Do you love the fens? If so, join our monthly zoom “Fen Folks Fridays” to meet others who share your interest. Each meeting will include 1-2 speakers about topics relating to the fens. It will also include updates of forthcoming events in the fens.
Our October event will include a talk from Ivor Rowlands about the King Lynn Shakespeare’s Guildhall Trust and a talk from James Boyce writer of Imperial Mud.
Karen from Fascinating fens will also give a brief overview during the meeting about the current fascinating fens projects, including opportunities for the community to get involved. Fascinating fens believes in engaging communities to promote and explore the fens through heritage, creativity, nature, wellbeing and accessibility. Forthcoming events in the fens will be discussed
James Boyce is a multi-award-winning Australian historian. His first book, Van Diemen’s Land, was described by Richard Flanagan as ‘the most significant colonial history since The Fatal Shore’. 1835: The Founding of Melbourne and the Conquest of Australia was The Age’s Book of the Year, while Born Bad: Original Sin and the Making of the Western World was hailed by The Washington Post as ‘an exhilarating work of popular scholarship’.
It was while working in Norwich for the Norfolk County Council Aged Care team, that James first seriously engaged with local history through hearing stories from old farm hands. Reading the accounts of the drainage of the Fens, the area where both his mother’s and father’s ancestors hail from, he recognised surprising similarities with the colonial history of his own conquered country.
Imperial Mud reimagines not just the history of the Fens, but the history and identity of the English people
King’s Lynn’s St George’s Guildhall was built over 600 years ago on the banks of the river Great Ouse at a time when Lynn was one of the wealthiest ports in England. It was used as a theatre from its very earliest origins and has a remarkable Shakespearean connection. The Guildhall was given to The National Trust
in 1951, and yet it remains one of England’s most undiscovered heritage gems. Under-used, neglected and in need of modernisation, the theatre was threatened with closure until Shakespeare’s Guildhall Trust was founded with a vision to develop the Guildhall into a vibrant mixed use arts, heritage and learning centre for the benefit of the whole community.
Ivor Rowlands has lived in King’s Lynn for nearly 30 years and brought up his two grown up children there. He is Chairman and founder of Shakespeare’s Guildhall Trust, Vice Chair of King’s Lynn Town Guides and a committee member of the West Norfolk Tourism Forum.