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New whale feature is officially opened

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A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening of a new whale sculpture at South Lynn’s Doorstep Green.West Norfolk Mayor Paul Bland performed the honours on Saturday to declare the new landmark feature officially “open”.The corten steel structure, which has replaced a previous wooden figure, has been fabricated by local firm Able Engineering and reflects Lynn’s past connections with seafaring and the whaling trade.

At the opening ceremony: Cllr Terry Parish, Paul Alford (King’s Lynn Town Guides), Cllr Paul Bland, Dr Paul Richards, Gordon Foreman (Able Engineering), Rick Morrish and Kim Leonard (Town Guides).

The new feature at Harding’s Pits has been made possible thanks to a £30,000 borough council Community Infrastructure Levy grant.Rob Archer of Harding’s Pits Community Association (HPCA), which commissioned the sculpture, said it not only reflected local history but also celebrated whales – an icon of our natural environment.

Cllr Bland cuts the ribbon

Alderman and local historian Dr Paul Richards spoke about the maritime and industrial history of the port of King’s Lynn and in particular the River Nar and South Lynn.A new interpretation board, telling the story of Lynn’s whaling history, and whale shelter where people can meet and socialise was also unveiled, thanks to £1,000 support from King’s Lynn Town Guides.

The interpretation sign

Rick Morrish of HPCA thanked all the local firms and volunteers who have contributed to the the project and said all the grant money has been spent locally. “This year the Doorstep Green is 20 years old. It has been envisaged, planned and delivered by local people for local people. We know that local residents love the space and we hope that everyone will love and respect this new feature,” he said.The five-metre high diving whale structure was put in place at the end of last month replacing the original timber feature which stood for the last 18 years.The new sculpture had only been in place a new days when it was sprayed with graffiti but this has now been removed.

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