Ahoy there! The sun is shining once again and this is great news as Great Yarmouth prepares for next weekend’s annual Maritime Festival – an event which has been hosted in the town for 17 years now. With a wide variety of guest ships visiting the town especially for the event, and a range of activities planned, there is certain to be something for everyone.
Speaking about this year’s event, Chairman of the Maritime Festival Aileen Mobbs said:
“This is a great chance to get up close to some fabulous historic ships, but also see at first hand the port’s vital modern day role supporting the offshore energy industry. But the emphasis is also on entertainment – from traditional shanty singing and military re-enactment to have-a-go activities for youngsters – making it a popular event for all the family.”
Some of the ships on show at this year’s event include:
- The Earl of Pembroke: Without a doubt the highlight of this year’s event will be the Earl of Pembroke tall ship. Measuring 145ft in length, the three masted ship was built in Sweden in 1945 and hauled timber in the Baltic Sea until 1974. Following restoration in the UK in 1985, the ship's rigging was replaced to resemble that of the famous HMS Endeavour. These days it is a common sight at maritime festivals, charity events and is also used for film work.
- The Regal Lady: Built in Great Yarmouth in 1935, the Regal Lady was one of hundreds of Little Ships who aided with the evacuation of allied trips from the beaches of Dunkirk during World War Two. After spending many years carrying out tours of the Norfolk Broads, the vessel moved to Scarborough in 1987.
- The Esvagt SOV: With an increasing amount of work taking place on wind farms in the North Sea, the Esvagt SOV is a state-of-the-art support vessel which will service the Dudgeon wind farm. During the weekend you will be able to enjoy guided tours of this high-tech vessel.
- The Lydia Eva: The Lydia Eva was the last steam drifter ever to be built in King’s Lynn. Until its final haul in 1938 it worked out of Great Yarmouth and has now been restored to become a living museum of herring fishery.
In addition to these vessels and many more, you will also be able to find WT Skip Hire on the South Quay. Friend of the company, artist Mik Richardson, will once again be joining us to create some skip art with a strong maritime theme. If his efforts last year were anything to go buy, you won’t want to miss it - we also have a few surprises lined up for children, so come along as see us!
The event is free to attend, though donations of £1 are welcomed to fund future festivals. You can find more details by visiting www.great-yarmouth.co.uk/maritime-festival.