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Lanterns to float over Gorleston

PUBLISHED: 11:26 20 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:05 30 June 2010

ORGANISERS are hoping for a balmy mid-summer's eve when hundreds of Chinese lanterns are released into the sky over Gorleston Cliffs next week.

The special event on Thursday aims to raise money for a cancer charity and provide local people with a unique and unusual way of remembering loved ones.

ORGANISERS are hoping for a balmy mid-summer's eve when hundreds of Chinese lanterns are released into the sky over Gorleston Cliffs next week.

The special event on Thursday aims to raise money for a cancer charity and provide local people with a unique and unusual way of remembering loved ones.

Retired businesswoman Margaret Farrow of Gorleston said the idea - inspired by Swedish students more than 30 years ago - had been buzzing around her head for decades.

Around 500 - with bamboo not wire frames - will be ready to go on the night and once lit may drift for miles before totally disintegrating.

Mrs Farrow said seeing how young Swedish girls on a study visit to Great Yarmouth in the 1970s observed the Nordic tradition of remembrance on June 24 had stayed with her for years.

Having explained to her what mid-summers eve meant to them she had a large iron cross crafted for a seaside ceremony in which girls adorned the cross with wild flower wreathes they had made, placing some at the water's edge, while others sang and cooked sausages on a bonfire.

Thursday's event in Gorleston aims to capture some of that spirit of loving remembrance, encouraging people to clasp their memories close.

The lanterns are £5 with all profits going to Macmillan Cancer Relief the charity that currently funds seven nurses helping people to cope with serious illness in their own homes.

Maureen Collins, secretary of the Great Yarmouth Committee of Macmillan Cancer Support said around £350,000 had been raised locally in the last 20 years and that she was grateful for Mrs Farrow's support.

Big events like the summer ball next month were beyond the pocket of many people who may like to support the lantern event instead as a poignant way to remember loved ones.

People are welcome to linger with a picnic. Mrs Farrow, the woman behind the Tracey Fashions empire, and later the renowned Regent Road tobacconists said she hoped celebration would eclipse any sadness at the event.

Lanterns can be pre-ordered or bought on the night and inscribed with a loved one's name if desired.

For more information call Mrs Farrow on 01493 664579.

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