Following the opening of King’s Lynn Mart on Valentine’s Day, the Showmen’s Guild Norwich & Eastern Counties Section hosted their annual luncheon at the Dukes Head Hotel.

Section Chairman Charles Barwick told guests that this was his last year as Chairman of the Section. He thanked the committee, highlighting Chief Steward Donald Gray, for their work for the Mart.

Guild President Philip Paris said how important the fair was for the showmen as well as the townspeople. Without the support of the public, the fair could not be held, he said.

He informed guests that for the first time ever, showmen would be able to register themselves as travelling showpeople in the next census, a major step forward in having their identity as a separate group recognised.

“All we ask is for our own identity – we operate funfairs, that is why we travel the country”, the President said.

The President also congratulated Mart Chief Steward Donald Gray, who had recently received the Unsung Hero Award for his work for the fair in Wisbech.

The Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Geoff Hipperson talked about the future of the fair; modifications may be needed in future, he said, giving electrical points as an example.

To close, Chairman Charles Barwick presented a Certificate of Appreciation from the Section to Lawrence ‘Nipper’ Appleton. This year’s fair had been “very challenging”, he said, but Nipper had stepped forward and gone beyond expectations.


1. Norwich & Eastern Counties Section Chairman Charles Barwick addresses guests at the King’s Lynn Mart Luncheon.
2. Showmen’s Guild President Philip Paris addresses guests.
3. The Chairman presents a Certificate of Appreciation to Eastern Counties showman Nipper Appleton.
4. Showmen’s Guild officials at the luncheon included (l-r): London & Home Counties Section Chairman John Flack; Guild Junior Vice President Keith Carroll; President Philip Paris; Eastern Counties Chairman Charles Barwick; Guild Senior Vice President John Thurston; and Western Section Vice Chairman Robert Kefford.
5. President Philip Paris, Mrs Rachel Barwick, Section Chairman Charles Barwick, and President’s Lady Hayley Paris.
6. King’s Lynn Civics Officer Jules Stuchbury receives a bouquet of flowers from the Section Chairman in thanks for her work for the Mart.

[Click to enlarge]

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