Published: Thursday, 12th July 2018
The Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk is once again taking everyone back to wartime days at this free, fun, family event – Forties Lynn: Life on the home front.
This extremely popular event returns on Sunday 22 July 2018, from 10am to 4pm. Events will be taking place throughout the day in the Tuesday Market Place, King’s Lynn Town Hall, and Lynn Museum.
The Tuesday Market Place will be the setting for many of the day’s activities. Visitors will see a display of vintage vehicles, including a life-size replica of a MK805 Spitfire and the ever-popular Corporal Jones’ butcher’s van from Dad’s Army. Petrol rationing meant bicycles were essential during the war years, and a display of 1940s models will show how much the technology has changed.
The Royal Norfolk Regiment re-enactment group will set up camp, recreating the sights and sounds of life under canvas for serving soldiers.
Music in the market place will come from The Eddie Seales Big Band: this exciting 18-piece orchestra of talented musicians will play well-loved songs from the 1940s. There will also be performances by Timescape, whose recordings of songs, sirens and stirring speeches will really create a wartime atmosphere.
Anyone who’s feeling peckish can enjoy a non-rationed treat of fish and chips or a cold beverage from the Little Bubbles Co mobile bar.
Underneath the Tuesday Market Place, one of Lynn’s least-seen attractions is open for the day. Visitors can take a tour around the air raid shelters, and imagine what it was like to be one of up to 300 of Lynn’s residents taking shelter as bombs dropped from the skies. The tours will be given by local charity Bridge for Heroes, and while admission is free, a donation would be much appreciated.
The town hall will host a tea dance, with dance lessons to prepare anyone whose foxtrot isn’t up to scratch! Wartime spirit meant that Lynn’s residents still wanted to look their best, so Flamingo Amy will be on hand to provide 40s-themed makeovers. Youngsters can also pick up a ration card, which can be redeemed for a ration of sweets at Lynn Museum. They’ll be surprised to learn how scarce sweets were for children in the 1940s! There will also be something for the adults in the ration book this year with discount vouchers for some fantastic local businesses.
Admission to Lynn Museum will be free during Forties Lynn, so their fascinating displays about life on the home front mustn’t be missed. The museum is also the place to meet costumed characters – enactors dressed in British or American army uniforms, and in 1940s civilian styles will be there and strolling about the town centre. Anyone who feels their morale flagging should look out for the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill – he’s sure to supply some inspiring words!
Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, borough council deputy leader and cabinet member for Culture, Heritage and Health, said: "Forties Lynn returns once again to entertain and educate visitors with a glimpse into life in Lynn during World War II. The Eddie Seales Big Band was such a hit last year that we've brought them back to make things really go with a swing! New for this year, visitors will be able to take a look at the Lynn Bomb Map. It's kept in the King's Lynn Borough Archives and is a fascinating first-hand record of what Lynn went through. I do hope that everyone will come along and enjoy these, and all the other activities we have planned."
Find out more on our Forties Lynn page