Seafaring past, present and future on show at Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival

Wednesday 27th July 2016

Ships of all shapes, sizes and ages will sail into Great Yarmouth in September for the resort’s annual Maritime Festival.

The major event, now in its 17th year attracts 30,000 visitors to soak up the sights, sounds and smells of the resort and port’s seafaring past, present and future.

They can board the vintage sailing ship Earl of Pembroke, which has starred in more than a dozen films and TV series including Hornblower and Treasure Island.

Popular pleasure boat Regal Lady is also making a homecoming to the port where she was built in the 1930s to once again give fun rides to trippers.

Visitors can savour Great Yarmouth’s herring fishery heydays on the Lydia Eva drifter which is now a floating museum in the port.

But there will also chance to see and tour a brand new offshore windfarm service vessel which will be officially named in the port the day before the festival opens.

The free entry festival, on September 10th and 11th, also features jet ski demonstrations in the river, visiting vintage vessels and current and historic lifeboats.

Military reenactors will mingle among the crowds, who will also hear a range of shanty and folk singers and see street entertainers along with traditional crafts.

Quayside barbecues will cook herring – the fish which made Great Yarmouth famous and prosperous before it became a tourist resort.

Festival chairman Aileen Mobbs said people liked seeing a variety of ships in a harbour that was at the heart of the town's past and present.

“People love the atmosphere of the smells and sounds along the quayside,” she added.

The festival aims to showcase the town's seafaring history and highlight there is more to Great Yarmouth than the seafront.

The event is staged by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement District Area - a client of TMS Media - as part of its drive to attract visitors and spending to the borough using a levy from local traders.

Its chairman Gareth Brown said: “The Maritime Festival is a fantastic event that draws people from far and wide to the Great Yarmouth area, celebrating our strong nautical culture both historic and current. It’s something we’re delighted to continue to support.”

More details, along with a short film, called Making Waves, about the festival can be found at the website

Picture caption: The Regal Lady pleasureboat which is coming home to the port where she was built to run trips at the Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival.