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 months. His column appears every two months in Your Local Paper. Pictured is MSM Dolores departing Lynn in August with 4,000 tonnes of barley for Spain.

Over August and September, 39 merchant vessels arrived at our Wash port and 38 departed, of which 19 and 17 respectively were in ballast.  

 Shipping was somewhat more buoyant in August.

Timber from Scandinavia and the Baltic is Lynn’s biggest import trade and ships discharged seven full cargoes. One vessel had loaded at Nordenham which is located at the mouth of the Weser on the German North Sea coast. There were six part-cargoes landed by ships which had first called at Hull (2) and Seaham (3) but the Dolfijn had sailed from Southampton.

The Fri Ocean voyaged to Lynn from Wolgast on the German Baltic twice in August with cargoes of wheat, a traffic which will be familiar to readers.

Another regular run is by vessels transporting barley from Scotland for malting in Norfolk and two shipments arrived in August from Aberdeen.

The Wilson Ems carried a cargo of vermiculite to Lynn from Antwerp which is a mineral used for the manufacture of plaster for the construction industry.

There was a single cargo of aggregate for the building industry discharged at Lynn by the Active from Randers in Denmark. The Eastern Vanquish arrived in The Wash in August with a cargo of granite from Glensanda (near Oban) in Scotland.

The Sandal transported a cargo of scrap back to Lynn from Rotterdam where it had failed the required quality check when discharged.

Barley was again Lynn’s major export commodity with seven ships departing the port with full cargoes. Ghent in Belgium was the destination of the Eastern Vanquish in August and again in September.

Two large consignments were despatched to Villagarcia on the north-west tip of Spain. This included 4,000 tonnes on board the MSM Dolores which is 108 metres long and fitted with two big cranes for self-contained cargo handling.  

The Francisca sailed to Rotterdam, which is Europe’s largest port, with the same cargo. The Fri Ocean had discharged wheat from Wolgast on August 23 before carrying barley to Belfast on August 27.

Scrap is another commodity regularly exported from Lynn and six vessels sailed with loads and three had Amsterdam as the destination. The Hav Snapper carried a single cargo to Bilboa in northern Spain before the Sandal departed The Wash with another load for Antwerp in Belgium. The Sandal had sailed to Rotterdam with scrap on September 23 only having to return with the cargo as already noted.

Beans from East Anglian farms continue to be exported to Norway and three shipments went to Floro on its west coast.  This small town was once a flourishing herring port and the citizens still enjoy an annual herring feast.  

Bergneset in Norway was the destination of the Titran with another full cargo of beans. The Sula took beans from Lynn to Hull where the vessel finished loading before sailing to Norway.

In August the Ems Exe sailed to Foynes on Ireland’s west coast with a cargo of wheat which in the past has been exported in great quantities.  The state of the annual English harvest governs the traffic as it has done for centuries.

Two cargoes of malted barley were taken from Norfolk to Scotland by the Sea Kestrel in August and the Celtica Hav in September.  

In August the workboat UKD Seahorse undertook levelling operations for Associated British Ports (ABP).  The light ship Roaring Middle was built in the 1930s for King’s Lynn Conservancy Board (KLCB) and still provides an important navigation mark for all vessels entering the Wash from the sea. It is currently at Lynn awaiting hull repairs.