Fort prepares for a busy summer

ONE of Felixstowe's biggest tourist attractions today announced a packed summer season including a celebration of the 340th anniversary of the last time England was invaded by a foreign force.

ONE of Felixstowe's biggest tourist attractions today announced a packed summer season including a celebration of the 340th anniversary of the last time England was invaded by a foreign force.

Landguard Fort is looking forward to visits from a number of historical re-enactment groups over the next few months and hoping to break its record of 14,500 visitors last summer.

Trustees of the English Heritage-owned monument, which overlooks Harwich Harbour, will also be giving guided tours of the gun batteries excavated a few years ago.

Darell's Day will be the highlight of the season on July 14 and 15 which will mark the invasion by the Dutch in 1667 when raiders tried to scale the walls of the fort.

To mark the 340th anniversary, the Landguard Fort Trust has had Frank Hussey's book Suffolk Invasion reprinted, which tells the tale of the events surrounding the battle.

Publicity officer George Buckland said: “The book has been out of print for a while but we feel it is an important work and a very accurate telling of the story - it really is the bible of the invasion.

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“Felixstowe has the unique distinction of being the last place in England to be invaded by a foreign force and it is important that we have the book to sell to people who are interested in our special place in the nation's history.

“Events are being planned for the weekend in July when we shall have the Sealed Knot with us, which should be excellent.”

Mr Buckland said the fort, which will be open seven days a week from March 31 to October 28, was looking forward to the visit of several groups.

These will include the 95th Rifles, the Khaki Chums for a First World War anniversary event, and The Diehards.

On the opening weekend there will be a Focus on Youth event which will feature displays from all the cadet force groups in the town, as well as a professional storyteller and several community organisations.

“We are really looking forward to the season and are pleased that our re-enactment events have all been expanded to become weekends,” Mr Buckland added.

Do you have an interesting event coming up? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.