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Hidden Gems returns to the borough archives

A hand-drawn plan of the front elevation of the Majestic Cinema in King's Lynn

Published: Thursday, 29th November 2018

This free session at King’s Lynn Borough Archives on Wednesday 5 December at 10:30-11:30am is a chance to see a selection of fascinating documents up-close and learn all about their history.

King’s Lynn Borough Archives hold thousands of original documents that tell the story of 800 years of the town’s history. In this ‘Hidden Gems’ session, a selection of some of the archive’s more colourful and obscure records will be on display, and the archivist will talk about each document’s history and provenance.

Luke Shackell, trainee archivist, said: “The previous Hidden Gems session back in the summer was such a success we’re bringing it back! It was great fun to tell everyone the stories behind some of the archives’ more unusual documents, and this session will look at a new set of equally fascinating records. Anyone with an interest in history and how it’s recorded will love this session, so if that’s you, book your free place quickly – we expect them to be in great demand.”

The documents on display will date from ancient to (relatively) modern, and will include:

Plan for a Majestic Cinema - 1927

A plan for what would become the Majestic Cinema, originally billed as a cinema and ballroom on Baxter’s Plain. It shows the impressive front façade as well as internal plans and is all hand-coloured. These building control plans are being indexed with the help of volunteers at the King’s Lynn Borough Archives.

Letters patent of Henry VI – 1428

These Letter Patent confirm the powers and rights granted in earlier charters. These Letters Patent are special due to the illuminations. They show a highly detailed ship, possibly similar to those built in Lynn, and an angel holding the Borough’s coat of arms.

Watch Committee Minute Book – (1893-1902)

The Watch Committee oversaw the police force in King’s Lynn. The book records the Chief Constable’s yearly report to the committee, lists what equipment needed to be bought for the constables and dealt with disciplinary issues. This volume contains the Chief Constable’s report to the committee on the escape of John Cooper from his cell in the town hall and the efforts made to recapture him.


Booking for the ‘Hidden Gems’ session is essential and place can be booked by calling Stories of Lynn on 01553 774297 or by emailing storiesoflynn@west-norfolk.gov.uk, and including a telephone number, which is needed to confirm a booking.

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