Hometown Glory


One of Great Yarmouth’s finest exports recently pointed me in the direction of Here’s England, a book originally published in 1950 which is “aimed squarely at American travelers – it’s replete with history, architecture and practical travel information, but first and foremost it’s a book to be read for sheer enjoyment.”

Having now tracked down a copy for myself (a copy it seems once owned by the Nioga Library System) I’m delighted to see my home town coming in for great praise from the authors Ruth McKenney and Richard Bransten:

King’s Lynn was a complete, total, and wonderful surprise. When we came back to London, we discovered (sheepishly) that Lynn, as they call it for short, has for years been famous among English intellectuals, scholars, architects, poets, painters, novelists, and sophisticates in general.

I hope I shall not spoil your pleasure if I tell you in advance that King’s Lynn is a remarkable and beautiful town.”

Quite what they’d think of the place some sixty years later is something we’re never going to know, however I think even the town’s most vocal supporters (and I consider myself up there with them) would be hard pressed to consider it “by far the most beautiful and interesting town in Europe” – still it’s nice to be considered in the running.

[The picture above comes from a postcard I picked up a while back, showing King’s Lynn’s South Gate which rather confusingly is noted as the West Gate – quite how the town has worked its way round the compass remains unclear.]

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