Town’s maritime heritage celebrated in spectacular style at festival

All aboard! Tobias Nicholls-taylor, 6 from Cantley with friend Isobel Bass, 8 from Reedham on the S.

All aboard! Tobias Nicholls-taylor, 6 from Cantley with friend Isobel Bass, 8 from Reedham on the S.S. George Stephenson at the maritime festival in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

Large crowds were entertained by sea shanties and spectacular ship appearances as the Maritime Festival returned to Great Yarmouth for its 20th year.

The Royal Navy's HMS Bangor at the Maritime Festival in Great Yarmouth. Picture: GYTABIA

The Royal Navy's HMS Bangor at the Maritime Festival in Great Yarmouth. Picture: GYTABIA - Credit: Archant

The event, which celebrates the town's rich maritime heritage, took place across Saturday and Sunday.

Hundreds of people lined South Quay to get a glimpse of the Royal Navy's HMS Bangor - a Sandown-class minehunter - which made a special appearance.

The festival was organised by Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA) alongside sponsors Seajacks, E.ON, Equinor, Gardline and Cavalier Chalets.

Chairman of GYTABIA, Lindon Bevan, said: "The Maritime Festival is a fantastic event for Great Yarmouth and we will ensure that the legacy will continue and go from strength to strength.

Keeping everyone safe and smiling, the comedy lifeguards at the maritime festival in Great Yarmouth.

Keeping everyone safe and smiling, the comedy lifeguards at the maritime festival in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

"We would like to thank everyone who took part in making it the success that it was."

Other attractions included Iceni wind farm vessels, steam ship George Stephenson and Captain Jack Sparrow.

While the festival was free, many people gave donations of £2 and more towards next year's festival.

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GYTABIA company secretary, Matt Smith, said: "Having the Minerva to take the public out for sailings and working with the Royal Navy was absolutely fantastic.

The elegance onboard the tall ship, Minerva at the maritime festival on Great Yarmouth's south quay.

The elegance onboard the tall ship, Minerva at the maritime festival on Great Yarmouth's south quay. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

"We are looking forward to planning ahead for next year to make it bigger and better."

New additions to the festival including street performances, a giant inflatable lobster and 'Beach Patrol' - an act featuring a 7ft-tall bathers on bouncing stilts - kept families entertained across the two days.

A number of visitors took to social media following the event to share their experiences.

One user said: "It was a very good day, dare I say, much better than last year."

Mark Taylor, 47 from Stowbridge wearing a Royal Naval patrol service uniform. They were volunteer fi

Mark Taylor, 47 from Stowbridge wearing a Royal Naval patrol service uniform. They were volunteer fishermen and trawler minesweepers during World War 2. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

Another added: "A brilliant event. Well done to all involved."

GYTABIA was launched in 2014 and has put on a number of events across the last couple of years including the Air Show, Wheels Festival and Gorleston Clifftop festival.

Last month it received the news it would get a second term - lasting five years - following a vote on the business improvement district (BID).

The aim of GYTABIA is to help and support local businesses by hosting events around the borough.

Roger Bourgein, 72 from Exmouth in Devon sang with the Exmouth Shanty Men at the maritime festival i

Roger Bourgein, 72 from Exmouth in Devon sang with the Exmouth Shanty Men at the maritime festival in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

Inside the beautiful S.S. George Stephenson which was moored on the south quay for the maritime fest

Inside the beautiful S.S. George Stephenson which was moored on the south quay for the maritime festival in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival 2019. Picture: James Bass Photography

Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival 2019. Picture: James Bass Photography - Credit: JAMES BASS PHOTOGRAPHY