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  1. ITV Report

Sounds of songs of the sea fill Essex town

The Sea Shanty Festival in Harwich. Credit: ITV News Anglia
  • Click below to watch a video report by ITV News Anglia's Hannah Pettifer

Around 5,000 people are visiting Harwich this weekend to take part in the town's international shanty festival.

The event has been running for 14 years, attracting shanty groups from as far away as Canada, all in celebration of the songs of the sea.

It started with just a small group of friends singing in pubs, now more than 40 groups from all over the world take part, drawing in 5000 visitors to the town.

Sea Shanty Festival in Harwich. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"Sea shanties we're working songs on board the ships, in the old days, you had no power for a ship all the power was provided by men working on board so pulling the ropes, turning the windlass had to be done by the men and you needed to synchronise the work, they needed to pull at once so that's where the sea shanty was born, it kept everybody in time."

– Pam Fitzgerald, Harwich International Shanty Festival