Category: Latest

Supermarket Fundraising

Excellent news! The Green Token scheme in the local Co-Op has just finished and the Shanty Festival will be receiving £300 donation voted for by local shoppers. Thanks to everyone who popped a green token in our slot and thanks especially to Diane Bitmead, without whose hard work we would not be benefiting in this way. And very neatly we can announce that the Green Token scheme with Asda in Dovercourt starts this month for the next 3 months. So please all you Asda shoppers do the same thing. Pop a green token into the Shanty Festival slot and lets see if we can boost our funds again in 3 months time.


Spoken Word Sessions

Time to get busy all you budding writers. John Kempster will be running another Spoken Word Session at this year’s Festival. Pieces do not have to be original, but new work is very much welcomed. See flier for details or email

New Bell Beer Festival

The New Bell Pub in Harwich are hosting their first outdoor Beer Festival on Sunday 16th July, and are supporting the Shanty festival

Barn Dance

Coming up on 29th July is our FUNdraising Barn Dance!

This will be great fun for all the family dancing to the Skulking Loafers.  The Barn Dance is at the Park Pavilion, Dovercourt from 7.30 p.m. on the 29th of July. Tickets £10 per adult (purchase via Harwich Box Office at Dovercourt Library or on the door that night), children are free.

Bar on site but please bring snacks/nibbles if required.

Click on the image for full size



Committee members got together for a Badge making workshop on 20th May and turned out over 350 badges and keyrings.

Keyrings double up as bottle openers – an indispensable item for Shanty Festival attendees.

Badges retail at £1.00 each and Keyrings at £2.00.


Fancy a Shanty T-Shirt?


We still have some older T-Shirts available, now £4.00 plus £1.50 p&p. The following were in stock at the time of finger on keyboard:

 Black      4 x Small               1 x 3XL

 Red        6 x Small               1 x  XL                   2 x  2XL


There are also a number of 2016 T-Shirts (pictured above) for  £8.00 plus £1.50 p&p

Please contact us for further information.

(The maths is just to reduce spam! If you don’t like the one there, hit the ‘recycle’ button for a fresh one)

The 2017 Festival

The 12th Harwich International Sea Shanty Festival will be held from 13th to 15th October 2017 . Please put these dates in your diary, on the wall calendar or your online calendar.




Ale Trail Events

In Harwich, where there’s Ale, Cider and Music you can be assured that Shanties are not far away!

Over the next few days, Harwich will be awash with the best Ales and Ciders for the annual Ale Trail. Music of a shanty nature will be found as follows:

Saturday (29th April) 4pm onwards – Rattlin’ Winches in the New Bell Inn

Sunday (30th April) 2pm onwards – Skulking Loafers on Ha’Penny Pier

Monday (1st May) from 4pm The Human Jukebox in the New Bell Inn

Pub Olympics – Round2

Following on from our first Pub Olympics in February, we’re repeating the event on Wednesday 12th April at 7pm, again at The New Bell Inn.

The Harwich International Shanty Festival invite you to an evening of traditional pub games on Wednesday 12th April 2017 in The New Bell Inn.

Are you the Harwich Pub Games Champion?

Now is your chance to find out.

Come for fun or come for the competition, either way you should have an entertaining evening (7 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.)

Ten games will be set up for you to sample, your best six scores will be used to determine the champion.

Play as many times as you wish. Each game costs a pound and all proceeds go towards the 2017 Harwich International Shanty Festival in October

Joe Stead

I’m sure many of you will already know this, but we just wanted to share that Joe Stead passed away on March 29th after a long battle with cancer. He has been to our festival several times in the past, singing with Kimbers Men and he will be sadly missed by all in the Folk world who knew him. RIP Joe x

Pub Olympics

Thanks to everyone who came along to our Pub Olympics on Saturday 25th February, either to compete or to help out. We raised £57.00 for the Shanty Festival. Not a huge amount, but more importantly a huge amount of fun was had by all – and just look at the concentration!

Some serious competing! We are going to include the event on the Shanty fundraising calendar, possibly monthly during the winter season, after some streamlining and re-organising. Meanwhile congratulations to Sarah Adie for 1st prize and cup and to Annie Donaldson as runner up.

2016 Shanty CD available

There are still a few 2016 compilation CDs left in stock. Price now reduced to £5.00 plus £2.00 p&p.  If you live locally (no postage) please enquire at the Alma, Hanover or New Bell. Otherwise please email for postal address

Trains, Shanties, Pirates & Princesses

Join us for a memorable train ride on the Saturday & Sunday of the festival. Our special trains will have shanties, pirates, princesses and more! Book your Shanty Special online

There are different sea shanty crews on each train (times are from Manningtree):

Saturday 8th October – 11.00 hrs Kernow Buoys, 12.00 hrs Capella

Sunday 9th October – 11.26 hrs The Vagrants Crew.

Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership will again be running special Shanty Trains along the picturesque Mayflower Line between Manningtree & Harwich Town. With Shanty singing, pirates, activity packs and prizes.

Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership

Tickets & full details at




Princess on Shanty Train waiting to be rescued