A MUSIC event celebrating the songs of the sea which was started more than a decade and a half ago by a group of friends will return to a coastal port town this year.

The Harwich International Shanty Festival will run from October 7 until October 9 in various different venues throughout Harwich.

Over the weekend festival-goers will be treated to a range of different rabble-rousing shanties and sea songs from a variety of talented performers.

There will also be a barge trip, street theatre, maritime crafts, a shanty train and, of course, lots of pirates.

A spokesman for the event said: “The Harwich International Shanty Festival has journeyed a long way since its small beginnings with a bunch of friends meeting in a couple of pubs to drink good beer and sing good shanties.

“But we like to think that the initial idea of a cosy pub atmosphere, real ale, good friends and rousing shanties is still where our core values lie.

“In those sixteen years the festival has grown to become the premier UK shanty festival and over the weekend the historic town of Old Harwich will resound with the sound of shanties and sea songs.”

To find out more information visit harwichshantyfestival.co.uk.