Anchors aweigh for maritime fun in Great Yarmouth this weekend

Earl of Pembroke tall ship arriving into Great Yarmouth at approx 0815 on 09/09/2016 for this year's

Earl of Pembroke tall ship arriving into Great Yarmouth at approx 0815 on 09/09/2016 for this year's Maritime Festival to be held on South Quay in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Adele Southall - Credit:

As the Earl of Pembroke - 44m long schooner from 1945 - sailed into Great Yarmouth it marked the start of a weekend of maritime merriment for the town.

Earl of Pembroke tall ship arriving into Great Yarmouth at approx 0815 on 09/09/2016 for this year's

Earl of Pembroke tall ship arriving into Great Yarmouth at approx 0815 on 09/09/2016 for this year's Maritime Festival to be held on South Quay in Great Yarmouth. - Credit:

And this weekend fans of all things nautical will be spilt for choice if they head down to South Quay.

There is an armada of guest ships including historic sailing and military vessels, as well as lifeboats.

And for the second year running the festival, which runs today and tomorrow, features spectacular jet ski stunt displays on the river.

New this year is the rare chance to tour a brand new offshore support vessel.

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For those landlubbers who don't have the sea legs to go aboard, there will be sea shanties, children's activities and performances.

All this will be accompanied by the smell of traditionally cooked herring as the backdrop, in a nod to the fishing port's heyday.

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The event, which is the biggest in the Great Yarmouth events calendar, draws 30,000 people to the resort's port.

Overlooking the festival site, the Grade II-listed Town Hall will be open, giving visitors the chance to explore the beautifully-decorated rooms and enjoy art and history exhibitions, talks, model boat displays, live music and refreshments.

Entry is free but donations of £1 a person is appreciated to help fund future festivals.

The festival is staged by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement District, which uses a pot of levy payers' money to fund and support events.

Souvenir guides for £1 with full details are available at the event.

Find out more about the festival at, follow @GYMaritime on Twitter or visit the festival Facebook page.

What to see and do

• Earl of Pembroke: 44m long schooner from 1945 which has been in more than a dozen films and TV series including Hornblower and Treasure Island. Go on board for £4 adults, £3 children 5-16..

• Regal Lady: Built in Fellowes Yard at Yarmouth in 1935, served in the Dunkirk fleet of Little Ships and ran pleasure trips around the Broads rivers and coast before moving to Scarborough in 1987. River cruises (approx 90 mins). Tickets £6 adults, £3 children (5-14), under-4s free.

• Esvagt SOV: Guided tours of a stunning-looking state-of-the-art support vessel, named at Great Yarmouth the day before and which will work at the Dudgeon wind farm off Norfolk. Guided tours of 25 mins. Tickets £5 adults, £3 children 5-16.

• Lydia Eva: The last steam drifter built at King's Lynn, which worked out of Yarmouth until her last haul in 1938. Now restored as a living museum of the herring fishery. Boarding tickets £2 adults, children free.

• Laura Moncur: Restored former 1960 RNLI Buckie and reserve fleet lifeboat which saved 47 lives.

• Leila: 12m cutter rigged leisure boat from 1892 now used for youth sail training.

• Albatros: 18m tug and ice breaker seized for war duty by the Germans in 1940

• RV Belgica: 51m research vessel from Zeebrugge manned by a Belgian Navy crew

• Samarbeta: Current Great Yarmouth and Gorleston all-weather RNLI lifeboat whose name is Swedish for working together

• MTB102: 1937 motor torpedo boat which saw war action mainly in the English Channel and starred in the 1976 film The Eagle Has Landed.

• Anna TX37: A two-masted schooner from Oostende built in 1937, used as a fishing boat until 1977 and now a charter sailing ship.

• Jet ski display team: Choreographed back flips, barrel rolls and dives by the DJR Freestyle riders. Street entertainment: Wacky promenading boat and shanty singing from the Inner State Theatre Company.

• East Coast Militia: New battle scene re-enactment and musket fire from the eve of Waterloo

Vintage Mobile cinema: Showing maritime-themed short films and mini movies looking behind the scenes of local tourism. Free heritage walks also begin from the converted vintage bus.

• Town Hall: The Biggest Untold Story of WW2 unpublished archive footage of rescue tugs by songwriter and D-Day veteran Jim Radford. Also model boat display and illustrated talks on maritime Yarmouth.

• Children's activities: Craft marquee for making a pirate's hat or jellyfish. RPSB marquees with a chance to make a dragonfly, butterfly feeder and flying wristband. Nature exploration with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Punch and Judy.

• Exhibitions: Knitting, knot making, art, pottery, gansey making, spinning, lace-making, crafts, boat building, fisheries, marine conservation and charity stalls.

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