A highlight of the Festival of the Sea, on Saturday 18th June, is a Parade of Boats marking the HM Queens Platinum Jubilee and the Festival of Suffolk. The Parade is jointly organised by Suffolk and Essex and will feature boats of all kinds, and a variety of vessels from the Royal Navy, Trinity House, Harwich Haven Authority, Essex Marine Police and the RNLI.
The fleet will arrive from as far afield as Norfolk and from various corners of Suffolk and Essex, including Ipswich, Aldeburgh, Tollesbury and Burnham.
They will assemble between Shotley and Harwich, weather permitting, flying flags and bunting. The Parade will launch with the firing of a cannon at the Ha’Penny Pier at Harwich and the boats in the Parade will salute, cheer and wave as they criss-cross the Rivers Orwell and the Stour.
People will be able to watch the parade of boats from the shore. The best places for the public to view this unique spectacle (times approximate) is Harwich Ha’pennry Pier (2.00pm), and Felixstowe Landguard Fort (2.30pm). The fleet should be visible from Shotley waterfront all afternoon.
At Landguard Fort and Felixstowe Museum a weekend of pirate activities is planned. A swash-buckling weekend of re-enactments, musket firing and pirate fun between 10am-5pm. A joint Fort and Museum Ticket is being trialled with details on their websites.
The Landguard Peninsula is expected to be very busy this weekend, so it is advisable to leave your car at home and travel by public transport. The FirstGroup 77 bus links Landguard with the Felixstowe Railway Station, the main seafront and the large car park at Martello Park North. Alternatively, park at the Manor Terrace car park and enjoy a short 20-minute walk through the Landguard Nature Reserve.
Paul Grant, Landguard Project Officer said, “Come and enjoy a fantastic weekend at Landguard celebrating the sea and coast. Watch out for our dastardly pirates and enjoy a spectacular Parade of Boats… there is something for everyone to enjoy. ”. For those wishing to take to the water over the weekend who don’t havea boat then book on the Harwich Harbour Ferry for one of its trips across the Haven between Landguard, Harwich and Shotley where you can getthe best views of the Haven and the Port.
The Festival of the Sea is jointly supported by The Countess of Euston, HM Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, and Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, HM Lord Lieutenant of Essex.
“The Parade of Boats is a tribute to Her Majesty, the Queen,” said Roy Clare, one of the coordinators. “There’s a long tradition of assembling fleets to mark special occasions. To celebrate the sea you don’t need a boat – just take the family down to the water near you and wave at some! Buy an ice-cream, take a stroll along the fabulous coastline – Suffolk and Essex combined is more than 400 miles long – and just think of the countless ways we depend on the sea and the marine environment – a true ‘Festival’”
“All aboard as the Festival of Suffolk takes to the water,” said Festival of Suffolk Chairman, Mark Pendlington. “Thanks to local boat owners in Essex and Suffolk, along with marinas, sailing clubs, the Royal Navy, the RNLI and many others, over 70 boats will set sail to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. Adnams will be on hand to buzz around the fleet in Zodiacs with refreshments, so with all flags flying everyone is hoping for fair winds and calm seas.”
This is the chance for everyone to celebrate the sea and rivers, our ports, and our beaches, as part of the Platinum Jubilee and the Festival of Suffolk.