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Roaring Middle and Lynn Well helped ships navigate The Wash to King’s Lynn safely

PUBLISHED: 14:32 30 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:32 30 October 2017

The Roaring Middle in the 1970s. Picture: John Hocknell

The Roaring Middle in the 1970s. Picture: John Hocknell

Archant

Sixteen miles out from King’s Lynn, floating lights helped mariners avoid running aground in the treacherous Wash and find their way safely to port.

The Lynnwelllightship. Picture: Archant library The Lynnwelllightship. Picture: Archant library

The Roaring Middle and Lynn Well’s lights helped guide more than 1,000 ships a year in the 1970s, when our photographer sailed out on the barge hauling it back out to sea after its annual overhaul.

Even in today’s era of GPS and echo-sounders, seafarers sometimes still appreciate the extra safety aid.

The Roaring Middle in the 1970s. Picture: John Hocknell The Roaring Middle in the 1970s. Picture: John Hocknell

It might look benign on a summer’s evening, but The Wash can be a dangerous place with its shifting banks and channels and ever-changing weather.

King’s Lynn Conservancy Board still maintains navigational aids. It was set up in 1887 after cargo ship the Wick Bay ran aground and broke her back on the port’s approaches.

The Roaring Middle in the 1970s. Picture: John Hocknell The Roaring Middle in the 1970s. Picture: John Hocknell

Her owners sued the then King’s Lynn Corporation for damages and the loss of her cargo.

The Roaring Middle in the 1970s. Picture: John Hocknell The Roaring Middle in the 1970s. Picture: John Hocknell

The Roaring Middle in the 1970s. Picture: John Hocknell The Roaring Middle in the 1970s. Picture: John Hocknell

The Roaring Middle in the 1970s. Picture: John Hocknell The Roaring Middle in the 1970s. Picture: John Hocknell

The bouy yard at king's Lynn. Picture: John Hocknell The bouy yard at king's Lynn. Picture: John Hocknell

Painting bouys in 1976. Picture: John Hocknell Painting bouys in 1976. Picture: John Hocknell

lightships & light vessels. Pictured: Lynnwell lightship at Yarmouth. date: 17 or 18 mar 1977.
9	In March 1977, Norwich’s moored lightship, the former Lynnwell vessel, was due to be towed round the coast to Bristol where it would become a museum and floating restaurant. The new owners hoped to have the light working, but on reduced power.
Put on station 1921 had a crew of 5. Geoffrey Searle used to take the crew a turkey, drink and a tree at Christmas time In 1956 they got a television. In 1973 the lightship was removed from station and towed to Harwich. It became the HQ of the sea cadets in Norwich  info via Dick Melton, Hunstanton lightships & light vessels. Pictured: Lynnwell lightship at Yarmouth. date: 17 or 18 mar 1977. 9 In March 1977, Norwich’s moored lightship, the former Lynnwell vessel, was due to be towed round the coast to Bristol where it would become a museum and floating restaurant. The new owners hoped to have the light working, but on reduced power. Put on station 1921 had a crew of 5. Geoffrey Searle used to take the crew a turkey, drink and a tree at Christmas time In 1956 they got a television. In 1973 the lightship was removed from station and towed to Harwich. It became the HQ of the sea cadets in Norwich info via Dick Melton, Hunstanton

King's Lynn  -  Docks,Fleets and Quays

Some of the buoys recently acquired in 1982 by King's Lynn Conservancy Board, intermingled with other gear with a distinctly nautical flavour.

Dated  7 February 1982

Picture: Archant library King's Lynn - Docks,Fleets and Quays Some of the buoys recently acquired in 1982 by King's Lynn Conservancy Board, intermingled with other gear with a distinctly nautical flavour. Dated 7 February 1982 Picture: Archant library

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