SeaBritain pulls in the crowds

IT was certainly a far friendlier welcome than they received last time.For as Dutch invaders stormed Felixstowe's beaches for the first time since 1667, it was cheers and warm applause which greeted them rather than cannons and musket fire.

IT was certainly a far friendlier welcome than they received last time.

For as Dutch invaders stormed Felixstowe's beaches for the first time since 1667, it was cheers and warm applause which greeted them rather than cannons and musket fire.

Large crowds gathered to watch the spectacle as a Dutch re-enactment group marked the 338th anniversary of the last attempted invasion of England by a foreign force, one of the highlights of the SeaBritain , See Felixstowe festival.

The Dutch invaded at Cobbold's Point, as their forebears had done in the 17th century, with pikes in hand and cutlasses drawn for a display on the shore.

The re-enactors thrilled the crowds all weekend with their displays of pike drills, musket and cannon firing at Landguard Fort, scene of the original defeat when 500 English soldiers led by Capt Nathaniel Darell saw off the 2,000 Dutch.

Visitors were also welcomed to their encampment at the Martello Tower, Wireless Green, Langer Road, to learn about the 17th century soldier's life.

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There was plenty more, too, for people to enjoy – with 35 different events happening along the seafront and in the town centre over the three days – and organisers were delighted with the numbers of visitors attracted.

There were two stages offering a variety of live bands throughout the weekend, plus a steel band and a samba band playing, sea shanty singers and street entertainers, and a special show at the Spa Pavilion.

In the Spa Gardens there were children's art workshops and competitions, art galleries had special displays, and out at sea there was a sailing display with more than 35 small yachts and other craft, plus air-sea rescue demonstrations.

There was a fireworks display over the sea, and a special open-air church service to close the event.

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