Published: Monday, 13th May 2019
The town’s rich and colourful Hanseatic heritage was celebrated for the 11th Hanse Festival over the weekend.
The Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Nick Daubney explains: “The Hanse Festival celebrates everything we have to be proud of about our town – its history, people, cultural events, international links and stunning architecture. It draws people to the historic waterside and naturally focusses on the town’s maritime past and its position as one of the country’s most significant ports in medieval times.
“We were delighted to welcome the Latvian Ambassador to the UK, H.E. Ms Baiba Braze, to the festival and the Riga Art Nouveau exhibition being held at Hanse House”.
“The weather was perfect and the festival was magnificent, the support for the talks on Saturday, the visit from the Ambassador, the music, the boats, the children’s excitement were all fantastic”.
Led by the mayor, the ‘Parade of Flags’ started the activities on Sunday and drew a huge crowd who joined the colourful and noisy procession from the Tuesday Market Place, through town and into King’s Staithe Square.
The procession included flag bearers from countries who are part of the Hanseatic Union and walking boats created by children from local schools.
Entertainment on the quayside included traditional Latvian dancing, the Hanse Regatta organised by King’s Lynn Coastal Rowing Club and live music from Pot of Gold Shantymen, The Shackleton Trio and Bear Club.
Rachael Williams, the Learning and Engagement Officer from Stories of Lynn, helped children build small boats and said: “We had a wonderful turnout and a lot of little boats were created for children to try to float on our mini river. We held races to see which boats could cross the tank of water the fastest, powered only by the wind created by a fan”.
“The water tank was awesome and so many children loved and learned so much in just 4 inches of water. What a perfect day”.
Elsewhere, Discover Hanseatic Lynn walks took place on Saturday and lectures at Marriott’s Warehouse. A training workshop for young Hanse sailors also took place at Hanse House. In the minster churchyard there was a falconry display.
A Folk in the Town showcase event took place in the sun-drenched courtyard of The Rathskeller. The winners, Tabernacle Dusk, secured a spot at the Folk in the Town event in July.
Borough councillor Elizabeth Nockolds enjoyed the festival and that scores of families and groups enjoyed the activities and live music: “As the river played an important part in our past Hanseatic history, it was great to see so many people enjoying and cheering on the Regatta and rowing boat race.
“The Baden Powell fishing boat was very popular with the visitors and I was fortunate to be a passenger on one of the trips to the end of the Great Ouse. Sailing back under wind with the sails full out. It was an amazing experience. The river front looked amazing from the boat, full of people enjoying the activities”.