A HARWICH festival is celebrating a very special anniversary.

Harwich Festival of the Arts is marking 70 years since the Kindertransport, when more than 10,000 children, who were mostly Jewish, were shipped to Harwich to escape Nazi oppression.

Kinderkoor Bevegem, a children’s choir from Belgium, have agreed to perform at St Nicholas’s Church on Saturday July fourth to celebrate the event.

It will also be marked by a performance of Colchester recorder orchestra Rhythm Rats in the afternoon at the church.

“We are absolutely delighted they are coming over to celebrate with us,” said Anna Rendall-Knights, chairman of the Harwich Festival of the Arts Trust.

“English children and children from the continent will shake hands with one another before watching each other perform.

“It won’t be a re-enactment because there aren't any Jewish children but we wanted to celebrate continental and English children coming together.”

Children from Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Vienna and Prague arrived in Harwich from December 1938 to the beginning of the second world war staying at a holiday camp in Dovercourt.

They travelled without their parents and children were put in charge of babies before they were sent off to foster parents around the country.

The festival runs from July second to 12 and includes performances by Dovercourt Theatre Group, Essex Concert Band and Dovercourt Choral Society.

For more information visit www.harwichfestival.co.uk