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Pirate ship WILL be in Lord Mayor's Celebration - but not as you know it!

PUBLISHED: 11:22 03 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:43 03 July 2019

The Lord Mayor's Procession winding through the streets of Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt

The Lord Mayor's Procession winding through the streets of Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt

A mainstay of the Lord Mayor's Celebration will have a role in this weekend's festivities - despite diesel lorries being kept away from the parade.

The Lord Mayors Procession 2018
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018The Lord Mayors Procession 2018 Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

But the popular pirate ship float will stay in one place in Norwich, rather than having its usual roving role.

In a move geared at reducing the carbon footprint of the ever-popular event, Norwich City Council this year decided to ban diesel lorries from the procession.

The eco-conscious decision was met with a mixed reaction and among the concerns were fears that the pirate ship - one of the most memorable aspects of the event - would be a big miss.

For the past decade, InTouch Systems has set sail in the parade every year with its pirate ship float, with IT director Steve Temple taking on the role of the swashbuckling Captain Jack.

The Lord Mayors Procession 2018
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018The Lord Mayors Procession 2018 Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Mr Temple had feared that with the ban in place, the ship his firm had invested thousands of pounds and hundreds of hours into over the years would this year be redundant.

However, after reaching a compromise with the city council, the pirate ship will once again have a role to play in the festivities.

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Instead of being part of the parade, it will dock on Theatre Street for a pirate party, offering face painting throughout the day, before moving to the junction of St Stephens Street and Westlegate for a disco between 7.30pm and 10pm.

Steve Temple from InTouch SystemPicture: Nick ButcherSteve Temple from InTouch SystemPicture: Nick Butcher

This means while the lorry will still be involved, it will not be driven through the parade route or left idling, reducing its carbon emissions.

Mr Temple said: "The whole situation does still feels a little odd to me and I do worry the number of participants in the parade will have dwindled.

"However, I'm still glad to be involved and able to offer something a bit different.

"We'll be stationed in the city all day and any child who comes along dressed as a pirate will be allowed up onto the float to look around - which they wouldn't have been able to do before."

The Lord Mayor's Procession winding through the streets of Norwich. Picture: Ian BurtThe Lord Mayor's Procession winding through the streets of Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt

Mr Temple added: "Obviously, I have been speaking to the council for some time and this is the compromise we have reached.

"I would much rather be doing the parade too but we are still putting lots of things on for children and families."

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