Your letters on a hospital, a proposed town council, Halloween and a pub closure threat

Here are the letters from the Lynn News of Friday, November 3, 2023…

I drove around for an hour but couldn’t find a space

On Tuesday I had an appointment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn for 10.20am.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn

I drove into the car park at 9.15am, with the intention of going for a coffee before my appointment.

I arrived with plenty of time to spare. After an hour of driving around, looking for spaces, any space, I eventually had to drive away, so I didn’t attend my appointment.

I phoned up the relevant department and requested my biopsy results in a letter because it would certainly be quicker than trying to find a space in the car park.

While doing more laps of the car park than Lewis Hamilton in an F1 race you can’t help but notice that most of the spaces are taken up by permit holders.

I know hospital employees have to park as well, but surely it defeats the whole thing that they can get parking but the people who need to use the hospital can’t.

I could have used the bus, I could have got a lift, but arriving over an hour before my appointment I thought, wrongly as it turns out, that there would be spaces.

I can only but dream what it’s going to be like when the multi-storey car park is built.l

How’s it going to work? Get your ticket, drive in, pay at the exit, it’s going to cost money to not park, but just to drive around looking for spaces.

Noel Hammond

via email

Why does it need to be built by 2030?

It was informative to read Cllr Jo Rust’s comments on the rebuilding of Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Few have worked harder than her to keep this issue alive, many have claimed credit for her relentless campaigning. She deserves praise for all she has done.

The case for rebuilding on the same site rests on one single assertion by the QEH – that only a rebuild on the current site will allow the old hospital to be replaced in 2030.

On all other metrics many agree a new site would be better – cheaper, less disruptive for staff and patients, better connected and more accessible, bigger and more able to expand in future, and able to have other facilities on site, such as a teaching school, research facilities and serviced homes for the elderly. And such a site has been presented (near Hardwick) with the proximity of the new town to be constructed at West Winch (“new Swaffham”) and capable of being served by a possible new Hardwick Railway station.

And of course a new site would release a large area of land which would help fund the rebuild and ideally allow for a large slug of truly affordable housing to be built next to Lynn.

And the first consequence of keeping to the old site is the need to build a £42m multi-storey car park – simply not needed on a larger site – which is available.

So I want to challenge the two components of the target replacement date on which the QEH rests. The grounds are (1) what is so special about 2030? And (2) what would be the delivery date of a new QEH on a new site.

Firstly, 2030 is a target date put forward by our political leaders. I believe that the incredible work done by the QEH to ensure the operational safety of the current site with 4,000-plus pit props is just that – professional engineers clearly believe that their actions have mitigated the risk of roof collapse.

And I believe that going forward this risk is mitigated beyond the politically asserted date of 2030.

In other words whilst we all would like a new hospital by 2030, the operational safety of the current building rests on the effectiveness of the current support mechanisms, and there is no reason to believe that these will not last beyond 2030.

Secondly, as Jo points out, “even the design of the Hospital 2.0 hasn’t been determined”. Not only that but the funding is conditional on the business plan being accepted. So you see final design work is far from being completed.

And when I talk to civil engineers and ask for their view on a completion date on a new greenfield site – which will be much much easier to build on, the belief is that all could be done by 2030. Already key components are in the pipeline – the A10 relief road, the dualling of part of the A47, the service requirements for West Winch.

I feel that we, the taxpayers of West Norfolk, have been badly let down by our political leaders at Borough, County and Parliamentary level. Not a single one has sought to get a sound cost benefit analysis of alternatives properly investigated. They just do not, and did not, have the bottle to challenge the NHS blob. I have asked the NHS for this.

They will not supply it. I do not know if it even exists.

Like Jo I want to see a new hospital. But I want the right hospital in the right place at the right price and at the right time.

A hospital that will be great for patients, staff and West Norfolk. A hospital we can rightly be proud of.

Cllr Tom Rvyes

via emai

How much money would all this cost?

How many of your readers would agree with me that the proposal to have yet another level of bureaucracy for Lynn is a total waste of money that the rate payers will have to find?

If as I suspect the district councillors just want to offload the cost of the Mayor and the associated team then just reduce the budget as they do with other services.

And before this change is steamrolled through we need to be told what the cost will be to rebrand the district council once they drop ‘Borough Council of King’s Lynn’ part from all the forms, buildings and vehicles.

Richard Wicks


Come on, let the children have some fun

Regarding Come on David Fleming’s letter about Halloween, don’t be a killjoy. Witches and ghosties and things that go bump in the night were part of childhood for many of us, giving a tingle of excitement mixed with a little fear of the occult.

Paganism in the United Kingdom was and still is a way of life for some people, especially during Walpurgisnacht in May, the summer solstice at Stonhenge in June and wassailing apple trees in autumn.

My home was in Cornwall for a number of years where in my village I became friends with the local padre.

On one occasion over a pint, he told me that prior to taking up his Cornish appointment he had to go back to theology college to mug up on witches’ covens in that county.

During my time living there the Treliske Hospital in Truro had a white witch in its welfare department as well as Christian padres.

I also knew a white witch who gave me some ‘lucky stones’ which I still have. Daft maybe, but over the years humans have often sheltered behind fires, not just for warmth but to keep at bay something that would wish them harm, so deep in my mind maybe I feel the same way about those stones.

David, let the kids stick a candle into a pumpkin, apply some makeup up and put on a scary costume. Then accompanied by adults spend a few hours in the cool, fresh night air instead of tap tapping away on games computers or chatting to their friends on their mobile phones.

As they stroll around their local streets maybe with the imagination of a child, they might think that they saw a shadowy figure on a broomstick pass across the October Moon.

Alan Mudge


Thankfully no signs of goat slaughtering!

I’d have to agree with David Fleming’s peers who he admits have described him as a killjoy because of his bizarre and frankly overwrought fears of the mortal dangers associated with celebrating Hallowe’en and therefore in his opinion, “the occult”.

Now, as a dutiful grandfather I chose to attend these potentially satanic rituals at a little tea party being laid on for my four grandchildren to see what threats they faced.

Thankfully, there was no sign of any attempts to slaughter goats in the garden or summon ‘Beelzebub’ although I did witness some mildly demonic table manners and grabbed some devilishly good cake when the little ones weren’t watching.

It all seemed very innocent and happy until the mood changed when a chill slowly crept over the room… but it turned out some little imp had been fiddling with the heating thermostat.

Steve Mackinder



Losing their pub would indeed be a bitter outcome

Well done to Lynn News for its front page headline last Friday, ‘Save Our Pub’, where the residents of the village Wiggenhall St Germans are concerned about the potential loss of the Crown and Anchor public house, as it has been put on the market.

It clearly demonstrates that the paper is on the side of rural Norfolk. The grocery shop, Post Office and the pub are the hubs of any village community.

I found this pub the perfect setting for an extension of a social life, suitable especially for people living on their own, going to a convivial environment for a respite from solitude, where customers experience a feeling of belonging.

It was said: “Located just a few miles outside the bustling market town of King’s Lynn with a population of 43,000 potential customers, this popular pub presents a huge opportunity for the right publican to take it to the next level.”

Trendy bars in Lynn have a corporate mercantile approach to retailing with it incurring car parking fees and a walk for liquid refreshment. They cannot compete with the ambience and rustic quality of life which the Crown and Anchor has with free parking on site.

I wish the local residents well in taking matters into their own hands as they attempt to preserve a major asset.

As for the villagers worrying about this pub being turned into something else, I will not spell out what it could become, as in our ‘free speechless’ society, there comes risks.

If the Crown and Anchor goes under, and its real ale, it will be a ‘bitter’ experience for the residents of Wiggenhall St Germans.

David Fleming