Song of the sea

The Sheringham Shantymen. Photograph by Chris Taylor

The Sheringham Shantymen. Photograph by Chris Taylor - Credit: Chris Taylor

Traditional tunes brought together a Sheringham group that is celebrating its quarter-century this month.

The distinct salty sound of the Sheringham Shantymen is synonymous with the sea and its rich heritage. Initially formed as a one-off for the 150th anniversary celebrations of the town’s lifeboat, such was their success they decided to carry on and the Shantymen were born. The group has gone on to entertain the crowds with their sea-inspired songs, both here in Norfolk and all over the world, raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity along the way and now they are set to mark a special milestone of their own. The Shantymen are preparing to celebrate their 25th birthday this summer with special concerts, events and the release of a new CD.

“We do shanty songs, but also traditional folk and basically sing ‘anything that’s wet’ with a link to the sea – such as Rod Stewart’s Sailing,” says musical director Brian Farrow.

He says the Shantymen is also very much a “social club,” and many friendships had been forged between the members, who range from lecturers and electricians to fishermen and coastal engineers. Over the years, the group has raised thousands of pounds for lifeboat causes and its close links with lifeboats are shown by the RNLI badge worn on their uniforms.