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Charter floral celebration

PUBLISHED: 11:09 20 October 2008 | UPDATED: 12:02 03 July 2010

GREAT Yarmouth's history will be brought to life in flowers next week when the parish church is transformed into a walk-around tour of the town in medieval times.

GREAT Yarmouth's history will be brought to life in flowers next week when the parish church is transformed into a walk-around tour of the town in medieval times.

Seven spectacular displays have been designed and planned by floristry students at Great Yarmouth College to mark the 800th anniversary of the granting of the King John Charter at the college's graduation ceremony next Friday.

Months of planning has gone into the exhibition and students have enlisted the help of friends and families to make props for their floral arrangements, including a jousting marquee, six-foot papier mache medieval ladies and a 3d throne.

Floristry course leader Julia Knights said: “It will be truly spectacular. The students have done hours of research in the library and on the Internet to make sure every historical detail is accurate. We just hope people will make the time to come into the church and enjoy it.

“Staging this sort of event with all the background research will help them later in the industry because today there are themed weddings, parties, functions and celebrations and students need to know how to respond to a diverse range of ideas in a professional way.

“It is also fascinating for us all to discover more about the heritage of our hometown.”

In the past few years the students have helped to raise more than £17,000 for local charities with floral demonstrations and events. This year, the event is being used as a unit for the students' final qualifications.

Victoria Bird and Sarah Smith researched produce sold in Yarmouth for their medieval market display with root vegetables, onions, garlic, herbs, oats and acorns in hessian sacks made by the students as well as weights and measures used at the time.

Other exhibits include a floral version of the town's coat of arms, the charter and the long-gone Yarmouth Castle.

Laura Richards has made a six-foot medieval woman with the help of regulars at the Beaconsfield pub, where her mum is landlady.

First year students, who only began their courses at the college last month, will decorate the church aisle. They will be making pew ends using materials from medieval times and silk poppies.

Julia Knights is also arranging two pedestals of poppies to be left in the church for Remembrance Sunday.

“We've been planning this in earnest for more than four weeks, but it will be worth it to see the church looking spectacular,” she said.

The graduation ceremony, for more than 100 University Campus Suffolk Great Yarmouth students, will take place on Friday at 2pm. The church will be open to the public to view the flowers on Saturday.

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