Caister Lifeboat Beer in the Boat Shed event

Over 1,000 people turned up to this weekend's first ever Caister Lifeboat beer festival.

The Beer in the Boat Shed event featured more than 30 real ales from some of Norfolk's finest brewers and entertained crowds of hundreds which live music performances at every session.

Paul Garrod, chairman of the lifeboat, said: 'It's been a really fantastic event and we are over the moon. We had music all the weekend and the crowds stayed throughout.'

The family friendly event ran from Friday, June 24 through to today at the lifeboat station.

As well as real ales available there were three traditional ciders also on offer, as well as a lager, wines and soft drinks.

The Scratch Band performed on Saturday night with other performances from It Takes Two, Left IV Dead, Annie's Jazz Friends and The Old Codgers.

Mr Garrod said: 'Thanks to the generosity of suppliers, we have kept our costs to a minimum and most of the beer was donated.

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'We just need to keep raising funds. The lifeboat costs �160,000 to run every year and we hope to have raised �5000 over the weekend.

'It's also one event the whole crew can enjoy too; they can sit and relax. We've also had helpers come along.'

The Bernard Matthews II is the UK's fastest all-weather lifeboat and went into service at Caister in 2004. The charity, which is independent of the RNLI, is now working out the costs of a major overhaul that would see the two Volvo engines, drive shafts and turbine jets removed, repaired and refitted.

It is also the first of only two offshore lifeboats in the UK that is independent of the RNLI.

Mr Garrod added: 'The event has brought the community together in Caister. There were lots of kids running around and playing on the bouncy castle and the rides. The atmosphere was fantastic. People were dancing away to the bands. It was a good day for the community.'

Mr Garrod also confirmed the team are already planning to hold another beer festival next year.

Caister Lifeboat's next event is the annual fete, which takes place on Caister beach on Sunday, August 7. The team will also be at the Royal Norfolk Show on Wednesday and Thursday.

• For more information about getting involved or donating call Mr Garrod on 07775 604668 or visit www.caisterlifeboat.org.uk

• donna-louise.bishop@archant.co.uk

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