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Large crowds gather and enjoy rides as the Mart officially opens

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Opening in Lynn for the first show of the season today, the Mart attracted large crowds to the Tuesday Market Place.Following the arrival of the parade, Reverend Canon Adrian Ling opened proceedings by expressing hopes for “good crowds, fun, and enjoyment” for all ages – while he acknowledged the Mart’s long history in the town.The opening of the mart featured the Showman’s Prayer, as well as a speech from the president of the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain, John Thurston.He said: “It is always a privilege to be here for the opening.“This must be one of the finest openings in the country – I have always said that.“The turnout is always fantastic. This fair goes back over 800 years ago and it belongs to the people of Lynn.”

The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn

Terry Parish, the leader of West Norfolk Council, read the proclamation, while borough mayor Margaret Wilkinson welcomed the crowd before officially declaring the Mart open.She described to listeners how much the Mart means to the showmen who continue to celebrate the ancient ceremony in the heart of the town, which marks the start of their show year.Cllr Wilkinson said the Mart has a “special place” in the hearts of the travelling show people, and thanked them for bringing tradition and enjoyment to the town for locals and visitors.

The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn

MP James Wild was also in attendance at the opening, enjoying a ride with others on the dodgems.He said: “The Mart has hundreds of years of history behind it and the brilliant turnout shows the opening continues to be a landmark date celebrated in Lynn.“It was great fun to have a go on the dodgems and there’s plenty for people to come and enjoy and celebrate our heritage.”

The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn

There was a final blessing by the Bishop of Lynn, the Rt Rev Dr Jane Steen, before dignitaries, guests, and local cadets enjoyed the first rides on the bumper cars.The Mart will be exciting people in town until February 24, after which showmen will move onto Wisbech.

The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn
The opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place. Picture credit: Ian Burn

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