The New Bell are hosting a quiz tomorrow, 12 June, in support of the Shanty Festival.

Please support the quiz!

Treasure Hunt Results

Congratulations to all the winners:

Hazel Prosser, Adam Rudland, Alex Sandquest joint first children

The Mayflowers 1st Adults 19/20
Andy & Maggie Schooler 2nd 18/20,
Peter & Sheila Davis plus Cath Offord and the Alexanders all joint 3rd

And thanks to the generosity of everyone taking part we have raised £250 for Shanty Festival funds! Thank you!

Adult Questions:

  1. What are the fruits of the labour of Carter & Company?  Apples (tile picture in doorway)
  2. Where do maritime traders and seafarers live next door to each other? Two cottages in Currents Lane (Chandlers & Mariners)
  3. Place of imprisonment for newlyweds? Bridewell House
  4. What sort of a mark might you make if you phone 01255 556006? Tattoo (phone number for tattoo parlour)
  5. Selling beer for 101 minutes? Foresters (Alehouse between 1800 – 1940)
  6. He commanded a dolphin? Matthew Flyn (packet boat Dolphin, House opposite St. Nicks)
  7. Edit got woodcraft in Kings Head Street? Driftwood Cottage
  8. A disciplinary boot? The Wellie Stern
  9. He met his end MDLV. William Bamford (burnt at stake in 1555)
  10. Where is the Chieftain 600? Drain Cover Angelgate
  11. A seat for cheerful talkers? Happy to Chat Bench
  12. #smells singular?   #AROMAONE (graffiti on garage doors)
  13. A scarlet box from Kirkintilloch? Telephone Box
  14. What is it UR missing at Harwich Town Station? Your Advert
  15. Furthest extent of the municipality as the sun sets? Outer Part of Town Westward
  16. A Holm baker’s dozen? 13 Holm Oaks
  17. An island only in 2D? Traffic Island at end of George Street (has 2 D’s written in concrete)
  18. A dwelling for 3? Trinity House
  19. In which direction is Turkey Island from Poor Cottage? Due East
  20. This building was officially an equally bisected orb in the 18th Century Now Thai Up at the Quay (formally(!) Half Moon Public House)

Childrens Answers

  1. Lambards (lobster on window)
  2. Swan Inn (Dutch Flag)
  3. West Street Bake House (doormat)
  4. Chinese Takeaway (top window)
  5. No. 2 Kings Head Street 
  6. No. 2b Kings Head Street 
  7. HHA Crest (Angelgate)
  8. St. Helen’s Green (garden gnome)
  9. Harwich Town Station Platform
  10. Trinity Village, Southwark (on Trinity House boards)
  11. Visitor Centre (on Mayflower model ship)
  12. Painted door in Eastgate Street/Castlegate Street)

58 Ships

58 Ships is a long term history project sponsored by the Harwich Shanty Festival and is supported by the Harwich Museum & Harwich Society. The aim of the project is to research the 58 ships listed on a board outside Navyard Dockyard in Harwich. We’re seeking volunteer researchers to have a dig into the history of one or more of these ships. Take a look at our special project website 58ships.org.uk for further information and how to participate.

Cakes & Shanties 2022!

On 1st May we held the second of our Shanty’n’Cake Days. Last year this event was a spectacular success, raising in excess of £500 and providing a great day of entertainment. For 2022 we exceeded ourselves as this has become one of our most popular fundraising events and we were thrilled to raise just over £900 for the Festival. Thanks go to all those who ate cake (!) and all helpers in whatever capacity.

Shanty Quiz

On April 12th the Alma Inn is hosting one of its famous quizzes and this month all profits go towards the Shanty Festival.  In their own words the quiz is “a bunch of weird questions, followed by a bunch of unforgettable prizes” and an entertaining evening is guaranteed. Teams of up to 6 people may enter and please register your team with the Alma on 01255 318681. Arrive at 6.30 p.m. for a prompt 7.00 p.m. start.

Closed: Photo Competition

We are running a photo competition, with a closing date of 31st March 2022. We want you to send us your photos of any HISF event. It doesn’t have to be just a photograph of shanty singers at the Festival, but has to represent the kind of things our Festival covers, so you could consider for example, our fundraising events, or perhaps the Redoubt events over the Shanty Weekend.

Entries have to be at least 1MB quality and will be used to produce a Shanty Calendar for 2023, an item which we hope to reintroduce to our  merchandise stock. The winning photographers will of course receive a copy of the calendar and will be invited to our exclusive Friends Reception on the Friday afternoon of the next Festival.

The closing date has now passed. Many thanks to the participants.


Unfortunately we have had to take the decision to postpone our Murder Mystery event. Apologies for the short notice but we have been watching the situation closely and felt we had no choice. Watch out for a revised date when it’s a better time to hold the event.


Save the Day & Solve the Crime!

On 28th of December we invite all amateur sleuths to solve our mystery – someone was killed but who was it, where was it and which weapon was used?

We’ll be hiding the clues around Historic Harwich – when you find the three correct clues you should take your answers straight to the adjudicators in the Alma. Please replace all clues for the next unsuspecting sleuth! PLUS there are spot prizes for children & adults, keep these and exchange them at the Alma for your prize.

How to find the clues … you will need the What 3 Words app on your phone or mobile device.

Click for more information about What 3 Words

For Android devices, download & install from the Play Store

iPhone users should head to the App Store

To test the app, go to the following:  ///nuzzling.barmaid.stays

Sleuths should arrive the at Alma Inn from midday onwards but you won’t be released to find the clues until 1pm, so everyone has a fair chance! We’ll give you a list of What 3 Words locations and you need to check them – in any order you wish! Return to the Alma immediately if you have found the winning clue to claim your top prize! Evidence is required!

Save time on the day by buying your tickets in advance:

Adults are £5 each Not currently available
Family tickets £10
(1 or 2 Adults plus up to 4 children)
Not currently available

Please note that the family ticket only applies to single or paired adults (plus up to 4 accompanying children). Any further adults must hold a separate ticket.

If you’ve never heard of What 3 Words then a simple explanation is needed!

The idea is that every 3m square (almost 10ft in old money!) has been allocated a set of words. This can pin the location of a place, or a person, down to a street corner or a particular bench along Harwich Quay. It is in use by the emergency services and by vehicle rescue operators, so if you regularly travel then it could literally be a life-saver! The app is free to install but will use some of your data allowance when you open it unless you’re on a wifi connection.

Most buildings have multiple What 3 Words squares so sometimes a very appropriate set of words can be found – can you find ///ending.spelled.attention ?

Download our flier


The Treasure Hunt will be held on 17th April.


Friends of Harwich International Shanty Festival


Our festival is very proud of its close ties with the local community and the loyal support of both local people and businesses and those who travel from further afield.

We endeavour to provide entertainment to suit all pockets, from the many free events throughout the town to the ticketed events, including concerts, barge trips and workshops.

Needless to say the expense of running the festival rises each year. To help offset these costs and to ensure the continuance of the festival, we are always actively engaged in securing necessary funds and the festival organisers obtain no financial benefit from running the festival. In fact quite often the opposite!

One of the ways in which supporters can help ensure the future of the festival is to consider becoming a “Friend”. We began the Friends scheme seven years ago, with a limited, but welcome take up, and we have now increased and formalised the scheme with an annual membership, running from 31st October each year. Benefits include a free compilation CD, a festival programme and “Meet the Artist” ticket, plus our “Friends only” reception at the start of each Festival. The Reception comprises a welcome buffet, talk and social gathering, plus entertainment allowing us to showcase some of our achievements over the years and also giving Friends and other interested parties a chance to get together, with a sneak preview of some of the current years Festival guests. 

Becoming a Friend is a positive way to show your support for the festival and all that it does for Harwich. Individual membership is now priced at £30 and joint membership £50 per year and includes the aforementioned benefits.

You can also now join as an Affiliate Friend for just £10 which includes the Friends Reception but not the complimentary CD, ticket or Programme.

[wpecpp name=”Friend (Single)” price=”30.00″ align=”center”] [wpecpp name=”Friends (Joint)” price=”50.00″ align=”center”] [wpecpp name=”Friend (Affiliate)” price=”10.00″ align=”center”]
Friend (Single) £30 Friends (Joint) £50 Friend (Affiliate) £10

You can also join us at anytime during the Festival.


Otherwise, to join as a Friend please send your cheque, payable to Harwich Shanty Festival, to 6, Golden Lion Lane, Harwich, Essex CO12 3NG, or send via Paypal to info@harwichshantyfestival.co.uk, making sure you mark the payment as “Friend” and include your contact details, including name, address & email address

Festival Dates

We’re gearing up for the 2020 festival in October so please put 8-11 October into your diary/calendar/organiser

2020 is promising to be the biggest festival ever! 2020 is important as it’s the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower sailing to New England. Harwich was the home of the Mayflower before that voyage as well as the home and birthplace of the captain, Christopher Jones. Read more here

Looking further ahead, the 2021 Festival will be 8-10th October