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All aboard! Maritime festival launches in Great Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 16:44 09 July 2018

Aileen Mobbs at the launch of the Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival on the Lydia Eva ship. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Aileen Mobbs at the launch of the Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival on the Lydia Eva ship. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

The 19th Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival has been launched from aboard the historic Lydia Eva.

Launch of the Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival on the Lydia Eva ship. Sponsors, organisers and supporters gather for the launch. Picture: ANTONY KELLYLaunch of the Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival on the Lydia Eva ship. Sponsors, organisers and supporters gather for the launch. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The mayor, Mary Coleman, joined sponsors for drinks and nibbles on the 88-year-old steam drifter - though crewman advised that food be served below deck so as to avoid potential sabotage from above.

Mascot Horatio the Herring also danced a merry jig throughout the launch, despite the high temperatures on the South Quay.

Addressing the gathering, Mrs Coleman said: “What better to place to launch the 19th maritime festival. Thank you to all the old and new sponsors for coming today.

“It is through festivals like this that we improve tourism and put Great Yarmouth on the map.”

Launch of the Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival on the Lydia Eva ship. Chairman Aileen Mobbs. Picture: ANTONY KELLYLaunch of the Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival on the Lydia Eva ship. Chairman Aileen Mobbs. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Chairman of the festival, Aileen Mobbs, then proceeded to reveal some of the plans for this year’s festival.

She said: “This year’s festival will reflect that it is a mixed industry, not just tall ships.

“We are going to have a Belgian minesweeper, police vessels, the MTB102 (motor torpedo boat), the Dover boat project as well as the Lydia Eva itself.

“The big grey MV Triton will also be open, as we know some people weren’t able to get on it last time.”

Mrs Mobbs also explained there would be a strong heritage link to the event to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, including a poppy wall and a cinema bus playing war time films and historical footage.

This year’s festival will also have an emphasis on the importance of preserving our oceans and the impact of plastic pollution.

The usual mix of shanty music and family-friendly activities will be on offer too.

This festival will be Mrs Mobbs’ last at the helm, and she was emotional as she thanked the staff, volunteers and sponsors, without which the festival would not be possible.

She said: “I am very proud and a little bit emotional. This event has always been run through a partnership between private and public, but that has changed and I’m not happy with it. The air show was a phenomenal success and it showed we can deliver events very well and this will be a good festival too.”

The event will take place on September 8 and 9 on the South Quay and entry is free.

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