Aside from the music, many other events took place during the 2017 Festival

Andy Andrews and Christine Bissell were Inner State again this year,

In 2017 Viking Invaders took over the Redoubt Fort on Saturday and on Sunday we saw a Viking Longship walking(!) along the Quayside.


Also at the Redoubt Fort the Grand Theatre of Lemmings presented “Ropes and Yarns” – a maritime history experience.




The Kings German Artillery again defended the Redoubt Fort, demonstrating musket drill and cannon firing and taking part in the odd skirmish with marauding pirates. 

River Rogues Pirates

Bands of pirates one again roamed the town. Visitors kept a look out for them at the Redoubt Fort and on Harwich Beach 




We were very pleased to welcome back Kipperland in 2017. Visitors were able to see demonstrations of splitting and smoking herrings, plus old photographs and text about an industry which once employed a quarter of the population. There was also of course  the opportunity to buy the finished, freshly smoked product, which were such a success last year that they sold out! 


A selection of workshops always take place over the festival weekend

In 2017 we had two “Harmony Singing” workshops, which can be seen as a follow on for those who have attended our “Singing in Public” workshops in the past or attended for the first time in their own right. The popular Bones Workshops continued, with Hans Weehuizen again instructing participants in playing this traditional maritime percussion instrument.   And we had a new “Song for Harwich” project, concentrating on songs to commemorate Harwich characters from the past.

If the written word, rather than song is more your bag, we hope you came along to our Spoken Word sessions, held for the first time in 2016 and proving to be a popular addition to the festival. Participants brought along a poem, story, monologue or other piece of prose to read out to others, or just came along and listened. Items could be self penned or not and the only stipulation was that there must be a sea/ maritime theme. John Kempster hosted these sessions for us. He is a longtime MC and storyteller who also sings a bit.

Ha'Penny Pier

There were also talks, walks and discussions plus guided tours of Harwich on all three days of the Festival.


 …… as well as a range of other Maritime Craft Displays including Figurehead carving, net making, knot tying etc.



Finally, Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership were again 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

Shanty Train Poster


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