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From 1879 to 2018 - how times have changed at The Walks

PUBLISHED: 13:20 08 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:20 08 October 2018

Steeped in history - The Walks in King's Lynn Picture: Ian Burt

Steeped in history - The Walks in King's Lynn Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Football at The Walks dates back to the formation of Lynn Town in 1879.

The Norfolk Football Association was formed in 1881 and prior to the arrival of the professional game in Norwich in 1905, Lynn - nick-named the Shrimpers at the time - were regarded as the strongest team in the county.

In October 1892, the EDP reported it was no longer possible to watch games at The Walks without paying admission as “huge canvas screens have been erected and the playing part of the field is now fully wired in”. In 1893 a season ticket cost two shillings.

At the beginning of the 20th Century, interest in the sport was so strong that the town had its own football newspaper, the Lynn Football Star which was published from 1903 to 1915.

In 1905, the club borrowed £250 to pay builder William Smith to build a wooden grandstand, measuring 100ft long, which could seat 500. This debt was paid off, the following year, by the Club’s share of proceeds of a visit to Aston Villa in the FA (then English) Cup.

The ends of the ground have been referred to by different names over the years – the east known as the Tennyson Road, Workhouse or Poor House end and the west as The Walks, Hospital or Seven Sisters. The hospital is now long gone and the Seven Sisters referred to seven long-disappeared lime trees.

In May 1955 the Club announced that it had sold its now 50-year-old old stand and had planning permission for a new grandstand made of brick and steel, which would be 200ft long and capable of seating 1,400.

In August 1956 the new grandstand, which cost £27,000, was opened by Arthur Drewry, the chairman of the FA.

Lynn Town originally played in black and white. It wasn’t until 1923 that they ran out in royal blue and gold old gold, which remains the strip today.

In 2009, the terraces fell silent after King’s Lynn FC was wound up over an unpaid £77,000 tax bill.

The following year King’s Lynn Stars speedway promoter Buster Chapman took over at The Walks, while newly-named club King’s Lynn Town FC took to the pitch.

In 2016, Chapman sold the club the Stephen Cleeve, who vowed to take it onwards and upwards to league football. Ground improvements not possible under the 99-year-lease will be pivotal to any future rise up the ladder.

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