Published: Thursday, 17th June 2021
Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Cllr Harry Humphrey, met local author Kathleen Saunders to mark the launch of her new book and the 200th anniversary of the Eau Brink Cut in the Mayor's Parlour.
The book, titled Three Million Wheelbarrows, is a dramatization of events about the River Great Ouse from 1775 to 1821. Based on the history of creating a short channel around Marshland directly into the sea at King’s Lynn.
Sat in the Parlour at King's Lynn Town Hall, the Mayor, Cllr Humphrey, said: “I’m pleased to meet Kathleen Saunders to discuss her new book that draws on the real-life events of the work on the Eau Brink Cut and the opening of King’s Lynn’s first bridge over the River Great Ouse, from Freebridge to Marshland. It is interesting that the river itself is used as narrator for the progress of the work.
“The Bicentenary will also be marked by King’s Lynn Town Hall being lit up on 28 June 2021, 200 years after the first bridge opened.”
Three Million Wheelbarrows is a dramatization of events about the River Great Ouse from 1775 to 1821. This bitter dispute involved landowners who wanted to straighten the River Great Ouse to improve drainage and protect their crops from flood. The merchants of Kings Lynn Corporation feared straightening the river would create such violent currents that the harbour and barge transport network would be destroyed. It required a massive feat of negotiation by the most elite local characters and Britain’s legendary engineers to satisfy both factions.