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Beauty of region's rivers to be celebrated at two-day festival

PUBLISHED: 17:26 26 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:32 27 June 2019

The beauty of the region's rivers will be celebrated at Beccles River Festival. Picture: Mary Sparrow

The beauty of the region's rivers will be celebrated at Beccles River Festival. Picture: Mary Sparrow

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A weekend festival featuring boat trips and live music is set to promote the region's rivers and their natural beauty.

The beauty of the region's rivers will be celebrated at Beccles River Festival. Picture: Mary SparrowThe beauty of the region's rivers will be celebrated at Beccles River Festival. Picture: Mary Sparrow

Beccles River Festival, to be hosted at Hippersons Boatyard in nearby Gillingham, will invite the community to celebrate the joy of being on the water on July 6 and 7.

Across the two days, visitors will be given the opportunity to climb aboard a number of historic craft including the Wherry Maud and the award-winning Countess of Light, which will be serving cream teas.

They can also explore the MTB 102, one of the last surviving motor torpedo boats to have served in the Second World War and a key player during the evacuation of British forces and allies from Dunkirk.

Mary Sparrow, who co-owns Hippersons alongside her husband, Simon, said there was plenty to look forward to about the festival.

The beauty of the region's rivers will be celebrated at Beccles River Festival. Picture: Mary SparrowThe beauty of the region's rivers will be celebrated at Beccles River Festival. Picture: Mary Sparrow

"The whole point of the festival is to get more people using the river," said Mrs Sparrow. "It tends to be older people who get out on the water, so we're trying to get families and young people involved as well.

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"This is a chance to promote the river among the local community and put on an event that shows people it is a fun thing to have on our doorstep.

"There are going to be lots of things for people to try out. We're going to have historic vessels, a steam boat, face painting, a burger bar and day boats taking people along the river."

In true festival spirit, the two-day extravaganza will feature a host of live music on both days, with bands including The Oulton Broads and Buchanan and Dutch among those set to perform.

The free festival will run from 10am to 4pm on both days, with musicians performing between 11am and 4pm.

With the annual Beccles Charter Weekend taking a year off, Mrs Sparrow believes the River Festival is a perfect excuse to recognise the unique lure of our rivers.

"I think appreciating our rivers is so important because we live in such a fast-paced world with so many things that grab our attention," she added.

"People sometimes need to stop, slow down and just enjoy the natural beauty of what is right in front of them."

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