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.
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.
This year there will be around 40 sets of shanty singing groups attending – up from 27 last year, 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.