Music trains for Harwich Sea Shanty Festival

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Greater Anglia’s Mayflower Line trains will ring with the sound of old sea shanties when singers and Pirates jump aboard as part of the Harwich International Sea Shanty Festival, which takes place from 11th – 13th October 2013.

Volunteers from the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership (ESSCRP) will decorate a carriage with a sea shanty theme on three special ‘Music Trains’, as festival singers jump aboard to regale passengers with songs from the sea as they travel to the coast.

The three shanty groups taking part in the Music Train event are Crossjack, from Germany, Hooks and Crooks, from Ireland, and La Bouline, from France.

There will also be children’s entertainment, including games, quizzes and a ‘Best Dressed Pirate’ competition, as well as a shanty crew and Pirates on board to really get festival goers into the spirit of the weekend!

The Music Trains will depart from Manningtree at 11am and 12pm on Saturday 12th October and at 11.26am on Sunday 13th October. Tickets can be purchased in advance or on board the train.

On reaching Harwich, festival goers will be treated to a huge choice of entertainment, much of it free of charge.

Shanty singers from all over the world converge on Harwich for this special weekend and the town resounds with the sound of their singing. There are pirates on Harwich Green, Napoleonic soldiers and Maritime crafts at the Redoubt Fort, trips on board the Sailing Barge “Victor” and music and singing at venues throughout the town. On Saturday, Lord Nelson and Able Seaman Lyon will be sailing around the town on board HMS Victory and on Sunday the Battle of Trafalgar takes place on the Harwich Green.

Greater Anglia’s Media Officer, Kerri Worrall, said, “We are delighted to get involved with this unique and exciting festival and welcome three International singing groups aboard the special Music Trains. The Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership have pulled out all the stops to create a really fun atmosphere on board, making rail the perfect way to travel to the festival for children and adults alike.”

More information and a full programme of events can be found at or