Thousands descend on Beccles for Food and Drink Festival
CROWDS flocked to Beccles on Saturday for the town’s 5th Food and Drink Festival. The free one-day event,
whose aim is to showcase local artisan producers and to bring visitors to the town, proved hugely popular, with many stalls selling out. Set in New Market, the Public Hall, around and inside St Michael’s Church, 75 stalls sold a wide variety of food and drink products catering for all tastes and food intolerances. The more unusual ones among them
were stalls selling
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Balkan cooking pottery, honey products, Moroccan and Oriental savoury pies, air dried beef snacks and natural dog treats. Mouth-watering world street food was on offer for hungry visitors, including wood fired Mediterranean kebabs, Indian curries and snacks, Vietnamese Banh Mi, Porchetta rolls and Greek Cypriot Souvlaki. The large crowds were entertained throughout the event by many musicians and bands who were positioned around the Grazing Trail of stalls, while the little ones enjoyed Punch and Judy shows near the church terrace. Marshals from Helping Hands were present to hand out programmes and advise visitors, and Festival Crier Yanny Mac kept everyone informed of events happening around the various sites. In the Public Hall, along with stalls selling beer brought over from Rouen, olives, baklava, biltong, chocolate and fudge, a food theatre run by East Coast College demonstrated the skill of local chefs and students. During the demonstrations, sausages from eight butchers from the Beccles area had their products judged by a blind tasting, with Beccles based WJ Seppings winning the Battle of the Beccles bangers trophy, with DJ Barnard from the Farmers Market runners up and Chambers Butchers in Beccles third.
A free Park and Ride shuttle
service from a car park at the Quay, manned by Beccles Lions and using Bungay Area Community Transport minibuses, ensured a steady stream of visitors were able to enjoy the Festival without causing traffic congestion in the town centre. Paul Parravani, who founded
the Beccles Business and Tourism Association backed event and leads the small team of volunteers organising the Festival commented “this was our largest and by far our most successful event day. The weather has been perfect, and all the traders and visitors we spoke to had enjoyed a very successful and enjoyable day. Everything has gone very smoothly, considering the logistics involved”. The Festival’s first Fringe,
two weeks of events hosted by local eateries, food and drink producers, has been well supported, and this draws to a close with a special Farmers Market at Ellough tomorrow celebrating British lamb, while the Waveney House Hotel is running a further weekend of a Suffolk menu featuring local produce from today until Sunday. Next year’s Festival day has
already been set for Saturday 23rd May, and planning will start again in the autumn.
Beccles Lions 50th Charter Dinner
BECCLES and District Lions Club celebrated 50 years of charitable work in the Beccles community at its annual Charter Dinner at the Waveney House Hotel, Beccles. Over 100 guests attended and
upon arrival were greeted with a Guard of Honour, provided by the Beccles Sea Cadets and Marine Corp, plus music by the Rumpus Ukulele Band. The evening was full of surprises as well as kind words from the guest speakers and fellow Lions Clubs from around the UK and around the world. In his speech Beccles Lions
Club President Chris Lambert said, “I am proud and honoured to be the President of Beccles Lions Club, especially on such a special occasion, celebrating 50 years of serving the Beccles Community. Since the Club’s formation in February 1969, Beccles Lions has been an active part of Beccles and the distinctive red jumpers are always out and about in the town at various times of the year raising money to help those in need both locally and around the world. Of course none of this would be possible without the tremendous support of the people of Beccles to whom we say a very big thank you. As times change so too does a club such as ours and that is why we are always on the lookout for new members, people of like minds willing to help within their local community, so that we can serve for another 50 years helping those in need.” During the evening there
were several presentations acknowledging the clubs fantastic achievement of 50 years. One such award was a special presentation in the form of an Appreciation Certificate from Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex GCVO, Head of Lions in the United Kingdom. Another was a letter
of congratulations from Lions Clubs International President, Gudrun Yngvadottir. A video was shown of Lion Norman Garrod, 92, one of the founding members, receiving his Melvin Jones Fellowship (MJF). This award was made earlier this year as Lion Norman was unable to attend on the evening. A second presentation of
an MJF went to Lion Keith Moore in recognition of his outstanding work over a 30 year membership. Lions President, Chris said, “The MJF is one of the highest honours bestowed upon a club member and it is treasured by those individuals receiving it. Lion Keith has served in both Lowestoft and Beccles Clubs and has made such a valued contribution to both clubs. Lion Keith is a fine example of someone who thinks of others first, rather than himself and it is an honour to present Lion Keith with the Melvin Jones Fellowship.” In response Lion Keith said,
“I am completely surprised and overwhelmed, as well as honoured to receive the Melvin Jones Fellowship. The opportunity and joy of helping others cannot be expressed in words, you have to experience it to truly understand the feeling of helping people in their time of need, Lions has enabled me to do this”. If you wish to know more
about the Beccles & District Lions Club and the work we do, please contact the club secretary Lion Janet Ramsden on 01502 514284 or visit our club’s website at www.be
ccleslions. club and follow us on Facebook too. If you are interested in becoming a member of Beccles Lions Club please telephone our Membership Chair Lion Keith Moore on 07717 488719.
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Picture Caption: From Left to Right – Lion Keith Moore receiving the Melvin Jones Fellowship from Lion President Chris Lambert.
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