Hanse Festival plans unveiled for King's Lynn

Annabelle DicksonA replica 15th Century cargo ship will sail up the Ouse with her cannons roaring to mark the start of King's Lynn's first Hanse festival.Hanse festival websiteHanse festival websiteAnnabelle Dickson

A replica 15th Century cargo ship will sail up the Ouse with her cannons roaring to mark the start of King's Lynn's first-ever hanse festival.

Quays will bustle with street markets, churches will ring out with music and blacksmiths' hammers will echo through the streets.

Organisers of a four-day Hanse Festival - which begins on July 30 - are urging people, from families to business leaders, to join-in the vast spectrum of events, announced yesterday, which are planned to educate and celebrate the important historic role King's Lynn played in medieval Baltic and North Sea trade.

But foremost the festival is emphasising the town's future as part of the modern Hanse League - a network of European towns linked together to forge business, tourism and cultural links.


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Fireworks, food markets, live music, talks and exhibitions are just some of the catalogue of revelries organised for the festival weekend.

It is hoped the occasion will give the folk of King's Lynn a greater understanding of their past and a pride in a modern-day involvement.

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During the weekend, blacksmiths, some from the other Hansetic towns, will set up forges on the South Quay and craft a permanent sculpture celebrating the Hanse connection.

Leader of West Norfolk Council Nick Daubney said: 'It was quite clear to me that King's Lynn played an important role in the Hanse League in the past.

'The modern league was founded in the 1980s. It is gaining quite a lot of influence in Europe. It has proved to be a very fruitful relationship.'

King's Lynn is the only English member of the modern Hanse and St Margaret's House in King's Lynn is the only remaining example of a Hanseatic warehouse in the country.

Sheena Carmen, arts development officer at West Norfolk council said: 'We hope people will really enjoy the festival and take advantage of the activities, many of which are free. As well as bringing the town together to have fun, we hope the event will help to raise the profile of King's Lynn as a Hanse town, building upon its international reputation, to make it a place where people want to visit and do business.'

Liz Falconbridge, arts and education manager at the King's Lynn Arts Centre said: 'It's about learning from other people. All these links are wonderful for learning and developing.'

She added that as the only country in England to be part of the Hanse network King's Lynn had a unique selling point.

t The King's Lynn Hanse Festival runs from July 30 to August 2.

Hanse festival websiteHanse festival website

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