Dr Paul Richards, member of the King’s Lynn Conservancy Board responsible for the navigation and pilotage of the port, takes a look at activity over the last few weeks. Pictured is the specialist survey vessel Bibby Athena undertaking cable surveying operations.

During April and May 29, ships arrived at Lynn and 28 departed, with seven and 19 in ballast respectively.  This included the dredger Cherry Sand which completed its work and sailed for Rosyth on April 6.

Timber imported from Scandinavian and Baltic ports remains of the utmost significance for Lynn. Ten ships arrived in the two months of which seven delivered part cargoes after unloading at other English ports.  Another sailed direct from Iggesund to the Wash to deliver part of its cargo before departing for Hull to unload the timber remaining.

Two vessels carried full timber cargoes from the Baltic, SMN Explorer from Varberg in Sweden and the Dolfijn from Latvia.

Four ships arrived at our port with aggregate for the building industry, two from Denmark and another two from Portugal. This traffic is regular if modest.

Four single ship cargoes are noteworthy. Fertiliser came from Amsterdam on the Hav Zander; from the German Hanseatic port of Wismar the Eems Star brought salt for Norfolk roads; from North Wales the Nataly carried stone for work at RAF Marham: a mixed cargo of maize and soya was imported by the Lady Anna from La Pallice in France. La Pallice is the modern port of La Rochelle which is the sole French city to belong to the New Hanseatic League and was one of Lynn’s trading partners as early as the 14th century.

The specialist survey vessel Bibby Athena called in April for stores and equipment overhaul following operations in the Wash. This French-built vessel was undertaking surveying work on the cables linking Race Bank windfarm to the shore near Walpole.  Other similar support ships may regularly be seen in the Wash sheltering from the heavy seas further off shore.

In May, the training vessel Smit Spey returned to the South Quay for a few days as part of routine training exercises with RAF stations.

Exports from Lynn so far this year have been subdued. In April, the Arklow Field departed with barley to Foynes on Ireland’s west coast. The Muhlenau carried scrap metal to Bilboa via Esbjerg in Denmark to load more cargo on deck.

In May, the Jumbo transported barley to Drogheda in Ireland and the Niklas carried beans to Rouen in northern France. Two more cargoes of scrap metal were loaded on the Javenau and Ohlau for Bilbao in northern Spain.

The successful Hanse Festival on May 20 celebrated Lynn’s maritime links with European ports past and present and was supported and assisted by both the King’s Lynn Conservancy Board (KLCB) and Associated British Ports (ABP).  

The rowing regatta on the River Great Ouse was a revival of such races organised annually before 1914 when North End fishermen challenged the dock labourers.

KLCB and ABP have also been of assistance to the King’s Lynn Worfolk Boat Trust accommodating the Baden Powell.  

Following restoration, Lynn’s oldest fishing boat is now accessible to the public for trips on the river.