Charter weekend celebrates all that is wonderful about town
- Credit: Archant
A town commemorated one of the most significant events in its history by hosting a weekend of celebratory events.
The people of Beccles toasted all that is wonderful about their town as part of Beccles Charter Weekend, held on June 30 and July 1 to mark the granting of the town’s historic charter by Queen Elizabeth 1 in 1584.
Now in its fifth year, the event features activities and displays at various hubs across the town including Hipperson’s Boatyard, Beccles Town Hall and St Peter’s House.
Among the highlights this year was charter weekend’s very first wild river swim, where participants plunged into the River Waveney and swam 11.5km from the Waveney River Centre in Burgh St Peter to Beccles Quay.
There was also an entertaining river cycle race at the boatyard, which saw current mayor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw taking on former mayors Caroline Topping and Hugh Taylor while pedalling a historic water bicycle.
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Mr Taylor, mayor of Beccles from 2015 to 2016, hailed the catalogue of events that help to make charter weekend such a noteworthy feature in the town’s calendar.
“Charter weekend is all about bringing the community of Beccles together and celebrating the historic event which made Beccles a market town in its own right,” said Mr Taylor.
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“What we do every year is host a free celebration which includes events going on by the riverside, music, the opening of the town hall and so much more. This year it was really exciting to hold the first River Waveney wild swim and it’s been a brilliant weekend.”
Mrs Topping added: “Beccles always does this sort of thing rather well and it’s so nice to see all these events taking place.
“When people are asked what their favourite thing is about Beccles they always tend to say the same thing - ‘the people’ - and charter weekend is a perfect example.”
Visitors also had the opportunity to climb aboard MTB 102, one of the last surviving motor torpedo boats to have served in the Second World War.
Skipper Richard Basey said: “A lot of people came to look at the vessel that rewrote the rulebook for modern torpedo boats. It’s lovely to show off MTB 102 during charter weekend because it’s such a relaxed atmosphere and we don’t have to worry about choppy seas!”