add wired ribbon bows, small coloured baubles or other decorations, candles or artificial flowers or berries to your basic wreath, garland, arrangement or table decoration. If it has no natural fragrance, you can always add a few drops of scented oil – pine, cinnamon or a zesty citrus, whatever takes your fancy. There are also some very good sets of batteryoperated lights that can be used on garlands, wreaths or arrangements, available in various lengths – and many come with a timer so they can come on for five or six hours a day, allowing you to hide the battery pack out of sight. Some have green cables, others are just a wire, so you can choose the best one to complement your creation. Finally, for a real statement piece, try making a decorative festive ice bowl or frozen ice bucket – but ensure you use

sprigs of non-poisonous plant material and berries or flowers. How satisfying that when your friends or family admire your creations you can say they were not only handmade but home-grown too!

YOU AND YOUR GARDEN Wendy Warner is the Manager of Thaxters Garden Centre in Dersingham. You can visit the website at www.thaxters.co.uk or telephone 01485 541514. If you’d like some inspiration for your garden or have a particular issue or variety of plant you’d like Wendy to look at, please contact us at info@klmagazine.co.uk.

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Treat your trees to some expert care over winter While your trees take a well-deserved rest over the next few months, contact Heritage Tree Specialists to get them ready for next year...

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veryone knows that trees lose their leaves towards the end of the year, but fewer people realise that it's the first stage of them preparing to survive the winter. While the loss of leaves helps trees withstand strong winds and heavy snow falls, they also slow down (and in some cases even stop) their metabolism, energy consumption and growth. All of which means it's the perfect time to call on the services of Heritage Tree Specialists to help keep your trees healthy and in great shape for spring. "Pruning trees over winter (especially apple and pear trees) is by far the best time to carry out such work, because the dormant trees will hardly notice," says director Dan Ashton. "It's also the ideal time to re-shape trees or reduce the crowns, and it's a very effective way of promoting healthy growth next year." In fact, leaving the pruning until spring (when the tree's sap

will be rising) can cause the tree to 'bleed' and can attract insects, which can lead to disease, none of which will happen during the winter months. Moreover, any re-shaping and reduction work carried out over winter won't affect nesting birds – and will result in a healthier and more attractive tree next summer. Strangely, winter is also the best time to be planting new trees, especially with the wide availability of bare-root plants (up to 3m in height) at this time of year. "Because of the way they're grown, bare-root trees tend to have a greater and stronger root mass than containergrown trees," says Dan. "They're already used to growing in natural soil, and they adapt more quickly to new environments. And best of all, they're

considerably cheaper than trees of a similar size grown in containers." And if your garden does have any unsightly stumps or old surface roots, winter is the perfect opportunity to have them professionally removed by Heritage Tree Specialists' professional equipment, leaving the ground fresh for re-seeding and turfing in the spring. Treat your trees to some expert care this winter – and contact Heritage Tree Specialists today.

TIME TO STOCK UP ON NATURAL FIREWOOD! Heritage Tree Specialists has a large stock of quality firewood available now in loads of 2m2 for only £100 delivered.

Heritage Tree Specialists

T: 01553 617008 | W: www.heritagetreespecialists.co.uk E: info@heritagetreespecialists.co.uk | Willow Farm Industrial Units, Saddlebow, King’s Lynn PE34 3AR

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E DS NIMAPaLrk,FFaE GJL A nham kenh h Business Clipbus

Your local animal and pet feed store! Feed, supplements & accessories for your... Alpaca, Budgie, Canary, Cat, Cattle,C Chicken, Chinchilla, Cockatiel, Dog,Donkey, Duck, Ferret, Finch, Fish, Gerbil, Goose, Guinea Pig, Goat, Hamster,Horse, Llama, Mouse, Parrot, Pheasant,Pig, Quail, Rabbit, Rat, Sheep, Turkey or Wild Bird.

OPEN: MON- FRI 8:30 - 17:00 SATURDAY 8:30 - 12:30

01328 851351

gjlanimalfeeds.co.uk

TREE MANAGEMENT LTD

Qualittyy plants at wholesale prices Open Monday-FFrriday 8am-4pm

SHRUBS •HERBACEOUS/PERENNIALS•CLIMBERS•TREES•TOPIAR RYY•SUNDRIES

WE S T OC K A LARGE RANGE OF:

SHRUBS 2 litre to 110 litre pots TREES Gir th sizes ranging from 6-8cm to 20-25cm. Bare root, Rootballed & Containerised

XMAS OPENING

We are closed from Monday 23rd December until Thursday 2nd January

FORESTRY & HEDGING Bare root transplants ADVANTAGES OF BARE ROOT: Plants are dormant in winter – always the best time to transplant any stock and low maintenance after planting. Much more cost effective – especially if you are planting a large area. Native hedging – excellent for wildlife.

www.rachaelsplantoutlet.co.uk | Tel: 01945 664520 FIND US A ATT: School Road, West Walton, Wisbech PE14 7DS 48

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Driving to a green future with Bircham Electrical

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We can help you save £500 on the chargepoint for your electric car...

t’s probably fair to say that at the moment there are two types of people – those that already have electric cars and those that will have them in the near future. So far this year, sales of diesel cars have dropped by 21% while those of their MHEV equivalent have risen by almost 800% – and although sales of petroldriven vehicles are up a slight 2% on last year, sales of battery-only vehicles have risen by an incredible 125%. Moreover, back in July the government outlined changes to current building regulations that would make the installation of chargepoints for electric cars compulsory on all new-build homes. “This is a rapidly growing market and it's only going to increase over the next few years,” says Darren Goldsby,

General Manager of Bircham Electrical. “That’s why we’ve worked hard over the last few months to become an officially authorised and fully-approved installer of chargepoints for electric cars.” Bircham Electrical is now working with Rolec EV (based just over the border in Lincolnshire), which is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of charging solutions for electric vehicles – from low cost entry-level wall units to sophisticated ‘smart’ chargepoints that can be operated and monitored through a mobile phone. Even better, the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) is currently running a scheme that allows eligible people to claim up to £500 off the cost of domestic chargepoints and the installation charges. 4 Wymans Way Industrial Estate Fakenham NR21 8NT

KLmagazine December 2019

“You (and your car) do have to meet certain criteria and use an authorised installer,” says Darren, “but that’s where we come in!” Bircham Electrical can offer all the help and advice you need on making the most of the OLEV scheme, will undertake a full survey of your home or workplace (and its existing electricity supply) and install a high quality and energy-efficient chargepoint for your electric car – which can be completed in less than a day. With the government expecting half of us to be driving electric cars within ten years, it’s the perfect time to contact Bircham Electrical about joining this green revolution – and saving up to £500!

Tel: 01328 851824 Web: www.bircham-electrical.co.uk E-mail: admin@birchamelectrical.com 49


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There’s definitely more than a chill in the air now, so you’ll need to cover up with a coat that’s warm – but don’t compromise on your style. Complete your outfit with a traditional topcoat in town, or go for something practical but luxurious for the country

Cherington Quilted Longline Padded Coat by Joules £158

THE HAYLOFT at BEARTS Stowbridge


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Coat by the Bianca Collection

CINDY’S

Sutton Bridge

Ontrend

The teddy-bear texture and jewel colour of this coat are this season’s hottest looks

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Tan Coat by Caractere

SHEILA TILLER Long Sutton

Styletip

A longer length and oversized patch pockets add drama to this classic cut

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G I F T S E V E RYO N E W I L L L O V E ! | opening times: monday - friday ay: 8am - :

51 | www w.bear ts.co.u , saturda ay 8a am - 4pm


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Invest in a really good quality jacket for outdoor pursuits – you’ll be wearing it for years to come Shooting Coat & and Women’s Country Coat by Le Chameau

Lings Country Goods

Great Massingham

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Cindy’’ss of Suttoon Bridge

End of season

SALE

Staarts Thursday 12th December 9-5pm Massive reductions on winter casualwear, dreesses & knitw wear. We aim for total clearance, eveerything must go! 108 Bridge Road, Sutton Bridge PE12 9SA | Sizes 10-26 Open 9am - 5pm | Closed Wednesday & Sundays ww ww.cindysfashions.co.uk | Tel: 01406 350961

West Norfolk’s best kept secret NOW

Lings Country G for all your countr y pursuit

New Le Chameau Clothing

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çäÇÉå= dçäÇÉ ìêëìáí mìêëìá A DIVISION OF LIBIDEX PHARMA UK

XMAS OPENING

Xmas Eve 9- 5, Xmas Day CLOSED, Boxing Day CL Fri 27th 9-6, Sat 28th 9 - 5, Sun 29th 10-4, Mon 30th 9 6, New Years Eve 9-5, New Years Day CLOSED, 2nd Jan 9-6

Adult Superstorre e

www.adultshopnorfolk.co.uk | Tel: 01553 776242

Unit 2 Beveridge Way, Hardwick Narrows, King’s Lynn PE30 4NB

KLmagazine December 2019

A wide range of top brand countr y clothing and accessories • ALAN PA AINE • DUBARRY • SCHÖFFEL • LE CHAMEAU • HUCKLECOTE • SEELAND • IZZI RAINEY • MUSTO Heath Farm, Great Massingham PE32 2HJ www ww.lingscountr ygoods.co.uk www ww.mortonatvv.com | Tel: 01485 520828

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Barbour Abalone Yellow Waterproof Jacket £229

GODDARDS King’s Lynn

Turn heads with an eye-catching colour while a faux-fur trim keeps you warm

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Fresher skin revealed by safe hands

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Enjoy the rejuvenated skin you want with the expert help of Dermavida ermavida has offered residents of west Norfolk a wide range of cosmetic skin treatments since it was founded in 2006 by the GPs and partners of Gayton Road Health and Surgical Centre. Today, the clinic is led by Dr Leena Deol, a GP with a specialist interest in Dermatology. “Our medical setting is what sets us apart from other cosmetic skin clinics,” says Dr Deol, who works alongside Dermavida’s qualified therapist Rachael Lincoln. “I’ve been qualified in dermatology in the GP setting for 14 years, and Rachael has been working at the clinic for over ten years. We have clients who’ve been coming to us over that entire time, because they know we have the expertise and experience to provide treatments carried out with the highest standards of safety and care.” Dermavida offer HydraFacial treatments, wrinkle-relaxing injections, fillers, micro-dermabrasion, skin needling and peels, and acne treatments – everything you need to rejuvenate and refresh your skin. They also offer laser hair reduction, injections to combat excessive

sweating, treatments for fungal nails and facial and leg veins, and removal of warts and skin tags. “Every client receives a thorough consultation and a programme of treatments tailored specifically to their needs,” says Dr Deol. “There are no ‘standard treatments’ at our clinic: we assess every client and recommend a bespoke course of treatment. Our treatments are all very competitivelypriced, and you won’t pay for anything you don’t need.” Dermavida’s priority is caring for their clients, from the information and advice you’ll receive from coordinator Debbie, right through to the exceptional aftercare. “We’re based in a fully-equipped medical centre, we have the most up-to-date training and products – like Juvederm fillers and numbing and anti-bruising creams – and I’m on call for you 24/7 after your treatment,” says Dr Deol. Dermavida have exciting developments to come in 2020, when they’ll be adding to the range of treatments they

Derma Vida CREATING BEAUTIFUL SKIN

KLmagazine December 2019

offer. “We’ll be establishing a clinic at the BMI Sandringham in King’s Lynn which will offer appointments on Saturdays,” says Dr Deol. “And at our Gayton Road clinic we will offer advice and treatment around hair health for men and women. We’re very excited about this – no other clinic in the area is currently providing this.” So if you’d like to start your journey towards more beautiful skin, contact Dermavida today on the details below – or pop in and see them!

Dr Leena Deol

Call us to book a consultation on 01553 696886

Gayton Road Health & Surgical Centre, King’s Lynn Email: info@dermavida.co.uk | Website: www.dermavida.co.uk 57


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Tracing the long history of the Fisher Fleet... Although it may only be a fraction of the size it was at the start of the 20th century, the Fisher Fleet in King’s Lynn can trace its history and proud maritime traditions back over 700 years


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s a sea port, King’s Lynn has played an important part in England’s maritime history; as far back as the 12th century, there were fishing boats setting out to sea from here. Throughout the ensuing centuries, fishermen have plied their trade from Lynn, and today there are still over 30 fishing boats regularly going out from the port, with the town still having one of the biggest fishing fleets along the east coast. The peak of Lynn’s fishing fleet was probably around 1914, when there were about 400 registered fishermen, but from the 15th century herring was the main catch, when fisherman sailed out to the waters off Norway in search of the vast shoals that were to be found in the North and Norwegian seas.

In the following centuries, Lynn fishermen would also make their way as far north as Iceland. They would take wheat, flour and clothing to trade with the Icelanders for their fish. Over the years, there have been up to 15 ‘cod wars’ with the Icelanders (including the most recent in the 1970s) but there are still connections with Iceland, with one town in northern Iceland part of the Hanseatic League. In the late 18th century, there was also a whaling fleet going out from Lynn, with the fishermen leaving in the spring to catch whales as far away as Greenland, and not returning until August. But since then, the majority of the fishing has been inshore, with the Wash being a rich fishing ground. The large variety of the catch would include

cockles, whelks and oysters as fish stocks began to dwindle. Whelking in particular was profitable, with the men going out on a Monday morning, returning on a Thursday evening in order to boil the whelks, and then taking them by train to London, Leicester and Birmingham for their weekend markets. The railway line to the docks was in use until the 1990s and can still be seen on what is now known as John Kennedy Road leading out of the town. The fishing community of King’s Lynn has always been a tight unit. Known as Northenders, the fishing families lived in fishing cottages clustered around the area near the docks and the Fisher Fleet (the mouth of the Gaywood river), a small tidal estuary flowing into the Great Ouse river. Nowadays there’s little


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ABOVE: Although little remains of the Fisher Fleet in King’s Lynn today, its legacy lives in at the town’s True’s Yard Fisherfolk Museum

“The North End made such a significant contribution to Lynn’s economic and social life for 900 years...”

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left of these cottages, apart from the two surviving cottages in the fisherfolk yard at True’s Yard, King’s Lynn’s heritage site and town museum, which celebrates the fishing community of the North End which made such a significant contribution to Lynn’s economic and social life for 900 years. As well as the fishermen who went out to the fishing grounds, other members of the families would be very much involved in the work. In addition to knitting the ubiquitous fishing jumpers known as ‘ganseys’ (a derivation of the Guernsey), the women would spend every spare minute making or mending the nets in their tiny living rooms. The sons would nearly always follow their fathers into the trade, with the daughters helping their mothers in the home. As an enclosed community, the Northerners rarely married outside the North End area, and most lived their whole lives there. Living as they did in the shadow of the fishermen's church, St Nicholas’ Chapel, they had their own shops, public houses and schools. With such small cottages, often housing two parents and several children, public houses were an important part of the everyday life of the fisherfolk and were real community centres, and sometimes boarding houses. In its heyday, there were many along North Street (the location of True’s Yard), and up to nine in Pilot Street, none of which remain today.

After the First World War, the numbers of fishermen began to decline, with the loss of many men in the war and the coming of more industrial jobs, such as dockers, railway workers and factory workers. But today there’s still a healthy (if rather reduced) number of fishermen working out of King’s Lynn dock, which is still a thriving port. They mostly still fish inshore in the Wash trawling for brown shrimp or dig for shellfish, which are popular in the pubs and restaurants of north Norfolk. There may not be much of the Fisher Fleet and its legacy left in Lynn, but the history lives on with the modern fishermen, True’s Yard museum and the still busy port. For more information on the history of King’s Lynn’s fisherfolk and the Fisher Fleet, why not plan a visit to True’s Yard or take a look at their fascinating website at www.truesyard.co.uk KLmagazine December 2019


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Victor ia n Ch r ist mas t reats Saturda ay y 14 December 2019 11am-3pm The Stone Hall, K ing’s Lynn To Town Hall We love our Christ mas traditions, We but has it alwa ay ys been the same? Come to the T To own Hall to join in the preparations fo for a Victorian Christmas. Y Yoou can make table decorations, chocolate logs, stained glass window biscuits and wreaths. Print your own wrapping paper, create Christmas cards and labels, and design a badge. Y Yoou may even get a chance to meet F Faather Christmas! Free entr y and no need to book, just drop in!

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www.klearvuaerials.c v om 55 Ly ynn Road, Terringt e on St Clement, King’s Ly ynn PE34 4JU KLmagazine December 2019


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Taking commercial air conditioning up a level...

With the completion of a major project in King’s Lynn, the 4 Way Group confirms its place as the region’s leaders in air conditioning

W

hen the new Timber Services centre on the Hardwick Industrial Estate in King’s Lynn opens this month, customers will be treated an especially warm welcome – thanks to a state-of-the-art air conditioning and heating system designed, installed and commissioned by the 4 Way Group. “At around 20,000ft2 it’s a huge development, and the main showroom is a massive open space with a ceiling well over 30ft high,” says director Steve

Simpson of the 4 Way Group. “You'd have thought it was almost impossible to maintain a comfortable atmosphere in a steel-framed building like this, but our system is already working perfectly – and will be more than capable of generating 40kW of heat over the winter.” It’s not just good news for Timber Services’ customers, however. The new offices, staff canteen and other facilities will all benefit from the 4 Way Group’s expertise – keeping everyone warm over winter and helping them stay cool over the summer. Working from the architects’ plans and drawings, the 4 Way Group can design an air conditioning system that makes the most of your space and minimises your energy usage – whether you’re working on a fourbedroom domestic new build or a major commercial operation. And you can look forward to some of the most advanced technology

currently available. “We’ve been installing the latest Fujitsu air conditioning systems for over 15 years now,” says Steve. “Though we looked at several other manufacturers to find the very best units for this project, Fujitsu were by far and away the best performing and the most energy-efficient – and that’s exactly what Timber Services were looking for.” To maximise valuable parking space, the five outdoor units have been sited above head height, sitting on a platform that incorporates a cleverly-designed tray that reclaims the water and prevents it spilling on to the car park. “It’s a relatively simple solution,” says Steve, “but that’s the kind of attention to detail that puts us above the rest.” If you’d like to discover how the 4 Way Group can help your home or business benefit from the very best air conditioning all year round, contact Steve and his team today for more details and a free quotation.

t 01553 767878 w www.4waygroup.co.uk e sales@4waygroup.co.uk Recognised and accredited throughout the industry:

KLmagazine December 2019

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What’s the tasty secret of Brancaster mussels? Much like Cromer crabs, Brancaster mussels have made a name for themselves that’s recognised around the country, but what is it that makes these seafood delicacies so special and so sought after?


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M

ussels are an eternally popular seafood, and we’re lucky enough to have the best right on our doorstep: Brancaster mussels are rightly prized in Norfolk, and further afield too. Two people who know what it takes to get this delicious food to our plates are Thomas Large and Sarah Knight of Brancaster Bay Shellfish. From their base in Brancaster Staithe, Thomas and Sarah work nearly every day of the year to supply their customers with the freshest and tastiest mussels possible – Sarah does the deliveries and Thomas is out in all weathers looking after the mussel beds. “It is very hard work, but you have to do it to get the best mussels,” says Thomas. “Our mussel beds – also known as lays – have to be dug over regularly. A typical day for us starts with emptying mussels out of the purification tank where they’ve been for 42 hours and applying our ID mark – it’s like a passport for the mussels to prove where they’ve come from, and distributing them to the local restaurants we supply. We produce between a quarter and a half a ton of mussels a day. Then we start the process again, washing the mussels, putting them through the mussel riddle – that’s a grading machine – which is the only part we don’t do by hand. The graded mussels then go to one of our three purification tanks: it’s a constant cycle.” Brancaster has always produced mussels because the conditions are

“Brancaster has always produced mussels because the conditions are ideal...” ideal: the water in the bay is very clean and cold, which the mussels prefer. “It was always a guaranteed income for fishermen over the winter because when it was too rough to go out to sea you could always farm your mussels,” explains Thomas. “My family have been farming mussels for six or seven generations, my sister researched it and we can definitely trace it back to 1737, but it could be even further.” And what about the old adage that you should only eat mussels when there’s an R in the month? Thomas and Sarah have a different view, which led to their new venture. “The saying comes from when our rivers and estuaries were much dirtier,” explains Thomas. “The heat of the summer would have increased e-coli and made it too risky to eat mussels in those months, but that’s not the case

ABOVE: Brancaster Bay Shellfish produces between a quarter and a half a ton of mussels a day, which are taken around the country in the company’s specially-adapted food truck – affectionately known as The Mussel Pod KLmagazine December 2019

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ABOVE: Customers queuing up to enjoy Brancaster’s famous mussels, farmed and served by Andrew Long and Sarah Knight of Brancaster Bay Shellfish

customers too: they spot the photos of Thomas’s mussel-farming forefathers we have on the walls of the Mussel Pod and they want to know all about our history, and we tell them all about how beautiful our part of the world is, and how much there is to see and do.” Someone else who certainly knows her mussels is Deanna Williamson (pictured below) from Donaldson’s Fishmongers in King’s Lynn. Donaldson’s have been selling Brancaster Bay mussels for 33 years to the customers who call into their shop, and to a range of local restaurants and pubs. So how do we spot a good mussel? “You need to look for ones that are a good size, that are yellowy and plump,” says Deanna. “If they stay closed after you’ve cooked them and taken them out of the pan, don’t force them open, throw them out. Closed mussels usually have mud in them and opening them will ruin your whole dish.” If you don’t want to cook your own mussels, you can always buy them ready-prepared. “We cook mussels most mornings,” explains Deanna. “That’s a change I’ve noticed over the years; we used to sell mainly fresh mussels, but nowadays a lot more people want to buy them cooked so they can use them straight away.” And why are Brancaster mussels so special? “They have a taste of their own and you just have to try it!” says Deanna. “Brancaster mussels are the very best and once you’ve enjoyed them nothing else will do!”

now we have much higher environmental standards. I’ve eaten mussels off my own beds in the summer my whole life, and they’ve always been really good. I’ve often thought we should be doing something to get people eating mussels at more times of year, and that’s why we started the Mussel Pod.” The Mussel Pod is a specially-adapted food truck that enables Thomas and Sarah to take Brancaster Bay Shellfish mussels across the country during June, July and August, and spread the word about our local seafood and the North Norfolk coast in general. “We’re really ambassadors for the area when we travel to all these food festivals!” says Sarah. “The second people taste our mussels, they’re won over – even people who don’t think they like seafood! We prepare them in lots of ways, but our most popular is the traditional moules marinière. We spend lots of time talking to all the 66

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Merry Chriistmas & Happ a py New Year to all of our customers

D E L I C I O U S L O C AL P R O D U C E FOR T H E P E R F E C T C H R I S T MA S Order now to avoid diisappointment

• •

D NA ALDS NS A fre resh taste of the sea

Austin Fields, King’s Lynn | Tel: 01553 772241

OPEN: Tues/Wed/Thurs 7am-4pm, Fri 7am-5pm, Sat 7am-3pm XM MAS: Open our normal times (above e) frrom 17th - 21st December Monday 23rd 7-4pm, Xm mas eve 7pm - 1pm

KLmagazine December 2019

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C ome annd ennjoy the at ions fest est ive celelebrat ead wit h the Kinggs Hea CHRISTMAS PARTIES 13th & 20th December

Enjoy a evening of dinner & dance! Including a 3 course meal and disco. Email or call us for bookings and further details

HRISTMAS DAY LUNCH

ome and join us for a Christmas ay 5 course dinner.

EW YEARS EVE ELEBRATIONS

C hr istmas gift ide dea Why not treat a friend or loved one this Christmas to a voucher for Afternoon Tea at the Kings Head!

Great Bircham, King’s Lynn PE31 6RJ | T Te el: 01485 578 265

www.thekingsheadcountryhotel.co.uk

ORIENT TA AL PA P ALACE

CHINESE REST TA AURANT Peking Szechuan & Cantonese Cuisine

Choose as many dishes as you want from the à la carte menu and they'll be freshly cooked to order - all for one set price!

U S TO M E R M E R RY C H R I S T M A S TO A L L O U R C

D E L I V E RY S E RV I C E AVA I L A B L E Winch, King’s Lynn, PE33 0NP 12noon-2pm & 5pm-10:30pm rientalpalacewestwinch.co.uk

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Kiln roast salmon risotto 1

Serves: 6 INGREDIENTS 1.1 litres organic vegetable stock 1 large onion 2 cloves of garlic 4 or 5 sticks of celery Olive oil 70g butter, plus 1 extra knob for frying 400g risotto rice 2 wine glasses of dry white wine 115g Mrs Temple’s Alpine cheese 500g kiln roast smoked salmon Handful of parsley and dill, finely chopped

In a separate pan, heat the oil and 1 small knob of butter over a low heat, add the onion, garlic and celery, and fry gently for about 15 minutes, or until softened but not coloured.

2

Add the rice and turn up the heat – the rice will now begin to lightly fry, so keep stirring it. After one minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the wine and keep stirring.

3

Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of sea salt. Turn the heat down to a simmer.

the next. Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. Don’t forget to check the seasoning carefully. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add some boiling water.

5

Remove the pan from the heat, add the remaining butter and the cheese, then stir well. Stir through the flaked salmon and herbs. Allow to stand with the lid on for five minutes before serving with a green salad.

4

Keep adding ladlesful of stock, stirring frequently and allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding

Recipe by Vanessa Scott

OWNER AT STRATTONS HOTEL 4 Ash Close, Swaffham PE37 7NH 01760 723845 www.strattonshotel.com KLmagazine December 2019

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The McEwan family’s mince pies... Home Instead Senior Care has been at the forefront of specialised home care for the elderly and supporting those being cared for and their families for many years, and the Norfolk branches in King’s Lynn, Dereham and Holt operate under the directorship of Tom and Laura McEwan. Just over 10 years ago, Tom’s mother Jeannette had the idea of baking mince pies for all the company's clients, using a much-loved family recipe handed down by her own mother. It's a tradition that continues to this day, and this year Home Instead Senior Care will be baking bake over 1,000 mince pies for its clients, caregivers and other people in the local community in the week leading up to Christmas. Thanks to Tom and his mother for sharing the recipe!

INGREDIENTS

225g self raising flour 60g butter 60g block of margarine 1 egg yolk

50ml whole milk 30g caster sugar 1 jar of sweet mincemeat

1

4

Put the flour, sugar, butter and margarine in a bowl and mix together.

2

Add the egg yolk and milk and knead together before rolling out evenly.

3

Use a large cutter for the bases and a slightly smaller one for the tops.

Fill generously with mincemeat, add the top, and fork four holes in the top.

5

Brush with egg yolk and finish with a sprinkling of caster sugar.

6

Bake until golden and enjoy!

Recipe by the McEwan family

HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE IN NORFOLK King’s Lynn 01553 387967 Dereham 01362 357974 Holt 01263 650983 www.homeinstead.co.uk/westnorfolk 70

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A new chapter in the story of Bank House...

It’s one of the most famous buildings in King’s Lynn and one of the town’s favourite dining out locations – and it’s now better than ever!

Y

ou'd have thought there was nothing more to be said about Bank House in King's Lynn. The wonderful Georgian property dates back to the 17th century and was built for one of the town's richest merchants. It's Grade II* listed, it played an important part in the history of Barclays, was home to the arctic explorer Samuel Cresswell, and it's appeared in numerous BBC productions and Hollywood films. It's also earned a strong reputation for outstanding food, an amazing atmosphere and a tradition of excellence, which was confirmed earlier this year when the Good Pub Guide 2020 listed Bank House as one of the top ten pubs in the UK - for the

fourth year running. But as 2019 draws to a close Bank House is entering a new era with a new chef, a new enthusiasm and a host of new ideas. "We've been growing the business every year since I first came here," says Michael Baldwin, who's been at Bank House for seven years and has been its owner since last November. "We're busier now than we ever have been, and that's largely due to the fact that Bank House is consistent - and consistently good. We have a great team here, and everyone's passionate about this wonderful building and the place it has in the life of the town." That approach is more than apparent in the appointment of new Head Chef Iestyn Thomas, who's brought a fresh new look to the Bank

House menu after a glittering career in London. "I worked at The Victoria Stakes when it was one of the first ‘gastro’ pubs in the country," he says. "At the time you could either have pub food or fine dining – and I was really interested in blending the two." Introducing flavours from the Middle East and Asia, Iestyn has taken the food at Bank House to a new level – and with the restaurant now offering outside catering even more people can enjoy a taste of one of the best restaurants in the area.

Kings Staithe Square, King’s Lynn PE30 1RD | Tel: 01553 660492 | www.thebankhouse.co.uk

KLmagazine December 2019

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Lynn R Ly Rd d, Castle Rising, King's L Ly ynn PE31 6AG m 01553 631333 E /TheBlackHor rs seInnCastleRising

Christma hristmas at The Hero eron SHOPPING NIGHT

6-9pm • Wed 11th December Fantastic Christmas gifts & ideas

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Festive hampers full of locally sourced goodies

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Tracey & Stuart welcome you to their newly refurbished pub beautifully set between two rivers • TRADITIONAL HOME-COOKED FOOD • GIN SHELF • AFTERNOON TEAS • B& B • T O U R I N G C A R AVA N PA R K

Whole turkey hamper h from £90 fr Boneless turkey y hamper fr from £60 Ch i t Christmas vegetable t bl hamper h £10 Local cheese hamper £25 Luxury cheese hamper £35

Order now with FREE local delivery*

*Orders over £50 to areas around Heacham, Hunstaton, King’s Lynn, Sandringham, Docking, Fakenham, Walsingham, Thursfo ford, Wells-Next-the-Sea, the Creakes and all surrounding areas. 01366 384040 | www.theheronstowbridge.com The Heron Stowbridge, The Causeway, Stowbridge PE34 3PP

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Visit our Walsingham or Norwich Market shops or order by phone: 01328 821877 or online: www.walsingham.co/ /c christmas

KLmagazine December 2019


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Honey and soy glazed salmon Serves: 2 INGREDIENTS 2 x 6oz salmon portions 2 tbsp honey 2 tbsp dark soy 20g sugar snap peas 20g green beans 6 baby corns 1 courgette ribbons Sesame oil 6 new potatoes cooked skin on For the sauce 6 cherry tomatoes 1 banana shallot 1 tsp smoked paprika 100ml red wine 500ml tomato juice 2tbsp olive oil Seasoning to taste

1

Chop the shallot finely, add all the rest of ingredients for the sauce then bring to boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes until sauce reduces to consistency you require.

2

Slice new potatoes and coat in veg oil. Season with salt and pepper lay on oven tray and cook at 210°C until golden in colour for approx 10/15 minutes.

4

Wash all veg, ribbon the courgette or thinly julienne the courgette, add sesame oil to pan then pan fry. If you like soft veg you can par boil them first, however I believe it is better to have a bite to the veg.

5

To serve lay the sauce on a plate, add stir fried veg on top the salmon across sauce skin side down, then add scalloped new potatoes around.

3

Marinade the salmon in the soy sauce, then cook in a medium heat pan and finish in the oven approx 210°C for 8/10minutes, add the honey for approx 4 minutes before finished to glaze the salmon.

Recipe by David Plumb

HEAD CHEF AT THE HERON

The Causeway, Stowbridge PE34 3PP 01366 384040 www.theheronstowbridge.com KLmagazine December 2019

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NOW OPEN M

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E N J O Y A TA S T E O F THE MEDITERRANEAN

in Do wnham Mark et

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enjoy our special four-course evening dinner for just ÂŁ42 per person

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Full premises or cocktail bar available for private hire for parties or special occasions. Call us for details 01760 723244 www.kingsarmscoachinginn.co.uk 21 Market Place, Swaffham PE37 7LA

KLmagazine December 2019


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Flavour of the month

A true taste of the Mediterranean in the centre of Downham Market...

T

he countries bordering the Mediterranean comprise a range of different cultures, but they’re characterised by a shared and enduring passion for food. And that doesn't mean a diet of pizza, spaghetti and paella. The cuisine of the Mediterranean is based on simple, healthy and beautiful food - all prepared with an obsession for fresh and seasonal ingredients and cooked with a genuine respect for authentic flavours. No one knows that more than chef Angelo Bruno, who opened Naxos restuarant in Downham Market a year ago with his partner Claudia Brummer. A Neapolitan by birth, Angelo's experience was built in kitchens throughout Italy (from the Amalfi coast to Sicily), in countries such as France and Spain, and on islands like Mallorca

KLmagazine December 2019

and Ibiza. By bringing that delicious mix of traditions and cultures to Downham Market, he's introducing the whole of west Norfolk to a world of different tastes and the joy of a shared dining experience with friends and family. That sociable element is evident as soon as you pass through the doors. The interior (Angelo and Claudia did all the work themselves) is rustic and charming, instantly familiar as a true family-run trattoria - with a warm and friendly welcome and a menu full of traditional and home-made dishes. You may need Angelo's help in explaining some of the dishes such as Paccheri al Ragu Napoletano or Faggioli alla Maruzzara, but first-time diners wanting to play safe will be happy with the choice of seven pizzas and pleased to discover what a pizza should be. “The most important thing is to get the temperature right, and all our pizzas are cooked at 400oC,” he says. "That results in the perfect balance between a thin and crispy base and a soft garnish – and that’s what makes a real and authentic pizza.” In the face of such enthusiasm and obvious pride, we couldn't resist asking for Angelo's recommendations for lunch – and he was pleased to demonstrate his talent for creating amazing food. Following an appetising helping of pan, alioli y aceitunas (bread, garlic mayonnaise and olives) we were treated to Sopa de Pescado, a wonderful Spanish-style fish stew

containing red mullet, shellfish, calamari and potatoes - and Solomillo Cerdo Iberica; a perfectly-cooked tender pork fillet stuffed with spinach, almonds and dry fruit, and topped by a simply incredible rich orange sauce. For dessert, we shared the traditional Sicilian ‘dolce’ of cannoli, a fried sweet pastry tube with a creamy ricotta filling and a topping of crushed pistachios. The food was true to Angelo’s approach to cooking, packed with fresh flavours and full of taste combinations. It’s fair to say that every mouthful was a delight. For a true taste of the Mediterranean, Angelo and Claudia have made Naxos a sheer joy to visit – to talk, to eat, to enjoy a glass of wine (or two), to share the experience, and to make a promise to return as soon as possible. Naxos is closed on Sundays and is open every other day for lunch from 12noon-3pm and for dinner from 69pm. On-street parking is available outside the restaurant.

NAXOS 45 High Street, Downham Market, Norfolk PE38 9HF Tel: 01366 858283 www.giardinidinaxos.co.uk E 75


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A luxury kitchen to match your luxury new home

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Celebrating 56 years of our family business

Beccaause a kitcchhen iiss tthhe heeaart off your homee,, it deesserveess just as much tthhougghht as tthhe reesst off your house. Viissit Beexxwellll K Kiittcchens ffoor a kittcchen individduualllyy deessiiggneedd arroound your needdss • A ffaamily ffrriendly company • Neffff specialists ffo or 45 year s • Full measuring and C AD design ser vice • All kitchens supplied rigid • 23 displaayys • Full installaattion ser vice aavvailable

WE WISH YOU A HAPPY, PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS

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Bexwell Aerodrome, Downham Mar ket PE38 9LLT T Teel: 01366 382064 Open: Mon-Saatt 9-5 Sun 2-4 T Email: bexwellkitchens@aol.com

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Barton Estate game terrine with fig chutney

Makes: 10 slices INGREDIENTS 2 boneless duck breast, skin off (about 275g/6oz) 300g smoked streaky back bacon 300g boneless, skinless chicken thigh 540g mixed game (such as skinless pheasant breast, partridge breast or pigeon) ½ tbsp chopped garlic 1 tsp ground allspice 4 tsp juniper berry, finely ground 1 tbsp chopped thyme 5 banana shallots 300ml port 100ml dry brandy 500ml chicken stock For the fig chutney 100g light brown soft sugar 120ml apple cider vinegar 300g chopped fresh figs 1 apple peeled, cored and diced 2 onions, finely chopped

1 2

Reserve 12 bacon rashers for lining the tin. Cut all the meat and remaining bacon into 1cm pieces, then put into a bowl. In a saucepan, add the finely chopped shallots, port, chicken stock, juniper berries, thyme, brandy, garlic and allspice and reduce on a gentle heat until all the liquid has evaporated. When cold put into a blender and blitz until a fine paste is achieved. Put the chicken thighs into a food processor and blend to a fine mince. Transfer to a bowl with the diced meats and add the reduced mixture and mix all together and marinate in the fridge overnight. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a 1.5-litre loaf tin or terrine mould with clingfilm and lightly stretch the reserved bacon rashers and use most of them to line the tin or mould, overlapping slightly and leaving plenty of overhang at the top. Pack the meat mixture into the tin, then fold over the bacon overhang and lay the reserved rashers on top. Gently fold cling film over the terrine.

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Cover the terrine with baking parchment, then cover tightly with foil. Put a folded tea towel in a roasting tin and set the terrine on top. Pour enough hot water into the roasting tin to come just below the rim of the terrine tin. Put in the oven, then reduce heat to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and bake for 1½ hrs. Take from the oven and leave to cool for 1 hr in the water bath, then remove and leave to cool completely. Once cool, cut a strip of foil or card to fit the top of the tin, put it on top of the terrine and weigh it down with a few heavy cans. Chill overnight. Carefully remove the terrine from the tin, wipe off all the jelly and serve in slices with the toasted sourdough and fig chutney. For the chutney, sweat off the onions in a pan, add the vinegar, sugar, apples and fresh figs until a thick chutney appearance has been achieved and leave overnight to set.

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Recipe by Rob Stayte

HEAD CHEF AT THE BERNEY

Church Rd, Barton Bendish PE33 9GF 01366 347995 www.facebook.com/theberney KLmagazine December 2019

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Why Norfolk is becoming the new Champagne... As changes to our climate make growing grapes close to home easier, 2019 could mark the point at which we start swapping our traditional bottle of festive bubbly for a delicious English sparkling wine

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orfolk’s famously warm and sunny climate and low rainfall make it one of the best places in England to grow grapes, and we’re now seeing the emergence of local wines with a distinct character that stand up to the very best Europe can produce – it’s not impossible that Norfolk could be the country’s next big wine region. One wine producer at the forefront of Norfolk wines, and one particularly

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known for its sparkling wines is Chet Valley & Waveney Vineyard. The vineyard is a family business run by winemaker John Hemmant and his wife Bridget, who does the marketing. John’s background is in chemistry, having worked as a food chemist for British Sugar, but he’s always been interested in viniculture. “My father is a farmer so I had the opportunity with having the land, but also the chemistry background and the love of wine: all three sort of came

together in the development of the business,” says John. “We established the vineyard in 2011 and we’ve got three and a half hectares in production. The grapes that we use are Phoenix, Seyval blanc, Regent and Schoenburger. We make a range of still wines, a rosé and two dry whites, so a range of three at the moment.” But it’s their ranges of sparkling wine, named Skylark and Horatio that are gaining the vineyard awards and renown. KLmagazine December 2019


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“Skylark wines are made by a secondary fermentation in the vat and we’ve got a 2017 blanc de blanc: a white fizz, made from white grapes,” explains John. “Then we have a 2018 blush, that’s a brut so dry, and a demi sec (a medium sweet wine) from 2018. Skylark is a great sort of wine to have as an aperitif and just generally on its own to celebrate.” The Horatio range, named after local hero Lord Nelson, is a top end range where the wine is made similarly to champagne, and is laid down for at least two years before it’s disgorged (removal of

KLmagazine December 2019

yeast cells after the wine has aged) and goes to market. “Horatio is a slightly more special wine with an increased complexity,” says John. “It was recently given a highly commended from the International Wine Awards: we were delighted”. The 2017 Horatio won a gold medal from the East Anglian Wine Awards in 2018, and the white Horatio has won a Bronze award from Decanter Magazine. The vineyard produces about 4,000 bottles of sparkling wine a year, and the majority is sold over the Christmas period. They’re available from HarperWells and Jarrolds in Norwich, and locally at the Norfolk Deli in Hunstanton, Walsingham Farm Shop, and the Holkham Hall gift shop. “It’s a great time for English wine, and Norfolk wine in particular,” says John. “There are quite a lot of vineyards being planted at the moment in Norfolk. I think there are three aspects to that: it’s easier to grow grapes in Norfolk than it was about twenty years ago because of the climate; the much improved clones, the varieties of grapes that we grow are more suited to this climate; and thirdly the level of expertise in this country concerning wine growing has increased. There’s also an interest in local provenance of food and drink, ABOVE: John Hemmant tending his three and customers are becoming more knowledgeable and more interested in a half hectares of vines

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“We think we have a unique and highquality product, and people should ‘do different’ as we say in Norfolk and give it a go!” what’s being produced in their region – we get a lot of visitors coming to us on the back of that.” The vineyard offers lots of ways to get involved, including tours, wine tasting weekends, a chance to join the vendage (grape picking) and even vine leasing where you can ‘own’ a section of vines and have your own wine made from it and named after you. The vineyard is expanding by building a new winery and planting seven and a half hectares of new vines, so the future looks bright. If you’re wondering why you should choose an English sparkling wine over champagne, let John convince you! “We have a freshness and acidity about our wines that champagne is starting to lose,” he explains. “That’s because of global warning: our climate is becoming more suited to traditional champagne-type production – the Champagne region is warming up and they’re having difficulty maintaining acidity. We tend to be more costeffective than a champagne, and you’re supporting local businesses too. We think we have a unique and highquality product, and people should ‘do different’, as we say in Norfolk, and give it a go! Obviously I’d recommend our wines, but there are lots of really great ones being made locally too: it’s great to be part of a strong winemaking scene. If you try one over the Christmas period I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!” You can find out more about Chet Valley & Waveney Vineyard and their selection of wines on the website at www.chetvineyard.co.uk

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ABOVE John and his wife Bridget have been making wine since 2011 and produce 8,000 bottles in total annually KLmagazine December 2019


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KLmagazine December 2019

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ABOVE: Home Instead Senior Care director Laura McEwan (far right) celebrates the company’s ‘outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission with caregivers Margaret Perrott, Helen Adams, Catherine Fountain – the company’s current Caregiver of the Year

Outstanding levels of care – and that’s official!

For over 10 years Home Instead Senior Care has provided help and support for elderly people living at home, and its services have now been rated by the Care Quality Commission as ‘outstanding’

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ver half the population of Norfolk is aged 55 or over, and while 70% of people aged 65 will live as a couple, that percentage naturally reduces over time - to the point where 25% of people aged 85 live alone. One of their greatest concerns is living comfortably (and safely) in their own home and remaining there. Ensuring they can do so is at the very heart of Home Instead Senior Care, which offers personalised homecare for

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older people that's dignified, reliable and relationship-led. It's an approach that's seen the service rated as 'outstanding' by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a recent inspection. “Our team was very impressed by the level of care and support offered by Home Instead Senior Care Norfolk," says Lo-Anne Lewis, CQC Head of Inspection for Adult Social Care in the central region. “Everyone we spoke with used the agency following

personal recommendation, and people told us service was exceptional and should be commended for its responsiveness and caring attitude." From companionship to dementia care and home help, Home Instead Senior Care helps people live happily at home, making their daily experiences as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. It's something most of us take for granted unless it directly affects us or our loved ones, but it's particularly important in such a rural location as

KLmagazine December 2019


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“Care was always delivered to a high standard because staff were well recruited, well trained and there were robust observations of staff practice in place....” – Care Quality Commission report October 2019 Norfolk. "Everyone at Home Instead Senior Care has always been very passionate about providing the very highest levels of care, and this CQC report is official recognition of that," says director Laura McEwan. "We've grown considerably over the last year, but the most important thing is that we're still providing bespoke care packages and carefully matching caregivers to clients on an individual basis." In addition to almost doubling the number of staff, Home Instead Senior Care has recently introduced a consensual monitoring system to provide clients with extra reassurance, and an access care planning app that enables caregivers to be exceptionally responsive. "It's also helped us work more collaboratively with our partners in the healthcare profession," says Laura, "and it's perfect for family members who live many miles away - even abroad - to be confident their loved ones are receiving the best and most consistent care possible." That care is delivered by a dedicated team of caregivers, who offer home help - everything from washing and ironing to feeding the pets - and valuable companionship, from simple company and conversation to visits to social events and local shops. They offer personal care, whether that's help with dressing and bathing or assistance with meals and medication. And they offer specialist dementia care, building confidence, encouraging engagement, and supporting families with caring responsibilities. “It’s not like a job at all,” says Catherine Fountain, the company’s current Caregiver of the Year. “It’s a real KING’S LYNN 01553 387967 DEREHAM 01362 357974

KLmagazine December 2019

Home Instead Senior Care in Norfolk’s directors Laura and Tom McEwan privilege to go into someone’s home and make a difference to their life - and from a caregiver’s point of view Home Instead is available 24 hours a day for help and support.” If you'd like more information and details on the many homecare services and specialist support offered by Home Instead Senior Care in Norfolk, please contact your nearest office using the details below. This is personalised care that’s

tailored to meet the individual needs of people determined to live in their own homes, independently and safely. And it’s a level of care that is – officially – outstanding. You can read the CQC’s full inspection report at www.cqc.org.uk/location/ 1-824268000 or on the Home Instead Senior Care website at www.homeinstead.co.uk/west-norfolk

HOLT 01263 650 983 www.homeinstead.co.uk/westnorfolk

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Richard Taverner’s place in biblical history... In 1539 a man from Brisley called Richard Taverner published an English translation of the Bible – at a time when such a thing was risky at best and could even have fatal consequences


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ABOVE: A valuable copy of Richard Taverner’s 1539 translation of the Bible – the scholar from Brisley is now being commemorated with a specially-commissioned portrait by local artist Graham Bell, pictured opposite (right) with the Rev Robin Stapleford

isitors to the mid-Norfolk village of Brisley will easily realise the village sign depicts the church of St Bartholomew (it stands immediately in front of the building) but they may well wonder why it also features a simply-carved ecclesiastical figure sitting with an open book in his lap. The man in question is Richard Taverner, who was born in the village around 1505 and made his name in the surprisingly dangerous world of biblical translation. The Bible is by far the most translated book in the world (the complete work has been translated into 700 languages) but if you imagined it to be a rather sedate and academic pursuit you'd be very wrong. In 1427, for example, the Pope ordered the bones of John Wycliffe to be exhumed (even though he'd been dead for 40 years), burned, crushed and thrown into the river Swift in south Leicestershire. Wycliffe's ‘crime' had been to believe the Bible should be available to everybody, and he'd spent 13 years producing a complete English translation of the book. To say it was a brave undertaking is something of an understatement - even before Wycliffe's translation was complete, a bill was heard in Parliament proposing to outlaw the 'English' Bible and imprison anyone possessing a

KLmagazine December 2019

copy. At the time, translating the Bible into anything other than Latin was a criminal enterprise. Shortly after 1402, the priest Jan Hus took a leaf out of Wycliffe's book (so to speak) and started work on a Czech version of the Bible - only to be arrested for heresy on its completion. His trial in Constance was one of the most spectacular in history. Ever. Virtually every notable person in Europe came to watch (one archbishop turned up with 600 horses), 700 prostitutes offered their services to the attendees, 500 people drowned in the lake, and the Pope fell off his carriage into a snowdrift. As for the unfortunate Hus, he was found guilty and duly burned at the stake. Back in England printing was becoming more common, and by the 16th century the scholar William Tyndale decided the time was right for an accessible and up-to-date English translation - although the authorities were still opposed to the idea. Knowing that Martin Luther had recently produced a German version of the Bible (and lived to tell the tale) Tyndale travelled to Cologne and started printing. Word got out, however, and Tyndale spent the next several years on the run from various English spies and agents from Rome intent on putting an end to him and his project.

By the time illegal copies of Tyndale's incomplete Bible started arriving in England, his days were numbered. And woe betide anyone who was interested. The priest Thomas Hitton was burned alive for bringing two copies of Tyndale's Bible into England, a fate which also befell the lawyer Thomas Bilney, who was executed in a field just outside Norwich. As for Tyndale, he was eventually

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captured in Antwerp in 1535 (where Jacob van Liesveldt had been executed for translating the Bible into Dutch) and was publicly strangled and burned to death three years later. Copies of his Bible continued to be circulated, however, and one was promoted by Thomas Garrett at Oxford - which brings us back (at last) to Richard Taverner. A student at the time, he was forced to take part in a public act of penance for reading Tyndale's Bible - but it didn't deter him. He went on to produce a number of pro-Reformation writings, which culminated in the publication of his English translation of the Bible in 1539 - officially and long-windedly titled The Most Sacred Bible whiche is the holy scripture, conteyning the old and new testament, translated into English, and newly recognised with great diligence after most faythful exemplars by Rychard Taverner. Cromwell's demise (and execution) soon put an end to Taverner's written work and endangered his position - and in December 1541 he was imprisoned for a short time in the Tower of London by Henry VIII for failing to pass on a report that the king's ex-wife Anne of Cleves was pregnant. Taverner's later days are poorly documented. We know that he obtained a licence to work as a lay preacher under Edward VI and was the MP for Liverpool in 1547 - and shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I he refused a knighthood. Richard Taverner died in July 1575 and was buried in the chancel of the church at Wood Eaton near Oxford but his home village is about to celebrate his life and work with the unveiling of a specially-commissioned portrait by Brisley resident and artist Graham Bell. It is almost certainly the first-ever detailed and lifelike portrait of Taverner and will be on permanent display early next year in Brisley’s church of St Bartholomew on the rood screen that

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“Richard Taverner played an important part in the history of biblical translation, and copies of his Bible are like gold dust...”

stands at the front facing the congregation – and which has been blank for almost 500 years. There, Taverner will be joined by Graham Bell’s portraits of three other historic Norfolk figures; the pre-Reformation priest of Brisley John Athowe, Margery Kempe of King’s Lynn, and Julian of Norwich. “Taverner played an important part in the history of biblical translation, and this is a fitting way to commemorate his life and work," says Rev Robin Stapleford, who's been the rector of Brisley for over a decade. "Copies of his Bible are like gold dust, but we do have a rough copy of his Old Testament and Apocrypha, and we take seven readings from his translation at the village's carol service every year." But Robin is keen to point out that Taverner's legacy isn't only of historic interest. "The 16th century was a particularly worrying time for biblical translators," he says, "but it hasn't got any easier over the years - bringing the world of God to people in their own language is still fraught with danger." In March 2016, four Bible translators working for an American evangelical organisation were killed by militants in an undisclosed location in the Middle East, and in August this year, translator Angus Fung was killed in war-torn Cameroon, shortly after translating the New Testament into the Aghem language. It may have been 400 years since the death of Richard Taverner, but the work of biblical translation can still be a very dangerous one.

KLmagazine December 2019


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West Norfolk: Then & Now

THE (NEW) NEW CONDUIT STREET: THEN AND THEN? A slight departure for ‘Then & Now’ this month, as we look at the almost total transformation of New Conduit Street in King’s Lynn within the space of little

more than a decade – both pictures looking up New Conduit Street towards its junction with the town’s the High Street. In the top image, the building on the right (next to HC Kennedy’s radio and television store) is the Ministry of Labour Employment Exchange – although we’d refer to it today as the

Job Centre. Only 12 years later, the area was completely changed, and featured a remarkable pyramid on stilts that housed a branch of Wimpy (just visible on the far left of the bottom picture) – which itself was demolished during the creation of the Vancouver Quarter shopping centre.

If you’re interested in seeing more of how our area has changed visit www.truesyard.co.uk KLmagazine December 2019

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Alex Neal with new CEOa of QE Hospital presenting request show in May 2019

David Llewellyn visiting patient on ward (circa 90s)

Our old studio record library

Egon with old broadcast caravan

Jen Hemmings early 2000s

Our pop up shop in King’s Lynn Town (19

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ABOVE: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall talking to Steve Kirman, Hospital Radio Lynn’s Personnel Manager about the radio station’s work

Tuning into the sounds of recovery

For the last 45 years, Hospital Radio Lynn has been helping people through their stay in hospital with an entertaining mix of music, news, talk and information – and it’s all run by a team of volunteers

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stay in hospital can be a disorientating and isolating time, away from family and friends and a normal daily routine. So to hear a friendly soothing voice or a favourite song can go a long way to making that time more bearable. Hospital Radio Lynn is there all day and night seven days a week for the patients in King’s Lynn Queen Elizabeth Hospital – and since July has been available for everyone to listen online. And since 2019 marks the 45th anniversary of HRL, there’s a lot to celebrate. Launched in 1974, the radio station originally broadcast to three hospitals in the west Norfolk area – St James’ Hospital (where the former mobile home studio was situated), Hardwick Road Hospital and Chatterton KLmagazine December 2019

House. When the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was opened in 1980, the radio station moved to a brand new Portakabin on the hospital site generously donated by the League of Friends and started broadcasting for the patients there. The station uses a telephone line into the hospital, and is transmitted to the small bedside units allocated to each bed, and is there (in their own words) “to be that friend by the bedside.” Everyone who works at the radio station is a volunteer, including current Studio Manager Wayne Fysh, who’s been volunteering there for six years. “As Studio Manager, I’m responsible for what goes out on the air on a daily basis,” he explains. “I make sure the teams we have on each night operate and the music that goes out during the

day runs to time. I also schedule all the music and the programmes.” During the day, most of the content is pre-recorded, as most of the approximately 30 members of the volunteer team are in full-time employment and tend to broadcast during the evening. Music is going out 24 hours a day, but the live content is normally broadcast six nights a week from 7pm to 10pm. The live programmes are broadcast each evening, except Saturday, and are hosted by a team of volunteers who’ve been around the hospital earlier in the day to chat with the patients and ask if they’d like a request or dedication to be played for them in the course of the evening. Over a year they average about 6,000 requests, and are able to play the 91


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ABOVE: Hospital Radio Lynn Trustees (from left to right) David Llewellyn, Wayne Fysh, Carrie Ingram-Gettins and Steve Kirman together with Trevor Fountain and Max Mitchell

majority of requests they receive. Patients can also phone or text message live on air to make a request – or even chat to the presenters if they want. “The best thing about the request programme is that it’s so varied,” says Wayne. “One minute it could be something classical, the next it might be Ed Sheeran or even some heavy rock! And the programme is repeated at 10am the following morning in case a patient has missed their request.” Although a lot of the music that they play is stored on a computer, the radio station still has a library of vinyl, CDs and mini-discs which enables them to play the requests they get. Everything has to be logged as well, because royalties have to be paid to the artists. The news bulletins, commercials and jingles are all outsourced, but are timed to the second so the programmes run

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seamlessly into each other. Overnight, between midnight and 6am, there are no news bulletins and the music tends to be calming and/or classical to help the patients through the night. Wayne explains what he thinks Hospital Radio Lynn does for the hospital and the patients. “Predominantly, for the hospital, it provides a service they don’t have to pay for,” he says, “as every NHS service in the country has to provide some sort of free entertainment for the patients. The staff are aware of us and may suggest to a patient they make a request. And for the patients, our aim is to make their stay in hospital more pleasant and to help them recover quicker.” Of course, running a radio station costs money, from the music licences to the music itself and the news bulletins, so in addition to the

volunteers who run the programmes and visit the patients, there is also a band of people who fundraise. These fundraisers can often be seen collecting outside local supermarkets and they’re every successful at encouraging clubs and charities in the region to hold fundraising events. So next time you, your nearest and dearest or someone you know, has to have a spell in hospital, make sure you tune into Hospital Radio Lynn. Music can soothe, uplift and entertain – and that’s something we probably need more than ever when we’re feeling unwell. For more information, news of fundraising events, and to listen to Hospital Radio Lynn, visit the website at www.hospitalradiolynn.org.uk

KLmagazine December 2019


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The expansion of a local transport firm that cares Griff Transport Solutions has always been a company that’s been going places, and now a new face is helping build the company’s future...

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riff Transport Solutions have been offering a tailored patient transport service to people across Norfolk since 2009. Now the firm’s founder Simon Griffiths is bringing his exceptional customer care to a wider range of services, and has recruited a new commercial manager to help develop those services. “Griff Transport Solutions has been a partner of this area’s contract holder for patient transport for some years because we place so much importance on our relationship with our clients,” says Simon. “Looking after our clients is of the utmost importance to me. Whether we’re getting a client to a medical appointment, or transporting a crucial document across the country,

people have placed their trust in us, and I take that seriously. I only recruit people who also see how important that is, which is why I’m so pleased Stuart has joined us as a commercial manager.” Stuart Towler joined Griff Transport Solutions earlier this year and brings with him an impressive track record of delivering a very high standard of customer service for forty years. Stuart started his career in retail, working for a range of well-known high street names, then moved on to head up customer service for a railway operator. After a spell working for a national waste management company, Stuart returned to the rail industry; working in change management and safety for the London Overground. “One of my main focuses was accessibility for passengers with disabilities,” says Stuart. “I feel like I understand what people who are less mobile need when they travel, as well

as how important it is that they’re well looked after. Since joining the firm, Stuart has been developing a strategy for Griff Transport Solution’s new bespoke courier service, launching their new website, and learning the business from the ground up: “I’ve become a licensed taxi driver myself, and taken patients to appointments. The process was rigorous but it gives me even more confidence that our drivers are trained to exacting standards, and will represent us well.” Griff Transport Solutions’ plans for continued expansion mean they’re currently recruiting new drivers. If you think you could provide customers with outstanding customer service and go above and beyond to build relationships with customers, then contact Stuart or Simon to discuss your future as a member of their team.

01553 970 004

info@griffnorfolkltd.co.uk www.griffnorfolk.co.uk KLmagazine December 2019

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t’s the time of year when lots of us are having family to stay, and if you’ve been getting your home ready for a festive visit from relatives or friends, maybe you’ve realised your bathroom could do with a new look. If you have, then bathco Fully Fitted is the easiest way to achieve it. “Our Fully Fitted service is unique,” says Stuart Marsden, General Manager of bathco. “We’re the only company who can give you this level of customer service combined with such a wide choice of quality products. We can project-manage your new bathroom from idea to installation and it doesn’t stop there: our aftercare package is second to none.” Start by talking to bathco’s friendly and knowledgeable Design & Sales Team so they can help you choose your dream bathroom, whether that’s a cool contemporary design or something with a more traditional feel. “You can

discuss your ideas with our team and then our software can show you how they’ll look as a 3D plan and as a virtual reality design within minutes. No other firm can offer you this,” says Stuart. You can refine your design by exploring the many options that bathco have to offer for fixtures and finishes. And if you want to see exactly how a tile or a tap look or feel in real life, bathco’s three showrooms have a huge range of real room displays demonstrating their high-quality products, with something to suit every taste. Once you’ve made your choice, bathco will cost the project including every fitting and item of labour, so the price they quote is the price you pay – no hidden extras. They offer exceptional value for money and optional competitive finance, so your ideal bathroom is within your reach. You’ll be given not just an installation

date, but a completion date too – this is something bathco pride themselves on. “We assign a project manager to every installation, and we try to ensure that’s the same person you spoke to during the design process,” says Stuart. “They’ve got to know you and your requirements, and they’ll be on hand to ensure your bathroom becomes a reality without any problems.” Bathco are so confident that you’ll be delighted by your new bathroom that they offer a one-year guarantee on their workmanship, and a guarantee from five years to a lifetime on their products. Try bathco Fully Fitted and give yourself the bathroom you deserve – with none of the worry.

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How Mollie is reaching the top of the tables... Table tennis has come a very long way since its debut as a Victorian after-dinner parlour game. Now, a local teenager is one the Olympic sport’s brightest stars – and is looking to become one of its best

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ince its Olympic debut at the 1988 Seoul games, table tennis has become a hotlycontested sport on the international scene and is now a strenuous, hard-hitting and ferociously competitive sport. Table tennis requires excellent eyeto-hand coordination, plenty of agility and high fitness levels – it’s a world away from the family game of pingpong most of us a familiar with us. The first table tennis World Cup was contested by men in 1980, but the women’s equivalent took another 16 years to take place. In 2002, after its success at Seoul, table tennis was inaugurated into the Commonwealth Games as an optional sport. With the women’s game now as popular as the men’s, Mollie Patterson knew she had to get among the top women players to secure her future in her sport at a professional level – and that would involve more training and 96

more competitions. Mollie was only eight years old when she watched her father play in league matches at Heacham Table Tennis Club. She became excited about wanting to play, and when her father realised her potential she also became a regular player at the club. With further extensive training and sacrifices, and not without much soulsearching and support from her parents Mollie has now become one of the best women players in England. In the intervening years, Mollie has combined schoolwork with training by moving away from her home in Brancaster Staithe (aged 13) to board at Ackworth School for a year. She then moved to Charles Read Academy, a David Ross Education Trust school near Grantham, to join their Table Tennis Performance Center. “My initial training in Norwich with Mark Dare at Wensum Table Tennis Club was excellent,” she says, “but KLmagazine December 2019


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“Mollie is currently ranked sixth in England Seniors and second in England Juniors” because it was a two-hour round trip, I couldn’t access enough table time to continue improving at the rate required.” Even away from the table, life remains frenetic. “This season I spent seven weekends in Sweden for international league matches, and at the end of September I travelled to Serbia for an ITTF tournament,” says Mollie. “This is all good experience and may well help me obtain selection for next year’s European Youth Championships.” It’s an ambition that’s more than possible – Mollie has been ranked sixth in England Seniors and second in England Juniors this season. “I’m also working hard to obtain selection for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022,” she says. Leading to this were her results in the preceding seasons when, in 2015/16 as the youngest English player (she was 13) Mollie competed in her first Senior National Championship. She also won a silver medal at the Junior National Championships before bettering that in the 2017/18 season by winning the Junior National Cup. In the 2018/19 season Mollie and her partner Denise Payet won the girls doubles event at the Junior National Championships (it was Mollie’s 6th national doubles title) – while individually she won promotion in her Swedish league, only losing one match all season. Having received excellent results in her GCSEs, Mollie is really excited about her future plans. “My ambition to become a professional player can only be achieved by playing full-time next year, and that will eventually mean living abroad,” she says. “Unfortunately, British players don’t have the opportunity to work as professional KLmagazine December 2019

players here. Other countries have far more people playing table tennis. Therefore, more competitive players and more matches are being played both nationally and internationally.” The overall cost of playing at Mollie’s level can be up to £15,000 a year including accommodation, training and travel. To fund this, a Mollie Patterson Table Tennis Fund has been set up on the Just Giving website. Additional funding has been received from the Hunstanton Rotary Club and Adrian Flux Insurance, plus sponsorship from Teessport – reported to be the biggest supplier of table tennis equipment in England. “I’ll turn 17 this month, so will soon be leaving the Junior Leagues to play in the Under 21s or Seniors,” says Mollie. “I’ll then be able to learn to drive – which will be a huge load lifted from my father’s shoulders!” Her father laughs at this suggestion however. James Patterson, himself a strong table tennis player, is adamant he’ll remain his daughter’s most ardent supporter. Mollie is equally sure she wants to

concentrate on successful A-Level qualifications in the future to allow her the possibility of joining the RAF (which has a top sporting programme), for officer training. Mollie has made friends from around the world, but she still enjoys time spent catching up with friends in Norfolk. “Not long ago we went to a Drake gig at the O2 in London,” she says. “It was fantastic.” When asked how she feels about living away from home, she admits to missing the north Norfolk coast. “I think it’s even harder for my mum,” she says. “She misses me terribly when I am away, as due to the costs and travel involved it’s hard for her to come and watch most of my games.” If you’d like to help Mollie on her journey to table tennis stardom, you can visit the website at www.justgiving.com and search for mollie-patterson-tabletennisfund under Crowdfunding.

ABOVE: Rising table tennis star Mollie Patterson is building on a hugely successful season and is now setting her signts on the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in two years' time

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“Our stone floors have never looked better...”

The winter means it’s getting darker, but thanks to the professional services of Xtraclean your stone floors are looking better than ever!

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t’s that time of year when the weather is about to wreak havoc on your stone and tile floors, with rain and mud only adding to the ingrained dirt, dust and debris that naturally builds up over time. Despite your best efforts, all that will inevitably work its way into natural crevices and grout lines – to the point where it takes a lot more than a bucket of water, a mop and some off-the-shelf cleaning products to bring your floors back to their very best. Happily, the perfect solution is only a phone call away – putting you in touch with the expert services of Martin King and his Swaffham-based team at Xtraclean, who can give your floors a bright and clean ‘as new’ look – in less than a day! “Stone, tiled and wooden floors look fantastic when they’re first laid, but it's virtually impossible to keep those

pristine looks forever,” says Martin. “If your floors have been professionally fitted they deserve an equally expert approach to cleaning – and that’s where we come in.” For over 25 years now, Martin and his Xtraclean team have been treating floors across Norfolk to the most advanced and powerful cleaning system currently available in the UK. “These aren’t the easiest surfaces in the world to clean,” says Martin, “but our powerful system and professionalgrade products can bring even heavily-soiled floors back to their very best. And we can usually do it all in a single visit!” Xtraclean's highly skilled, trained and experienced technicians offer a reliable, fully-insured and friendly service (they'll even move your furniture for you!) and following an initial survey and test, they'll get to work – breaking down ingrained dirt and loosening

surface soiling. "Our state-of-the-art turbo ‘clean and capture’ system then pressure cleans the floor using its own water supply – and it captures all the waste in the process with no mess and no fuss," says Martin. "And we don’t have to use invasive procedures such as grinding and resurfacing, which can actually damage your floor – the results are truly spectacular." And Xtraclean can even help you 'lock in' those good looks and keep them for even longer, thanks to a professional range of specialist sealing products. “To be honest, you have to see the results to really believe them,” says Martin. “Just ask our customers – they can hardly believe it's the same floor!” Get your floors back to their best today by contacting Xtraclean for extraprofessional cleaning and an extra-special service.

Unit 3, Jack Boddy Way, Swaffham PE37 7HJ Tel: 01760 337762 Web: www.xtraclean.co.uk E-mail: sales@xtraclean.co.uk

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Making magic happen at the Princess Theatre

As the Princess Theatre in Hunstanton’s traditional pantomime is about to start its run, we talk to two people who play a big role in making it happen – one on the stage and one behind the scenes...

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ervyn Francis is appearing in Dick Whittington as the dame, Mrs Fitzwarren.

KL Magazine: This isn’t the first time you’ve played the dame is it?

Mervyn Francis: No, I’m returning to the Princess Theatre for my second year as dame. I’ve made my name as a villain in the past – only on stage of course! This is my fourth season at the Princess. The first year I was the villain Abanazer in Aladdin, then I returned playing Baron Hardup in Cinderella.

KL Magazine: But you’ve been appearing in pantomime a lot longer than that, we hear? Mervyn Francis: I’m actually 100

celebrating half a century in showbiz this year, and I’m pretty sure this will be my 50th Christmas panto!

KL Magazine: What draws you to pantomime?

Mervyn Francis: Basically it’s what the children get out of it, to see the kids so involved. This year’s panto is a new production of Dick Whittington written and directed by Tom Ralph, and it’s been designed especially for the Princess Theatre to be very interactive and really involve the children. Although we keep it traditional we try to move with the times by including modern songs, that’s always a must. It's good clean family entertainment with no bad language – so you can bring your granny or the kids without any worry. We try and make it as uplifting an experience as possible, with seasonal content so it becomes part of the local

seasonal build up. All the traditional elements of “he’s behind you” and shouting at the villain are there: it’s great fun.

KL Magazine: Do you prefer playing a goodie or a baddie? Mervyn Francis: I enjoy them both

equally. I get as much satisfaction out of both characters really. I do think a dame should be of a certain age, though – I’ve seen young chaps do it and it doesn’t quite come over in the same way as an older person playing a dame. It’s all to do with the features I think – when you have a rubber face you can do lots of expressions and lots of gurning!

Kl Magazine: What makes the Princess Theatre so special?

Mervyn Francis: It’s a wonderful little KLmagazine December 2019


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theatre: everyone is so friendly, it comes right down from manager Brian Hallard himself, and everyone is so welcoming to the children – we do a meet and greet after each show, we go out meet the kids and sign autographs. We also do a collection for local charities including the Breast Cancer Care Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. We collect for that every single year. And Hunstanton audiences are lovely! They really get involved, and every performance seems to be full. I love coming here for Christmas, this is a lovely part of the world and Hunstanton always looks so Christmassy with the lights on. And I go to Sandringham on Christmas day to see the royal family every year!

KL Magazine: Will you be back next year?

Mervyn Francis: Oh yes I will! I’ll carry on as long as I have the energy. People in showbiz don’t usually retire – they carry on until they drop!

right bits come on at the right time in the right places – and leaving room for the actors and dancers to make their entrances and exits. This comes down to an elaborate game of Tetris which will have to done silently during the show.

KL Magazine: And once the set is perfected, what’s next? Jess Smith: Next we squeeze in the lighting bars that need to be rigged, coloured and plugged up to correspond with the lighting design. We have late night plotting sessions to program the hundreds of lighting cues which will need to go at exact moments during the show, along with an equal amount of sound cues. The actors wear radio microphones which are mixed line by line – which is a huge job. There’s lots of ad-libbing in panto, so the sound needs to be ready for that. By the end of the fit-up period we’ll have been working 10 to 14 hours

a day. Then the actors join us on stage as we dive head long in to four days of intensive rehearsals with a whole host of new problems to solve, scene changes to perfect and cues to get right.

KL Magazine: Why do you think the technical side matters so much? Jess Smith: Most children’s first experience of the theatre is going to see a pantomime – so it needs to be an unforgettable experience that will hopefully instil a love of live theatre in them and keep them coming back. I used to go to the pantomime every year with my father and I think that’s what set me on this career path. I’m really proud of the effort and expertise that our technical team puts into enhancing and adding to your experience of the show. It’s strange because the ideal for us is that you never notice we’re there!

Jess Smith is the Princess Theatre’s technical manager and is overseeing her seventh pantomime for them this year.

KL Magazine: What does it take to prepare the theatre for a pantomime?

Jess Smith: In five days we have to transform the diminutive Princess stage into a magical, glittering fairytale world where we go from a London street to a Moroccan beach in a blink of an eye! Months earlier plans were being made, measurements were taken, retaken and taken again and now when the set arrives it’s crunch time. Once the set is in it takes over every square inch of the auditorium – our huge cinema screen has to be moved to the furthest back bar and this has to be done in the air as the screen is too big to lay flat on the stage. The false proscenium has to be built and hauled into place from the roof. Then there is the 1:40 rake to contend with. There’s nothing more buttockclenching than watching a piece of set hurtling down the slope towards the front row! KL Magazine: Is the size of the theatre a challenge?

Jess Smith: Off each side of the stage are the wings, but we’re very limited for space to store the set pieces when they’re not in use. Much head scratching goes on as the stage boys work out how to pack the wings so the KLmagazine December 2019

ABOVE: While Jess Smith manages things behind the scenes (literally), Mervyn Francis (opposite) will be returning to the Princess Theatre in Hunstanton for the fourth time – oh yes he will!

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Watch Christmas classics on your own big screen Our demonstration room

Give your family the gift of a real cinema experience with all the comforts of home, from Core Technology Projects

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hat could be cosier and more festive than gathering the family together to watch a classic Christmas film? And with a home cinema from Core Technology Projects, you can watch in the most comfortable and technologically advanced way possible. Wipe away a tear as you watch It’s a Wonderful Life on a four-metre-wide screen with full 4K UHD resolution, and tell the grandkids that ‘they don’t make them like this anymore”. Pause the streaming of a modern classic like Elf to remind little ones they’ll only get a visit from Santa if they’re really good. And what about putting on a beloved musical, sinking back into luxurious leather reclining seats and handing round the mince pies? Whether it’s The Wizard of Oz or

The Greatest Showman, it’ll sound amazing through a Dolby ATMOS fullyimmersive surround sound system. Core Technology Projects are specialists in the design and installation of home cinemas, along with every other kind of technology and security a modern home needs. They’re a Norfolk firm with headquarters in King’s Lynn, but they work with clients both locally, nationally and Internationally. Their stunning, fully-equipped, demonstration room at their King’s Lynn headquarters can show you the extent of what’s possible, and help you decide what’s best for you. “We have the expertise to design and install a home cinema that is tailored specifically to your home and requirements, giving you a true ‘big screen’ experience,” says Jim Garrett, the company’s founder and managing

director. “We installed our demonstration room earlier this year and it’s proved very popular with customers. We’ve even had some clients ask us to replicate it exactly in their home, it impressed them so much.” Whether you’re incorporating a cinema room in a new home, or converting a spare room or garage, Core Technology Projects can manage the entire project for you – from calculating the best size of screen and placement of speakers to sourcing unique décor and seating. If you want to give your whole family a gift they’ll enjoy every day of the year, visit Core Technology Projects’ showroom in King’s Lynn or contact them on the details below to make your dream home cinema a reality.

1 APS House, Oldmedow Road, Hardwick Industrial Estate, King’s Lynn PE30 4JJ Tel: 01553 776413 Web: www.coretechnologyprojects.co.uk E-mail: enquiries@coretechnologyprojects.co.uk

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IMAGE: GUSTAV METZGER - NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, LONDON

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King’s Lynn and the art that destroys itself Gustav Metzger tried to save the North End of King’s Lynn, spent a lifetime baffling and infuriating audiences, invented the concept of auto-destructive art, and influenced generations of younger artists


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ack in October, an auction at Sotheby’s made international headlines when a copy of Girl with Balloon by the artist ‘Banksy’ was sold for $1.4 million – at which point an alarm went off and the frame’s built-in shredder began eating the artwork, spitting out the remnants in front of the astonished audience. It was described by the New York Times as “the first instance of a selfdestructing painting,” which only goes to show that Manhattan is a very long way from King’s Lynn. For the newspaper’s art critic obviously hadn’t heard of the artist and political activist Gustav Metzger, who spent many productive years in King’s Lynn formulating the ideas that would become the central core of AutoDestructive Art – and did it more half a century before anyone had even heard of ‘Banksy.’ Born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1926, Metzger’s early years were spent

in a political environment that was particularly volatile – and extremely dangerous considering that his parents were both Polish and Jewish. Although the rest of his family would be annihilated during the Second World War, the teenage Metzger managed to arrive in England with his younger brother in 1939 with the help of the Refugee Children Movement, and began studying art at the Cambridge School of Art and Borough Polytechnic in London, before moving away from the capital to King’s Lynn in 1953. Initially, Metzger supported himself by running a market stall on the town’s Tuesday Market Place selling books and bric-a-brac – in fact, he could often be seen scouring the town’s streets for items to sell. By 1957 he’d opened a shop on Queen Street called Thirty-Queens, which sold antiques, books, drawings, paintings and sculpture. It was here that his artistic ideas flourished. He put posters in the shop window detailing his thoughts on art and promoting avant-garde exhibitions in London. He organised small exhibitions of his friends’ work, and produced over 50 oil paintings, most

of which are now in the collection of the Tate. Many of Metzger’s works from this time were produced on ‘found’ materials such as bits of cardboard, magazine pages and old newspapers – partly a result of his meagre finances and partly as a comment on consumerism and postwar capitalism. Metzger’s home and studio (where he lived without paying rent) was located opposite St Nicholas Chapel, and it was there that he carried out his first experiments in art that destroyed itself – painting hydrochloric acid on to nylon, which created abstract patterns while it disintegrated at the same time. Having already organised a local CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) group in King’s Lynn, two events close to home had a huge influence on his future political outlook and artistic output.

ABOVE: Even in his later years, Gustav Metzger was a passionate believer in the power of art to change people’s attitudes and ways of looking at the world KLmagazine December 2019

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ABOVE: Gustav Metzger's landmark participatory artwork Mass Media (Today and Yesterday) featured thousands of newspapers from which visitors could select articles and images to create a collage of contrasting images and ideas

“Everything I know about activism,” he later said, “I learned in King’s Lynn.” The first event was Treasures From East Anglian Churches, an exhibition he

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organised as part of the 1961 King’s Lynn Festival in the famous undercroft of Clifton House opposite his shop. He travelled throughout the area, collecting sculptures, stained glass and items such as gargoyles from Norwich Cathedral and an angel’s head in coloured glass. Many of the exhibits had been mutilated or defaced during the Reformation or by 16th-century Puritans, and for Metzger was the whole point – the act of destruction actually (re)created the art. Around the same time, and virtually on Metzger’s doorstep, the borough council decided to construct a new road to improve dock-bound transport – a plan which would involve knocking down most of the old buildings and houses of the fishing community of the North End.

Metzger started the North End Society to campaign against this, and appeared in local newspapers demanding the historic area be preserved as residential – if it was renovated, he argued, it would look less like a slum. He was fighting a losing battle, however. Seeing the destruction of the North End as something of a personal failure, Metzger moved to London shortly thereafter – developing a type of art he called “public art for industrial societies” and promoting the creative use of computers in the arts. His influence even extended into popular music, his work being projected onto screens during concerts by Cream and The Who – whose guitarist Pete Townshend credited Metzger for inspiring his famous on-stage guitar-smashing antics. But some people never really understood the concept. In 2004, a recreation of Metzger’s first example of auto-destructive art was exhibited at Tate Britain, and the work included a bag of rubbish – which was mistakenly thrown out by a cleaner one evening. It’s unknown whether Metzger appreciated the irony. Despite a lifetime’s experience of destruction in all its many guises, Metzger (who died aged 90 in 2017) didn’t want to destroy art. He genuinely believed it had a role to play in helping society improve and preventing wars. “Can art do it instead of just politics?” he asked once. “Art can do it. Art must do it. And I must be one of the artists who do it.” KLmagazine December 2019


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A year of growth and a century of excellence... As Citroën celebrated its 100th anniversary, Duff Morgan enjoyed a year of success and brought a new look to its King’s Lynn showroom

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xactly 100 years ago, the industrialist André Citroën produced his very first car, which boasted an impressive 1327cc engine and could reach a top speed of 40mph. It was a huge and instant success, and within a year production of the Type A had skyrocketed – and by making around 100 vehicles a day, Citroën became the first mass production manufacturer in Europe. It’s been a year of celebration for the brand, but it’s also been a year to remember for Duff Morgan, whose history stretches back even further than Citroën’s. “Throughout 2019 we’ve seen an increase in sales across all our brands

KLmagazine December 2019

and their new models, including Citroën, CUPRA and SEAT – which is currently one of the industry’s biggestgrowing manufacturers,” says General Sales Manager Martin Seal. “Our levels and standards of customer service have also increased, and once again we’ve been recognised as one of the best Citroën dealerships in the whole of the UK.” This year has also seen a major refurbishment of Duff Morgan’s showroom in King’s Lynn – improving facilities, enhancing the customers’ experience, installing new technology such as an electric car charging point, and incorporating Citroën’s new corporate identity. But in addition to celebrating the past, Duff Morgan is

also looking to the future with confidence. “In 2020 we’ll be looking forward to selling Duff Morgan approved used vehicles, especially as we’re not limiting them to our core brands,” says Martin. “We’ll also be launching an exciting range of electric and hybrid vehicles next year, starting with the SEAT Mii in February and Citroën’s C5 Aircross in June.” Whether you’re visiting for a new or used car, a commercial vehicle, a scheduled service or an MOT, Duff Morgan offers a unique experience based on an a 100-year tradition of motoring excellence. “This is the perfect time to thank all our customers and wish them all a great Christmas,” says Martin, “and we’ll look forward to welcoming them– and new customers! – in the new year.”

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oring n S e h T “ e im m to n a p oon The Button M episode e on in d re tu ea f � ss ce n Pri

Mr Spoon

Each episode featured the characters arriving on Button Moon for an adventure


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The TV legend that inspired a local charity

ABOVE: Rehearsing the Button Moon TV series in the 1980s are puppeteers Alistair Fullerton, Ian Allen (the show’s creator), and John Thirtle

The creator of a beloved television programme now uses his puppeteering skills to help children who are facing tough times

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e’re off to Button Moon, we’ll follow Mr Spoon!” For anyone who was a child in the 1980s, those words will instantly transport them back to sitting in front of the television, absorbed in a charming world of ‘homemade’ puppets. And it was the programme’s enduring popularity that led to the founding of the Button Moon Trust, a Norwich-based charity dedicated to using puppetry to help children and supporting animal welfare charities. “I feel so lucky to be able to use the legacy of Button Moon to give something back,” says Ian Allen, the creator of Button Moon and founder and chairperson of the Button Moon Trust. “I’ve spent so many years creating puppet shows for children and got so much from it; it’s wonderful to be able

KLmagazine December 2019

to use the affection people still have for the programme to help children today.” Button Moon started life as a stage show in 1978 devised by Ian for Playboard Puppets, the company he founded with fellow puppeteer John Thirtle in 1971. It was adapted for television two years later and ran for seven series with a total of 91 different Button Moon adventures, all written by Ian. Aimed at young children, each episode featured the Spoon family, who fly to Button Moon where they have adventures with other puppet characters (all made from plastic bottles, wooden spoons and even plastic bananas!) before returning safely home. The delightful stories soon made Button Moon a hit, and it was shown on channels around the world. The puppets were made from household

items and the familiarity appealed to children – the thrill of recognising that Mr Spoon’s rocket was a tin of a wellknown brand of baked beans will be a memory for lots of us! Alongside the television series, Playboard Puppets toured with a live version of Button Moon from 1982 to 1994, producing a brand new version of the show every year. It was the first puppet company to be awarded an annual grant by Arts Council England, and Playboard Puppets have made frequent appearances on other TV programmes and commercials including: Playschool, Rainbow, T-Bag, Are you Awake Yet, Not the Nine O’Clock News, Who Dares Wins, The Morecambe and Wise Show, That’s Life, Spitting Image and the award-winning Drop the Dead Donkey. Film contributions include: The Muppets,

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BELOW: Egbert, one of the puppets who entertains children in hospital. BELOW RIGHT: Peter Davison, patron, and Ian Allen, chairperson, of Button Moon Trust

The Dark Crystal and The Muppets’ Christmas Carol. Ian had a close friendship with another of Britain’s most celebrated puppeteers, Violet Philpott. Her long and illustrious career included the creation of many puppet shows which she operated and voiced. She created one of UK television’s most famous puppet characters: Zippy from Rainbow. Violet was a great advocate of the therapeutic uses of puppetry and a dedicated supporter of the Educational Puppetry Association, and regularly ran workshops and gave performances for people with disabilities and disadvantaged people. Violet died in 2013 and left her estate to Ian, in recognition of their long friendship. Ian set up the Button Moon Trust in 2015 with the intention of continuing Violet’s work to transmit hope, confidence and fun through creativity. “Violet told me her plans before she died,” he says, “and it was an honour to be able to discuss with her how her money would be spent, and get her

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endorsement of the aims the trust has.” One of the main projects the trust supports is the work of the Kestrel Theatre Company, who use arts in prison to transform lives. Puppeteers trained by the trust work with men serving custodial sentences to devise, perform and film bedtime stories for their children. “It’s a difficult time for children when their father is in prison: seeing and hearing their dad doing something as normal as tell them a bedtime story can help them enormously,” says Ian. “The stories are usually filmed in the prison library, and using a puppet to tell the story helps the dads to communicate with their children and keep a connection going, when they’re in a place where it can be hard to do that. And it reassures the children that dad is okay, taking a lot of stress off them.” Button Moon Trust also arranges for children to be visited in hospital by puppet shows to entertain them at a very difficult time for them, and works with children in schools. “Children will use puppets to express themselves, or even tell the puppets things they’re worrying about,” says Ian. “I spoke to a boy who has autism, and it was fascinating to hear how much the stories appealed to him. I have dyslexia myself, so I know how important it is to have other ways to communicate that work for you. And that’s what puppetry is all about: communication.” The trust is always working to raise funds and awareness of what it does, and an exciting development is that the actor and Dr Who star Peter Davison has become a patron of the charity. “I am so delighted Peter has agreed to be a patron,” says Ian. “He actually composed and performed the original theme tune for Button Moon – who would

have thought that both of us would still be connected to it all these years later?” Button Moon Trust is a registered charity and is managed by a board of trustees. You can find out more about the trust’s work on their website www.buttonmoontrust.com

KLmagazine December 2019


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Michael Middleton’s

WildWestNorfolk

H

aving been treated (or subjected) to Christmas music in every shop I’ve visited for what seems like the last six months, I’ve become rather inured to it all by now – but I was recently standing in a queue behind someone who was humming Silent Night when something struck me. While virtually everyone can recite The 12 Days of Christmas from start to finish, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone able to sing a traditional carol much past the first verse without having to look at the words. The origin of this song (which tends to get rather annoying by the time you get to the bit about the swans) is something of a mystery. The earliestknown version first appeared in an odd 1780 children’s book called Mirth Without Mischief. A first edition of the book sold for over £18,000 at Sotheby’s in 2014, but you can pick up a copy for £4.84 on Amazon if you’re interested. Some historians think the song was probably invented in France, but most agree it was actually designed as a game – if you couldn’t recall the lyrics or lost your way then you had to perform some kind of forfeit. Your true love hasn’t always given you leaping lords and milking maids, either. Early versions of the song mention gifts such as ‘bears a-baiting’ and ‘ships a-sailing’ and some replace ‘my true love’ with the name of the singer’s mother. The traditional four ‘calling’ birds were almost certainly ‘colly’ originally, meaning that on the

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fourth day of Christmas you received a quartet of blackbirds. And the following day it’s likely you’d have been severely disappointed on opening your parcel expecting five gold rings – because it almost certainly continued the bird motif and referred to the markings of ring-necked pheasants. In any case, the song most of us are familiar with today comes via an early 20th century composer from Middlesex named Frederic Austin. In 1909, Austin standardised the melody and lyrics (he changed ‘colly’ to ‘calling’ as well) and as a final flourish added a drawn-out way of singing ‘five go-old rings.’ There’s a well-established tradition that The 12 Days of Christmas is actually a coded reference to the central tenents of Christianity, and helped persecuted believers spread the faith – the six fertile geese representing the days of creation and the maids a’milking standing for the eight beatitudes. And so forth. The trouble with that theory is that it doesn’t make any sense. If Christians were so persecuted they had to hide messages in songs, they wouldn’t have been allowed to celebrate Christmas in the first place – much less sing songs about it. And if you are going to conceal hidden messages in songs, it helps if they’re easy to understand – which can’t be said for remembering three French hens actually stand for the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. A far more entertaining approach to the song is provided annually by the US bank PNC Wealth Management, which

has been calculating the fluctuating cost of the gifts in the form of the Christmas Price Index since 1984. Last year's total came to a hefty £30,365, which was up a mere 1.2% from the year before – not helped by a 9% drop in the price of gold. These festive economists take it seriously as well – the price of the maids a’milking is based on unskilled workers earning minumum wage, while the cost of all the bird-related gifts is provided by the Cincinnati Zoo. However, my favourite (mis)use of the song is the 12 Days of Christmas Diet, which journalist Olga Khazan attempted in 2013. She calculated the calories in a serving of each bird mentioned in the song, and offset them with the calories burned by the relevant activities such as milking and drumming. She found that if you ate all the birds in one day (but didn’t serve them with sprouts, roast potatoes, parsnips, etc) and subtracted the energy you expended by doing all that dancing, leaping, and piping, you’d have consumed 2,384 net calories. Which is actually quite respectable, since the average Christmas dinner in the UK contains a colossal 5,200 calories. Actually, you could burn off the calories by simply singing the song in the first place – but you’d have to do it about 300 times, which would take you almost 18 hours. Which means you'd finish just in time to have some of Mrs Middleton’s delightful turkey sandwiches for breakfast.

KLmagazine December 2019


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