Visitors are entertained at the annual Waveney Greenpeace Fair in Southwold

Waveney Greenpeace Winter fair at St Edmunds Hall, Southwold.

Waveney Greenpeace Winter fair at St Edmunds Hall, Southwold. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A variety of live musical acts, home-made food and a friendly atmosphere were provided at the 11th Waveney Greenpeace Fair, held at St Edmunds Hall in Southwold recently.

Michelle Sharman on her craft stall.

Michelle Sharman on her craft stall. - Credit: Nick Butcher

The fair included face painting, cake sales, vintage clothing, and a range of exhibits and table sales.

Visitors were able to find out more about Waveney Greenpeace and also pledge their support to this year's campaign focus, which looks at sustainable fishing with close links to the 'Coastal Champions Boat Tour', which will include a visit to Southwold on April 8 and Lowestoft on April 9.

The fair is also a key fund-raiser for the group, who had to end their summer event four years ago as they did not have the infrastructure to deal with an increase in visitors.

Organiser and Waveney Green Party parliamentary candidate Graham Elliott emphasised that the event was about enjoyment and live entertainment.

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'The day is very much about people getting together, talking and meeting,' he said.

'There is lots of good food and beer and live music all day.

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'It also has a campaigning theme and a fund-raising theme, so we are doing three things at the same time.

'We are raising money and getting a message out and when they all come together, it works really well. The local Waveney Greenpeace group have done that for a quarter of a century.'

Mr Elliott also spoke about the importance of this year's campaign focus, where visitors could sign bunting to pledge their support to the New Under Ten Fishermen's Association (NUTFA).

He said: 'It's about supporting the 10m fishing boats that operate locally and supporting fishing communities so they thrive.

'Small fishing boats make up 77 per cent of our fishing fleet, yet only get four per cent of the fishing quota.

'This needs to change if we have any hope of reversing the degradation of our coastal seas and coastal communities.

'We need to put fishermen first for a future stocked with fish.'

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey, who was unable to attend the event, added: 'We all recognise that we need to promote sustainable fishing but we must use the best and most up-to-date science available to make the right decisions for our fishing fleets and secure the future of our under-10s.'

Throughout the day, children were given the chance to learn how to knit and weave with the adults able to enjoy a range of beers and ales, including Trawlerboys from Lowestoft.

Some of the musical highlights included the Tutti Swing Band, Mrs Sizewell and the Reactors and the Somerleyton Strummers. The evening gig was headlined by Murphys Lore.

Entertainment organiser Anthony Abbott, 65, said: 'I have been organising these things for about 25 years and I just try to get as much contrast as possible between different styles of music.

'It gives me great satisfaction to raise awareness about Greenpeace but also to encourage musicians of all ages to come and perform, as there are lots of people who like playing music but find it difficult to get gigs.'

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