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Charter celebration countdown

PUBLISHED: 18:24 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 July 2010

It brought freedom and wealth to Great Yarmouth and 800 years later the King John Charter celebration is boosting the borough's good causes.

The official charities for the anniversary of event that changed the course of the town's history were announced this week.

It brought freedom and wealth to Great Yarmouth and 800 years later the King John Charter celebration is boosting the borough's good causes.

The official charities for the anniversary of event that changed the course of the town's history were announced this week.

The Palliative Care East Appeal, St Nicholas Church Organ Fund and Yarmouth Seaman's Mission will share the proceeds from events held throughout the year-long commemoration.

Between £8,000 and £10,000 is needed to replace bellows and electrical equipment in the church organ.

Canon Michael Woods said: “The church is an integral part of the charter celebration and the only building in the town that dates back before it was granted and I am delighted that the organ fund will be among the good causes benefiting from it.”

The curtain will be raised with a civic parade and service on Sunday, March 16, with a messenger on horseback re-enacting the delivery of the charter to Great Yarmouth.

Horse and rider will form part of a colourful procession from the town hall to St Nicholas Church and members of local groups and organisations are being invited.

Council's lead officer for the charter celebration Robin Hodds said: “This is the start of several events and it would be excellent if the launch saw everyone from playgroups to pensioners' clubs in the line-up.”

The parade, led by the Winterton Marine Cadets band, begins at 2.45pm, with the church service starting at 3pm.

The service will include a reading of the charter by the council's managing director Richard Packham and an explanation of its meaning by local historian Michael Boon.

The borough's youngest councillor, 34-year-old Mark Thompson, will join its oldest freeman, 101-year-old Jack Chase, who has been both a parish and borough councillor, to give their perspective on Yarmouth.

After the service there will be the chance to celebrate with a toast in ale, in this case a special brew created for the charter celebrations by the town's award-winning brewery Blackfriars Brewery.

New dates have been announced for the medieval themed Charter Market, which will now take place from Monday, June 9, to Saturday, June 14.

The change has been made to coincide with a royal visit on June 9 to unveil commemorative charter plaques at St Nicholas Church, the town hall and Tolhouse museum.

Groups interested in joining the procession can contact mayoral and civic events officer Laura Goodman on 01493 846125 or Robin Hodds on 01493 846325.

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