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Stories of Lynn welcomes The Mart School

A group of schoolchildren and a costumed character standing around the King John Cup in Stories of Lynn

Published: Wednesday, 28th February 2018

Stories of Lynn museum welcomed the pupils of The Mart School on 20 February, during the 814th King’s Lynn Mart. The children of the Showmen’s Guild visited as part of their educational programme.

The children spent the afternoon at Stories of Lynn, seeing the King John Cup and the Mayor’s regalia, and learning about the etiquette of medieval banqueting with the help of museum staff, volunteers, and historic reenactors. They also visited The Old Gaol House and had fun making their own version of the King John Cup, the “My Lynn Cup”, which will be put on display in April, alongside cups made by other groups and individuals who have visited the museum.

A schoolchild dressed in medieval clothes at a banquet table Schoolchildren making their own model King John Cups at Stories of Lynn A child dressed in mayoral robes at Stories of Lynn

schoolchildren sitting at a banquet table in a stone hall a group of schoolchildren are taught banquet etiquette in a stone hall

Happily, their visit coincided with the museum’s current temporary exhibition, ‘King’s Lynn Mart – Stories from the Borough Archives’. The exhibition highlights items from the Borough Archives which relate to the Mart, including historic plans of Lynn’s Tuesday Market Place which outline the allocation of spaces for the showmen and their rides. The children were delighted to see the records on display, and compared the plans to where the rides and stalls were situated this year.

A map of the layout of King's Lynn's Mart in 1938

Stories of Lynn are delighted to have welcomed the latest generation of the Showmen’s Guild to the King’s Lynn Town Hall complex. The Mart is a key event in our town’s social and historical event calendar and we hope the children realised just how important and valued they are as part of our cultural heritage over the last 800 years. Rachel Yates, Specialist Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Practitioner (SGRTP) at Norfolk County Council, said: “We all had a wonderful day but the children especially mentioned their enjoyment at Stories of Lynn. We were appreciative that everyone was so welcoming and enthusiastic about having the children there for the afternoon and it was lovely for them to hear how valued they are by the town.”

We wished them all a good season and we hope they can visit us again when they return next year to learn more about the historic town’s traditions.

The King’s Lynn Borough Archives holds the records of the old Borough Council of King’s Lynn and its predecessors from 1204-1974. These include the surviving records of the organisation of the King’s Lynn Mart from 1919-1959 (reference KL/TC 14). Records of the Showman’s Guild of Great Britain are held in the National Fairground and Circus Archive at the University of Sheffield

Stories of Lynn is located at King’s Lynn’s Saturday Market Place. The museum is open daily from 10am – 4:30pm, with last entry at 4pm. For further information about the museum, exhibitions and events visit the Stories of Lynn website.

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