Reader letter: Why Nelson Quay? Nelson had no King’s Lynn connections

PUBLISHED: 18:22 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 18:22 30 November 2017

Admiral Lord Nelson. Photo: © Norfolk Museums Service

Admiral Lord Nelson. Photo: © Norfolk Museums Service

© Norfolk Museums Service

The borough council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk and its consultants are working on a new South Quay riverfront scheme in King’s Lynn, and have decided amongst themselves to call it Nelson Quay.

Nelson may have won more battles, sunk more ships and been responsible for more deaths among seamen than many other mariners, but there is no record of him having any King’s Lynn connections.

Whereas his contemporary George Vancouver, whose father ran Lynn’s Custom House, must often have played around the quay area with his brother as a boy before he joined the navy, and learned boating skills in the River Great Ouse. Vancouver in his 41 years of life became a world-class navigator, producing maps and charts of the west coast of the Americas that were in use saving lives for more than a century after his death.

In 1850, for example, his charts helped HMS Investigator to take Samuel Gurney Cresswell halfway across the top of Canada on his way to pioneering the North West Passage and circumnavigating the Americas.

Cresswell was born, grew up and died in Bank House on the South Quay. He would be my second choice of name for the quay.

And in these days when the morality of heroes is coming under increasing scrutiny, Nelson might be third.

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