In June and July, 29 ships arrived and departed our Wash harbour. 

Scandinavian and Baltic timber was again the main import with nine vessels unloading. Seven ships had discharged part of their cargo at other ports including two at Hull.

Full loads of timber came from Varberg in Sweden and Ventspils in Latvia; the latter cargo was pre-cut timber for making pallets.

Two vessels transported aggregate for the building industry from Randers in Denmark. Another regular trade is the import of the occasional cargo of wheat from Bonniéres in France brought by the Aristote.  The Tanja delivered a consignment of maize from Blaye near Bordeaux. From Lidkoping in Sweden came a cargo of beans in the Rimini.

The Christine arrived and departed the Great Ouse twice in July with loads of fertiliser for farmers in Lynn’s hinterland.

Over the  two months, 10 vessels from British and continental ports docked at Lynn in ballast. Of the 29 ships departing our port, 17 were in ballast of which two sailed to await orders at sea.

Exports were the Lynn staples of barley, wheat and rapeseed. Four ships transported rapeseed (for biofuel and cooking oil) to Rotterdam, Hamburg, Karlshamm in Sweden and Kiel.

Kiel is on the German Baltic and the home of the medieval replica ship which visited Lynn in 2004. Three vessels departed the docks with barley for Rotterdam and Londonderry.

There was a single cargo of wheat carried to Ghent in Belgium by the Rimini. A load of scrap metal was shipped to Bayonne in France and another to Bilbao in Spain.

The small naval training vessel HMS Puncher made a courtesy call at Lynn being in the docks for several days during a trip along the East Coast.

The problem of rain when trying to load agribulks, like barley, affected the Panta Rhei in mid-July. It spent 10 days at Lynn because loading could not be completed before tide heights became insufficient.

The vessel had to wait another seven days before the next set of spring tides allowed it to sail.

The successful operation of the port depends on the partnership between Associated British Ports (ABP) and the King’s Lynn Conservancy Board (KLCB).

ABP is soon opening a new grain store on the dock estate and has consulted True’s Yard and St Edmund’s School to find a suitable name for the building and its several bays.

KLCB has responsibility for surveying and marking the safe navigational approaches to Lynn through 12 miles of constantly shifting sands.

It provides 50 navigational aids of which 32 are solar-powered light buoys and 13 are fixed light beacons. All navigational equipment is maintained by a small crew of three skilled mariners based at the board’s headquarters on Common Staithe. At Purfleet Quay is the St Edmund which can lift the buoys and moorings on board and deploy the same very precisely.

The Conservancy Board offices and tower will be open to the public on Heritage Open Day, September 10.

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