The Sea Shanty Extravaganza

This was the first event to be held at the newly re-vamped St Mary’s Church after its transformation with the removal of the fixed pews and old flooring, and replacement by free-standing chairs and new wooden flooring. It was also the first event after the Government-imposed Covid lockdown. We weren’t sure how many people to expect. On the night, we had a huge turnout and we admitted 140 people but, regrettably, we had to turn quite few people away as we didn’t want to cram too many people into the church building because of Covid still being around and the need for caution.

The three Sea Shanty groups, Wivenhoe’s Hoolies, the Motley Crew from Brightlingsea and the Felix Stowaways from Felixstowe, gave us a splendid evening of rich singing, filling the church with their wonderful voices. Each group had a slightly different style and different shanties to sing. At the end of the evening they all came together to sing three numbers, harmonising very well indeed, finishing off with a rousing rendition of ‘Drunken Sailor’ which the audience were clearly pleased to join in with its many verses.

A wonderful evening was enjoyed by the audience as well as by the performers who were greatly impressed with the acoustics arising from the work which had taken place in the building during 2021. This substantial work had included the building of the Annexe with its kitchen and new toilets, almost luxurious in comparison with what was there before.

Peter Hill
Chairman, Wivenhoe St Mary’s Music Society