Beccles prepares to mark historical charter

Beccles Charter Weekend logo

Beccles Charter Weekend logo - Credit: Archant

Final preparations are taking place for what promises to be an action-packed two days of events for Beccles as the town marks Charter Weekend.

The celebration on July 4 and 5 will showcase some of the best sites and attractions the town has to offer.

The weekend will recognise the town’s historical charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I on July 2, 1584.

Events kick off on the Saturday with Beccles Open Gardens and Spaces which offers visitors the chance to enjoy more than 25 of the town’s most beautiful and original gardens.

Last year more than 400 people in one day came to explore the gardens and organisers hope this year will attract even more visitors,

Programmes which contain a map of the gardens are available from Beccles Museum in Ballygate from 10am on both days with the gardens open from 11am until 5pm.

The programmes cost £5, children are free, and include a river trip on the 1930s motor yacht, the Betsie Jane, on the Saturday.

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Mayor of Beccles Hugh Taylor said: “This was hugely successful last year.

“The Betsie Jane comes to the Waveney House Hotel, she can take 12 passengers at a time and members of the River Waveney Trust act as a shore party.

“We’ve done this as part of Open Gardens again so that people can see all the gardens coming down to the river and very few of those get opened up, largely because of access issues, and that was hugely successful last year.”

Beccles and Bungay Area Community Transport (BACT) will be available across both days to take people to the events, allowing them to hop on and off to visit all the attractions, and for those looking for a slightly different form of transport, heavy horses and carriages will available to visitors on the Sunday.

Funds from the Open Gardens event will go to the Friends of St Michael’s Church south porch appeal.

At the church itself, Norfolk and Suffolk Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild will be on site during both days and visitors can see an exhibition of their unique work and catch demonstrations of weaving and spinning.

On the Sunday, the River Waveney takes centre stage with a Nautical Fayre starting at 9am at Beccles Quay.

There promises to be something for everyone with children’s entertainment, pony rides, a variety of stalls, hot and cold food, a bar run by the rugby club and music in the park from noon to 5pm organised by Beccles Community Arts - the committee behind the town’s Harvest Moon Music Festival.

The afternoon will see the Beccles and Area River Cavalcade featuring a water bike race while boats of historical and general interest will be sailing up and down the river before forming a flotilla and mooring up to permit visitors to view them and, if large enough, to go on board.

Proceeds from the day will go to local organisations which will be decided after the event.

For information on all the events, including tickets for the party and to book a stall or take part in the flotilla, go to or 07773 493160.

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