Fifteen newly qualified King’s Lynn Town Guides have been presented with their official badges.
West Norfolk Deputy Mayor Margaret Wilkinson presented the badges on Wednesday during a ceremony at Lynn Town Hall.
The new guides will take up their posts immediately and introduce visitors and local people to the town and its fascinating history.
All have undertaken a full year of training comprising lectures and presentations, a written exam and eight weeks of practical training.
Their final assessment was a guided walk independently tested to the standards set by the Institute of Tourist Guiding.
“Not an easy undertaking, but we had a very enthusiastic group and it is wonderful to have so many new guides,” said Ivor Rowlands, guides’ vice- chairman.
“Now we have 30 guides in all and have already increased the number of our walks to five days a week to reflect the increase in visitor numbers that the town has seen since the ending of COVID-19 restrictions. We are also able to take private bookings, which is very important in promoting our town and its tourism.”
At the ceremony, Mr Rowlands said: “We guides are proud to show off the rich history of King’s Lynn to visitors and to locals. All the guides are volunteers and so it’s important to know that our work is so appreciated.”
The new guides come from most areas of Lynn and West Norfolk and from all walks of life.
Mike Brown, of Clenchwarton, has begun taking tours. “Visitors are amazed by how much history there is in Lynn and how important a place it was.
“They also love seeing all the hidden places they would normally have walked past without noticing.
“They certainly make you work hard before you get to wear your badge – but it’s worth it,” he said.
This is the 45th anniversary of the town guides, all fees charged are donated to charity and since its formation the organisation has given away more than £100,000 and conducted over 50,000 people on guided walks.
Even last year when tours had to be truncated because of the pandemic £4,000 was donated to organisations and buildings.
Training was carried out by Doreen Leventhall and Alison Miller with input from local experts, Dr Kate Parker, Adrian Parker, Dr Paul Richards and Fr Peter Rollings.
Tours, at £5 a head, children free, range from the basic Historic Lynn walk to specialist topics.
Private bookings and team building events for a minimum of six people are available at the same charge. See the website www.kingslynntownguides.co.uk
Information and tickets from Lynn Tourist Information Centre, 01553 774297. For private walks contact firstname.lastname@example.org