It is a chilly, wet Friday evening in St Ives, out of season, shops closed earlier than they might in high season. But in seven venues around town the atmosphere and the welcome is warm, and the air is
filled with singing.

It’s St Ives Sea Shanty Shout (not the easiest thing to say out loud) and the seven venues where 24 groups are singing in rotation are packed out. We drop into the Castle Inn, Golden Lion, Queens Hotel, Beer and Bird, and the Surf Shack Café. Elsewhere, the Bier Huis Grand Café and the Pilchard Press Alehouse were buzzing, too.

I’d never been to a St Ives shout before amazed by the brilliant entertainment — excellent quality singing and playing, and some good banter between the songs. There was occasional deviation from the shanty theme (“this is a soil shanty” was one get-out). Another popular line: “Drink more — we get better the more you drink!”

Above: from the top, the Falmouth Fish Sea Shanty Collective at the Golden Lion; the Cape Cornwall Singers at the Queens Hotel; Proper Job IPA at the Queens Hotel; Back Street malliows (soused pilchards) at the Pilchard Press Alehouse; Black Flag Brewery Owl and the Pussycat stout at Beer & Bird; and A Capella Moonshine at the Queens Hotel


The festival looks to have raised more than £1,100 for Penhaligon’s Friends, the Cornish charity that supports bereaved children and young people, and their parents and carers. Money has come from bucket collections during the shouts, the naming of a Teddy bear (he’s to be known as Captain Charles Salt), and the auction of a painting, The Mermaid, by local artist Donald MacLeod.

A great weekend, and hopefully some happy memories for the visitors and choirs from across the UK.