Maritime event is 'a huge success'

GALLERY Organisers have hailed a maritime festival in a Suffolk town a huge success.

Richard Smith

ORGANISERS have hailed a maritime festival in a Suffolk town a huge success.

Thousands of people visited Maritime Woodbridge this weekend which featured a host of events for all the family.

One of the highlights included a party of Viking warriors which pulled a replica long ship through the town centre.

A warrior encampment let visitors learn about how the Vikings lived - including letting people try their hand at Viking fighting skills.

Michael Rines, chairman of Maritime Woodbridge, said the event attracted more than the 10,000 people who visited last year.

Most Read

“It went beyond all our expectations and we were so lucky to have good weather,” he said.

“Woodbridge is such an amazing setting for a maritime festival and the Woodbridge riverside is absolutely glorious and it has shouted out for something like this for years. I think it has really taken off because of the wonderful setting.

“It is a real community effort and also a real showcase for lots of the towns amazing musical talents.”

As well as being popular with visitors, Mr Rines said the event was also a huge hit with the town's residents.

“They think it is wonderful and lots of people come on both days. The mayor of the town and the chairman of Suffolk Coastal District Council came and they commented on the fact that everybody looked so happy. We have already had offers of funding for next year.

“It has been an amazing example of what a few enthusiastic volunteers can do.”

The event also featured lectures on how the Vikings built and sailed ships as well as one on Vikings in Suffolk.

Classic wooden boats of all kinds and sizes assembled in the docks, including Thames sailing barges. There was also a marine exhibition which featured the world's fastest ever sailing dinghy and demonstrations of traditional nautical skills and coracle building.

Children as well as adults could try their hand at paddling in a coracle in a specially constructed pond.

Both days ended with a nautical music, sing, dance and drama concert.

Shops in the town centre also competed for a prize of the best nautical window display and there was a nautical painting competition plus a Viking treasure hunt. A Suffolk Punch-drawn carriage connected the event to the attractions in the town.