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East Winch

East Winch lies six miles south-east of King's Lynn.

The cartoonist of the Daily Express Osbert Lancaster (1908-1986) used to spend childhood holidays at East Winch Hall - which lies just off the busy A47.

East Winch Hall, Norfolk

East Winch Hall

Osbert Lancaster

The location is captured in his autobiography All Done From Memory (1953). The hall was owned by Osbert's grandfather Sir William Lancaster who was an eccentric philanthropist. In his memoir, Osbert portrays the family like characters in a P.G. Wodehouse novel. Here is a cartoon of the hall, drawn by Osbert, showing him playing croquet on the lawn as a child.

East Winch Hall by Osbert Lancaster

Cartoon of East Winch Hall

Osbert used to arrive at East Winch by train from the midlands and, in the book, he provides a charming portrait of the station. (The railway line no longer exists due to Dr Beeching's cuts in the 1960s).

'There is no silence in the world so overwhelming as that which prevails on a small country station when a train has just left it. The fact that it is by no means complete, that the fading echoes of the engine are still clearly audible from the signal box behind which the guard's van is finally disappearing, that one now hears for the first time the cawing of rooks, a distant dog's bark, the hum of the bees in the stationmaster's garden, in no way detracts from its quality.'

Osbert was a close friend of John Betjeman and illustrated some of the laureate's work.

Osbert was buried at West Winch church alongside members of his family.

The King's Lynn based artist Walter Dexter is buried in the churchyard at East Winch. He was a talented oil and water-colour painter whose scenes of Lynn and the surrounding coastline are now highly sought after. He lived at the Toll House on the A47 in East Winch for many years with his wife Helen. Dexter died in 1958, at the age of 82, when he was hit by a 16-year-old motorcyclist while crossing Saturday Market Place in Lynn.





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