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Artists’ chance for a brush with seafaring history

Ernie Childs with festival sponsors

Visitors to Great Yarmouth’s Maritime Festival can show off their artistic talents thanks to a new activity this year.

The Ready Steady Paint Challenge will give budding painters the chance to join a masterclass with popular local artist Ernie Childs, and craft a picture with a seafaring theme.

During the event on September 9 and 10, Mr Childs will guide participants through a free 30 to 45-minute lesson of drawing and painting, with each person able to take home their artwork. Up to 20 people from school age upwards can join in, with classes at 11am, 1.30pm and 3pm on both days.

The festival, in its 18th year, features a packed programme.

The main attraction is the Kaskelot, one of the world’s largest remaining wooden ships. The Danish three-masted barque was originally a traditional Baltic trader built in 1948 by J Ring-Andersen. Her crew will be available to answer questions, and a museum in the cargo hold will feature tools used in the building and maintenance of traditional ships.

There will also be an opportunity to learn knots and, wind permitting, sail-setting lessons will be available.

The Kaskelot will be joined by the Lydia Eva, a living museum of the herring fishery and the last steam drifter built at King’s Lynn, which worked out of Great Yarmouth until her last haul in 1938.

The 1937 MTB102 motor torpedo boat will be back, while naval boat The Alert makes her debut. Alert is one of four new coastal patrol vessels operating around the UK coastline as part of the UK’s round-the-clock Border Force Maritime Fleet.

The quay will be a hive of musical activity with a programme of sea shanties. Headline act El Pony Pisador return by popular request and Sheringham Shantymen, Kimber’s Men and the Blakeney Old Wild Rovers will also be on stage.

The festival is staged by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA) as part of its drive to attract visitors and spending to the borough.

Maritime Festival chairman Aileen Mobbs said: “It is shaping up once again to be a very exciting festival with a great mix of boats, music and attractions.

“The new Ready Steady Paint Challenge is a unique opportunity and a fantastic chance for budding artists to work with a superb painter.”

• Applications to join a class should be made in advance by going to Click on ‘Ready Steady Paint’ where you can download a form to submit.