Port to have a good maritime

Organisers of Fleetwood  Maritime Day are Dick Gillingham, Alan Bell and David  Pearce
Organisers of Fleetwood Maritime Day are Dick Gillingham, Alan Bell and David Pearce

Fleetwood’s rich maritime heritage is being celebrated in the town with a day-long festival of salty folk music.

There will be sea shanties, tales of real-life incidents at sea and the return of a popular musical show, with events spread across several venues in the town.

The songs and stories are not all about Fleetwood itself, but some of them are, and after all this town does have such a rich history

The main day of events is Saturday, June 18, when the Maritime Day, organised by the folk arts network group Folkus, is staged for the second consecutive year.

The Folkus chairman is veteran Fleetwood folk musician Alan Bell, who insists the spectacle is not a re-run of the famous Fylde Folk Festival he previously ran.

Alan said: “It isn’t really the same thing, this is a much smaller and more compact event and it specifically has a maritime flavour. There is no other town in the North West currently running a maritime event and I thought Fleetwood was best placed to do it.

“The songs and stories are not all about Fleetwood itself, but some of them are, and after all this town does have such a rich history.”

Although the main day for the activities is the Saturday, the event kicks off on Friday, June 17, when there will be free guided tours of the Fleetwod heritage vessel Jacinta.

The 142ft long trawler will welcome visitors from 11am to 4pm.

There will then be an evening concert aboard the ship, between 7.30pm and 10pm, featuring top folk acts including Anna Shannon and Stanley Accrington. The £5 ticket fee will benefit the Jacinta Charitable Trust.

Saturday sees the action divided between Fleetwood Museum, on Queens Terrace, and the North Euston Hotel.

It includes a session at the museum entitled Songs of the Sea, with folk artist Derrek Gifford from 11am to noon. Then from 1pm-2pm, the same venue will see Fish & Ships, with stories from Fleetwood’s fishing heyday presented by Dave Pearce and Dick Gillingham.

The North Euston Hotel’s ballroom will play host to the return of Cork Jackets & Drill. Pre-show songs and the full show are between 2.30pm and 4.30pm. There will be a free screening of a DVD about Fleetwood’s fishing heritage at the hotel’ at 5pm.

And a Maritime Concert takes place in the hotel ballroom from 7.30pm.

Tickets details and more information can be obtained from the North Euston, Fleetwood Museum and Folkus at (01253) 872317.