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)

Christmas Treasure Hunt 2023

We will be running a Treasure Hunt again this year on 30th December at the Alma Inn. Start the challenge anytime between 12.00 and 13.00 and return by 15.00 latest ready for prize giving at 16.00.

This will be a mixture of cryptic clues for adults and picture clues for children. Lizzie is pictured holding the 2021 children’s clues.

£5 per adult or £12 per family (max 2 adults)

For info the very popular Murder Mystery held last year may well take place in February half term or Easter 2024, but time has run out for this year. So make a note in your diaries and we hope to see as many of you as possible on 30th December. 


Coronation Capers

On Sunday 7th May 2023, a day after the King’s Coronation, the Harwich Shanty Festival committee gracefully put on Coronation Capers.

The day was very much an inclusive May Day festival and was opened by the Harwich Town Crier before a May Dance commenced.

A variety of musicians and dancers then made their way around the town of Harwich, calling at the Alma, Globe, New Bell & Stingray.

Some of the groups had also played on Ha’Penny Pier separately during the afternoon but they came together for a finale.

Coronation Capers on Harwich Green 2023

A Celebration of the Coronation of King Charles III

Programme for May 7th 2023

Harwich Green


Welcome by Harwich Town Crier

May Song – Staines Morris

National Anthem

Maypole Dances

Circassian Circle for everyone

May Song – Hail, Hail the First of May

Salute to King Charles

Farewell by Harwich Town Crier

1430-1630 Celebratory Music & Song around Historic Harwich

1700 Ha’Penny Pier Grand Finale All Groups

Shanty Marathon

Pam, Jon and the rest of the organising committee are now taking a well-deserved rest after their 26 hour marathon!

If you didn’t manage to get to the Alma this past weekend then we have uploaded a few videos of the event:

It is now nearly 12 years since Harwich International Shanty Festival held their first Shanty Marathon event and it remains a fond memory for many – in a masochistic sort of way!

The time is ripe for a second record breaking attempt.

There will be 26 hours of continuous shanties and sea songs in the Alma Inn Harwich starting 12.00 on Friday 28th April and ending 14.00 Saturday 29th April. Songs will be sung in shifts on a rota basis and no-one is expected to stay up for the entire 26 hours, unless of course they want to. 

Insomniacs are of course particularly welcome!

This will be a fundraising venture for the Shanty Festival, but the emphasis is on FUNdraising with raffles, forfeits, spot prizes, shanty bingo and more to pass the time when not singing. Everyone is welcome, from large shanty crews to solo singers, with or without any previous shanty, or indeed singing experience.

The idea is to keep the singing going and last time brought in some interesting gems from folks who had never heard of shanties before. We will have words available if required. You do not have to register in advance to attend, although an indication of likely interest would be helpful and does not commit you in any way.

There are still rooms available in the Alma if required ( ) and the bar will be open for the entire duration.

An added attraction is the Real Ale festival taking place over this weekend.

Contact for more information.

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 for further information and how to participate.

Updated: Christmas Murder Mystery

Thanks to everyone who braved the somewhat inclement weather on 30th December and turned out for our Murder Mystery event. Pictured are some of the teams taking part and the winning team, the Taylors who completed the challenge in an astounding 43 minutes, receiving their prize at the Alma.

A good time was had by all and we raised over £100 towards the 2023 Shanty Festival. We shall definitely run the event again next Christmas,

If you didn’t manage to attend but would like to make a donation of £5 then please click the button below (you don’t need a PayPal account)

[wpecpp name=”Fundraiser Donation ” price=”5″ align=”left”]

Summer Shanties On The Pier

We were last able to hold our popular Summer Shanty sessions back in 2019, but have re-instated them for 2022!

May 15th was Hoy Boy (video “Randy Dandy Oh”)

June 12th Hoy Boy (Video “Sally Brown”) 

July 10th Hoolies from Wivenhoe 

August 14th ShantyFolk from Lavenham

September 11th Mick Verrier & Friends  This event has been cancelled following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II


Back in 2019 the season was kicked off by a combo of Naze & Harwich shanty crews:

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.

Shanty Workshop – Photos & Feedback

Please could I say a personal thank you to everyone who was involved in making our workshop and concert yesterday such a success. I’m not going to name individuals as I will miss someone, but, thank you to you all … To all of those of you that bought a ticket and came along , our large team of volunteers and our performers….. A truly successful day all round , remarkably stress free as, for the first time ever , everything went to plan… Oh and we made a profit and raised money for the festival…..
Watch this space as we are planning another workshop and concert next Feb…
Thank you everyone
Penny xx


Dear all.  I’d like to say a huge thank you for the super Workshop day.  It far exceeded my expectations.  The Rogue Shanty Buoys ran an excellent workshop – lots of interaction, tuition, new songs and techniques and history explained.  Very professional.

The evening shanty concert was also superb  –  new and old songs, lively, witty.  Even our daughter and son in law, who joined us at short notice and hadn’t a clue what to expect, thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  If run again, this workshop and concert are highly recommended for experienced and novice singers.

Finally, well done the catering team (excellent lunch and coffee breaks) and organisers for a super day.  Regards,  Trevor Williams”



Shanty Auction

Thanks to all those who attended, bid, provided Lots and generally had a good time at the Auction. We raised just over £1,000, had an enjoyable evening and now have a worthwhile sum to put towards our 2019 Festival. Thanks to everyone!

Treasure Hunt 28th Dec!

Our popular Annual Treasure Hunt was on Friday 28th December starting as usual at the Alma. It’s always a great way to fill the sometimes dead period between Christmas and New Year and there is stiff competition nowadays to win that cup!

Well done to our winners. Team Daces won the adult prize and the children’s prize was won by Luke, Evie, Elizabeth & Lilly

Runners up for the adult prize were The Lads & The Doctor