Calls for bench to be reinstalled after it was removed in King’s Lynn from its long-standing position

xxx_Illustration of the town hall by W.H Oldmeadow c 1820_Picture.Submitted

xxx_Illustration of the town hall by W.H Oldmeadow c 1820_Picture.Submitted - Credit: Archant

It is said to have been a fixture of King's Lynn since the reign of King George III.

The King's Lynn Town Hall with its new night time lighting system. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The King's Lynn Town Hall with its new night time lighting system. Picture: Matthew Usher.

In the years since, generations of its citizens have rested upon it, able to take in one of their town's finest views.

But the disappearance of the prominent bench, from its spot along the front of Lynn's town hall, has caused some consternation in the town.

The seat was removed while work was carried out on the pavement area, and also to allow new lighting to be installed.

King's Lynn Civic Society hoped that once the 'uplighters' had been fitted, the bench could be returned, but West Norfolk Council has now said that it has no plans to restore it.


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The group raised the issue in its annual report and Alison Gifford, chairman of the group, said she was looking forward to seeing the seat returned, to 'continue a tradition of over 200 years, allowing people to take in the lovely Saturday Market Place and buildings around it'.

She added: 'It's a pity there is a conflict between the pleasure and comfort of people using the bench on the Saturday Market Place in the daytime and the apparent aesthetic qualities of the 'uplighters' in the evening.'

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She said the society did not necessarily want the same bench – which was not the original – returned.

She is planning to raise the subject when she meets with Chris Bamfield, West Norfolk Council's director of leisure services, next week to receive an update as to whether the request would go ahead.

The humble wooden bench, which overlooks the Saturday Market Place and Lynn Minster, is thought to have been installed around 200 years ago. The society has found a series of pictures and photographs of the bench through the years.

The bench is thought to have been removed in 2014, while the pavement work went ahead.

The council has recently installed low-energy LED lighting at the 15th-century town hall, to illuminate its beautiful chequerboard frontage.

A spokesman for the council said that the work carried out in the area had improved the setting of the town hall.

She added: 'It is not known how long the slatted seat was in place, but it was not believed to be original, although it is believed that there has been some form of seat in that area for many years.

'There are no plans to replace the seat outside the town hall... although street furniture requirements in the Saturday Market Place area will continue to be reviewed.'

Do you have a heritage story? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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