Setting off from Mortlake with Simon, we pick Terl up in Hatfield then roll North East to King’s Lynn. Flat country. Rain. The radio on. Conversation. Two hours later we’re negotiating the winding streets of King’s Lynn. Praise the Lord for the satnav!
The Grade II listed facade of King's Lynn Corn Exchange, originally built in 1854, is a testimony to the glory of Victorian architecture. Contrary to popular legend, the statue above the magnificent facade is that of Demeter, Greek goddess of the harvest,and not Margaret Thatcher!
Tuesday Market Place hosted trade fairs from the 16th Century, attracting visitors from as far as Italy and Germany. As the importance of trade fairs declined the Mart became a funfair and was reduced to a single annual event taking place every Valentines Day and lasting 14 days. It’s in full swing today, mobile homes and caravans occupying most of the spaces as we pull in to park.
‘Bison’, Mike Rutherford’s guitar tech, pops in to our dressing room and regales us with hilarious quips and stories of his life on the road with the likes of ACDC and Brian May. A lovely guy, he can’t do enough to help. The whole crew, which includes ‘Pud’, ‘Privet’ and ‘Marrakesh’ have been marvellous and it’s much appreciated by the hotheads.
After another sold-out gig we head off into the night, dropping Terl off in Hatfield before the last stretch home…. Chatham, Kent tomorrow.
A morning at home, catching up on domestic duties, then it’s round the M25 to Chatham. Chatham is one of the Medway towns of North Kent, standing on the A2 along the line of the ancient Celtic route, which was paved by the Romans, and named Watling Street by the Anglo-Saxons.
Charles Dickens lived in the town as a boy, and described it as the happiest period of his childhood, eventually returning to the area in adulthood when he bought a house in nearby Gad’s Hill. He later moved to nearby Rochester, another of the Medway Towns, and the area features in several of his novels.
Central Theatre is our home for the night, the dressing room, as always, furnished with tea, coffee, fruit, crisps and nuts, water, beer and a couple of bottles of red wine (our preferred tipple). We order a Malaysian takeaway, warm up the vocal cords and… we’re on, another rocking gig, another great crowd.
Off up north on Friday, the North West, Scotland, North East and Midlands… maybe see you there.