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Sea Fayre loses none of its fishy charm

PUBLISHED: 08:00 19 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:02 22 October 2010

Bathing in the sun on board the Excelsior with HMS Ledbury in the background.

Bathing in the sun on board the Excelsior with HMS Ledbury in the background.

Music played, boats bobbed and visitors soaked up the summer sunshine at Lowestoft's annual Sea Fayre at the weekend.

Alan Snow holds a Tope next to the huge display from World of Fish.

Music played, boats bobbed and visitors soaked up the summer sunshine at Lowestoft's annual Sea Fayre at the weekend.

Hundreds of people came through the gates to visit the guest ships, buy from the stalls or just enjoy the weather.

Previously called the Fish Fayre, the event changed its name this year, but lost none of its local charm.

Traditional herring breakfasts were on offer, and even Lowestoft Town Football Club had a stand to cash in on World Cup fever.

Many visitors had turned out for the all-day event on Saturday to meet past and present footballers, such as former Ipswich Town midfielder John Wark and Norwich City's Craig Fleming.

Others were looking for a glimpse of HMS Ledbury, the hunt class ship taking time out from sea fishery protection duties to pay a visit to the town.

And while some took a closer look at the 750-tonne minehunter, touring the ship and looking through the sights on its forward gun, others checked out the more laid back sailing ships St Anthony and Albatross.

In particular, visitors to the Albatross had the chance to sample the curious mixture of Woodforde's Norfolk beers and traditional Dutch pancakes.

As the afternoon wore on, a relaxed atmosphere took over the main market hall, with many people stopping to enjoy a jazz band indoors, while outside in the breeze, the Anglian Golden Oldies Band served up brass band renditions of favourite songs.

Organisers said there had been no particular rush of people at any point in the day, but that interest had been steady.

"People have kept coming throughout the day, which is good, and no doubt the whether has helped," said a spokesman for the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen, "although we're not sure at the moment how it compares with other years.

"The car park has been pretty full all day and that's while there has been competition from the cricket and the World Cup."

He added that the sea breeze on the quay, under the shadow of Lowestoft's wind turbine, Gulliver, and the good weather had made it a pleasant day.

Sam Willis was visiting the fayre for the first time and said she had enjoyed herself.

"The Fish Fayre was never really something I was interested in because it sounded a bit like it would just be a smelly market," said the 20-year-old from Lowestoft, who came with friends. "But it's been really good and it's nice to be near the sea on a hot day."


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