King’s Lynn annual Christmas meal now in its 67th year

The 2015 Shallows Lunch at King's Lynn Town Hall - Borough Mayor Colin Manning and Mayoress Julie Ma

The 2015 Shallows Lunch at King's Lynn Town Hall - Borough Mayor Colin Manning and Mayoress Julie Manning pulls a cracker with Joyce Daws. Picture: Matthew Usher.

About 65 pensioners have again enjoyed an annual Christmas meal in King's Lynn, thanks to the generosity of a town benefactor after the second world war.

Alderman George Shallow, who died in 1945, left cash in trust to pay for an annual festive dinner for the needy in the town, which is called the Shallow lunch.

Nowadays, most of the people who attend the lunch, who must be from the area and of pensionable age, are not needy, and tend to come as much for the social side of the occasion as for the meal.

The pensioners were joined at the town hall for the lunch on Monday by West Norfolk's Mayor Colin Manning and his wife, Julie, the lady mayoress.

Keith Blythe, who has been organising the event for the Lynn General Charities Trustees for 14 years, said: 'This is our 67th event, and there are a lot of new guests here today - 12 in total. We are here because of the generosity of George Shallow, who created a charitable foundation to ensure that each year people could enjoy a Christmas meal in the town.'

Among those enjoying the three-course meal was Margaret Withers, from Heacham, who said she had been to the annual event several times.

And Vi Smith, from Highgate, King's Lynn, who said: 'It's absolutely wonderful. It's a lovely meal and lovely to see this beautiful building.'

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The traditional Christmas meal was provided by the West Norfolk Flying chef. It was followed by a performance of Christmas carols by pupils from the town's Greyfriars Primary School.

Are you holding a special Christmas dinner in the King's Lynn area? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk