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Maritime Festival returns to Great Yarmouth for a fun-packed weekend 

31st August 2018
Joseph Norton, Yarmouth Mercury, reports

Two young boys dressed as pira

Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival 2017. Two young boys dressed as pirates. Picture: James Bass Photography

Around 30,000 people are expected to flock to the 19th annual Maritime Festival next weekend with its salty mix of family fun

Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton

Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival 2017. Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton. Picture: James Bass Photography

There will be ships to board and see close-up, shanty music, and the smell of herring sizzling on the barbecue – as well as street theatre, children’s activities, exhibitions and demonstrations

This year there is a special focus on two centenaries - the impact on Great Yarmouth of the First World War, 100 years after it ended and the Suffragette movement

Sheringham Shantymen Picture J

Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival 2017. Sheringham Shantymen. Picture: James Bass Photography

The event is staged by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA) as part of its drive to attract visitors and spending to the area. It is run by a dedicated team of volunteers

Festival chairman, Aileen Mobbs, said: “Great Yarmouth has links with the sea, shipping and fishing going back centuries but is still a busy port today. Our festival enables visitors to get up close and personal to our proud heritage as well as seeing modern vessels and learning about the coastal environment we all enjoy”

George Stephenson Picture AJBC

George Stephenson. Picture: @AJBC

GYTABIA chairman, Gareth Brown, said: “The Maritime Festival is one of the highlights of the year with its terrific atmosphere. It shows that Great Yarmouth has much more to offer above its popular seaside holiday attractions”

The action takes place on the South Quay from 10am to 6pm on Saturday 8 September and 10am to 5pm on Sunday 9 September

MS Bernisse

Bernisse. Picture: msbernisse

Entry is free, but a donation of £2 per person is requested top help fund the event

This year’s ships include:


George Stephenson - a new steam ship built using recycled or salvaged materials

Triton - the world’s largest motor-powered trimaran research vessel from Gardline

MTB102 – historic motor torpedo boat

Bernisse – 1953 Belgian minesweeper, originally called Spa

Lydia Eva - the herring drifter now a floating museum featuring local fishing heritage

Find out more about the festival at