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Couple who have been the backbone of the Wayland Festival are given send off

PUBLISHED: 09:05 21 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:00 21 August 2017

Chairman of The Wayland Festival, John Kerr and the festival's secretary, Judy Kerr are presented with gifts at their retirement. Picture: Lucy Begbie

Chairman of The Wayland Festival, John Kerr and the festival's secretary, Judy Kerr are presented with gifts at their retirement. Picture: Lucy Begbie

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A husband and wife team who were the backbone of the Wayland Festival from its beginnings were given the send off they truly deserved at the weekend.

Festival organisers, performers and friends join with John and Judy Kerr to thank them for all their hard work. Picture:Lucy BegbieFestival organisers, performers and friends join with John and Judy Kerr to thank them for all their hard work. Picture:Lucy Begbie

John Kerr from Watton has been the chairman of the arts festival for 26 years, along with his wife Judy who has been the festival secretary.

And on Saturday fellow festival organisers and friends gave the committed pair a surprise party where they toasted them and gave them gifts.

Afterwards everyone enjoyed a wonderful spread of meats, quiches, and salads followed by gateaux, cheesecake and pavlova as they reminisced.

First and foremost John Kerr paid tribute to his wife: “My job has been made easy by having such a fantastic secretary, “ he said.

Husband and wife Wayland Festival duo were given gifts and flowers at a party held to thank them for their hard work over 26 years. Picture: Lucy BegbieHusband and wife Wayland Festival duo were given gifts and flowers at a party held to thank them for their hard work over 26 years. Picture: Lucy Begbie

“The most rewarding thing is to see almost full houses and to know that people have enjoyed what we have put on for them.

“What we really need now is people in their late 40s,early 50s who have still got the energy to take the job on.

“People whose children are getting older and so they have got more time – which is about when we started doing it.”

The Kerr’s four children are grown up now – Gary and Joanne are police officers in Norfolk, Rachael is a teacher and Ian a production manager.

And the couple have five grandchildren too.

Mr Kerr admitted there had been challenges along the way: “One of the most “challenging things was finding a date when all the committee members could meet,” he said.

“And doing the programmes we had so many ideas the problem was what to leave out.

“For some of the festivals we added a day on because we couldn’t bear to miss something out,” his wife added.

She went on to say: “I shall miss being part of the group during festival week but age catches up with you.

“We have five grandchildren and we want to do things with them and our children.

“We are hoping the young people will come in now and take hold of the festival and do what they want to do with it now.”

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