Collecting donations over the festival weekend for the RNLI, Rowcroft Hospice, Teign Heritage Centre and the Alice Cross Centre.
The 2019 festival was a huge success, filling the towns of Teignmouth and Shaldon with crowds of supporters, raising the profile of Shanties and the River Teign community, as well as raising £2,000 for charity via collections over the festival weekend. Sea shanties were essentially work songs, set to a rhythm for working, to reduce the monotony of undertaking repetitive tasks aboard ship. But they were also Foc’sle songs, which were storytelling verses to be listened to at leisure, to remind sailors of home and these helped to keep alive traditions and record local events and people. In the Teign estuary area we are blessed to have talented songwriters such as Bob Freshwater, who painstakingly research historical records and craft their own recording of such events and so keep them alive for future generations.
Sadly, due to the Covid situation, the 2020 festival had to be cancelled, but 2021 will be an even bigger and better festival, with around 40 sets of shanty singing groups attending – up from 27 in 2019, coming from all over the UK as well as overseas. One of the shanty groups attending, The “Longest Johns”, were featured in Gareth Malone’s television program “The Choir” and also performing are Teignmouth’s very own Sea Shanty singing group, the Back Beach Boyz.
Dedicated collections will be made for the charities listed above over the festival weekend. All charitable collections will be divided equally amongst our chosen charities. In 2019 we shared out £2000 between the charities, let’s see if we can, with your help, double it this year.
Last year there was in excess of 150 hours of free entertainment – this year there will be even more than that! Brand new for 2021 will be the tall ship Johanna Lucretia being moored in Teignmouth harbour for the whole weekend and people will be welcome to “come aboard”.
A limited number of paid berths are still available for both the outward journey from Plymouth to Teignmouth the week leading up to the festival and also back to Plymouth the week following the festival: Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
There will also be specialist maritime themed presentations and demonstrations around the town, for people to learn more about the origin and construction of shanty work songs and associated crafts including: wooden ship’s figurehead carving, willow lobster pot weaving, wooden boat building, flag & pennant meanings, sail making, rope knotting, Shanty singing talks and workshops, and also also sea based story telling for all the family.
The maritime events will be ‘family friendly” ones held in very relaxed centrally located venues away from the hustle and bustle of the shanty singing in the pubs – though there will be plenty of that as well! Weather permitting, the River Teign Rowing Club will also be providing “taster” Pilot Gig rowing sessions at appropriate tide times.
The festival is held over the weekend of September 4th / 5th.