In association with: 
MissionToSeafarersLogo205
About Us

News

Contact Us

Great Yarmouth

Links 

Meet the Team

Site Search
NetworkYarmouthButton205

Colourful soldiers on parade at the Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival 

2nd September 2017
Nadene Chandler reports


MARITIME FESTIVAL 2017A
The East Norfolk Militia on parade at the previous Maritime Festival. Photo: East Norfolk Militia



A platoon of red coats will entertain visitors at the popular maritime festival in Great Yarmouth

MARITIME FESTIVAL 2017B
The East Norfolk Militia on parade at the previous Maritime Festival. Photo: East Norfolk Militia



Around 30,000 people will flock to the historic quayside for a weekend of seafaring heritage and fun on September 9th and 10th

This is the 18th year of the festival and organisers are aiming for it to be a more relaxed, fun affair with people able to see and board a historic tall ship

Colourful red tunic-clad soldiers of the East Norfolk Militia will be showcasing drills and stories from back to when they were stationed in Gorleston Barracks

The Militia is a re-enactment group recreating the ‘Dads Army’ Home Guard force of local people from 200 years ago

MARITIME FESTIVAL 2017C
The East Norfolk Militia on parade at the previous Maritime Festival. Photo: East Norfolk Militia



The Napoleonic Militia were a 960-strong force bolstering the regular army in the 18th and 19th centuries. Members were chosen from the local community by ballot, but could pay another person to take their place

Group member, schoolteacher Richard Cullen, said: “The Militia would collect prisoners of war from the ships, take the injured to the Royal Hospital in Great Yarmouth, march the others to King’s Lynn and put them on barges to a POW camp near Peterborough”

Today’s reenactors number about 25, drawn from people of all walks of life who enjoy re-living the history

Another bit of Militia history in Yarmouth was May 1861 when soldiers got into a pub fight with the Royal Artillery which escalated into a rock throwing riot on the riverside

It was broken up by officers, just in time, as the artillery men armed themselves with swords and knives from the arsenal

There are opportunities to make lace, learn spinning and knitting fishermen’s gansey jumpers, as well as visit the craft and beer tents. There will also be folk and brass band music, a chance to sample barbecued herring and a bit of modern day military might features in Red Arrows display jet simulator

The festival is staged by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area, as part of its drive to attract visitors and spending to the borough

Chairman of the organising committee Aileen Mobbs said “The festival is all about celebrating heritage in a fun way that engages with people of all ages. The Militia do exactly that by educating as they entertain and are one of the crowd’s favourites”

article reproduced from Yarmouth Mercury website and used with permission