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Parade to launch charter activities

PUBLISHED: 15:35 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:37 03 July 2010

THE stage is set for the start of the year-long King John Charter celebrations in Great Yarmouth this weekend.

A civic parade and service on Sunday will mark the 800th anniversary of the landmark occasion that changed the course of the town's history.

THE stage is set for the start of the year-long King John Charter celebrations in Great Yarmouth this weekend.

A civic parade and service on Sunday will mark the 800th anniversary of the landmark occasion that changed the course of the town's history.

It is the first in a series of lavish events throughout 12-month commemoration with a messenger on horseback re-enacting the delivery of the charter. Horse and rider will form part of the colourful procession, including members of local groups and organisations, from the town hall to St Nicholas' Church.

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.

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

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 Blackfriars Brewery.

The visual story of the granting of the charter has been illustrated in a special commemorative banner that is going on show at the Time and Tide museum.

Community artists Tara Sampy and Kate Munro have been working with Great Yarmouth Museums, Norfolk Records Office, and textile students from Great Yarmouth High School to produce the unique artwork.

Both traditional quilting methods and the latest techniques such as photo transfer were used to create the banner.

The design features King John and celebrating townspeople and landmarks including the medieval Tolhouse Museum.

The banner will be unveiled by Norfolk County Council chairman Michael Cartiss at the museum on Sunday.

Major events in the town's calendar will have a charter theme and this year's Easter Fair from March 27 to 30 has been extended to a fourth day to tie in with the occasion.

A medieval-style key will be presented by mayor Paul Garrod to Jimmy Williams, national president of the Showman's Guild at the official opening of the fair.

Made by Ernie Childs, of Great Yarmouth Potteries, the porcelain key has been decorated in 22 carat gold and will go on permanent display at the town hall.

On the Friday and Saturday, March 28 and 29, St Nicholas' Church will host a flower show and model fair exhibits.

The King John Charter

goes on display at the Norfolk Record Office in Norwich on Tuesday and will remain on show until the end of

June.

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