Weekend of events and activities for annual Beccles charter celebration

Beccles Charter Weekend is taking place on July 1 and 2. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Beccles Charter Weekend is taking place on July 1 and 2. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Activities will be on offer at eight hubs across Beccles this weekend as the annual charter celebrations return.

The Beccles Charter Weekend committee. Picture: Nick Butcher.

The Beccles Charter Weekend committee. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Held on Saturday and Sunday, July 1 and 2, Beccles Charter Weekend marks the granting of the town's charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 1584.

Activities and events will be based around eight hubs - Beccles Museum, Beccles Library, St Michael's Church, Hungate Church, Beccles Town Hall, Beccles Tower, Hippersons Boatyard and the Waveney Stardust on the river at the lido.

One of the boats on display at a previous Beccles Charter Weekend. Picture: Steve Adams.

One of the boats on display at a previous Beccles Charter Weekend. Picture: Steve Adams. - Credit: Steve Adams

The weekend will kick off at 10am on Saturday with the raising of the town flag on top of Beccles Tower by the mayor of Beccles Richard Stubbings, accompanied by a City of Norwich Pipes and Drums bagpiper.

The new Beccles peace sculpture will then be unveiled outside Beccles Library at 10.30am by Mr Stubbings, accompanied by Waveney MP Peter Aldous.

St Michael's Church in Beccles is one of the hubs for the weekend. Picture: Nick Butcher.

St Michael's Church in Beccles is one of the hubs for the weekend. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher


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Throughout the weekend visitors can also enjoy craft displays, exhibitions, live music, meeting East Anglian authors and poets, storytelling, country dancing, boat trips and water bicycling, as well as a variety of refreshments.

Historic boats on display at Hippersons Boatyard will include Second World War motor torpedo boat '102', a beach-launched lifeboat, a classic Broads sailing yacht and the Broads Wherry 'Maud'.

One of the gardens open at last year's Beccles Charter Weekend. Picture: Mick Howes.

One of the gardens open at last year's Beccles Charter Weekend. Picture: Mick Howes. - Credit: Archant

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In addition, Beccles Open Gardens and Spaces will be running throughout the weekend, based at Beccles Museum, which this year includes 30 gardens in Beccles and Worlingham as well as a number of spaces of interest. Programmes will be available from the museum, library, boatyard and church.

The museum will also be exhibiting a piece of appliqué work by a resident of the presentation of the Charter by Queen Elizabeth 1st to John Baas, the first Port Reeve of Beccles.

The appliqué work of the presentation of the charter by Queen Elizabeth I to John Baas, the first Po

The appliqué work of the presentation of the charter by Queen Elizabeth I to John Baas, the first Port Reeve of Beccles, which will be on display at Beccles Museum. Picture: Beccles Museum. - Credit: Archant

And the Quaker Hall - which will be opening its garden to visitors - will also be offering country dancing at 3pm on Saturday.

Parking is available in all Beccles public car parks as well as at Hippersons Boatyard, Sir John Leman High School in Ringsfield Road and Beccles Free School in Castle Hill.

The events will run from 10am to 4pm each day.

Leaflets with further information are available from Town Hall, Citizens Advice Bureau and all the hubs.

Special display

A piece of appliqué work by a Beccles resident of the presentation of the charter by Queen Elizabeth I to John Baas, the first Port Reeve of Beccles, in 1584, will also be exhibited at Beccles Museum.

The work was undertaken in the 1970s and took hundreds of hours to complete. It was made following a week-long course in London and the town sign was chosen as the first piece of work to be completed.

A copy of the picture was taken from the Official Guide to Beccles printed in the 1960s and enlarged. There are approximately 25 different pieces which make up the picture.

The work will be exhibited exclusively for Charter Weekend.

Also on display will be some of the paintings by Molly Pagan, shown last year. Miss Pagan bought Leman House, now the museum, in the mid 1940s and established a school. Aside from the normal curriculum, she had a passion for the outdoor world and was a talented artist.

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