Woodbridge: Town celebrates its maritime heritage

Town celebrates maritime heritage in style

A HUGE team effort from an army of volunteers helped make the 2012 Maritime Woodbridge event a big success over the weekend.

Thousands of people flocked to the town to discover all about its maritime heritage.

With live re-enactments, fascinating lectures, a coracle pond, an art display and musical entertainment the festival offered something for everyone. The biennial event took place on Saturday and yesterday and, as in previous years, its success was founded on those who gave up their time to help others find out about life on the water in days gone by.

Maritime Woodbridge president Mike Rines said: “It went extremely well. It’s the fourth Maritime Woodbridge and probably the best because of the range of interesting activities stretching over a long part of the river bank, from the boat pond down river right up to the Tide Mill.

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“One of the great things about the event is that everything is free. It’s a huge team effort and any money raised just goes to keeping the show going. There are dozens of people who have been involved and it’s not just working over the weekend.”

One of the event’s attractions was the visit by the Nancy Blackett, once owned by Swallows and Amazons author Arthur Ransome.

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The vessel was said to be one of his favourites among the various yachts he owned, and provided the inspiration for his acclaimed novel We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea.

Nancy Blackett, thinly disguised as the Goblin, plays a leading role as the boat at the centre of the book.

The vessel, which underwent restoration, is owned by the Nancy Blackett Trust, which was set up to preserve her as a living part of the Ransome heritage.

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