Thursday, 23 August 2012

Family Fun at Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival

Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival, on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 September, celebrates the town’s proud maritime past and our maritime future, with lots of fun, family activities, www.maritime-festival.co.uk. The Festival takes place on South Quay and runs on the Saturday from 10am to 6pm and Sunday from 10am to 5pm; activities and entertainment are free (except for river trips). A donation of £1 per visitor towards Festival costs is welcomed.


The Festival is a riot of colour and sound, with Shanty and maritime music performed throughout the weekend at three different venues on South Quay: the Main Stage, The Fo'c'sle and in Horatio's Bar.

Meet Admiral Nelson, Mrs Hamilton, Lofty the Lighthouse and Horatio Herring and enjoy military re-enactments from East Norfolk Militia and Inner State, punch and judy shows with Professor Pulson and face painting and balloon modelling.

Explore the tall ships Mercedes and Tres Hombres, see Collective Spirit, a 30-ft sailing boat fashioned from hundreds of donated wooden objects and enjoy a river cruise to the Outer Harbour on MV Coronia.

MV Coronia was built in Great Yarmouth and was originally called the BRIT after Britannia Pier. It started life doing seal trips, then in World War II, Coronia rescued 900 troops from Dunkirk, before working at Scarborough as a pleasure cruiser. Sailing trips are available on Saturday and Sunday, at 11.30am, 1pm, 2.30pm and 4pm, adults £5, children £2.50 (tickets on sale at the Festival).

Visit Natural England’s underwater world, located next to a huge deckchair that can easily seat the entire family. Have a go at making seahorse pencil toppers and starfish magnets, do wildlife brass rubbings and colouring and find out about Norfolk’s national nature reserves at Winterton-on-Sea and Holkham.

Discover the weird and wonderful creatures that live in the sea Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s stand and make herring kites and sharks tooth necklaces from fossil teeth dating back millions of years.

The RSPB has three marquees packed with things to do; craft activities include making a butterfly, bird or whale and playing the migration game; there’s also a pin-badge lucky dip!

Have a go at net mending in the demonstrator’s marquee or create a medieval town wall with Norfolk Records Office.

Meet the National Trust and make a nautical badge or mask, check out the wild touchy feely table and take the rock pool challenge; also pick up a copy of the Trust’s 50 things to do before you’re 11¾.

Ken Sims, Chairman Greater Yarmouth Tourism Authority said: “We are looking forward to another busy Maritime Festival weekend packed with the sights and sounds of the sea. South Quay is going to be a hive of nautical activity from tall ships to sea shanties and maritime crafts and art.”

Photograph: MV Coronia