Fun for all the family in the Maritime Festival

FUN activities for children will be among the key anchors at this year’s Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival.

A range of wildlife charities will be hosting crafty fun, as waves of creativity break along historic South Quay during the two-day event on September 10-11.

Played out against a backdrop of local and visiting craft bobbing along the River Yare, some offering sea trips to the public, the event has become a highlight in the local calendar.

The festival embraces all things maritime from the heyday of the herring to the modern leisure, commercial and industrial aspect of living by the sea.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust are coming on board for the first time this year, and can be found towards the south end of the quay, situated next to the model boat exhibition.

Youngsters there will be invited to find out about the weird and wonderful creatures that live in the sea and have a go at making a pom-pom fish and shark’s tooth necklace from fossil teeth dating back millions of years.

Next to a huge deckchair that can seat an entire family, Natural England’s underwater world is waiting to be explored.

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This year children can have a go at insect and animal brass rubbing, as well as finding out about Norfolk’s national nature reserves at Winterton and Holkham.

The RSPB has three different marquees packed with things to do for the whole family.

Craft activities for the children include making a fish or a jellyfish out of a paper plate, and having a go at making and then playing a fun hook-a-fish game.

Adults can take part in the RSPB’s latest nature campaign by helping to create a giant fish on the wall. Information about nearby RSPB reserves in the local area and on the Broads will also be available.

MV Coronia, a 1930s pleasure cruiser, which used to operate from the Britannia Pier, will be offering trips to the outer harbour costing �5 for adults and �3 for children. Also visiting is the Oosterschelde tall ship dating from 1918. Meanwhile, a trip aboard the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s tall ship Lord Nelson will bring you up to date on one of the most modern tall ships, especially designed for a crew with a range of disabilities.

Other vessels will also be moored alongside, ranging from historic ships such as the Excelsior to cutting-edge lifeboats and modern ships used in the current off-shore industry.

Children can also have fun with face-painting, balloon modelling and Punch and Judy. Colourful costumed characters will weave through the crowds with ‘off the cuff’ street theatre from the East Coast Militia and two strange looking pirates.

Entrance to the festival is free, but a suggested donation of �1 per person is required to keep the festival afloat. •Sailings on the Oosterschelde will depart from the south end of South Quay on Thursday, September 8, at 7.30am and 2.30pm (both 3-4 hour sailings); Friday, September 9, at 8.30am (3-4 hour sailing) and 7.30pm (2-3 hour sailing). Prices range from �36 to �42. Tickets are available from the Tourist Information Centre on 01493 332200.