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ISSN 2044–7965




COVER IMAGE Bawsey ruins by Ian Ward

meet the team MANAGING DIRECTOR Laura Dunn MANAGING EDITOR Eric Secker DESIGN TEAM Amy Phillips Lisa Tonroe PHOTOGRAPHY Ian Ward PROMOTION Nicola Back ADVERTISING Jessica Smith CONTRIBUTORS Clare Bee Alison Gifford Richard Morley Richard Parr Sylvia Steele Wendy Warner

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



ust a few weeks ago Britain was revealed as having been the world’s largest exporter of legal ivory between 2010-2015, based on records held by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Over that period of time, not only did the UK export more ivory than anyone else to Hong Kong and China (the main smuggling hubs for ‘blood ivory’) it also sold 370% more ivory than the next highest exporter – the USA. It’s estimated that we’ve lost 95% of the world’s elephants in the last century or so (nearly 50% of the elephants in Mozambique have been killed in the last five years alone) and that 100 elephants are killed for their tusks every single day. You may be thinking the vast open spaces of Africa are a long way from the countryside of Norfolk, but over in North Walsham a man called Daryll Pleasants is making a difference to the plight of the continent’s most endangered species. Daryll spends half his time in Britian running his own dog training business and half in Africa, training anti-poaching dogs – and his organisation Animals Saving Animals is already making a difference, having helped reduce poaching by an incredible 70% in some areas. You can read more about his work on page 44 of this month’s magazine. On less weighty matters, there’s plenty to enjoy on the following pages – whether you want to take part in the next EACH Colour Run or sample some of the county’s finest beers. You’ll also come across two fascinating characters in the shape of the original ‘iron man’ of King’s Lynn John Aickman and the delightfully-named Mercedes Gleitze, who was the first British woman to swim the English Channel. We’re also looking at the contrasting work of two local artists; Bryan Harford, whose scenes of Norfolk are inspired by vintage railway posters (see the image of Cromer above) and Paul Smith, a landscape and portrait artist whose recent painting of North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb is currently on show at the Nation Portrait Gallery in London. Enjoy the magazine – and have a great September! KL MAGAZINE KLmagazine August 2017





44 KLmagazine August 2017



6-12 WHAT’S ON This month’s diary of forthcoming events

64-66 SWIMMING INTO HISTORY The amazing life of Mercedes Gleitze

8-10 EACH COLOUR DASH The popular event returns to Kin’g Lynn

68-77 FOOD AND DRINK Reviews, recipes and recommendations

14 ALIVE CORN EXCHANGE Fabulous shows and fun-filled activities

74 RESTAURANT REVIEW A KL magazine reader visits Bank House

16-18 A HISTORY WRITTEN IN STONE An atmospheric look at Bawsey Ruins

78-80 NORFOLK BREWHOUSE Saying cheers to Norfolk’s best beers

22-24 BIRCHAM WINDMILL The restoration of a local treasure

82 THEN & NOW The changing face of West Norfolk

28-31 SIMPLY IRREPLACEABLE... What are your favourite local landmarks?

84-86 MANSIONS AND MERCHANTS Alison Gifford on the history of King’s Lynn

36-38 INSPIRING YOUNG MINDS Inside the happy world of St Martha’s

88-90 DELIVERING QUALITY AT EVERY STAGE An inside look at the world of Bespak

44-46 ANIMALS SAVING ANIMALS The conservation work of Daryll Pleasants

92-94 JOHN ‘IRON MAN’ AICKMAN The story of one of Lynn’s first industrialists

49 YOU AND YOUR PETS With local vet Alex Dallas

98-100 THE MAGPIE CENTRE How horses are helping the disabled

52-54 SEPTEMBER IN THE GARDEN Expert help and advice with Wendy Warner

104-112 LOCAL ART AND ARTISTS The work of Bryan Harford and Paul Smith

56-63 FASHION Inspirational ideas from our local boutiques

106 MICHAEL MIDDLETON While the cat’s away...


Part of Heritage Open Day

SUNDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2017 10am - 4pm

Free to attend Tuesday Market Place, King’s Lynn Pre-booked exhibitors only For more information visit: west-norfolk.gov.uk/classiccarday

September Saturday 9th

CELEBRATING LITERATURE Barton Bendish, Village Hall PE33 9GF (2pm onwards) Announcing the book launch of ‘The Life and Hard Times of Mary Caney’ by Jill Mason, an historical novel set in Barton Bendish. Other local authors will be joining Jill in promoting their work accompanied by Claire Dunne from Ceres Bookshop, Swaffham and Leah Spencer of the Beachamwell book group. Included are poetry readings, a guided walk of Barton Bendish in Mary Caney’s day and a discussion on the pros and cons of book publishing and marketing. Refreshments will be available. Admission is £1 and for more details email jill.events@btinternet.com or call 01366 347928.

Saturday 16th – Saturday 30th HELENA ANDERSON: CHILDREN OF THE WORLD Dragonfly Gallery, High Street, Watton IP25 6AR (Open Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-1pm, closed Sun) This exhibition will be Helena’s 5th Solo Exhibition, and her ‘Swansong’. As patron of the Dragonfly, there is no other venue she would have wanted for this special event. Her pictures pay tribute to the many beautiful families encountered by her son Mark, on his journeys around the world. Most of the pictures will be for sale, and one will be raffled, there will also be cards and prints for sale. 25% of all sales will go to Children in Need. Meet the Artist on both Saturday mornings for Coffee and cake. For further details visit the website www.thewaylanddragonflygallery.co.uk or contact Helena on 01553 760879. Admission is free and there is parking available on site. KLmagazine September 2017

Tuesday 19th HARRY BAKER POETRY Wisbech Grammar School, 47 N Brink, Wisbech PE13 1JX (7pm) Wisbech Grammar School is thrilled to announce that they will be hosting a performance by poet Harry Baker. With fans across the world including one rather famous Ed Sheeran; Harry is known for combining the complexities of being a mathematician with the hopefulness of being a human. He is the youngest ever World Poetry Slam Champion and has performed sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe as well as delivering TED talks. Tickets are £5 each. Contact marketing@wisbechgrammar.com for further information and to reserve your tickets.

Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th COUNTERPART EXHIBITION BY DR RICHARD GANT Black Barn, Cockley Cley (nr. Swaffham) PE37 8AN (11am-1pm) Counterpart is an eclectic retrospective art exhibition that celebrates Dr Richard Gant’s research from 1972-2017. It profiles an extensive international drawing portfolio and sculpture maquettes. Influences from his King’s Lynn roots explore the West Norfolk fen-scapes in contrast to his industrial PhD sculpture research, moorland landscapes of N. Wales and forest drawings of Landes, France. Colour factors in many of his drawings. Maritime themes profile recent works. The Hunstanton Pier Project and Black Barn sitespecific installation are centrepieces to the exhibition. The 1.36 scale sculpture model presents the concept for a contemporary Pier that translates the cliff geology with the heritage of the original Hunstanton Pier. P.V is on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th, Artist’s open days 19th/20th/21st/26th/27th by appointment on richardmgant@hotmail.com or 07923573711. 7

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KLmagazine September 2017


Friday 22nd - Sunday 24th

KING’S LYNN INTERNATIONAL POETRY FESTIVAL King’s Lynn Town Hall, Saturday Market Place PE30 5DQ The bi-annual Literature Festivals bring to King's Lynn hand-picked writers of fiction and poetry. Writers taking part include Pascale Petit, George Szirtes, Penelope Shuttle, Martin Figura, Elisabeth Sennitt Clough, Rosie Jackson, Sarah Day, Adnan al-Sayegh, Michelle Cahill, Roger Garfitt, Robert Crawford, Jean Boase-Beier and Stephen Watts. Visitors can come to some or all the sessions; entry is £8.50 for each event, or £37.50 for an all-events weekend pass. You are welcome to join the writers, organisers and other festival-goers for lunch on Saturday and Sunday. Full details are given at the morning events, expect a price of £12. For more details and to see a full programme of events and visit the website www.lynnlitfests.com.

Friday 22nd TRIBUTE TO THE RAT PACK CHARITY EVE Alive Corn Exchange, Tuesday Market Pl PE30 1JW (7:30pm) The Jonathan Wyatt Big Band celebrate their 30th Anniversary swinging into action with their tribute to The Rat Pack. The talented vocalists sing the songs made famous by Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Junior and the legendary Frank Sinatra. On the orchestral side the band show their versatility with their magical renditions of music made famous by Glen Miller, Count Basie and Duke Ellington to name but a few. Come and enjoy the evenings celebrations, with Special Guest Duncan Slater, the first a double below knee amputee to ski to the South Pole with Prince Harry as part of their 2013 South Pole Expedition. Duncan is also the first double leg amputee to complete the Marathon des Sables in April 2017 completing 6 marathons in 6 days in the Sahara dessert. Money raised supports the charity Walking With The Wounded. To book tickets call the box office on 01553 764864 or visit www.kingslynncornexchange.co.uk.

Coming soon...

Sunday 8th October

APPLE DAY Oxburgh Hall, Oxborough, King's Lynn PE33 9PS (10:30am-4:30pm) An event to promote the importance of heritage apples, orchards and especially those that originate in the East of England. The East of England Apple and Orchards Project will be on hand to raise awareness of the different apple varieties. Bring along your unknown apple and pear varieties and have these identified. An apple press will be available for visitors to bring along their own apples to crush and take juice home. Visitors will need to bring along their own containers for this. In addition, other organisations such as the Master Gardeners' Association, Cockley Cley wood-turners, willow basket makers, Riverford Organics and a spinner will be on hand. Childrens' activities will also run. For more information visit the website www.nationaltrust.org.uk. KLmagazine September 2017

Sunday 1st October

BOOKFEST: DEBORAH MOGGACH Briarfields, Main Road, Titchwell, Norfolk PE31 8BB (3pm) Bestselling author Deborah Moggach has been confirmed for Briarfields Bookfest this autumn. Moggach, who is the bestselling author of Tulip Fever and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which was developed into a box office hit, will discuss her latest title, Something to Hide. The novel offers Moggach’s signature warm, witty and wise perspective on the unexpected twists of later life. A limited number of tickets for each event are available from Briarfields (01485 210742) priced £15 each, which includes the hotel’s Posh Afternoon Tea. For more information visit the website www.briarfieldshotelnorfolk.co.uk.



What’s On

ABOVE: The EACH Colour Dash at The Walks in King’s Lynn – the event is returning to the town this month for the third time. The previous two events have raised over £34,000 for the local charity.

The Walks prepare for a colourful spectacular... On September 17th, the EACH Colour Dash returns to the centre of King’s Lynn, combining a multicoloured fun run for all the family with a vital fundraising event for the local charity


very year in early March the people of India and Nepal celebrate Holi, an ancient Hindu tradition also known as the “festival of colours” that signifies the victory of good over evil and the arrival of spring. It’s a great occassion for people to meet others, play and laugh, forgive and forget – and it’s characterised by people throwing brightly-coloured powders over everyone in sight. That sense of excitement and multicoloured fun is a major part of the Colour Dash, which is one of the most popular fundraising events organised by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) – and which will be returning to King’s Lynn this month.

KLmagazine September 2017

Colour Dash is a hugely popular and spectacular occasion, and the two previous events in The Walks have raised over £34,000 – thanks to the nearly 2,000 people that have taken part. Essentially, the Colour Dash is a five kilometre (3.1 mile) fun run – the ‘fun’ part being that participants are showered with clouds of coloured powder paint as they run past a number of colour stations! “We’re very excited to be returning to the wonderful community of King’s Lynn for this event,” says Tal Williams, EACH Norfolk Community Fundraiser. “As anyone who’s taken part before knows, it’s an impressive sight and great fun for all the family. There’s no competitive aspect, so you can run, jog


What’s On

or simply walk the five kilometres – just be prepared to get covered in powdered paint! It creates truly impressive multicoloured results!" King’s Lynn is one of nine Colour Dashes EACH is holding this year – last summer more than 5,300 runners took part across seven locations, raising over £150,000 in the process. It’s money vital to the charity, which needs to raise £5 million a year in fundraising activities to deliver its services from all three of its hospices (including the one at Quidenham) and all funds raised at the King’s Lynn Colour Dash will help them continue their

vital services for local families. EACH cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across East Anglia and supports their families. For both families accessing care and those who have been bereaved, EACH is a precious lifeline at an unimaginably difficult time. In November 2014, the charity launched ‘The Nook’ appeal, a campaign to raise £10 million to transform children’s palliative care across the county, which includes a new purpose-built hospice (The Nook) on a 5-acre woodland site in Framingham Earl. Once built, the new centre will offer services currently unavailable or extremely limited at Quidenham. After three years, the appeal total now stands at over £6 million and EACH needs the support of all sectors of the Norfolk community – individuals, schools, community groups and the business sector – to achieve its fundraising target and for their vision to become a reality for Norfolk families. For more information about the appeal and how you can help, please visit www.each.org.uk/the-nook. As for this month’s Colour Dash, tickets are now available, but as Tal explains, it’s best to act quickly if you want to take part. “We have a range of tickets for adults, children, families and teams and they all get t-shirts, medals and pots of paint,” he says. “But we do have to limit the number of participants, so if you do want to take part then you need to book your place very soon.” The EACH King’s Lynn Colour Dash will take

place on Sunday 17th September from 11am-1pm on The Walks. If you are interested in taking part, please visit www.each.org.uk/colour-dashes or call the EACH Fundraising Team on 01953 666767. For more information about EACH, including forthcoming events and how you can help raise funds, visit www.each.org.uk or call the Norfolk fundraising office on 01953 666767. You can also keep in touch with the charity via twitter (EACH_hospices) or Facebook (EACHhospices).

EACH supports families and cares for children and young people with lifethreatening conditions across Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk. The charity offers families flexibility and control over where they receive their care and support, including where their child dies; at home, in hospital or at one of the three EACH hospices at Milton, Quidenham and The Treehouse. EACH’s family-centred approach includes specialist nursing care, symptom management support, short breaks, wellbeing activities, therapies and counselling – all meeting the individual needs of the child, young person and whole family. EACH relies on voluntary donations for the majority of its income and needs to raise more than £5 million annually from fundraising and £2.5 million from its shops. The EACH Royal Patron is Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, who visited Holt last March to open the charity’s new shop.


KLmagazine September 2017




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SEPTEMBER What’s On Show times all at 7:30pm unless stated

Sun 3rd Thurs 7th & 14th

Thurs 7th Fri 8th

The Greatest Love Of All - The Whitney Houston Show

For accomplished songstress Belinda Davids, this show is the culmination of a life-long connection with the superstar.

If It’s Laughter You’re After •2:30pm

Join Olly Day, master of magic and mirth and Nigel ‘boy’ Syer, Norfolk’s funniest accordionist, for a great afternoon's entertainment.

John le Carré - An Evening with George Smiley • Pre-show 7:45pm / Curtain up 8pm Broadcast live from London's Royal Festival Hall, join us for a celebration of one of the world’s greatest writers.

The Upbeat Beatles

Did you miss The Beatles first time around? Don’t miss them now! Playing everything from Beatlemania to Psychedelia and Beyond…

Roy G Hemmings – Reach Out To Motown Sun Original and longest serving Drifters member Roy G Hemmings 50 years of Motown with hits by The Supremes, 10th celebrates Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye and many more. Thurs 14th Sat 16th

Carmen On The Lake

From Bregenz, Austria • 7pm

Performed on the spectacular water stage of Lake Constance, George Bizet’s Carmen is a story of passion, destiny & obsession.

Bye Bye Baby

A Celebration of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

Taking you back in time on a musical journey through the career of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

Kings Tapestry Starring Nicki Dee Sun Carole What do you get when you cross one of Australia’s top singers one of the best-loved albums of all time? A night of sonic 17th with nostalgia celebrated in perfect song.

Guys Have All The Luck Sat Some The Rod Stewart Story 23rd A brand new theatrical production celebrating the career of one of rocks greatest icons, Rod Stewart.

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KLmagazine September 2017

Rat Pack with Anita Harris Sun The The star studded cast of the UK’s original and longest running 24th Rat Pack show... having achieved many accolades and awards

after appearances worldwide, including seasons in The West End.

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The Princess Theatre, 13 The Green, Hunstanton PE36 5AH 11


KLmagazine September 2017

What’s On

Fall into fun, this half term with Alive Leisure! The Alive Leisure venues have plenty in store to keep children entertained! on’t wait until half term is looming before deciding what fun your little ones can have this holiday. At Alive Leisure our October Half Term Activities are bookable from September, so book now to ensure your children don’t miss out! We have breakfast clubs every day from 8am – 10am, this is an add on to our holiday clubs, and is a supervised session including board games, computer games or films, and breakfast cereal and fruit juice are provided. Our holiday clubs, offer a variety of fun activities from 5-14 year olds, with activities ranging from archery, to football, climbing, Nerf tag and much more! Get your hands on a swimming passport, for just £5, and enjoy


unlimited swimming in our family friendly pools, throughout the October Half Term with Alive Leisure’s Swimming Passport. Passports are valid from 21-29 October, for under 16’s only. Valid for swimming in general swimming sessions at Alive St James, Alive Downham Leisure, and Alive Oasis. Head on down to Alive Oasis, and let your little one bring out the Pirate in them, with our fantastic Alive Adventures, indoor soft play for ages six months, to ten years. We have haunted pool parties on Saturday 28 October. You can swim in any of our gruesome green swimming pools, with spooky Halloween inflatables! Booking is essential as a maximum numbers apply. Please book early to avoid disappointment!

For the full programme of what’s on this Half Term at the Alive Leisure venues, pick up a copy of our Half Term brochure or check out the website www.aliveleisure.co.uk

KLmagazine September 2017


St James is a very special place. Set on a small headland that would once have been almost totally surrounded by water, today it overlooks farm fields and is the perfect place to celebrate God’s bounty at Harvest time. We love having families taking part and then enjoying a picnic and country walk together in these romantic ruins. Everyone is welcome and I look forward to seeing even more families and children at this year’s festival... REV. JANE HOLMES Rector of Gayton, Grimston, Massingham and District Team Ministry


Local Life

ABOVE: The atmospheric and lonely ruins of St James at Bawsey –which still hosts a religious service every autumn

A enduring reminder of the power of religion Almost 1,000 years after it was built, the church of St James at Bawsey still draws the faithful from the surrounding villages. Richard Parr takes a closer look at this atmospheric ruin...


he atmospheric ruins of St James Church stand on a hill on the eastern rural landscape just outside King’s Lynn, and is a constant reminder of the area’s Christian faith that spans more than seven centuries. The Grade I listed English Heritage building is a distant but familiar sight to the motorists and cyclists travelling along the town’s eastern bypass, but while many people are aware of the ruins on the landscape they’re probably unaware that its religious role is resurrected once a year when it hosts a Harvest Festival service and picnic. The service is organised by the Gayton group of parishes and members of St

KLmagazine September 2017

Faith’s Church at Gaywood are invited to attend. There’s a strong link with the urban Gaywood parish because until boundary changes St James at Bawsey was part of it – together with Mintlyn. Every autumn (September or early October) clergy are joined by church members from both parishes at the ruins where the service is held in front of an altar created by straw bales. The ruined church of St James is designated as a scheduled ancient monument (it’s one of more than 100 ruined churches in Norfolk) and stands as a testimony of the county’s rich historic and sacred heritage. It’s believed there had been a settlement on the site at Bawsey since

the Iron Age. The church itself is thought to have been built in the early 12th century, with the chancel being replaced and enlarged 300 years later. The huge, gaunt dissected tower and aisle walls that remain manifest a very fine Norman archway and a central bell tower. St James was the parish church for the now deserted village of Bawsey, but it’s not clear if the medieval houses were close to the church, which is thought to have been disused by 1517 – when the village of Bawsey had 60 acres of land converted to pasture. Certainly it’s known to have been in ruins since before 1770. A thousand years ago, St James was Norfolk’s equivalent of St Michael’s


Local Life


showed evidence suggestive of a brutal slaughter. An analysis by osteologist Margaret Cox revealed the victim to be a ‘robust’ female, who (in the context of the Bawsey site) may have been a nun. The truth, however, was somewhat more prosaic; the lady’s death was probably the result of an unsuccessful surgical operation, and the fearsome skull ‘wounds’ were determined not to have been caused by a sword. Today the ruins of St James are still a sacred place and currently falls within the Gayton, Grimston and Great Massingham benefice and is part of the parish of All Saint’s Church in Ashwicken. For information about this year’s harvest festival service at the Bawsey ruins please, see the website at www.ggmbenefice.uk where you can also learn more about St James and the nearby churches of Mintlyn and Leziate.


Mount. In the Domesday Book of 1086, the settlement on the hill was probably the one called Bowesia, derived from an Old English placename meaning ‘gadfly island.’ In Saxon times it would have been accessed via a causeway, standing on a piece of high ground and surrounded by water on the headland of the Gaywood River. As the waters retreated, the village fell into decline, reportedly assisted by a landlord who demolished tenants’ homes to make way for more grazing land for the more lucrative practice of keeping sheep. By the 16th century, the ruined church of St James was all that remained of the village. Left to the ravages of time and the elements, the site was given national television coverage in March 1999 when it was featured in Channel 4’s Time Team, who found a fascinating 14th-century tile with the lettering THOMAS printed mysteriously backwards. Interestingly enough, if you visit the V&A Museum in London (specifically Room 138 in the Ceramics Study Galleries) you’ll find a similar tile that is said to have been found in Castle Acre. This is probably why Time Team speculated the ‘Thomas’ refers to Thomas de Wigginhall, who was prior at Castle Acre until 1376. A major tile industry had been in operation at Bawsey around this time, and the tiles were distributed widely in East Anglia thanks to the region’s extensive network of inland waterways. Bawsey tiles are known for the production of relief-decoration featuring birds, animals, heraldry or inscriptions, and the British Museum also has a few examples. The programme also revealed a rather gruesome secret; a skeleton that

ABOVE: A Harvest Festival service at the ruins of St James at Bawsey in the 1970s with the then Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Maurice Wood – who had landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day as a Royal Marine during the Second World War

KLmagazine September 2017

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KLmagazine September 2017


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KLmagazine September 2017

Discover who you are… With an education that inspires at Wisbech Grammar School


he Open Day for pupils age 4 - 16 on 30th September (10am – 12.30pm) and the 6th Form Open Evening on 17th October (6pm – 8pm) will give parents and children the opportunity to discover what makes this outstanding learning environment so different from other schools. At Wisbech Grammar School, academic excellence is at the heart of an educational approach with a high level of pastoral care and well-being. Here, educational development isn't simply confined to the classroom or laboratory - but can be found in the art rooms, drama and dance studios, sports fields and music rooms. Wisbech Grammar School goes beyond the narrow boundaries of exam specifications, giving an all-round education that inspires. The timetable reflects this, including Period 5 which is devoted to pupils exploring their interests and finding their passion. The School has fantastically talented teaching staff who develop a strong rapport with pupils, better enabling them to negotiate their own individual learning pathway. Wisbech Grammar School pupils are also passionate about fundraising and the School is committed to supporting local and national charities and actively encouraging pupils to get involved. By stretching and challenging pupils,

KLmagazine September 2017

this is a school which helps build mental resilience, strength of character and leadership skills. Upon entering 6th Form, many pupils take on additional responsibilities such as coaching others and leading clubs or activities - in areas ranging from art to textiles, from astronomy to animation and public speaking. The School's new Performing Arts Studio and partnership with Studio 19 (a progressive and vibrant dance company) has enabled it to provide a range of dance opportunities as part of a wider offering. Opportunities to engage in Sport activities also abound, with rugby, cricket, hockey, athletics, netball, archery and badminton to name but a few. Many pupils compete in first teams and at both regional and national level competitions; as well as take part in regular inter-school events. Wisbech Grammar School is proud of its sporting achievements and its pupils have the full support of dedicated Sports/Coaching staff (including a Physiotherapist and Sports Conditioning Coach) ensuring each child reaches their full potential. Contact the Admissions Team to request a Scholarship Pack or discover more about the School's Open Days or to arrange a visit to the School when in session to experience all that is inspiring about Wisbech Grammar.

ENTRANCE ASSESSMENTS FOR SEPTEMBER 2018: 7th October 9.30am–11.30am for years 7 (1st Form) and 9 (3rd Form). Please note: you need to register by 5th October to sit the Entrance Assessment on the 7th October. However, further opportunities are available upon request to sit the assessment.

SCHOLARSHIP & BURSARY PROGRAMME ENTRY For years 7 (1st Form), 9 (3rd Form) and 12 (lower 6th Form) our Scholarship and Bursary programmes enable children who excel either academically or across a breadth of areas to experience all that our School has to offer and to fulfil their full potential. Applications for Scholarship deadline on 24th November 2017.

47 North Brink, Wisbech, PE13 1JX | Tel: 01945 583631 www.wisbechgrammar.com


Local Life

ABOVE: One of the county’s most traditional sights – a bushel of corn waiting to be milled. Bircham Mill (opposite) is considered one of the best windmills still remaining and is the only windmill in working order open to the public in the area.

170 years old and still looking beautiful There’s been a windmill at Great Bircham for over 250 years, and the current tower was built in 1846. Sylvia Steele looks back at its story – and its remarkable restoration by Roger and Gina Wagg


tand on the iron balcony, five floors from the ground, and there’s a quietness broken only by the creaking mill machinery, the distant sheep in the fields and the cackling hens rounding up their chicks in the farmyard below. A windmill has stood on this site at Great Bircham since 1761 – a post mill at that time that was offered for sale in 1769 and this is where the story of Bircham Windmill really begins, for millers and bakers have lived and worked here ever since . In the hands of miller Robert

KLmagazine September 2017

Sparham the mill was worked until 1800 when, in financial difficulties, he made a Deed of Assignment – but an advertisement in the Norfolk Chronicle in 1804 for ‘a baker at the mill’ would appear to confirm that a bakery still existed here at that time. Records show that miller Bloom Humphrey ran the windmill until (following his death in 1841) his wife Martha took over with their son George who, at the age of fifteen, was then classed a miller. George continued working the mill until he became bankrupt and in 1846 the post mill was demolished and a tower mill built on

the same site. A succession of millers and bakers followed until the mill ceased business in 1922; the fantail and sails were removed in 1934 and for the next 35 years the main mill structure was left to the elements. However, the bread baking continued from a coal-fired oven with flour being brought in from three nearby mills. Bircham Mill was on the Houghton Estate land owned by the Marquess of Cholmondeley until it was sold to the Sandringham Estate in 1939. Jack Bunton, a young baker who was just 17 at the time, continued to run the bakery


Local Life

until the mid 1950s and was followed by a succession of bakers who kept the business operating until it too closed in 1961. For over one hundred years the bakery had supplied bread to the surrounding villages; many people walked or came in their traps to collect the bread or have it delivered by horse and cart. With both mill and bakery now closed, the cottages surrounding the mill remained virtually intact and one, it is understood, became the honeymoon venue for a young shepherd and his new wife who travelled to the site by pony and cart from Dersingham. The site continued to deteriorate into a serious state of disrepair and remained so until purchased in 1976 by Roger Wagg, the great-grandson of Joseph who’d been miller there in 1883-1888. The reconstruction work undertaken by Roger and his wife Gina became a true labour of love. The cap was removed in 1978 and a new one refitted on 2nd August 1979. Their passionate objective to return the mill to its potential continued and the mill reopened in April 1980 to a few visitors over the weekends. Nevertheless, their work wasn’t considered complete without the renewal of the sails which were fitted in February 1981. ‘Not enough wind to turn them but they looked beautiful,’ was the comment at the time. Of course, in order to grind corn, it was also necessary to fit shutters to all four sails and in 1991, the great day arrived at last. With the mill restoration finished, all that was left to do was grind some corn. It’s a lifetime’s achievement that has brought visitors from throughout the


UK and beyond to enjoy the atmosphere surrounding a working mill, in a quiet farmyard setting amid glorious open countryside. To those visitors returning after years away it’s like coming home as they revisit their memories of another era; some even recall the horse-drawn cart that delivered bread to them on alternate days. Others can remember the lanes blocked by snow and the German prisoners-of-war being drafted in to

help clear a way through in 1947. One memory is from Alice who, when her husband returned from the war in 1946, took over the running of the bakery until 1961. These are just a few of the memories that are recorded in the Bircham Windmill museum. When Roger and Gina moved from Mill Cottage in February 2000, satisfied they’d achieved their purpose, their shepherdess daughter Elly and husband Stevie Chalmers moved in and continued the works of improvement and expansion to maintain the windmill as a tourist attraction. The windmill had opened in 1982 serving teas on Wednesdays and Sundays only – it’s now open seven days a week throughout the summer. A kitchen has been added to the tearoom, an extension and porch built onto the bakery and a menagerie of farm animals has been introduced – including the sheep that provide the milk for the cheese that Elly is so adept at producing. Fully equipped traditional shepherd’s huts and Humphrey Cottage provide holiday accommodation in an idyllic location on the edge of unspoiled Norfolk pastures with views to the sea. Bircham Mill has provided a living to a succession of millers and bakers and their families over many years; local families have simply always been aware of its presence in their lives, and it is their memories as recounted in the Windmill’s Book of Memoirs that preserves its magic. A glimpse into these pages and you may even fancy you hear the whisper of voices from the past as you gaze out over the timeless countryside.

KLmagazine September 2017

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KLmagazine September 2017







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ver 195,000 wood-burners were installed in the UK last year, which is hardly surprising when you consider that they can shave as much as 85% off your heating bill. Paul Chamberlain has been installing all types of woodburning and multi-fuel stoves for over 15 years now, and his family-run Firing Squad Woodburners business is now bringing an incredible collection of woodburners to the homes of Norfolk; from new builds to thatched cottages and from windmills to the temple on the Holkham Hall Estate. And you don’t even need a chimney! From the West Raynham Business Park

in the beautfully refurbished old Guard Room on the former RAF station, Firing Squad Woodburners is the authorised Clearview stockist and showroom for North Norfolk and the surrounding counties, bringing you the industry-leading manufacturer of clean burning wood stoves. But that's not all. Firing Squad Woodburners also features a choice from some of the most pretigious and highly respected names in the business, including Aga, Stovax and Mendip. From traditional designs and finishes, you’ll also find

woodburners in a range of different colours and some strikingly modern and stylish looks – and even models that fit directly into a wall! Firing Squad Woodburners are registered with the governing body HETAS, and as well as being ‘Safe Contractor Approved’ also have public liability insurance. Paul prides himself on providing the best service using high quality products. To discover what a difference a woodburner can make to you and your home, call Firing Squad Woodburners on 01328 854098 for a FREE quote.

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KLmagazine September 2017


Local Life

ABOVE: The Red Mount Chapel on the Walks in King’s Lynn is one of the town’s most popular buildings – and is unique in the whole country

Time to celebrate our irreplaceable heritage... As Historic England launches a campaign to find the 100 places in the country that have helped shape the nation’s story, the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk is asking for your favourite...


istoric England has launched an initiative to find 100 places that have shaped England’s story, and as the borough of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk has its fair share of significant places the Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Culture and Heritage Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds is urging you to nominate your favourite. Irreplaceable: a History of England in 100 Places is a Historic England initiative to find those unique and special places that really help tell the country’s history over the years. There are literally thousands of sites across

KLmagazine September 2017

the country where important moments in history happened or which have become significant because of the role they played in the country’s development. The borough of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk has a plethora of ancient monuments and listed buildings and a rich heritage based on its success as a medieval Hanseatic port, its links with King John, and of course its connections with both Captain George Vancouver, Horatio Nelson, and the current Royal Family. “We heard about this initiative and thought it would be great if somewhere in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk was listed as one of the 100 places,” says

Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds of the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk. “There are so many sites to choose from it’s difficult to decide which one to put forward for which category. We have the magnificent South Gate which formed part of the town’s original defences. There’s the Red Mount Chapel which has a fascinating and chequered past. There’s Henry Bell’s Custom House, Greenland Fisheries and the Hanse House on the waterfront and of course not forgetting Greyfriars Tower, St Nicholas Chapel, King’s Lynn Minster, the Corn Exchange, True’s Yard, the Town Hall and St George’s Guildhall. Even then I’m only


Travel and Tourism; House and Garden; Sport; Music and Literature; Loss and Destruction; Faith and Belief; Industry, Trade and Commerce; Art, Architecture and Sculpture; and Power, Protest and Progress. The judges for each category will chose their final ten historical hotspots from all those nominated from across the country. Here are just a few local sites you might consider nominating for 100 Places: CLIFTON HOUSE AND TOWER The most important house in the historic town of King’s Lynn. Two medieval merchants’ houses combined in a Tudor building, it retains an amazing series of historic interiors dating from the 13th to the 18th centuries and is Grade I listed. Features of interest include two tiled floors from the later 13th century (the largest insitu tiled floors in any secular building in Britain); the 14th-century vaulted undercroft; the five-storey Elizabethan tower and a series of rooms created by the architect Henry Bell in 1700.

scratching the surface as there are many more fascinating sites in King’s Lynn and even more across the rest of West Norfolk.” Elizabeth is now inviting the public to have their say. “We’re asking people to think of the local place they believe has had a major impact on shaping England’s history,” she says, “and then submit their nomination via the 100 Places website in one of the ten available categories.” It’s a hard task to think of a single location, but Elizabeth has already made up her mind. “It’s certainly got me thinking, but in the end I’ve decided that I’ll be nominating the Red Mount Chapel,” she says. “It’s a building I walked past for years with my young family. It’s a dramatic and intriguing octagonal building which we felt held many secrets, especially when we learned the pilgrims used to visit it on their way to Walsingham." And if you need any reminding of the


very best the borough has to offer, don’t forget Heritage Open Day on Sunday 10th September. “It’s an ideal opportunity for people to explore the town before making a decision about the place they think is worthy of a nomination,” says Alison Gifford, Event Organiser and Chairman of King’s Lynn Civic Society. Everyone will have different thoughts, so we just want to encourage people to enjoy the fascinating heritage they have on their doorstep and then to make a nomination online.” Alison is slightly more guarded on her favourite location, however. “I’ll be making my own nomination of course, and will be encouraging members of the Civic Society to make theirs,” she says. “I’m pretty sure we will all nominate different sites for different reasons, but that’s absolutely fine, as the judges will assess each nomination on its own merits.” The ten categories that make up 100 Places are Science and Discovery;

HAMPTON COURT Hampton Court is a quadrangular building dating back to the 14th century. The south wing is the earliest building and shows evidence of a halltype merchant house comprising a main living room open to the roof with a parlour at one end and service rooms at the other and a counting house beyond. Three medieval doors facing north opened onto a screens passage. The west and east wings were built in the latter half of the 15th century. The west wing was a two-storeyed brick warehouse with open arcading onto the quay. The east wing was a jettied timber-framed range probably with shops and solars above. Finally the North wing was added at the beginning of the 17th century and is thought to have contained a bakehouse and a brewhouse. ST GEORGE’S GUILDHALL St George’s Guildhall is the largest surviving medieval guildhall in England. Originally founded in 1376 for the town’s prosperous wool trade, it was built between 1410-20, with its Great Hall measuring 107ft by 29ft. The building was later used as a theatre, with the first production being hosted in 1442, and then as a corn exchange, a courthouse, a powder store and a wool warehouse. St George’s, now designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument, retains many of its original medieval features including the brick vaulted undercroft, once used as a storage place for goods

KLmagazine September 2017

Local Life and rebuilt the part which faces St Margaret’s church. In 1971, Norfolk County Council acquired the building and named it ‘St Margaret’s House’ but in 2009 it was renamed ‘Hanse House’ in recognition of its historic significance and of King’s Lynn's membership of the new Hanse, a network of European towns and cities inspired by our shared Hanseatic heritage. CUSTOM HOUSE An elegant classical building designed by the great Henry Bell, a native of King’s Lynn and a contemporary of Sir Christopher Wren. It was built in 1683 and opened as a merchants’ exchange in 1685. The Custom House was by far Bell’s most influential design, and was called by architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner “one of the most perfect buildings ever built.”

unloaded onto the quayside on the River Great Ouse. It is widely believed that Shakespeare may have performed on the stage there. It was last restored in 1945-50 and still available to hire as a theatre. KING’S LYNN MINSTER One of the largest town churches in the country, and formerly known as St. Margaret’s Church. It was founded in 1101 by Herbert de Losinga – the first Bishop of Norwich. Until the Reformation it was also a priory church with the monks’ living quarters still existing as housing in Priory Lane. It was also the church of the medieval pilgrim and visionary Margery Kempe, whose autobiographical book The Book of Margery Kempe provides the best insight available of a female middle class woman’s life in the Middle Ages. ST NICHOLAS CHAPEL England’s largest surviving Parochial Chapel. For over 600 years the wonderful carved roof angels, the dazzling stained glass and the history contained within St Nicholas' Chapel have inspired locals and visitors alike. At the west end is the 1627 font and nearby are ledger slabs referring to members of the local Crusoe family, two of them named ‘Robinson’ but dating after Daniel Defoe’s famous book published in 1719. RED MOUNT CHAPEL This striking chapel is one of the strangest late medieval Gothic structures in England. It is built to an octagonal plan, and stands three storeys high. It’s made of two concentric drums rising over a barrel vaulted lower chapel. The internal two KLmagazine September 2017

staircases run counter-wise to each other, arriving at the chapel antechamber from opposite directions. There’s a priest's room and two chapels, a lower chapel and an upper chapel. The upper chapel is decorated with a stunning fan-vaulted ceiling in ornate late Perpendicular Gothic style. The ceiling was almost certainly made by John Wastrel who also made the famous vaulted ceiling at King’s College Chapel. It has had a chequered past and despite being a chapel has only served as a religious building for around 50 years of its long history. GREYFRIARS TOWER It’s one of only three surviving Franciscan monastery towers in England and is considered to be the finest. It is a Grade I listed building. It is believed to have survived the dissolutions of the monasteries because it was considered a useful landmark by sailors entering the town from the Wash and is still clearly visible on the town’s skyline today. Referred to as the Leaning Tower of Lynn, Greyfriars was featured in the BBC TV series Restoration, where it won the regional final but lost to Victoria Baths, Manchester in the final.

THE LIBRARY An Edwardian public library funded and opened by Scottish philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. It is currently the oldest library building in Norfolk. Its tower was used by soldiers throughout the first world war to look out for possible invasions and Zeppelin threats. The names of members of these troops can still be seen etched into the tower’s walls. SOUTH GATE King’s Lynn once had extensive town defences, and the South Gate was one of three gates which guarded the entrances to the town. Work began on the South Gate in the 1430s, and it originally had a spiked portcullis. It is now one of the last remaining major pieces of Lynn’s fortifications. Once you’ve made your decision, please visit the website at www.historicengland.org.uk /get-involved/100-places/ to make your nomination.

HANSE HOUSE A group of Hanseatic warehouses dating from 1475. Hanse House is now the only surviving Hanseatic building in England. Acquired by the German Hanse in 1475, for nearly four centuries it was known as the ‘Steelyard’ (a kind of business house, from the medieval German stalhof). From the mid 16th century onwards, it was leased by the Hanse to local merchants. One of these, Edward Everard, bought it in 1751


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KLmagazine September 2017

New rules oN iNheritaNce tax...

Get your business off to a flying start... Starting a new business doesn’t have to be a risky venture. As Chris Goad BSc ACA of Stephenson Smart explains, all it takes is a little careful forethought and some professional advice he number of small business formations has risen in recent years as an increasing number of people look to realise their entrepreneurial ambitions. The motivation for starting a business can be driven by any number of factors, and commonly includes the desire to be your own boss, or to pursue a particular passion. Starting a new venture can be a rewarding experience, but sadly many businesses fail in the initial stages. Proper forward planning is vital in order to maximise the chances of success. Whatever your motivations, we can help you to translate your business dreams into reality.


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you’ll need dedication and determination. what are your key oBjectives? You should define the main aims of your business, including what you hope to achieve. This might be fulfilling a personal ambition or providing a range of new services to a particular target market. What is the nature of the business – and what needs in the marketplace do you aim to meet? what are your expectatioNs? Many small businesses don’t make significant profits in the first two years. Before you begin, make a realistic


From 6th April 2017, a new Residence NilRate Band (RNRB) for inheritance tax (IHT) has been introduced. The band enables a ‘family home’ to be passed wholly or partially tax-free on death to direct descendants such as children or grandchildren. The RNRB is in addition to an individual’s own nil-rate band, and is initially set at £100,000 in 2017/18, before rising in a series of stages to reach £175,000 in 2020/21. Up to £1 million of a married couple’s estate could eventually be taken outside of the scope of IHT, providing the full nil-rate bands are available to each spouse. The band can only be used in respect of one residential property. This must have been a residence of the deceased at some point. Buy-to-lets will not, therefore, be eligible for the relief. There is a tapered withdrawal of the RNRB for estates with a net value (after deducting any liabilities but before reliefs and exemptions) of more than £2 million. This will be at a withdrawal rate of £1 for every £2 over this threshold. We would be happy to assist you in formulating an estate plan that minimises your inheritance tax liability. Please contact us for a free initial consultation.

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another two years of training. For those who were hedging their bets when heading off to university and didn’t pick a degree in law, there’s an additional year undertaking the Graduate Diploma in Law before the LPC. Those interested in becoming barristers will follow the same degree route as solicitors, but after that they’ll part ways with the prospective solicitors and head for a year studying on the bar professional training course before a year as a pupil barrister.

Ever considered a career in law? It could change the way you think... here have been law schools in existence since the Roman Empire. Many famous people have trained as lawyers, including the politicians Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, the artist Matisse and author Victor Hugo, and even the comedians John Cleese and Bob Mortimer. For many, the idea of working in law conjures up visions of courtrooms with people wearing wigs and a judge striking a hammer (gavel) on a block – but most people’s ideas about what goes on in a courtroom come from films, television and books. In fact, gavels have never been used by judges in the UK (it’s an idea we’ve got from American TV) and a career in law may not actually involve interaction with the courts at all. Although for some, money is the main driver, lots of people today choosing a


route into the legal profession do so to make a difference to people's lives and give a voice to those who don’t have anyone to speak up for them. As an example, The Human Rights Act is a UK law passed in 1998 which allows you to defend your rights in UK courts and compels public organisations (including the Government, police and local councils) to treat everyone equally with fairness, dignity and respect. Whatever your motivation, talents or skill sets, there’s almost certainly a path into law suited to you.

NON-DEgrEE If you don’t fancy university or are understandably wary of the eye-watering level of student debt, there are other routes into law. Two established avenues into the profession (usually through onthe-job training) are by qualifying as a legal executive or a licence conveyancer. Both often work alongside solicitors, and can also run practices in their own right. As well as undertaking various examinations during your training you’ll also be required to commit to a period of qualifying employment; around five years in the case of a legal executive, although there is a fast track for graduates. It’s also possible, having qualified as a legal executive, to take further exams and qualify as a solicitor. NON-LaWyEr Being a lawyer isn’t the only path into the legal profession. There’s a very broad range of staff working in legal practices such as paralegals, PAs and legal secretaries, accounts and marketing staff. All these roles are crucial to the running of a law firm and are open to school leavers or those looking for a new challenge. Regardless of your role or the route you take into the profession, law is a rewarding, intellectually stimulating and challenging career you can enjoy. If you’d like any further advice or information on a career in law, call me on 01328 863231 or send an e-mail to alex.findlay@hayes-storr.com. For any other legal advice call 01553 778900 or email law@hayes-storr.com.

DEgrEE We’re at that time of year when A-level students wait nervously to find out if they’ve achieved the necessary grades to attend their chosen university. On completing their law degree, those hoping to be solicitors will be looking at a further year undertaking the Legal Practice Course (LPC) followed by

ALEX FINDLAY Director Hayes + Storr

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KLmagazine September 2017


Local Life

ABOVE: Pupils of St. Martha’s have plenty to celebrate at the moment with the school’s 60th anniversary and the official opening of a superb new £3.4million classroom and sports hall complex.

Celebrating six decades of very happy children... KL magazine talks to St. Martha’s Catholic Primary School’s inspirational Headteacher Aidan McGovern about two milestones in the school’s life – and why it’s so loved by children and parents


eadteacher Aidan McGovern stands by the gates of St Martha's Catholic Primary School in Gaywood with a genuinely warm smile as his young students leave for the day. “I want children to leave here and say ‘wow, I had a great time there and I really learned a lot as well’,” he says. “I think it says a lot for the school that we’ve now got the children of ex-pupils coming through and that even two of my teachers are ex-pupils.” There’s a real sense of community about St. Martha’s; a feeling that it’s one


big family. And a very happy one at that. One of the first things Aidan did when he arrived at the school 16 years ago was create a mound of raised ground in the playing field. Generations of children have loved running up and down the grassy slope ever since, and that passion for enhancing pupils’ experiences has continued to this day. In fact, next month sees the official opening of one of the school’s most ambitious and important projects – a £3.4million multi-purpose hall and classroom centre that

provides Aidan’s children and his staff with a fantastic facility that will enhance the already rich and diverse life of the school. The official opening by Bishop of East Anglia the Rt Reverend Alan Hopes on Monday 25th September will actually be a double celebration, as St. Martha’s will be celebrating its 60th anniversary. The school’s come a very long way since 1957, and has grown enormously over the last two decades. “There were 160 children here when I first arrived,” says Aidan, “and there are 283 here at

KLmagazine September 2017

ABOVE: Pupils at St. Martha’s rehearsing for a production of Beauty and the Beast in the school’s breathtaking new Endeavour Hall – which will be officially opened by the bishop of East Anglia next month.

the moment – and within the next four years that will be up to 420.” In fact, that growth provided much of the impetus for the new hall. “There’s nothing worse than turning a family away who want to come to your school,” says Aidan, “and we’d been oversubscribed for a number of years. We had the facilities and land to expand, and it was something I’d been campaigning for for several years.” Consequently, when Norfolk County Council identified King’s Lynn as a growth area and approached St. Martha’s with a view to accommodating the increasing number of children, Aidan’s plans for the school began (literally) to take shape. The core of Endeavour Hall (so named because of the challenge and sense of discovery the word evokes) is a breathtaking sports hall with a proper sprung floor and a very high ceiling that

KLmagazine September 2017

also features theatre lighting and sound and a modular stage to enhance the experience for the performers and audiences at the school’s many dramatic and musical productions. Surrounding the hall itself are eight classrooms, a state-of-the-art staff room, a medical room, changing room and disabled access toilets – and the walls are adorned with a selection of pupils’ artwork. “It’s a fabulous resource for the school and for the area in general,” says Aidan. “We’re really pleased with it because it reinforces our ethos. You can’t expect children to behave and perform to high standards but deny them an environment that’s of an equally high standard.” The building of Endeavour Hall has brought plenty of benefits to other areas of the school. It’s enabled the addition of two more basketball courts,


Local Life at the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange and even appeared on stage at the O2 in London. They’ll also be opening the anniversary and Endeavour Hall celebrations next month. Aidan’s keen to build children’s confidence, and his staff oversee a vast range of sporting and cultural activities that give pupils a taste of things they may never have considered before. “It's the ideal way of showing children all the choices available to them and giving them the chance to discover their particular talents,” he says. “Not all children will take up activities like archery or sailing, film-making or dance – but at least they’ve had the opportunity to experience it.” Everyone knows the old maxim that your schooldays are the happiest days of your life, but if you want to know the truth of it, you only need to stand with Aidan at the gates of St. Martha’s. “I believe that teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs you can have, and I’ve always loved it,” he says. “St. Martha’s is a wonderful example of a successful and thriving school with a great future ahead of it. Happy staff, happy children, happy outcomes – what more could you want?” The official opening of Endeavour Hall and St. Martha’s 60th anniversary celebrations take place on Monday 25th September. In addition to current children and staff, Aidan is hoping as many ex-pupils, ex-staff and people who’ve been associated with the school in the past will attend the event. For more details, contact the school on 01553 774829 or visit the website at www.st-marthas.norfolk.sch.uk ABOVE: The recently-completed Noah’s Ark play area at St. Martha’s. It was built and named in memory of a pupil of the school who tragically died at a young age.

a multi-use enclosed games area with a 3G surface, and the creation of a dedicated ‘nurture room’ for the emotional wellbeing and good mental health of the school's children. “The mental health of young children in our communities is a big issue today,” says Hayley Pink, St. Martha’s Deputy Head and full-time Special Educational Needs Disability Coordinator (SENCO). “We obviously looked after the needs of children before, but this has broadened our nurturing efforts enormously. When teachers and SENCOs from other schools have seen the room they’ve been amazed. We’re really, really fortunate to have it.” The pupils who do attend St. Martha’s are equally fortunate. The school has an unusually wide-ranging and diverse culture, with no fewer than 16 different


languages, which truly enriches the experience of its children. “We like to celebrate other cultures’ feast days with national foods and games and dancing,” says Aidan. “At those times, it’s really rewarding for the children to socialise with other children wearing their national costume; it’s something you simply can’t get from a book.” And when it comes to books, St. Martha’s has an impressive record of academic achievement – being consistently one of the top performing schools in West Norfolk. That’s largely due to the efforts of Aidan and his staff to provide a truly inspirational educational experience. The school has a strong reputation for the performing arts, and over the last year its choir of around 45 children have sung live on the radio, performed

OPEN DAYS St. Martha’s will be holding a series of open days later this year for the September 2018 intake. The days take place on Wednesday October 11th at 9.30am, Thursday 12th at 1.30pm, Monday 16th at 9.30am and Tuesday 17th at 1.30pm. Please contact the school to book an appointment. St Martha’s Catholic Primary School Field Lane, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE30 4AY. Telephone 01553 774829, e-mail office@st-marthas.norfolk.sch.uk or visit the school’s website at www.st-marthas.norfolk.sch.uk

KLmagazine September 2017

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KLmagazine September 2017

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KLmagazine September 2017

Letting Better 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

Independent Lettings & Property Management Specialists

QUI CK FAC TS Relationship expert Hellen Chen quoted at a recent lecture that 85% of relationships and 50% of marriages end in separation.

Broken Hearts & Homes


hen relationships breakdown and couples want to continue their lives separately one of the main things that can prevent this from going smoothly is a tenancy agreement. “Can you take my name off the tenancy?” is a question frequently presented to us in these circumstances with the negative answer to this being the most common. So, I have decided that it would be useful this month to explain the reasons why letting agents very often can’t release you from a tenancy agreement. Firstly, a tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract with a minimum defined term (usually 6 or 12 months). Where both the landlord and tenants are maintaining their contractual obligations without default the only option in law for the abolition of the agreement prematurely would be due to the death of the tenants. This may sound extreme but hopefully demonstrates just how serious a tenancy agreement is in the eyes of the law. Where both tenants want to vacate the property, the agent will usually

speak to the landlord, explain the circumstances and suggest that they consider agreeing to what is known as mutual dissolution. This is where both parties to the tenancy agree to end the agreement earlier than would otherwise be permitted. Included within this arrangement are typically provisions that the outgoing tenants pay the cost premium that the landlord incurs from the agent for finding a tenant, and also that they continue to pay rent for the property up to the day preceding the start of the new tenancy agreement so that the landlord suffers no loss of rent. Although arrangements are often made in this manner there is no obligation for the landlord to agree to do this so any financial obligations introduced (whether they seem fair or not at the time) should be considered positive if they are releasing you from the greater burden of honouring the contract for a property that you no longer require. Should one half of the couple wish to remain at the property this can be a lot more complicated. To be able to rent a property one of the main qualifying

criteria which enables tenants to progress through the referencing procedure is that they collectively have a minimum annual income to satisfy the property’s insurers that they can afford the lease and are a good risk. If by removing one half of a couple from a tenancy agreement the remaining tenant didn’t meet the minimum income requirement the agent will not be permitted to do it as he will void the landlord’s insurance. In this instance it may be possible to introduce a guarantor onto the agreement or accept a lump sum payment from the outgoing tenant for their proportion of the shortfall on the rent at least until the end of the contractual term. If a suitably compliant compromise cannot be reached then both tenants will have to remain on the contract until the original end date. This can be a very frustrating situation for someone to find themselves in but it is important to remain calm and be as honest about your situation as possible with your agent or landlord when they are trying to help you.

Edmonton Estates Ltd, St Ann’s House, 18 St Ann’s Street, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE30 1LT 01553 660615 | www.edmontonestates.co.uk | info@edmontonestates.co.uk

KLmagazine September 2017


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Timber Services (UK) Ltd

A superb choice of timber and a service to match! Whatever the job, Timber Services (UK) have the wood you’re looking for


or almost 20 years, Timber Services (UK) in King’s Lynn has been supplying high quality timber products to everyone from the general public to national construction businesses. By building solid and lasting relationships with both suppliers and customers, Timber Services (UK) can always supply the very best quality timber at very competitive rates. Whatever the project and whatever the purpose, Timber Services (UK) can ensure it comes to a successful, goodlooking and long-lasting completion. In addition to construction, joinery and planed timber, Timber Services (UK)

offers a comprehensive range of interior and exterior cladding boards and sheet materials such as plywood, chipboard and MDF. That’s on top of what’s probably the biggest choice of fencing panels in the area (over 20 different styles!) together with posts and supports – and a comprehensive selection of gates from small garden gates to large five-bar field gates. And for the perfect finishing touch, Timber Services (UK) always stocks a range of high quality decking and sleepers and a superb collection of hardwood flooring in a vast range of

finishes and colours. Using our wealth of knowledge and experience in the timber supply trade, our experts are here to help you find the perfect products – whatever you’re looking for. Our customer service is second to none as well – we’ll give you all the help and advice you need and even help you load your trailer or van! And if your timber products won’t fit in your car, we can deliver them direct to your home – free of charge on orders over £200. Whatever you’re building and whatever wood you’re looking for, look no further than Timber Services (UK).

Timber Services (UK) Ltd, Horsley’s Fields, Hardwick Road, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE30 5DD Telephone: 01553 760000 E-mail: sales@timberservicesuk.com Website: www.timberservicesuk.com KLmagazine September 2017


African elephant numbers have plummeted more than 95% over the past century. 100 more will be killed today.


Local Life

ABOVE: Daryll Pleasants with Bandit, the star anti-poaching dog at Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania – the former soldier from North Walsham founded Animals Saving Animals to join the fight against the devastating effects of poaching

Why Daryll’s dogs are conservation’s best friend It’s hard to believe the international trade in ivory was banned almost 30 years ago. Clare Bee meets a man from Norfolk whose specially-trained dogs are working on the anti-poaching frontline


ne elephant is killed in Africa every 15 minutes. That’s 100 a day. An average of three rhinos a day are killed for their horns. These shocking statistics are some of the reasons behind the foundation of Animals Saving Animals. The UK project, founded in July 2016 by North Walsham man Daryll Pleasants, is making a real difference in the fight against the ivory and rhino horn trades. The idea is simple; take some of the best tracking dogs in the world, train them to work in the African bush and let them take you to the poachers. They are turning the poachers from hunters

KLmagazine September 2017

into the hunted. After working at Banham Zoo from the age of 16, Daryll served with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps for eight years as a dog trainer, working with military dogs in the UK and abroad, and also spent a year with the Army dog display team. But it was when he went to Kenya five years ago and saw for himself the carnage and the cruelty caused by poachers, mainly on elephants and black rhinos, that he decided he wanted to get involved and try to make a change. After volunteering with various conservancies on and off for a while, he decided that by starting ASA (Animals Saving Animals) as a full-time

organisation, he would be able to put his skills to better use and make a difference now. “When we talk of conservation we generally look at it with a view towards preservation for future generations,” says Daryll. “But if the poaching epidemic continues at its current rate we’ll see the demise of the African elephant and black rhino within ten years.” The dogs Daryll uses are Belgian Malinois, a sub-breed of the Belgian Shepherd. They are the infantry version of attack dogs and have a high drive to attack. The dogs’ initial operational training takes place in the UK under ASA supervision, which can take between six


Local Life

and ten months. They are then considered to be three quarters trained, and are posted to the relevant unit in Africa, where they continue their training under Daryll’s direction in the hands of experienced handlers. When fully trained, each dog will have two handlers, and live in close proximity to them. Although the dogs are given one day of rest in seven, they thrive on activity and enjoy their on going training. “They are very much like border collies,” explains Daryll. “They want to be constantly on the go and need to be working.” In fact, they are on a par with border collies in intelligence, with above average problem-solving skills and the ability to work out solutions. Daryll is normally contacted by wildlife conservation organisations who have heard about his and his dogs’ level of expertise. One such, The Save (pronounced sah-vey) Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe covers an area of 3,400 square kilometres and places special emphasis on conserving rare wildlife. When approached by them, Daryll was more than happy to provide two anti-poaching dogs with four handlers to complement their regular poaching patrols. These dogs fulfill dual tracker and apprehension roles, and with their handlers form an important part of the conservancy protection operation. ASA now has 21 anti-poaching dogs in Africa, based in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, and from November there will also be units in Botswana. In addition, later this year, dogs will be deployed in India, where


the poaching of tigers is on the rise. With the dogs often right in the frontline of poaching, Daryll is often asked whether any of his animals have ever been injured or killed. “The answer is never,”says Daryll, “and there are three reasons for that; they wear ballistic armour, they’re not put in live fire situations, and they’re below the grass line. As agile, fast-moving animals, they don’t run in straight lines, and can get up to speeds of 30 kilometres per hour.” The poachers also know there is a whole task force behind the dogs, and will either surrender or run. “90% of them tend to surrender!” says Daryll. Of course, training antipoaching dogs is a costly business, and

ASA is hugely grateful to all its supporters and sponsors. As a not-forprofit organisation, all donations and support goes directly (after costs) towards the training of the dogs. With each dog costing over US $1,000 per year to feed and provide veterinary care, plus protective clothing for the dogs and their handlers, individual and corporate sponsorship is vital. Several local businesses, as well as national and international celebrities are backing Daryll’s work, and ASA also offers a ‘sponsor a dog’ scheme, whereby members of the public can contribute to the costs. Each sponsor receives a certificate of adoption, a fact sheet about their chosen dog and a welcome letter from Daryll. In order to further raise the profile of ASA, Daryll is also taking part in the Explorers Against Extinction Gala Evening to be held at the Royal Geographic Society in London next month. Hosted by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Daryll will be joining other wildlife experts and conservationists in an evening in aid of funding two antipoaching dogs for a conservancy in Africa. Wildlife crime and poaching is sadly on the increase and these magnificent animals face an uncertain future. Animals saving Animals are crucial in providing anti-poaching dogs in this constant battle to tackle these crimes and help towards preserving our wild animals for now and for generations to come. For more information on the amazing work carried out by Daryll and his antipoaching dogs, go to the website at www.animalssavinganimals.org

KLmagazine September 2017

Amazing Africa

West Norfolk Travel

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KLmagazine September 2017

Tel: 01553 772910 | Web: www.westnorfolktravel.co.uk 23 Nursery Lane, South Wootton, King’s Lynn PE30 3NG


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KLmagazine September 2017


AnimalMatters Our monthly look at the issues concerning you and your pets with Alex Dallas of the London Road Veterinary Centre...


oveable youngster Russell has been in the care of Cats Protection Downham Market for over 4 months now, with Staff at the rescue wondering if he’ll ever find his “special someone”. A real cheeky chap, playful, inquisitive and full of charm – he’d need a home with older people and lots of outside space to enjoy. Russell has had a full health check at London Road vets, neutered, vaccinated and micro chipped too! If you could offer Russell some long awaited freedom, please call the adoption centre on 01366 382311.

Microchipping matters! M icrochipping of dogs became compulsory in April 2016 and I am happy to report that the majority of dogs we see are chipped. It is not compulsory to microchip cats at the moment; however some animal charities are calling for the law to be extended to include cats. Sadly more than four million cats – about two in every five - are not microchipped, according PDSA veterinary charity, which tells cat owners that getting their animals chipped is the “responsible thing to do”. At our veterinary practice we would certainly love to see all cats microchipped too and recently we had a wonderful incident which reminds us all why it is so important. A cat was brought into us at The Hollies as a stray; someone had found her and was taking very good care of her. However, she was very tame and they realised that she may be someone’s pet and they would be missing her. So they did the right thing, they brought her into our practice to

see if she had a microchip, which indeed she did. When we called the microchip company they gave us the owners’ details, the cats name and a telephone number to call. When one of our veterinary nurses made the call the lady at the other end thought we must be kidding! It was the last thing she was expecting. Her cat Willow had gone missing 14 months earlier, and despite much searching, they had finally given up hope, they thought they would never see her again. An hour later Willow and her owner, Mrs Spraggins, were reunited amidst tears, smiles and jubilation. Once back at home Willow made her way straight to the water bowl, had a drink and then curled up in her old bed, where she stayed for the next 48 hours! ‘Luna’, her litter mate was also pleased

to see her and the siblings are back to eating out of the same bowl. ‘It was such a lovely surprise for my husband and children’ said Mrs Spraggins, ‘We are blown away, we just keep looking at her, asleep on our daughter’s bed just like old times, and thinking how lucky we are’ Microchips are fantastic for bringing about this sort of tale. If your cat hasn’t yet been chipped ask us about having it done; it could make a huge difference.

London Road Vets



LONDON ROAD 25 London Road, King’s Lynn telephone: 01553 773168 e-mail: info@lrvc.co.uk HOLLIES Paradise Road, Downham Market telephone: 01366 386655 e-mail: info@holliesvetclinic.co.uk

KLmagazine September 2017



t: 01553 617666 | Lynn Road, St Germans, King’s Lynn PE34 3EU | www.doubledaygroup.co.uk Holbeach: 01406 540261 | Swineshead: 01205 822440


KLmagazine September 2017



Reclaiming your garden from old tree stumps... How the expertise of Heritage Tree Services can free your garden from unsightly hazards with professional stump grinding and removal


nwanted tree stumps in your garden can be more than unsightly. They can be a genuine hazard for people and lawnmowers, and can put the best gardening projects on hold – whether you’re thinking of a new patio or a spot of re-landscaping. Tree stumps can take many years to decay and very often re-growth will persist annually. Moreover, remaining roots make the soil unworkable and re-planting can be difficult. One of the greatest and most common problems in stump removal is the garden’s accessibility – as many modern homes simply don’t have enough room to accommodate large equipment. It’s not a problem for Dan Ashton and his experienced team at Heritage Tree Specialists in King’s Lynn, however. “The machinery we use is very powerful and effective, but it’s also extremely manoeuvrable,” he says. “It can actually pass through a gap of only 25 inches, so it’s perfect for getting into most domestic gardens.”

KLmagazine September 2017

The non-invasive process (which grinds the old stump to a fine mulch) doesn’t harm adjacent plants or roots, and is also the perfect answer to troublesome surface roots than can run across and disrupt the surface of the lawn. “It’s not at all unusual for stumps to lay over or very close to utilities,” says Dan, “so we always scan the ground with a cable avoidance tool first to ensure the only thing that gets damaged is the stump itself.” Dan and his team also uses speciallydesigned screens and guards to protect the rest of garden and neighbouring structures from the resulting wood chippings, which they’ll remove for you on completion, leaving you with a clean, level and hazard-free garden. For a safe, effective and trouble-free approach to stump removal – or any other of the team’s extensive tree care services – contact Heritage Tree Specialists now for free professional advice and a fixed quotation.

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Heritage Tree Specialists Willow Farm Industrial Units, Lynn Road, Saddlebow, King’s Lynn PE34 3AR Tel: 01553 617008 Web: www.heritagetreespecialists.co.uk E-mail: info@heritagetreespecialists.co.uk



ABOVE: Flowers such as anemone blanda make a start to spring – as does the distinctive eremurus (Foxtail lily) opposite

Plant bulbs now for a spectacular spring show Although you may be tempted to relax and enjoy the final weeks of your summer garden, this is the perfect time to start planning for spring. Wendy Warner explains how to get the best results...


s we’re still holding on to the remnants of summer and some of us haven’t had our holidays yet, you could be forgiven for not having spring uppermost in your mind at the moment – but now is the perfect time to be planning your garden for next spring. What better way to fill up your garden economically, and brighten it up at one of the dullest times of the year, than with spring-flowering bulbs? Planting them as a dry bulb in the autumn is a cheaper way (and gives you

KLmagazine September 2017

greater choice of availability) than buying potted, ready-flowering bulbs in spring. Bulbs can be incorporated into your beds and borders amongst existing plants. Small bulbs such as anemone blanda, iris reticulata, dwarf narcissi and snowdrops will give great spring colour on the rockery or at the fronts of borders. Snowdrops, aconites and cyclamen will grow well under deciduous trees and large shrubs as they thrive naturally in a woodland setting. Daffodils and tulips will give great colour

amongst shrubs in a mixed border as they’ll be flowering before most shrubs and perennials are breaking into leaf and flower. Also, under-plant autumn and winter pots, containers and hanging baskets with bulbs to give an extra boost of colour in the spring. Many people think of bulbs as having a short flowering season, but it’s possible to make your spring bulb display continue from January to June – and that’s before the start of the summer bulbs in late June! Snowdrops and aconites are your early starters often



ABOVE: Other beautiful ideas for spring flowers are Cyclamen coum, snowdrops (inset) and the spectacular and aptly-named snakeshead fritillaries (below right)

flowering through the snow in January, and followed by crocus and irises in February – along with the early species narcissi and scillas. March brings on the first early-flowering tulips and more daffodils with April and May being the months for main tulip displays, snakeshead fritillaries, and bluebells. Alliums and eremurus (foxtail lilies) come into their own in June, giving six months of colour from bulbs. If you’re not sure where you want to position your bulbs in the autumn (when it’s planting time) why not plant them in pots so they can start growing and then position them in the border at flowering time? Once you’re sure you have the right position, you can then plant them in the ground after flowering: just dig a large hole and plant the whole root-ball without disturbing the individual bulbs. Another idea is to plant them in plastic mesh baskets. You can plant the whole thing in the ground and the bulbs are contained if you ever want to move them; yet they’re getting the moisture needed from the surrounding soil without rotting off. Your bulbs can be planted from September to December, avoiding 54

frozen ground. Earliest flowering varieties such as snowdrops should be planted first with late flowering tulips preferring to be planted in November. Don’t worry if you buy your bulbs and put them in such a safe place that you forget to plant them on time – we’ve all done it! As long as they haven’t dried out too much they can be planted as late as February; they’ll just flower much later and not as profusely in their first year, but they should perform properly the following spring. Most bulbs require free-draining soil, so if you have heavy clay soil add a little sand, grit and compost when planting. To give a good display, bulbs should be planted in groups of at least six. When planting bulbs, size does matter! The bigger the bulbs, the higher the yield of bigger, more beautiful flowers. You’ll see cheap bulbs for sale in market stalls and supermarkets, but they’ll usually be significantly smaller, lower-grade bulbs. So now you know all their benefits, it’s time to choose what you want. There are very few rules when it comes to putting bulbs together – anything goes! They can look great in colour blocks of the same variety (such as a bank of

yellow daffodils) or a colour-themed display (by choosing all white-flowering bulbs such as crocus, anemone blanda, white narcissi, tulips and hyacinths). Using two contrasting colours together such as blue and yellow works well, and so does a complete mixed colour palette – the choice is yours! If you’re growing bulbs in a pot, plant a ‘bulb lasagne’, so called due to the method of layering the bulbs in the compost. It’s ideal if you have limited space, and you should choose bulbs that will flower together or in succession throughout the spring. Pick three or four types of bulb that will grow to different heights. Try dwarf iris, species narcissi and a taller tulip. Use the largest pot available and put a layer of grit in the bottom for drainage, then add bulb fibre or bulb planting compost. The largest, latest-flowering bulbs should be planted first, then covered with a layer of compost, and this should be repeated with the smallest, earliest-flowering bulbs in the top layer. If you can’t decide, look out for the Perfect for Pots collection from Taylors Bulbs that will be available in the garden centre. So with all this in mind, now is the perfect time to start planning for a spectacular show next spring. Wendy Warner is Manager of Thaxters Garden Centre at 49 Hunstanton Road, Dersingham PE31 6NA. Visit the website at www.thaxters.co.uk or telephone 01485 541514

KLmagazine September 2017


Firewood supplied & stumps removed

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Start planting spring bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, snowdrops, irises & alliums. Remember the bigger the bulb, the better the flowers!

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Refill hanging baskets & containers with pansies, cyclamen, heathers & small shrubs as summer ones start to go over – don’t forget to under-plant with spring bulbs Hang wasp traps in fruit trees so you can enjoy the fruit rather than them! Use gutter & drain guards to stop leaves clogging them up

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KLmagazine September 2017

Protect fruit trees & bushes against pests with winter wash & grease bands

Visit Thaxters for everything you’ll need for your garden...

and don’t forget to visit our coffee shop for a relaxing slice of cake or scone! Evergreen Autumn 400m2 2 for £40 NOW IN STOCK

Spring flowering bulbs, Wild bird care & Pansies

Garden Centre & Coffee Shop 49 Hunstanton Road, Dersingham, King’s Lynn PE31 6NA www.thaxters.co.uk | Tel: 01485 541514


fashion Nothing makes the end of the summer more bearable than the arrival of the Autumn/Winter collections, and this year is no exception. The weather may be getting colder and gloomier, but the best of our local boutiques are packed with bright new ideas and fabulous styles...


Cranberry & Navy Pleated Lace Dress (£130) by French Connection GODDARDS | King’s Lynn 01553 772382 KLmagazine September 2017


Outfit by Olsen SHEILA TILLER | Long Sutton 01406 363433 KLmagazine September 2017



Cheltenham Tweed Coat (£208) by Joules THE HAYLOFT at BEARTS | Stowbridge 01366 388151 58

KLmagazine September 2017


Stockists of Contemporary Fashions, Handbags, Shoes, Accessories & Lingerie New Season pieces now in from a range of exclusive continental brands Fashions: 13 Market Place, Long Sutton Tel: 01406 363 433 Shoes: 7 Market Place, Long Sutton Tel: 01406 364 128

Closed all day Wednesday www.sheilatiller.co.uk

The Fent Shop By appointment to Her Majesty The Queen Purveyor of Dress Fabrics and Haberdashery P.F.Day & Son King’s Lynn

Gift vouche r available s any am in ount

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T: 01553 768613 | W: www.thefentshopkingslynn.co.uk KLmagazine September 2017

• Interior Design • Bespoke curtains and blinds • Upholstery Service • All types of blinds • Curtain poles and tracks • Fabrics from leading brands

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Poncho by Marble CINDYS | Sutton Bridge 01406 350961 60

KLmagazine September 2017

country clothing store at bearts of stowbridge new season, new styles, new colours TEL: 01366 388151 WEB: www.bearts.co.uk Brighton Mill, Stow Bridge, King’s Lynn PE34 3PD

Robell Autumn trousers now available at Cindy’s

Cindy’s of Sutton Bridge

108 Bridge Road, Sutton Bridge 01406 350961 Closed Wednesday & Sunday www.cindysfashions.co.uk follow us on Facebook KLmagazine September 2017



Coat and Dress by Pomodoro ALLEZ CHIC | Castle Rising 01553 631915 62

KLmagazine September 2017

Lings Country Goods for all your country pursuits

Wide range of top brand country clothing • BARBOUR • DUBARRY • PAMPEANO • SCHÖFFEL • LE CHAMEAU • TOGGI • MUSTO • HUCKLECOTE • SEELAND • WRENDALE Also stocking guns, ammunition & shooting accessories

Morton ATV

all terrain and utility terrain vehicles Heath Farm, Great Massingham PE32 2HJ www.lingscountrygoods.co.uk www.mortonatv.com | Tel: 01485 520828

KLmagazine September 2017


Local Life

ABOVE: Mercedes Gleitze starts from Folkestone on her seventh attempt to swim the English Channel. Although she was unsuccessful, her next attempt saw her become the first British woman to cross the channel, swimming from France to England in 15 hours and 15 minutes.

The woman who swam her way into history... 90 years ago, Mercedes Gleitze became the first British woman to swim across the English Channel. Clare Bee looks at the life of a remarkable swimming talent and her links with west Norfolk


he North Sea is usually warm enough in the middle of summer to brave its cold waters for a quick dip while on holiday. But one woman spent over 13 hours in these waters while swimming across the Wash from Skegness to Heacham. Her brave achievement secured her a place in the history books, as the first person ever to swim across the Wash. Mercedes Gleitze was born to German immigrant parents in Brighton in 1900. Although she spent time in KLmagazine September 2017

Bavaria with her grandparents (along with her two elder sisters) and was partly educated in Germany, Mercedes principally grew up in England. With her bilingual background and education, she moved to London to work as a secretary and stenographer, and took up swimming in the River Thames in her spare time. This was the start of her record-breaking swims, and by 1923 she’d set a British ladies’ record of 10 hours 45 minutes swimming in the Thames. Mercedes then set her sights on

swimming the English Channel, and eventually succeeded on her eighth attempt on October 7th 1927, becoming the first English woman to do so. Her record was immediately challenged in the following days by another woman who claimed to have set a faster time. However, this claim proved to be a hoax, but had the effect of spurring Mercedes on to prove how good a swimmer she was, and her swimming career subsequently took off. In the following year, she became the 65

Local Life

LEFT: Mercedes Gleitze on 6th April 1938 during her successful attempt to become the first woman to swim the Straits of Gibraltar. She also helped launch Rolex’s famous Oyster, the first waterproof watch – and this is the one she wore on her Channel-crossing swim

first person to swim the Straits of Gibraltar between Europe and North Africa – in a time of 12 hours and 50 minutes. It was also at this time that Mercedes’ associations with West Norfolk began. She was invited to open the new Bathing Pool in Hunstanton in May 1928 and appeared alongside local MP Lord Fermoy to do the honours. Whilst in Hunstanton, she was invited to return at some point to attempt to swim The Wash, a feat which had not yet been successfully completed. She agreed and returned the following year, swimming from Skegness to Heacham, successfully accomplishing the swim on her second attempt on July 29th 1929. She’d initially planned to land at Hunstanton, but the tides weren’t in her favour and she was swept along the coast to come ashore at Heacham, in a time of just over 13 hours. Mercedes’ strength was in endurance swimming, and over the following years she achieved many long distance swims and broke many records. In an era before modern day aviation, she travelled extensively throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to establish new records. She swam 100 miles around the Isle of Man, swam for over 48 hours in a 1931 competition in Sydney harbour and also became the first person to swim to Robben Island and back to Cape Town. When she first took up endurance swimming, the record stood at 26 hours. Over the years, Mercedes extended this record, often appearing at swimming baths, where the crowds would roar her on and encourage her


by singing together. Over her career she completed 51 endurance swims, with 25 of them taking at least 26 hours to complete. She extended her endurance record to 45 hours in 1931 and eventually retired in 1932, by which time she had extended it yet again to 46 hours. Throughout her career, Mercedes was sponsored by Rolex watches, who had patented the first waterproof wristwatch in 1926. Following the challenge to her Channel swim, she agreed to undertake a ‘vindication swim’, and although she didn’t complete it (the water was much colder than on her original swim) she agreed to wear the new Rolex Oyster watch, albeit tied around her neck rather than on her wrist!

A journalist reported it in the London Times as follows: “Hanging round her neck by a riband on this swim, Miss Gleitze carried a small gold watch, which was found this evening to have kept good time throughout.” It withstood the cold and was consequently used to launch an advertising campaign in Britain. To this day, her name continues to be used in the company’s publicity. Mercedes made a good living from this sponsorship, and so was able in 1933 to help those less fortunate, by opening the first Mercedes Gleitze Home in Leicester. This was a large house which was converted into flats for homeless families. She was supported in her projects by the Rotary Club, who were involved in a scheme to help families move from the north of England to Leicester where they were able to find work. She founded several more homes that were used by homeless British people throughout the 1930s. In 1939 they were used to house homeless Czech families, but were destroyed by Second World War bombing in 1940. Her charity still continues, however, helping to alleviate the effects of homelessness. As well as her illustrious swimming career, Mercedes married engineer Patrick Carey in 1930 and raised three children. A newsreel film of her wedding records her as saying that after the ceremony she was going straight off to Turkey to swim the Hellespont, nowadays known as the Dardanelles. It seems that you could take the girl out of the water, but not for long!

KLmagazine September 2017























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KLmagazine September 2017

Food & Drink

Chicken and pork terrine with prunes, pistachios & carrot salad Serves: 8 as light lunch or starter INGREDIENTS Terrine 2 finely diced shallots 1 tbsp butter 100ml white wine 300g diced chicken breast 300g sausagemeat 150g pistachios 200g prunes roughly chopped Small handful of thyme 15 slices smoked streaky bacon Carrot puree 4 carrots 200ml milk 200ml cream 1tbsp honey 50g butter Pickled carrots 150ml water 200ml white wine vinegar 159g sugar 5 juniper berries 6 carrots

METHOD For the terrine Fry the shallots in the butter until soft but not coloured. Add the wine and reduce the volume by half. In a large bowl place, the chicken, sausagemeat, pistachios, prunes, cooled shallot mixture and thyme leaves. Mix well and set aside. Grease a 1.5 litre terrine mould with melted butter. Lightly stretch the bacon rashers and use most of them to line the mould, overlapping slightly and leaving plenty of overhang at the top. Pack the meat mixture into the mould, then fold over the bacon overhang and lay the reserved rashers on top. Chill for 6 hours before cooking. Cover the terrine with baking parchment, then cover tightly with foil. Place in a roasting tin and pour enough hot water into the roasting tin to come halfway up the sides of the mould. Cook in an oven at 140°c for 2 hours or until a probe reaches 74°c. Once cooked remove from the oven. Cut a piece of cardboard the same size as the top of the terrine and place on it. Add weights to the cardboard such as food tins to press it. Leave to chill overnight.

For the carrot puree Peel and finely dice the carrots and place in a saucepan. Cover with the milk and cream and put on a low heat. Cook until the carrots have cooked though and the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce consistency. Blitz in a food processor adding in the butter and honey until a puree consistency. Pass through a fine sieve and decant into a bottle and chill in the fridge. For the pickled carrots Place the water, vinegar, sugar and berries into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile peel the carrots and create ribbons using a potato peeler. Place the ribbons into a sterilised jar. Take the pickling liquor off the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes and pour over the carrots. Leave to cool, seal the lid and chill. To assemble Cut the terrine into chunky slices, serve with the carrot puree, pickled carrots and crusty bread.

Recipe by Daniel Freear, Head Chef at Strattons Ash Close, Swaffham PE37 7NH Tel: 01760 723845 Web: www.strattonshotel.co.uk KLmagazine September 2017



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KLmagazine September 2017

Food & Drink

White Chocolate Rocky Road INGREDIENTS 800g white chocolate 50g mini marshmallows 100g desiccated coconut 100g dried cranberries 80g pistachios shelled 100g ginger nuts chopped

METHOD 1 Line a deep, rectangle baking tray with parchment paper and set aside. 2 Place a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. Break up the white chocolate and place in the bowl to melt, stirring occasionally so it does not burn. 3 Meanwhile shell the pistachio nuts and chop the ginger nuts. Add both to a separate bowl. Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the bowl of pistachios and ginger nuts and mix well.

4 Stir the chocolate until melted and smooth, then pour over the dry ingredients. Give everything a good stir and transfer into the prepared tin. 5 Sprinkle over a little coconut and place in a refrigerator to set. 6 Once set, cut into squares with a sharp knife and serve.

Recipe by The Folly Tearoom 4 Hopper’s Yard, Bull Street, Holt NR25 6LN Tel: 01263 713569 Web: www.follytearoom.co.uk KLmagazine September 2017




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KLmagazine September 2017

Tapas Menu Lau 25th nching at M Augus a t ssey &


Sesame Cured Tuna “ This dish is part of my new Tapas menu at Massey & Co. We serve it with our own smoked wild mushrooms and a handful of fresh chopped chives, although raw mushrooms work just as well too!

Serves: 2 INGREDIENTS 200g fresh tuna loin 1 lemon, zest and juice 1 lime, zest 1 tbsp sea salt 1 tbsp caster sugar 1 tbsp sesame seeds 1 tbsp dark soy sauce

METHOD 1 Combine all the ingredients together, and then rub the cure all over the tuna. 2 Wrap tightly in cling film and refrigerate overnight.

3 To serve, unwrap the tuna, then carefully wipe the excess cure off the tuna with kitchen paper. Slice as thin as you can using a very sharp knife, and serve with thinly sliced raw wild mushrooms and freshly chopped chives.

Recipe by Trevor Clark Head Chef at Duke’s Head Hotel

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KLmagazine September 2017

Food & Drink


A KL magazine reader reviews the Bank House in King’s Lynn verlooking the South Quay and famous Custom House in King’s Lynn, Bank House is set within the town’s most charming and historical quarter. Stretching back to the 17th century, the Grade II listed house has a long and fascinating history, originally being built in 1682 for one of the town’s richest merchants and gaining its current name in the 1780s when Joseph Gurney set up his first bank there. The establishment’s success (it was recently voted Town Pub of the Year 2017 in the Good Pub Guide) is thanks to the work and vision of Jeanette and Anthony Goodrich, who’ve brought a contemporary flourish to the fine old building, creating a thriving eating and drinking venue with 11 beautiful bedrooms and a number of private meeting and dining rooms. The menu offers variety of starters, mains and desserts taking advantage of our area’s great local produce. I started with the smoked salmon tartare with avocado, cucumber sour cream and sourdough toast. If you’re a fan of dishes containing smoked salmon, this is a great little twist that’s both light and refreshing.


KLmagazine September 2017

The texture of the finely-cut salmon and ripe avocado went perfectly with the slight crunch of the toasted sourdough slice. My partner chose the black pudding and duck croquette with apple succotash, which was a lovely combination of meats – the succotash adding a refreshingly fruity complement to the heavy meatiness of the croquet. For main, I chose the herb-crusted hake fillet with mussels, sunblushed tomato pesto and pappardelle. The fish was very flaky and tasty, made even more flavourful by the herb crust – while the pesto and pappardelle was a great combination, all topped off by the indulgence of the mussels. My partner went for the slow roast pork belly with white truffle oil mash, maple glazed pears and parsnips, green beans and cider jus. The meat (sourced from Wisbech) was delicious, juicy and packed with flavour; the crackling was perfectly crispy without being hard and the pears were simply delicious. For dessert I chose the hazelnut treacle tart with coconut ice cream, which was perfectly soft with a slightly sticky filling made crunchy by the hazelnut. My partner went for the coconut pannacotta and pineapple compote with

blackcurrant sauce – and couldn’t speak highly enough of it. The pannacotta was really light, so it was a nice way to end the meal as it didn’t overpower the tastes of the food before it, but the lightness was offset by the sharp acidic sauce. There’s no doubt that the dishes at Bank House are all beautifully presented, but when Head Chef Stuart Deuchars kindly came to ask if we’d enjoyed our meals, he told us that making the taste number one is his priority. “For me, it’s about flavour first,” he said. “You take the best ingredients you can and then you build a dish around them – that’s the most important thing. Good looks are an added extra!” If you’re looking for somewhere to go for a special occasion – a romantic meal, family celebration or an evening out with friends – Bank House is pefect in every department.







BANK HOUSE King’s Staithe Square, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE30 1RD Tel: 01553 660492 Web: www.thebankhouse.co.uk



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Open Mon-Sat 9-5 Sun 2-4 KLmagazine September 2017

Food & Drink

l i a t k Coocf the h t n o M

St~Germain A delightfully refreshing long drink St~Germain - a French liqueur flavoured with elderflower blossom. Part of the beauty of St~Germain’s is in the beautifully structured bottle. This drink was designed as an apéritif - an alcoholic beverage usually served before a sumptuous meal to stimulate the appetite, however this drink is deliciously refreshing at any time of the day or night. The French have perfected l’aperitif as a way of life! In France, you would serve this with Champagne or a crisp Sauvignon blanc in place of the Prosecco. YOU WILL NEED • Tall glass • Prosecco, Champagne or dry white wine • St~Germain – Elderflower liqueur • soda water or sparkling water • Lemon (optional garnish) • Ice • Spoon, straw or swizzle stick to stir METHOD 1 ¾ fill a tall glass with ice. 2 Add the Prosecco first, then the St~Germain.

INGREDIENTS Serves 1 75ml Prosecco 50ml St~Germain 75ml Soda

4 Garnish with a lemon peel twist, straw and stirrer. 5 Sit back and relax!

3 Top up with soda and stir slowly. WHY NOT TRY A ST-GERMAIN CARAFE? Choose your favourite jug or carafe and adapt the measurements to suit the size: 2 parts Prosecco, Champagne or dry white wine 1 ½ parts St~Germain 2 parts soda water or sparkling water Share with friends or just be selfish!

Recipe by The Kings Arms Coaching Inn 21 Market Street, Swaffham PE37 7LA Tel: 01760 723244 Web: www.kingsarmscoachinginn.co.uk KLmagazine September 2017



Food & Drink

ABOVE: DewHopper from the Norfolk Brewhouse is a 3.8% ABV light golden lager, offering a crisp, hoppy finish. The fruity aroma of the lager is achieved using three hops traditionally used in continental beers: Hallertauer Hersbrucker, Saaz and Styrian Goldings – together with barley from Norfolk

Saying cheers to some of Norfolk’s finest beers Norfolk produces some of the finest wines and beers in the whole country, and the Norfolk Brewhouse will soon be only be brewing with ingredients grown on home soil, as Sylvia Steele discovers...


ravel along the by-road between the ripening barley fields on the outskirts of Hindringham and you’re in Moon Gazer Country – so named after the brown hares that frequent the fields and now comprise the logo of the Norfolk Brewhouse. It was five years ago that David and Rachel Holliday, seeking ways to expand their joint interest in the brewery industry, explored the hidden

KLmagazine September 2017

potential of their own surroundings and in particular the redundant barn adjacent to their farmhouse. David was in brewery marketing at that time whilst Rachel had a lifetime experience of family pub ownership and, here, in the centre of the county’s best malting-barley region and with a chalk-filtered well beneath the 19th century barn, was the ideal setting for a micro-brewery. Most of the makings of the ale were readily accessible, but

what about the hops? Usually associated with Kent and other counties, Norfolk isn’t noted for its hop-fields. Nevertheless, when invited to present a talk to the Sheringham Horticultural Society last year, David spoke of his aspiration to create a truly North Norfolk beer. He impressed the Society members with his passion for the Maris Otter barley that thrives in the coastal climate and soil, and the upshot of his talk was the


Food & Drink

amalgamation of a team of enthusiastic amateur horticulturists who have now created their own hop garden. “A group of us identified a plot of unused land on the Beeston Allotments,” he says. “With the guidance of hop merchant Charles Faram, we learned which hops would grow best here and the plants are now in the soil – with the first crop of hops expected in September 2018.” David and Rachel see this achievement as a real sense of the community getting together. “In producing our beer we’ll literally be using only ingredients from North Norfolk,” says David. This community spirit is what encouraged their production of a limited edition beer to commemorate the lifetime of much-loved local man Anthony Bowen, a street performer known affectionately as Juggling Jim to his many friends in the area. “We did the easy bit and were happy to work with a team from Beers of Europe on the project,” says David. The donations raised in Anthony’s memory were contributed to the Lavender Hill Mob Theatre Company, a local group associated with the King’s Lynn art and entertainment world. In their vast barn with its state of the art technology, David talks of that first day in his new job.


“It was all a bit overwhelming at first, especially when we thought about the commitment we had put into this business,” he says. “We regard brewing as a craft, but it’s also a science with elements to get the product just right.” Almost before their first brew of Norfolk ale in February 2012, they had devised names for their beers inspired by the countryside around them. Moon Gazer and Stubble Stag (a local name for the hare) devised by the stunning sight of these creatures in the fields standing as if transfixed by moonlight, are but two. In 2014, Norfolk Brewhouse participated in a Foundation East delegation promoting local produce at the Houses of Parliament to highlight

the importance of locally-sourced food and drink. At the Society of Independent Brewers Awards in 2016, Norfolk Brewhouse received two gold awards for Moon Gazer Ale and Stubble Stag Premium Lager, with Moon Gazer DewHopper awarded a silver. This recognition led to a showcase at the Norwich City of Ale Festival where Moon Gazer Golden Ale was chosen as a guest ale on the Palace of Westminster’s famous Strangers’ Bar. However, life at Norfolk Brewhouse isn’t all about awards and festivals. Always receptive to local community life, in 2014 their Moon Gazer Tidal Gold was supplied to raise funds for the EDP Flood Appeal. With his marketing background David is naturally alert to the ongoing promotion of Norfolk beers to a wider audience, and at the Great British Beer Festival at Olympia in August will showcase the Moon Gazer Gold IPA. Again, at the 40th Norwich Beer Festival in October, (a big event for local brewers) Moon Gazer Gold IPA will be joined by the full-bodied Moon Gazer Dark Mild. For more information and details on Norfolk Brewhouse and their current range of beers, please visit the website at www.norfolkbrewhouse.co.uk

KLmagazine September 2017

West Norfolk: Then and Now



WHAT WERE THE SHAMBLES? The picture above was sent to us by KL magazine reader Gill Hall of Downham Market, and shows the building known as The Shambles in front of St. Margarets at some point before its eventual demolition around 1914. Mrs Hall says that she thinks there was a meat market

on the ground floor of the building and a grammar school upstairs – and that some underground passages were used as air raid shelters during the Second World War. You can enjoy thousands of more images showing Norfolk’s history and the changing face of the county on the website at

www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk or by visiting the Norfolk Heritage Centre at the Millennium Library, The Forum, Norwich or your local studies library. IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Enjoy thousands of images of Norfolk’s unique history at www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk 82

KLmagazine September 2017

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KLmagazine September 2017


Local Life

ABOVE: The beautiful interior of St. Nicholas’ Chapel in King’s Lynn. The memorial to Samuel and Hester Browne can be seen on the wall to the far right. Opposite is 15 Nelson Street, better and more grandly known as Lath Mansion

Merchants and mansions: the families of King’s Lynn In the 18th century, the real power behind King’s Lynn lay in the hands and fortunes of a few closely-interwoven families. Alison Gifford charts the stories of Brownes, Cases and Bagges...


e cannot enter this grand house on Nelson Street in King’s Lynn and see its splendid interior but marvel at the wealth of the great Lynn merchants of the golden age, the 18th century. That was the age before the railways came, when the river was full of sailing ships and trade made huge fortunes for a few interwoven families in the town. Except in one (literal) case. That was lawyer Philip Case, born in 1712, who never owned a ship or stamped a pipe of wine in his life, but he was rich – very rich – the result not only of prudence and economy (his income far outstripped his expenditure) but his

KLmagazine September 2017

outstanding abilities and connections which brought him many wealthy clients. While still in his 20s he became a freeman of Lynn, was acting for the second Viscount Townshend of Raynham and Sir John Turner of Warham – and by mid-career was the man of business to many landed families and town merchants. He was Mayor in 1745, 1764, 1777 and 1786. He acquired manor houses at Stradsett, Crimplesham, Fincham, Gaywood and a fair few others, usually through nonpayment of mortgages he held on those properties, and wasn’t above borrowing his clients’ money for a while – not necessarily with their knowledge. He

died worth £100,000 in land and investments. Naturally there was fierce competition to marry his three daughters (he had no sons) and the lucky men were Thomas Bagge, who married Pleasance with lovely Stradsett Hall attached; Anthony Hamond of High House, Westacre who married Sarah, the only daughter to outlive her father; and Samuel Browne married Hester who moved into his family home at 15 Nelson Street, Lath Mansion, with her sister Pleasance Bagge’s town house cosily nearby at number 11. The marriage of Pleasance to Thomas Bagge was witnessed by none other than Fanny Burney, novelist and diarist




Local Life

ABOVE: The letter of congratulations Lord Walpole sent Philip Case (above right) on the latter’s arrangement of the marriages of both his granddaughters in 1789. Below is a portrait of Hester Browne painted by Nathanial Plimer in 1797

who spent summers at her stepmother’s (now demolished) house, which was on the site of St Margaret’s vicarage and overlooked the Church. “We have just had a wedding – a publick wedding – and very fine it was I assure you. The bride is Miss Case, daughter of an alderman of Lynn with a great fortune – the bridegroom, Mr Bagg – the affair has been long in agitation on account of the inferiority of fortune of Mr Bagg.” The first Samuel Browne can be traced to Boston where he was Mayor in 1673. His son Samuel Browne married Alice Greene from a wealthy Lynn merchant family and made Lynn his main base while keeping his Boston businesses. It’s probable that this Samuel built 15 Nelson Street and the third Samuel improved it further in 1740. The Samuel Browne who married Hester was the fifth Samuel of this increasingly-wealthy dynasty and one of the most successful Lynn merchants of his day, trading in coal, corn, fish and


wine. He owned shares in several ships, and made investments in stock, mortgages, and other securities. He had property in Lynn, South Lynn, North Runcton, Hardwick, and Grimston, and in Lincolnshire and Suffolk. Hester Case added her dowry to this already rich family and was soon the mother of children; Pleasance was born in 1765 and Hester in 1768, but in between the two girls was the essential son and heir, Samuel, the sixth generation of that name, but he tragically died aged just two the same year as his mother, who was just 29 years old. The motherless girls were soon completely orphaned when Samuel V died in 1784 aged 55. There had been no second marriage, and the Browne dynasty was over, leaving Pleasance and Hester as very rich cohieresses. It fell to their grandfather Philip Case to be their guardian and make their marriages. Pleasance married Edward Roger Pratt of Ryston Hall in 1789 followed the next year by the marriage of Hester to Sir Jacob Astley of

Melton Constable Hall. Very neatly done, as Lord Walpole’s letter of congratulation to Philip Case is almost saying. On Heritage Open Day this month it will not only be possible to see inside the great mansion in Nelson Street but to see some other places connected to these merchant oligarchies. The religious statues and images in St Nicholas Chapel were removed at the Reformation only to be replaced by the images and memorials of the merchants of Lynn. Look for the fine memorial to Samuel and Hester Browne by their young daughters and you’ll also see the monument to the Greene family among others. Although Bishop’s Lynn House on the Tuesday Market Place had its rear demolished, the front has delightful bay windows the height of the house. This house was one of several which belonged to the Bagge family when their fortunes had definitely ceased to be “inferior”. The King’s Lynn Civic Society has organised a fantastic programme for Heritage Open Day as a chance to see inside these buildings and many others not normally open to the public. King’s Lynn has an exceptionally rich history reflected in the grandeur of the houses and number of warehouses along the riverside streets. Researching local history in King’s Lynn has the advantage of a very good archive collection, one that’s among the best in the country. Don’t miss the chance to meet the archivist at King’s Lynn Archives in the Town Hall on Heritage Open Day – your family history may well be documented there. Come and explore the town of King’s Lynn and its history on Heritage Open Day Sunday 10th September. Programmes are available from the Tourist Information Centre at the Custom House. Tel: 01553 763044

KLmagazine September 2017

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www.cmservicing.co.uk 87

PICTURES: BESPAK / IAN WARD ABOVE: The Bespak valves cleanroom in King’s Lynn

Bespak: delivering highest quality at every stage... On the outskirts of King’s Lynn is a company that’s behind some of the most widely used and trusted drug delivery devices in the world – it’s also one of the happiest places to work in the area!


he year 1959 was a big one in the world of science. Engineer Lewis Urry invented the alkaline battery, the space probe Luna 3 sent back the very first photos of the far side of the moon, and Georges Mathé successfully carried out the world’s first bone marrow transplant. It was also the year Bespak was founded, and over the last six decades the company has grown to become one of the leading suppliers of drug delivery devices. Based in eight large buildings just outside the town centre, the scale of the King’s Lynn based business is truly astonishing. It moulds ten million components a day, produces four million valves a week


from a single cleanroom, and assembles over 500 million devices a year. Bespak has almost 30,000m2 of manufacturing space, no less than 125 injection moulding machines and one of the largest cleanrooms in Europe. Every single second of every single day, 1,000 people around the world use a product manufactured by Bespak. It’s a far cry from the start of the 1960s, when Bespak was a more general, consumer-type business before a collaboration with GSK changed the fortunes of the company forever. In 1968 Bespak developed a metered-

dose inhaler (MDI) valve for the delivery of GSK’s Ventolin product – an innovation which soon became commonplace and the mainstay of asthma treatment around the world. It was the first respiratory product Bespak developed, and MDI valves are still as successful as ever; Bespak currently has about 35% of the global market share, the market being in the order of some 600 million devices per annum. As Bespak started to focus purely on healthcare applications, the company broadened its relationship with GSK when they developed the first of a different type of

KLmagazine September 2017

dry powder asthma inhaler that was to take the world by storm. Bespak was the very first manufacturer of GSK’s Diskus® dry powder inhaler – which became the biggest asthma franchise in the world and one of the biggest products of any kind in the world, being worth some $8 billion to GSK at its peak. Since then, Bespak has continued a tradition of manufacturing excellence and outstanding quality to produce a range of proprietary products such as Syrina®, VapourSoft®, Lila® and Lapas® – and developed its first auto-injector (for Dr Reddy’s) three years ago. In fact, Bespak’s VapourSoft® technology offers a revolutionary injectable drug delivery approach by enabling the administration of highly viscous and high volume drug formulations. More recently, Bespak has successfully applied its technical expertise and experience to areas outside the asthma market. “It’s a very exciting time at Bespak as we start to broaden into other areas of healthcare,” says the company’s Commercial Director Steve Ellul. “We’ve been working with Atlas Genetics and manufacturing point-of-care diagnostic cartridges, while the development of single-use disposable auto-injectors has significant potential.” These products have real benefits for both patients and over-burdened healthcare services around the world; enabling patients to administer drugs safely at home rather than visit their nearest doctor (auto-injectors) and delivering diagnostic results on the spot rather than waiting days for analysis and results (diagnostic cartridges). Manufacturing products that help millions of people around the world breathe and have a positive affect on their lives produces a tangible ‘feel good’ atmosphere at Bespak, and it’s hardly surprising all 800 of its employees are committed, dedicated and motivated. “Despite the considerable size of Bespak, all our people are very passionate about everything they do,” says Steve Ellul. “Part of our vision has always been that Bespak should be a great place to work. We know the success of the business is thanks to the people that deliver our service, products and quality and so we’re always looking for enthusiastic and talented people who are aligned with our core values and want to make a difference.”

KLmagazine September 2017

Every single second of every single day 1,000 people around the world use a product manufactured by Bespak 89

ABOVE: The newly refurbsihed reception at Bespak in King’s Lynn

In addition to intrinsic benefits and career and development opportunities, Bespak offers an attractive range of employee benefits, including a group personal pension plan, healthcare scheme, permanent health insurance, an all-employee share incentive scheme, a SAYE (Save as you Earn) scheme and 28 days paid annual leave plus Bank Holidays. The company’s ‘salary sacrifice’ scheme allows UKbased employees to tax efficiently purchase benefits such as childcare vouchers and bicycles. Bespak also operates an excellent and award-winning four-year Advanced Apprenticeship scheme that currently involves around 20 apprentices; one of whom is now in the running for the final of the plastic industry’s Apprentice of the Year Award. “We’re essentially a people business, so it’s only natural that we do a lot of work in and for the community,” says Steve. “Hundreds of our employees are always doing fundraising work for local and national charities and our Charity of the Year, and most of this is employeeled.” The friendly and sociable atmosphere at Bespak is also partly due to it being such an attractive place to work. Last month, the initial phase of a major refurbishment was completed, transforming several suites of offices into a state-of-the-art working environment for the 21st century.


With LED lighting, open plan desk areas, discrete informal meeting pods, break-out areas and inspirational quotes etched into the glass of the more formal meeting rooms and offices, it will be the perfect setting from which Bespak can continue its traditions of innovation, quality and customer-defined excellence. “With all the opportunities for our respiratory products and the application of our more recent technologies into other healthcare areas, the future looks great for Bespak,” says Steve Ellul. “There’s plenty of scope for growth as people continue to research the development and delivery of drugs. And we’ll keep investing in people and making this a great place to work.” For more information on Bespak and the latest news on its innovative products, please visit www.bespak.com. If you’re interested in exploring the opportunities of working for the company, please visit www.bespak.com/careers

Bespak Europe Ltd, Bergen Way King’s Lynn PE30 2JJ Tel: 01553 691000 Web: www.bespak.com E-mail: enquiries@bespak.com KLmagazine September 2017

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KLmagazine September 2017



ABOVE: The nameplate above the entry to John Aickman’s iron business is still in place on King Street in King’s Lynn. The unusual (and now incorrect) spelling of ‘foundry’ probably reflects the word’s origins in the French fonderei and the Latin fundere – both of which mean ‘to cast’


left Scotland and his life on the family farm. In the company of David Menzies, he travelled to England, stopping at Birstall near Leeds. There they spent time with Master Torn Founder William Spurr and learned about the business of smelting. Moving south, and having in the meantime married, Aikman finally arrived in King’s Lynn. By this time he must have been a man of some substance, as he was able to buy outright his property at 19 King Street. It was (unusually) a three-storied timber-framed house which was thought to date back to the 14th





alk down King Street towards the Tuesday Market Place in King’s Lynn and on the lefthand side of the street you’ll see an iron plaque above an arch which announces ‘JOHN AICKMAN'S FOUNDERY [sic] MDCCCXXVII’ – it’s a legacy from one of the town’s first and greatest industrialists. The Aickman story begins in the lowlands of Scotland where John Aickman was born on 25th March 1779 in Kirkcudbright. Little is known of his early life, but sometime in the 1820s he



He was a man of his time, a time that was the height of the Industrial Revolution. Richard Morley of the King’s Lynn Town Guides looks the life and legacy of John Aickman...


The story behind the iron man of King’s Lynn century and had been part of the Corpus Christi Guild’s estate. Regardless of its past, Aickman demolished the original building and built two new houses on the site, either side of the archway leading to the yard and the foundery (Aickman and his wife lived in Wood House on the north side of the archway). By the early 1830s, probably with David Menzies, he had established his ironworks. At that time, the iron industry was changing rapidly with the use of coal replacing charcoal in the smelting of iron. Bar iron was increasingly being

KLmagazine September 2017

KLmagazine September 2017


used in the structure of ships – Brunel’s Great Britain was launched in Bristol in 1843. Iron was also used for anchors, cables and chains. The process allowed for the expansion of the production of iron and became an integral part of the Industrial Revolution. Agriculture, too, was beginning to be mechanised and there was a demand for iron machinery and implements such as ploughs. Later advertisements for Aikman’s foundry even included heating for conservatories and greenhouses! Aickman (together with Frederick Savage and Dodman & Cooper) contributed to this revolution, and as King’s Lynn remained an important trading centre, it was well placed for the import of coal from the North and the export of goods to the Continent and inland, through the waterways (and later the rail network) across East Anglia and into the Midlands. This new generation of pioneering engineers marked a change in the business economy of Lynn from a predominantly trading environment to one of manufacturing and engineering, and it’s one that continues to this day. Socially, Aickman was established among the merchant class in the town and was a member of the NonConformist Salem Chapel in Norfolk Street. On 16th April 1828, he was inducted as a Freemason in the Philanthropic Lodge which met at the Star Inn in Norfolk Street. In 1835, he was elected 13th Worshipful Master and received “the secretes peculiar to the Masters’ Chair.” For several years he was also Treasurer to the lodge.

ABOVE: A sketch of the old house on King Street that John Aickman demolished in 1827 to make way for his new iron foundry and two adjoining houses.







A step-by-step way to explore the heritage of King’s Lynn...



A FEAST OF HERITAGE! Two special events take place this month: Sunday 10th September (11am and 2pm) Heritage Open Day – Free Taster Walks Two walks on Heritage Sunday from Saturday Market Place to the Custom House lasting one hour. They are very popular and usually get fully booked. Tuesday 19th September 6pm Supper Walk In association with Market Bistro This is a new 3-1-4 walk; 3 buildings, Grade 1 listed, and 4-sided – all in under an hour and all within 100m of Market Bistro We then revert to our regular cycle of Historic Lynn walks at 2pm on Tuesday, Friday and Saturdays with a special 11am walk on Saturday 2nd September.

In 1837, Aickman’s wife Jean died, and William Spurr’s niece Elizabeth came from Leeds to act as his housekeeper. By 1840 Aickman, having concerns about the future of the business, invited his nephew William to join him. Like his uncle, William came to King’s Lynn via Birstall, where he learned the technical side of smelting and management of the foundry. The local press noted that John died on 23rd April 1843, aged 64 years. Surprisingly, he didn’t make William his main beneficiary, but to Elizabeth he left “all land and real estate in King’s Lynn and elsewhere in the United Kingdom, with rights and appurtenances to be held by her heirs for ever.” This led to much gossip in the town. A trust had to be created between Elizabeth, William and two executors of John’s will, to ensure she had the power to dispose of the property that had been bequeathed her should she so wish. In 1843 William and Elizabeth married in the Salem Chapel off Norfolk Street. Although the business thrived through another two generations – with women from both generations being in charge – Aikman’s foundry finally closed in 1893. A descendent of the family, Dorothy Jean Aickman published (privately) a history of the family in 1980s in which she described John as follows: “A man of extraordinary perception in


his day, in that he fed a woman in household from a position of ancillary dependence, vesting in her certain legal rights in matters of property, far ahead of most of her sex, and making sure at the same time that she could pass these rights on to her descendants.

Tuesday 5th September at 2.00pm The Darker Side of Lynn Led by Edith Reeves Starting at St Nicholas Chapel, this is not a ghost walk but an exploration of the ‘dark side’ of King’s Lynn – including murder, treason, hangings and witchcraft. This is our most popular walk and is often over-subscribed, so please book to secure a place. The King’s Lynn Town Guides are available for private bookings any time of the year subject to reasonable notice and a minimum group size of six people. For information on all walks and to book tickets contact The Tourist Information Centre at the Custom House 01553 763044 The King’s Lynn Town Guides give their services voluntarily. All the money raised from the walks goes directly to conservation projects in the town.

WHERE TO DISCOVER AIKMAN’S LEGACY IN KING’S LYNN TODAY... – The original 1827 iron plaque still sits above the ‘foundery’ entrance on King Street – The decorative anchors and chains on the Purfleet are reminiscent of Lynn’s engineering industry. ABOVE: The cast iron gravestone of John Aickman in the graveyard of the (now vanished) Chapel of St James Chapel in King’s Lynn. It features a number of Masonic emblems, including the medal of the third degree. The gravestone was there in 1980, but its current whereabouts are unknown.

– Look beneath your feet at the inscriptions on manhole covers around town and you’ll see names such as Cooper or Savage – at the end of St Margaret’s Lane for example

KLmagazine September 2017

This is a perfect example of how versatile air source heating is. The development includes a range of properties, and every one of them will be able to enjoy the system’s many advantages... JOHN OAKES (Site Manager) Golden Pheasant Drive, Snettisham

Air source isn’t just a modern and fully controllable heating system. It’s fully sustainable, it’s cleaner and it’s cheaper to run. It really is the way of the future... RICHARD KNIGHT Richard Knight Homes Ltd

To be honest, I wouldn’t consider using any other form of heating in my properties – the running costs and energy efficiencies of air source heating are in a class of their own... JEREMY CLARKE J. Clarke Builders

Air source heating: the choice of local builders... T he range of quality air source heating solutions available from 4 Way Refrigeration Ltd represents a major step forward in energy-efficient climate control, utilising free heat from the environment rather than generating it solely from traditional fuel sources such as gas, oil or LPG. For the end user, the benefits of air source heating are clear – low running and maintenance costs, low noise levels, reduced energy consumption, and the fact that the system’s performance is unaffected by cooler weather, making it ideal for providing low-cost heat and hot water all year round whatever the weather. Choosing air source heating from 4 Way Refrigeration Ltd is also becoming the choice of local builders. “Air source heating needs no gas supply, no flues and no ventilation,” explains 4 Way Refrigeration Ltd’s Steve Simpson. “It doesn’t need extensive ground works either, which makes it a truly cost-effective installation for all local building projects – from larger developments to self-build projects.”

KLmagazine September 2017

One of the most attractive features of air source heating is that the system delivers a 30%-50% reduction in CO2 emissions, which is reassuring for environmentally-conscious domestic customers, but is further good news for builders as well. “Current building regulations do contain clear targets for reducing CO2 emissions, and all new buildings have to comply with them,” explains Steve. “From the builder’s point of view, the fact that our air source heat pumps meet – and actually exceed – those targets makes them a really attractive solution. The installation of air source heating can also help achieve a Level 3

rating in the Code for Sustainable Homes – which in turn adds value to the property.” And by installing air source heating in conjunction with PV solutions and underfloor heating – also offered by 4 Way Refrigeration Ltd – local builders can ensure their properties offer even higher cost savings and CO2 reductions, making them even more attractive to prospective purchasers. For a high-quality, professional service from a local company with a proven track record of working successfully with local builders, choose 4 Way Refrigeration Ltd – and contact us today for more details.


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Caring for your environment KLmagazine September 2017


Beautifully crafted in oak and designed to suit your home A stunning new collection arrives to join Bespoke Pine n Oak’s 800 pieces of finely-crafted solid wood furniture ready to take away today! t Bespoke Pine n Oak, if you can draw it (or can simply picture it in your head) we can make it – but there’s a lot more to our stunning new showroom in King’s Lynn than beautifully and individually hand-crafted furniture. On display and ready to take away today are no less than 800 pieces of fine furniture in every style and shape for every room – and it’s a choice that’s just got even bigger with the arrival of our Tellow Oak range, one of the most diverse collections available today, with over 60 different items currently available.



Beautifully made in oak with an almost raw, lime-wash finish, chrome cup handles, and distinctive detailing, the Tellow Oak range includes everything from beds, chests of drawers and wardrobes to desks and tables, mirrors, chairs, sideboards and bookcases. To complete the look, the collection even includes display and media units, computer desks and filing cabinets. “There’s nothing quite like specially handcrafted furniture because it means you can have exactly what you’re looking for without compromising on anything,”

says Bespoke Pine n Oak’s Kevin Berry. “But our off-the-shelf furniture is equally well designed and is crafted to the very highest standards.” Bespoke Pine n Oak offers one of the biggest furniture choices for miles around. From kitchens to cabinets, from beds to dining suites, and from complete libraries to one-off decorative items, Bespoke Pine n Oak has the distinctive furniture you’ve been dreaming about. And in the unlikely event it’s not in stock and ready to take away today, they’ll hand-craft it for you!

Bespoke Pine n Oak www.bespokepinenoakltd.com

KLmagazine September 2017

Unit 1, Hamlin Way Hardwick Narrows Estate King’s Lynn PE30 4NG Telephone: 01553 277515


Local Life

ABOVE: Seven-year-old Anthony enjoys a ride in the indoor school at the Magpie Centre, accompanied by his father and volunteer Grace Carrier and (opposite) volunteer Caroline Dudley with Roger, one of the 14 horses and ponies at the centre

Building confidence and life skills in the saddle... Every week the Magpie Centre: West Norfolk Riding for the Disabled gives over 130 riding and carriage driving lessons to people of all ages and abilities, as Clare Bee discovers


t’s a well known fact that animals have the capacity to ‘speak’ to people in ways that humans can’t. And this fact is soundly backed up by the work of the Magpie Centre, home of West Norfolk Riding for the Disabled Association (WNRDA). Based at Wallington Hall, just north of Downham Market, the Magpie Centre sits in an idyllic setting in the middle of a working farm, and has been operating from there for over 30 years. Named after one of the original ponies, a small black and white mount, the centre gives lessons to approximately 130 riders and carriage drivers per week, with the riders coming from all ages and with a wide

KLmagazine September 2017

of physical and learning disabilities. Many are on the autistic spectrum as well as having other disabilities, and although it is hard to measure the benefits felt by these riders, their families can testify to the improvement. In a recent 12 week trial run by 26 Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) groups, riders’ family members or carers were asked to rate the progress made by the participants. Confidence and communication were up by 75%-80% and 83% demonstrated improved riding skills. Although not a scientific experiment, it’s hard not to be impressed with such results. Natalie Dade, Yard Manager at the

Magpie Centre for over five years, agrees. “We have children of all ages here,” she says. “Some may not be high achievers at school, but they come here and soon begin to form an empathy with the animals.” But it’s not just the riders who benefit. “I’ve leant such a lot, mixing with volunteers and riders,” continues Natalie. “It’s a real eye opener, and wonderful to see the children gain confidence and social skills. It’s not all based around the horse, it’s people based as well.” Riders can start lessons from the age of three and there are also many adults who attend the centre. Those who are


Local Life

ABOVE: Aynsley Calvert on his own horse Ruby, together with his mother Jan, a trustee and treasurer at the Magpie Centre

too disabled to ride the ponies or horses can be taken for carriage rides, with one of the carriages specially adapted to take a wheelchair. For each pony ride, three volunteers are needed: one to lead and control the pony, and two sidewalkers to help the rider maintain balance. Therefore for a lesson with four riders, 12 volunteers will be needed. “The Magpie volunteer team is fantastic,” says volunteer Caroline Dudley, “and quite simply we couldn’t do without them. We also have teams of Community Service Volunteers, themselves all with learning disabilities, who come to help with paddock maintenance. Some of them have riding lessons as well, but this is their place of work and they know they are a big help to us.” As well as the five paid staff and over 70 volunteers, the centre of course needs funds to keep going. It currently costs in excess of £125,000 per annum to run, with about a third coming from grants (Children in Need, Rotary, etc), a third from rider donations and a third from their own fundraising efforts. Riders pay £13 for a half hour group lesson, £18 for a carriage ride and £24 for a private lesson. Anyone can contact the centre to enquire about lessons, but such is its success and popularity that there is currently a


waiting list for new riders. The centre is lucky in that it has an indoor school, so lessons can go on all year round and in all weathers. As many riders will know, there are seemingly random letters placed around the perimeter of all riding school arenas (there are many theories as to why these letters were chosen), and at the

Magpie Centre there are pictures to accompany the letters. So as well as learning to ride, the children learn to recognise letters and shapes. At present there are 14 ponies and horses at the centre, ranging from the smallest, Roger, at 11.2 hands high (a favourite with the younger riders) to Ruby at 17 hands high. She belongs to Aynsley, one of the riders who regularly attends for lessons, but is also ridden by others. Aynsley’s mother Jan, who is a trustee and also treasurer, has seen the changes in Aynsley over the years. As someone who wouldn’t converse with others, he now happily chats to anyone who turns up at the centre. “He now has an activity he’s good at,” says Jan, “and through this a social life. It’s impossible to fully put into words what the Magpie Centre means to us.” West Norfolk RDA, based at the Magpie Centre, is one of 60 groups in RDA East Region, one of 18 such regions in the UK. Riding has long been seen as beneficial both physically and psychologically, and the modern RDA began 40 years ago, in response to the overwhelming evidence that riding is particularly therapeutic for those with disabilities. And to see a seven year old boy grinning from ear to ear as he rides his pony round the indoor school, you cannot fail to be moved by the obvious life changing benefits of the Magpie Centre. For more information about the wonderful work the Magpie Centre does, visit www.rda-westnorfolk.org.uk

KLmagazine September 2017

Your home, your independence T.M. Browne offers a total aids and adaptations service from start to finish – so you can keep your independence and your home! e all want to enjoy our homes, but if you’re finding it increasingly difficult to move about in your home, we can help to make things easier by making some reasonably simple changes. For example, the straightforward installation of grab rails and stair rails can quickly make your home more accessible. Accessible doesn’t just mean being able to get in and out of your property by replacing steps with a ramp – it means being able to live in your home in the same way as everyone else and retain your independence, whether that’s a case of widening a few doors or completely adapting your bathroom. In addition to our construction and building maintenance work, T.M. Browne have been doing these types of


KLmagazine September 2017

aids and adaptations for over 10 years now – for private homeowners, for local housing associations, and through a framework agreement with the council-led Care & Repair initiative. Over the years, T.M. Browne has built a well-respected reputation across the region for the high quality of our work and the amount of care we take when working in people’s homes – from installing larger toilets and level-access showers to installing lifts, safer floors, and fitting bed raisers and hoists. And although such work sounds

expensive, it doesn’t have to be a costly solution to enjoying your home to the full; funding and grants are available for aids and adaptations depending on your circumstances, and the ideal place to start to discover if you qualify for financial help is to speak to an Occupational Therapist – who will assess your needs and recommend the most suitable equipment. For over 30 years T.M. Browne has been caring for people and their properties – if you’d like to learn more about our aids and adaptations services, please contact us using the details below.

Unit 3, The Mill, Market Lane, Terrington St Clement King’s Lynn PE34 4HR Tel: 01553 828050 Email: admin@tmbrowneltd.co.uk Web: www.tmbrowne-ltd.co.uk


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KLmagazine September 2017

Life and financial security after a bereavement... How Chartered Independent Financial Adviser Katie Trendell can help secure your financial future at the most difficult of times... ouldn’t it be comforting to know you’d have enough money to cope with a sudden bereavement? People who’ve been through it know the only thing worse than facing a personal tragedy is having it turn into a financial one. But with some sensible planning and the help of a qualified adviser, you can be prepared. Bereavement has financial implications that increase its devastating effects. How you deal with finances during this difficult time is crucial to your future security. You may be faced with large expenses for


the first time. That’s daunting but vital to get right. What are your living costs? Is there enough to meet these? What happens when the family income falls? What about tax? These are questions best faced before the event. You’ll need professional help, so speak to someone who can put your mind at

rest. Who can help you deal with a large insurance or pension pay-out and not be overwhelmed. An Independent Financial Adviser has the knowledge and experience to provide the support you need, when you need it. And protect your best interests. Contact Katie Trendell, a Chartered and experienced adviser on 07739 339663 or send an e-mail to ktrendell@barnsher.co.uk. I look forward to speaking with you.

Barnes & Sherwood Professional Advisers King’s Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC), Innovation Drive, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE30 5BY Mobile: 07739 339663 E-mail: ktrendell@barnsher.co.uk Barnes & Sherwood Professional Advisers are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 547997 KLmagazine September 2017



Local Arts

ABOVE: A still life on Brancaster beach by Bryan Harford – a colourful contrast to the local artist’s series of works inspired by the railway posters of the 1930s (opposite)

Mixing a splash of colour with a touch of nostalgia With a diverse portfolio ranging from the realistic to the abstract, the work of Norfolk artist Bryan Harford is both engaging and technically brilliant. He talks to KL magazine about his love of art – and Norfolk


uring the inter-war years, railway posters became an art form in themselves. Even fine artists of the day – including several members of the Royal Academy – were commissioned to produce images and scenes advertising different rail companies and the beautiful parts of the country they travelled to. As times changed and the country’s railway network was dismantled, railway posters gradually became a thing of the past – but Norfolk artist Bryan Harford is now using the 1930s style to produce a series of stunning paintings depicting

KLmagazine September 2017

some of the county’s most iconic and best-loved landscapes. KL magazine: How did your artistic career begin? BRYAN HARFORD: It started in York in the early 1990s while I was studying and qualifying as an art teacher. I selfcurated exhibitions and worked to private commissions, and as my reputation grew I was invited to show in various local galleries. KL: When (and why) did you decide to make a career of it? BH: Art had always been my passion

and consumed both my imagination and life, so when the opportunity arose I naturally pursued it. After teaching art for eight years in prisons and having seen our youngest child through university, I decided to take the plunge and follow a career as a full-time professional artist. KL: Why did you come to Norfolk? BH: Having been a holiday visitor to Norfolk all my life, and having introduced my children to the natural beauty and unspoilt landscape, the area has been (and continues to be) a massive influence on my work. So to


Local Arts

BH: If I had a wall big enough to accommodate it (it’s 25ft wide!) I’d never tire of living with Picasso’s incredible Guernica, painted in 1937. It’s an extraordinary work of art, depicting the brutality of Franco’s suppression of innocent civilians in rural Spain. This was Picasso’s furious response to this historic and terrible event.

finally move to Norfolk was a natural progression in my life. KL: Your posters of iconic Norfolk scenes are extraordinary. What was the idea behind them? BH: Whilst living in York I often visited the National Railway Museum to view their extensive collection of original railway posters. I researched how these posters were produced with a real passion and used the knowledge and those influences to inform my own poster work. KL: Your work is extremely diverse, ranging from the almost traditional to the ultra abstract – is there a specific reason for that? BH: I’ve always liked to produce a diverse range of work incorporating different influences, disciplines and media. Whilst the creation of one of my poster works is a very precise, very controlled and lengthy process, I also like to work in a much more spontaneous style, which results in a freer and more abstract composition.

interest. I’m always happy to explain my work and share the insights, ideas and influences that have helped its creation. Having said that, I enjoy people’s personal interpretations and different opinions just as much. KL: What or who are your main artistic inspirations? BH: They’re actually as wide-ranging as my own styles of execution! That means they include everything from Picasso to Hockney and from Cubism to Realism. The influential commercial artists from the 1920s-30s, such as Tom Purvis, Norman Wilkinson, Fred Taylor and Frank Mason have had a huge influence on my own poster works. KL: If you could have any work of art on your wall, what would it be – and why?

KL: Do you have a single piece of your own art that you’re most proud of? BH: Each newly-completed piece of art tends to fill me with a sense of achievement. However, the works I feel have fulfilled all my objectives are Nocturne I-VII-II [below] and the Control Tower at Egmere [page 102] – both of which I am most proud. KL: What’s likely to be out of the Bryan Harford studio next? BH: I’m currently working on a poster view of Stamford, Lincolnshire and a stylistically, Cubist-influenced interpretation of Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa, linking the original story to the current humanitarian refugee crisis. KL: Where can we see more of your work? BH: My work can always be viewed via my website at www.bryanharford.co.uk, but I’m happy to arrange private viewings. You can also see examples of my work in the Southwold Gallery, The Gallery in Stamford and Gallery Norfolk in Cromer and Norwich.

KL: What do you enjoy painting the most? BH: It may sound a bit of an easy way out of an answer, but I can honestly say it’s always my most current piece of work in whichever style and media that may be. I really enjoy the creative process of each piece of work; the way it starts life as a sketched idea and subsequently progresses into a finished piece of artwork. KL: What response are you looking for from the people viewing your art? BH: When people see my art, I hope they see something that visually engages them and stimulates further


KLmagazine September 2017



Now you never have to miss a copy! Have KL magazine delivered to your door every month! KL magazine has always been enormously successful, and by popular demand we’re now introducing a subscription service – which means you won’t even have to leave your home, as your very own copy posted direct to your door! For £25, you can receive the next six issues of KL magazine, and £48 you can receive every issue for the next 12 months. Please note that we can only deliver to UK postal addresses. So, to make sure of your copy of KL magazine, please contact us on 01553 601201 – and thanks again for all your feedback!

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KLmagazine September 2017

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Local Arts

ABOVE: An example of the extraordinarily detailed landscape paintings of Norfolk artist Paul Smith, whose portrait of North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb (opposite) is currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Capturing the essence of people and places... Few artists enjoy the honour of having their work displayed at the National Portrait Gallery, but for Norwich-based Paul Smith it’s something he’s becoming accustomed to, as KL magazine discovers


f you’re in London before the end of this month, you might want to pop along to the National Portrait Gallery to see the finalists of the BP Portrait Award 2017. You’ll certainly recognise one of the entries, as it’s a stunning portrait of North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb. What may come as a surprise, however, is to learn that’s it’s the work of an artist from Norfolk. But Paul Smith, whose work was just one of 53 portraits shorlisted out of KLmagazine September 2017

2,580 entries from 87 countries, is no stranger to the National Portrait Gallery – his painting of a friend’s daughter was a finalist in the same award two years ago. From his studio in Norwich, Paul spoke to KL magazine about his work and why he enjoys painting portraits and landscapes in equal measure. KL magazine: How did your artistic life begin and then turn into a career?

PAUL SMITH: I think being a painter is something that I’ve always wanted – and any other career was a case of simply passing time before it happened. My exposure to exhibiting my paintings began in earnest in 2008, when I was accepted for the Norwich Castle Open. It gave me the confidence to begin showing my work to other people. I finally decided to make a full-time career of painting in 2015 after being selected as a finalist in the BP Portrait


Local Arts work I have loved my entire adult life. He and his work have been a constant source of inspiration to me. KL: If you could have any work of art on your wall, what would it be and why? PS: I don’t even have to think about it! It would be a 1962 painting (tempera on panel) by Andrew Wyeth called Lime Banks [below]. Why? Because it makes me want to weep.

KL: Do you have a single piece of your own art that you’re particularly proud of? PS: Not really, because each one is completely different and they all have their own stories. Looking back, the work that’s most valuable to me are the sketches I did of my children when they were little. KL: What are you currently working on? PS: I’ve just finished producing work for a solo show, which was my first in several years – so this year has been a very busy one so far. I’m currently in the early stages of working on a large river scene. Awards with my painting [above] of ‘Esta Sexton, aged 12’ – it was actually used as the promotional poster for the National Portrait Gallery show and was shown all over London. At the time I felt like it was now or never!

earlier! As far as process is concerned, I come from the pre-digital era – so I’ve worked from life for many years. I think this gives me an advantage in being able to use newer technologies while being able to see their pitfalls at the same time.

KL: How on earth did you come to paint a portrait of Norman Lamb? PS: I first met Norman after he visited my studio in 2016. He’d seen my portrait of Esta when it was on show in Edinburgh and has a keen interest in portraiture. So it seemed only natural to contact him the following day to discuss a portrait. In the end, he sat for me at my studio about four times from last August to January this year.

KL: Which do you prefer painting – your landscapes or portraits? PS: I’d have to say both, but for different reasons. I love landscapes for their infinite variety and complexity, whereas portraits are a fun escape for me – and an occasional source of income!

KL: Aside from your portraits, your landscape work is so detailed it’s almost photographic – how do you achieve that finish? PS: I guess it’s an aesthetic. I’ve always loved looking at very detailed paintings, and wanted this in my own work. In terms of application, I simply keep going when others may have stopped much


KL: Where can we see more of your work? PS: You can find me on social media, which will link through to my website at www.paulpsmith.com where you’ll find examples of my work and a selection of affordable prints. I’m hoping to be part of Norfolk Open Studios next year, and you‘ll be able to visit my studio using the event’s catalogue.

KL: What response are you looking for from the people viewing your art? PS: I’ve always said that I wanted my paintings to stop people in their tracks. Funnily enough, when they were in the window of a London gallery I was told that was exactly what they did! KL: What or who have been your main artistic inspirations? PS: I guess my longest admiration of another artist is that of the American artist Andrew Wyeth [1917-2009], whose

KLmagazine September 2017


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The Last Word

WildWestNorfolk Michael Middleton’s


ats have been on my mind a lot over the last few weeks. Not just because Mrs Middleton went all the way to Berlin in early August to see a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical of the same name (don’t ask – it’s a long story) but because while she was there Oscar decided to treat me to half a dead seagull for three days running. Oscar isn’t the strange man over the road or the seagull nemesis who passes for the village postman, but the take-noprisoners cat we’ve been held prisoner by for the last eight years. Why he suddenly got a taste (literally) for seagulls is beyond me, but then cats are some of the strangest creatures you're ever likely to come across. Cats have been getting tangled around our ankles for thousands of years, and although it’s not true it’s generally believed that the ancient Egyptians were the first people to domesticate the things. They took it pretty serious as well. The ancient Egyptians loved their cats to such an extent that smuggling one out of the country was punishable by death. When a family cat died, the surviving members of the family would mourn its passing by shaving off their eyebrows. They would hold elaborate funerals, drink as much wine as they could and make a considerable amount of grief-striken noise. They’d even have the cat embalmed and give it a sculpted wooden mask, placing the mummy in the family tomb along with some tiny mummies of mice. But cats haven’t always had it as good. During the time of the Spanish Inquisition, Pope Innocent VIII condemned cats as evil, and thousands 114

of them were burned at the stake. The idea soon spread, and before long St John’s Day saw people all over Europe stuffing cats into sacks and tossing them into bonfires. On various other holy days, people ‘celebrated’ by hurling cats from church towers. The cats had the last laugh, however, as these medieval practices eventually led to an explosion of the rat population – which then exacerbated the effects of the Black Death. One of my favourite cat stories concerns a little black and white female found on the streets of Paris in 1963. Named Felicette, she joined 13 other cats at CERMA and began training for the rigours of deep space. Finally, on October 18th 1963 at 8.09am she became the first (and to date only) cat to go into space and survive. Sadly, France’s rather lacklustre interstellar efforts since then have relegated Felicette to a mere footnote in the history books. Dogs may be man’s best friend, but a cat’s brain is biologically more similar to a human brain than a dog’s – both humans and cats have identical regions in their brains that are responsible for emotions, and whereas dogs can make about 10 different noises, cats can make about 100. Having said that, I think all 100 of them mean roughly the same thing – feed me. It’s also fascinating to consider that the vast majority of left-handed people are male (including myself I might add) and you’ll find pretty much the same thing in the feline world; female cats tend to be right-pawed, while male cats are predominantly left-pawed. Cats also have an uncanny ability to find their way home. Take Jessie, for example. In November 2011, Sheree and

Andre Gale moved from their home in Ungarra on the Eyre peninsula in Australia to Berry Springs, which is just outside Darwin. For those to whom GCSE Geography is now a dim and distant memory, they moved in pretty much a straight line from the far south of the country to the far north, a distance of some 1,900 miles. They had three cats and left two with the person who bought their house, only taking Jessie with them – but soon after they arrived at their new home Jessie disappeared. After a few days Sheree and Andre resigned themselves to the fact Jessie had probably been run over or eaten by dingos, and got on with their lives. But towards the end of October the following year (almost 12 months after Jessie disappeared) the couple received an e-mail from the woman who’d bought their old house containing a photograph of Jessie, who had recently started strolling in through the catflap. It meant that Jessie had managed to walk about 5 miles every day for the best part of a year to return to her old home. Heaven knows what adventures she had or what she found to live on in the outback. Seagulls probably.

KLmagazine September 2017

Profile for KL magazine

KL Magazine September 2017  

KL Magazine September 2017