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Swashbuckling pirate venture to boost Great Yarmouth’s Waterways

10:50 15 August 2014

Waterways pirate day this Sunday.
Tony Miles, Larrissa Le Picq, Sophie Shine and Remy Dowe dressed as pirates to promote the event. 

Picture: James Bass

Waterways pirate day this Sunday. Tony Miles, Larrissa Le Picq, Sophie Shine and Remy Dowe dressed as pirates to promote the event. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

People will channel their inner pirate for a fun day staged at Great Yarmouth’s historic waterways this Sunday.

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The aim is to encourage more people to take an interest in the scenic attraction which is held in high affection locally and was once the last word in leisure to early holidaymakers.

Larrissa Le Picq, who runs the cafe with her husband Craig, has already reinvigorated the winding rivers by bringing back a boat for ferry passengers around the peaceful paths.

But now she has formed an action group to look at ways of giving the gardens with their picturesque bridges a new role helping to make them a destination in their own right, drawing people along from the Golden Mile.

On Sunday, adults and children will be encouraged to come in fancy dress in a bid to clinch best-dressed prizes and bring their own picnic. With extra kayaks on hand during the day passengers will be ferried to an island cove which they can ambush with water pistols.

Mrs Le Picq said there were plenty of people who shared her enthusiasm for the Grade II listed waterways. “We just want to bring some life back into them. They are only really used once a year for the duck race which is a real shame.”

The waterways started life as a job creation scheme for the unemployed in 1928. They proved a huge attraction and developed with illuminations, music and skating in the winter.

During the 1980s maintenance became too great and many areas were laid to grass.

While it has remained an important and much-loved attraction many have said the move to low-maintenance has eroded its charm and some of the islands are now inaccessible.

Sunday’s new pirate-themed event will hopefully encourage more families with young children and allow people to see the site’s potential.

To find out more about the waterways action group email waterwayscafe@yahoo.com.

Are you planning an unusual event? Contact liz.coates@archant.co.uk

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