Port all set for a royal party

TODAY will be one of the biggest days in Felixstowe’s history.

The town is getting ready to party with a massive celebration to mark the Port of Felixstowe’s 125th anniversary, and also the opening of its �300million new expansion project.

The Princess Royal is due to open the extension, which will provide two new deep-water berths for the world’s largest container ships.

The port has announced there will be free rides for children on the seafront amusements next to the pier as part of the celebrations and fireworks tonight.

As a result of the official events, Viewpoint Road and the port viewing area, next to Landguard Fort, will remain closed today.

Undercliff Road West between the leisure centre and Bent Hill will also be closed to traffic for the seafront party between 6pm and 8.30pm.

Two bands will be performing live and a 46 square metre screen will be placed on the leisure centre car park to show a recording of the Princess Royal’s visit earlier in the day to open the port’s new �300m extension.

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Portworkers are being given a �15 voucher to spend at a wide variety of food stalls, and members of the public will also be able to buy food from the stands.

All rides at Ocean Boulevard – the amusements run by Stan Harris alongside the prom on the south side of the pier – will be free during the event.

The highlight will be a spectacular firework display over the sea – visible from all along the coast – with the pyrotechnics set off from the pier

The evening will also include a collection for RNLI Felixstowe branch – the port’s charity this year.

This is also being supported by pier owner Stan Threadwell, who is donating his fee for allowing use of the pier, and by a donation from the Sheringham Shanty Men.

Paul Davey, head of corporate affairs for Hutchison Ports UK, said of the road closures: “It is a very special occasion and it is the only way we can get people in and out of the event safely. We apologise for the disruption and hope it doesn’t inconvenience too many people.”