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 Paramar arriving at Lynn with part-cargo of timber on January 31.

Over December and January, 22 cargo ships arrived and 23 departed the port, with seven and 12 respectively in ballast.  

Christmas is usually a quiet period for shipping. UKD dredger Cherry Sand returned to King’s Lynn to complete the work in the docks started last November.

In December, the Smit Spey made another visit to undertake training drills for RAF pilots in the Wash.

Six vessels unloaded timber from Scandinavia which has for long been Lynn’s principal import. 

Two full cargoes came from Varberg in Sweden and three part cargoes via Seaham in England’s North-East. 

There was also a part cargo delivered by the Swe-Carrier which continued to Hull to discharge the remainder of its full load.

Bulk fertilisers are a regular if modest import for England’s farmlands. 

The Marjatta carried a cargo from St Petersburg and Sea Ruby another from Amsterdam.  

The Anja unloaded a part cargo from Ust Luga (near St Petersburg) via Methil on Scotland’s Firth of Forth.

Aggregate for the home construction is another familiar import and two loads were carried to the Wash from Randers in Denmark.

From the German Baltic port of Wismar, the Fluvius Otter delivered a cargo of salt for industrial use. 

Out of Rotterdam, the H&S Fairness transported vermiculite which is a mineral used as an insulation material.

Two ship loads of maize arrived from the French Atlantic ports of Bordeaux and La Pallice (La Rochelle’s deep water harbour) to which import traffic is also regular. The maize is normally used for animal feed.

Barley from East Anglia is in demand in Europe and five ships with full cargoes departed Lynn – two each for The Netherlands and Ireland and one for Emden. The latter is a German North Sea port with which Lynn enjoyed a thriving trade in the late 16th century.

After discharging its salt cargo, the Fluvius Otter sailed for Dordrecht with barley a few days later.

Three vessels carried scrap from Lynn with the Ohlau and Linnau on the regular run to Bilbao in Spain. 

 Leixoes (Oporto) was the destination for the Kossau. In the 18th century Lynn imported impressive quantities of wine from Oporto in exchange for corn.  

Foodstuffs were exported from Lynn to Norway in great quantities before 1500 and in December, the Eems Servant loaded a cargo of beans for Floro in the west of that country.

Port trade for the 12 months to December 31, 2018 amounted to 381,621 tonnes compared to 382,306 in 2017.  

The cargoes were handled by 179 British and foreign ships which had a gross tonnage of 408,510.  

King’s Lynn Conservancy Board (KLCB), responsible for navigation and pilotage, and Associated British Ports (ABP) work together to ensure a safe maritime environment for all those using our Wash port.

Health and safety on the 98-acre dock estate is also a priority.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Alexandra Dock in July, 1869 which is a milestone in the history of the port of Lynn.  

It is on the ABP “radar” for the summer.  True’s Yard Fisherfolk Museum in Lynn will be staging an exhibition on the construction of the dock whose success helped to regenerate the town’s economy.  The Bentinck Dock was not built until 1881-83.