King’s Lynn woman returns to wartime home after almost four decades

Home is where the heart still is for Edith Reeves - all these years on

She fled to King's Lynn with her grandparents some 71 years ago following the heaviest bombing raid on her hometown of Coventry during the second world war.

And the stroll from the train station through The Walks to get to her new home during the spring of 1941 is one of Edith Reeves' favourite childhood memories.

She grew up in Lynn and remained in the town until 1955 when she left with husband and former King's Lynn footballer Dick Wilson to start a new life in Seaham, near Sunderland.

But after decades away from Norfolk, the grandmother-of-eight fell in love once more with the town during a one-off visit and ended up buying her former home.

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'When I lived here before I thought Lynn was dull and grey but so did all the teenagers living here at the time,' she said. 'It is probably the same for teenagers living here today.

'I had no intention of returning to Norfolk let alone King's Lynn but one day a work colleague suggested we travel up from London and visit for a day because she had never been to Norfolk.

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'When we arrived I asked her if we could go and look at my old home and as we approached it, I saw a for sale sign outside and within a week I had bought it.

'I think it was fate and just meant to be. As soon as I walked down the street, I felt as though I didn't need to worry any more.'

The 75-year-old has now spent almost 10 years back in Lynn and has never regretted the decision to buy her wartime home and leave London.

She has also become heavily involved in the town's heritage and is currently secretary of the Friends of The Walks, a town guide and a steward at the South Gate and Red Mount.

She continued: 'I had this idea when I moved back that I would be reunited with lots of people I grew up with but when I arrived, everyone had moved away.

'I think I've only ever met two people who I knew previously.

She added: 'I've tried to make the house look like it was when I was here before and I managed to find the same wallpaper and similar furniture.

'The front door may look the same but it isn't. When I left my job as a practice manager at a health centre in London, I was asked if there was anything they could do for me. I showed them a picture of what the front door of this house looked like back then and they made it for me.'

Mrs Reeves also leads her own walk around the West Norfolk town entitled The Darker Side of Lynn and the next walk will be held on July 26 at 2pm.

The walk goes from St Nicholas' Chapel to King's Lynn Minster where tales of the ducking stool, murder, treason and hangings and witchcraft are told.

The Extons Road resident said stewards are still being sought for the Red Mount and South Gate. If interested, call 01553 760 184.

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