Lonely Girl Adventure, Episode 3: King’s Lynn, UK

In 1957 my grandmother, I call her Nanny, you can too, moved from King’s Lynn, UK to the United States of America. She was going with my grandfather, who was American. I wanted to travel to this place, not because it’s any sort of metropolis, but because I felt like there was some personal history there. I don’t have to much heritage mix like some Americans, I only have British and Polish, so I feel rather connected to England, like maybe there is something there that has been left for me to discover, and once I find it, everything will be clear.

For those of you who have been to King’s Lynn, you won’t be surprised to hear that I didn’t find any sort of fountain of knowledge. I did learn a lot about my family history though, nothing big or important, but just little facts about what my grandmother and great grandmother’s life was like before they went to America. I was actually quite embarrassed to not know about these things before, but now I do, so that makes it okay right? And who knows, maybe this is a step into the direction of “once you know this, everything will be okay.” You never know, until you know.

King’s Lynn is located basically directly north of London and is the part of England called East Anglia. It is featured in the Domesday book, (basically the first Almanic/Census of England) in 1086, but was listed as Bishop’s Lynn, when the city was surrendered to Henry VIII it assumed the name Lenne Regis (King’s Lynn). In the 14th century, King’s Lynn was the bee’s knees, and one of England’s most important ports. Between then and the World War’s, King’s Lynn lost its importance, as west coast ports were more widely used, and had been attacked during civil wars. During World War I, King’s Lynn was one of the first British cities to be bombed, due to an iron and timber factory in the area. In World War II, it was also the recipient of several air raids. Today King’s Lynn is very small and corporate, but still cute and traditional.

City Hall. Cool checkered board front!
George Vancouver, sailed to the Pacific Northwest in the states! Then he lived in King’s Lynn
St. Margret’s church, she is King’s Lynn patron saint.
I had a small list of things I needed to see in King’s Lynn, and one of them was to see the restuarant that my great grandmother used to work at. I definitely got a sense of how small the town was when at the tourist office the lady knew the restaurant I was talking about, despite it’s name having been changed. I went in and had lunch there, mmm fish and chips, and the waitress kept calling me “love,” in between talking about to the other waitress about So-and-So not doing her job right.

 

After lunch I went on a walk to find Nanny’s old homes. The lady at the tourist office gave me a warning that this is the area that, basically, tourists weren’t supposed to go to. I found this funny, because the area was quiet and the most frightening thing was that school had let out and kids were wandering around everywhere. I couldn’t find Nanny’s old homes, but apparently they had been torn down. I did find the house of Nanny’s old friend though, and she happened to be home when I knocked on the door. I sat down and chatted with Pat for about 45 minutes, but being 90 years old, the conversation took on a bit of a circular turn, and not many new topics were brought up. Apparently Nanny used to come down the back road and call on Pat’s son John and they would all play in the backyard. Ahhh, Nanny, you are adorable.

 

After these, I was feeling pretty tired, and also, pretty done with King’s Lynn. I’d given myself 6 hours to explore the city, but I really only needed 4. I had one more park to walk through, and then I couldn’t really see any other reason to stay.  I walked through the park right by the train station and saw a few more of “the sights.” The most significant of which was this Red Mount Chapel. It is presumably haunted, as there is a supposed tunnel from it to Castle Rising. Once a local fiddler and his dog went to explore the tunnel, and got trapped inside. To this day you can sometimes here the fiddler playing, and his dog barking for help.

 

 

Nearby this spooky chapel was a creek that some baby ducks called home, so to end my trip I took a load of pictures of baby ducks. I am a geek.

 

I am a bit behind on this blog, but I hope to catch up soon. I am back in Zürich now, and the weather is really nice. I hope you are all doing well at home!

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