Sea festival sets course for Southwold

Hayley Stockwell, Larking GowenA festival celebrating the east coast's maritime heritage will be heading to Southwold for the first time this summer.Hayley Stockwell, Larking Gowen

A festival celebrating the east coast's maritime heritage will be heading to Southwold for the first time this summer.

The Festival of the Sea, which has been helping to raise money for the Fishermen's Mission for the

last 25 years, will be held on Southwold Pier for three days in June.

From Friday. June 19, the popular attraction will be ready for a celebration of fishing and the sea, which will include stalls, lessons in filleting and preparing fish and talks by experts from the UK fishing industry.

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It is hoped that the event will attract thousands of people to the resort - as when the festival has been held in Lowestoft in previous years visitor numbers have topped 12,000 over the three days.

Visitors will also be able to take coastal boat trips, enjoy a demonstration by the RNLI and a race by Southwold. On the Sunday, a service will also be held on

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the pier.

Southwold pier managing director Stephen Bournes said: 'The Festival of the Sea will be a celebration of everything that's great about the region. It promises to be a wonderful three-day event with something for all the family.'

There will be beach trails so children can learn more about shoreline wildlife, family competitions, and on the Friday evening a children's variety show will see talented youngsters take centre-stage.

Music hall-style entertainment will be provided by Lowestoft-based variety act Kenny Cantor and live music by The Capstan Full-Strength Shanty Band.

The Fishermen's Mission charity, which was set up in Gorleston

in 1881, provides emergency and welfare support to fishermen and their families.

Charity patron Rick Stein said: 'Working as a fisherman is a dangerous and lonely job that very few people comprehend.

The Fishermen's Mission makes sure it knows the hardship fishermen and their families

face and therefore exactly how to help them.'

>Full details of the programme of events are available at

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