What kind of animal are you?

Opening Weekend of Heads and Tails
10 September, 2023
Sam by Rosie Phillips
Sam by Rosie Phillips
As our opening coincides with the celebration of Heritage Open Day in King's Lynn, Sunday 10 September, it is an opportunity to reflect on some of the animal related stories about the town.
Birds feature a lot in the iconography of King's Lynn. You will see that a pelican features prominently in its town crest - harking back to its seafaring history and its outlook into the wider world. In the Medieval era pelicans were mythologised in early Christian stories in that they were said to cut open their own breasts to release blood to feed their young in times when food was scarce. An act of ultimate sacrifice and service. Though a little worn now the crest above Lynn's Town Hall is that of Elizabeth I - with a just recognisable Lion.

These days King’s Lynn folk are happy to describe themselves as Linnets - it’s also the the name of the local football team. The town's current bus station, occupies the site of a very active cattle market bringing visitors into the town centre daily. Next to the bus station visitors can see a number of animal collections on display, Horace the tiger, a taxidermy Sturgeon, a taxidermy Opah fish and a painting of an enormous sheep to name a few.

Immediately to the left of the site of C&C's exhibition behind the Guildhall is Tuesday Market Place - this is where the Mart Fair takes place every February. It used to be a big event, that people would travel to from many miles awy. The square once hosted animal menageries. There are sketches in the collection which show tigers and bears were exhibited - displayed in Lynn Museum. Local engineer Frederick Savage made fairground rides during the Victorian period. As well as the horse gallopers on the merry-go-rounds he also made rides called Pigs and Balloons and there is a prototype carving for a Jumping Cat ride.

More about the Lynn Museum Collection


The Guildhall Courtyard outide the Fermoy Gallery - before the crowds arrived with over 1,000 visitors by mid-day to this historic sight - The Guildhall, King Street, King's Lynn.


We are selling limited edition prints of an original work by Colin Self  with proceeds from sales being donated in support for ex-servicemen and women struggling to reintegrate back into society. Veterans Aid is unique. Not just because of what it does, but because it does it immediately. Within hours of someone walking through the door, they can be provided with food, new clothing and accommodation. And that’s only the beginning. For more see https://veterans-aid.net/

You can also make a donation in the collection tins on the SALES DESK in the Shakespeare Barn. Alternatively you can make a donation direct to Veterans Aid using the QR code below:



About the author

Paul Vater, Director of Contemporary and Country

Paul Vater

Paul conducts studio visits to maintain strong relationships with artists, designers and craftspeople who show their work with us. He manages the main C&C website and has developed the online shop where selected works are presented for sale.


Paul established his design company, Sugarfree, in 1990 and quickly gained a reputation for delivering fresh, effective marketing campaigns and brand identities for clients including Save the Children Fund, United Nations Association and UNHCR. Over the years those added to the roster include IPC Magazines, Arts Council England, The Roundhouse, Barbican Centre, Arts Marketing Association, Look Ahead Housing and Care, Paddington Waterside, BBC Worldwide, Commonwealth Foundation, Prestel, City of London Corporation, Baker Street Quarter, Victoria BID and the University of East Anglia.