STIRRING sounds of music and song will be heard throughout the streets of Harwich again next week.

The 17th Harwich International Shanty Festival takes place all around the historic maritime town from Friday, October 13, to Sunday, October 15.

Artists will travel to Harwich from France, the Netherlands and Spain as well as from across the UK.

Alongside well-loved local performers, there are to be concerts, sing-a-round sessions, workshops, illustrated talks, maritime crafts and many events are free.

Spokesman Debbie Jones said: “We have an exciting programme of events at the Redoubt Napoleonic Fort, where shanty singers will be offering a variety of performances and taking advantage once more of the wonderful acoustics in this unique venue.

“As well as musical performances we have musket drills, cannon firing, skirmishes and sword displays with River Rogues and Sheppey Pirates and the King’s German Artillery on both the Saturday and Sunday and there will be a Living History Camp with The Queen’s own Buffs.

“Tony Johnson, the barber surgeon will be giving an exhibition and gory demonstrations of his skill.”

Inner State Theatre will present its All Things Piratey show at the Redoubt on

Saturday and along the Quayside on Sunday with a cartload of piratical goods and stories.

There will be demonstrations of figurehead carving by Andy Peters, face

painting, maritime paintings and tombola.

Refreshments will be available at the Redoubt from Food for Thought, which will serve hot food throughout the weekend and from their new community café situated at Harwich Space, George Street.. There will also be a Pirate Sweet Cart.

Real Ales can be purchased from Wharf Brewery, formerly Harwich Town Brewing Co, purveyors of fine ales, stouts and porters to the honourable shantyfolk of Harwich and brewers of the renowned John Kanaka Ale.

Another family attraction is the themed Sea Shanty Train making two journeys between Harwich and Manningtree and back on the Saturday of the festival with entertainment from pirates, shanty singers and more. The Silver Darlings and Snottledogs will be entertaining on the trains this year.

Car parking will be available in the Trinity House car park at the end of West Street and there will be a shanty bus to transport people around the town.