The First Twenty Five Years …
The Sheringham Shantymen are immensely proud to wear the RNLI badge on their uniform and the only organisation outside the RNLI that is allowed to do so. They support the RNLI in a myriad of ways donating a significant percentage of their yearly fundraising income directly to the RNLI as well as supporting and performing at lifeboat stations around the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The Shantymen spent three years raising almost £20,000 to purchase a new ‘D’ Class Lifeboat which the RNLI stationed in Wicklow in Ireland. In the autumn of 2007 the Shantymen attended the official naming ceremony in Wicklow where the lifeboat was formally named ‘The Sheringham Shantymen‘.
The Shantymen travel widely throughout the UK and Ireland supporting Lifeboat Stations in their fundraising efforts and are always considering how they can help in fundraising efforts by performing concerts.
The Shantymen have visited Germany, Virginia USA twice, Ireland four times, Holland twice and France. As well as hundreds of local performances the group has entertained at prestigious Maritime Festivals at Bristol, Lincoln, Ipswich, Southampton (start of the 2000 Tall Ships Race) and Portsmouth Festival of the Sea. They helped open the International Boat Show at Earl’s Court in 1995 and have appeared on national television in ‘The Big Breakfast Show’, ‘Highway’ (with the late Sir Harry Secombe), Children in Need, and ‘Blue Peter’ for which they have ‘the badge’. Since 1990 the group has completed over1,000 public performances, made three videos and recorded 7 CD’s the most recent one in 2016.
In 2009 the Shantymen completed their first visit to the Isle of Wight helping raise over £3,000 in funds for the private Freshwater Lifeboat. The Shantymen were impressed by the commitment of the crew and helpers to fund the private lifeboat at Freshwater. In early 2010 the Shantymen were invited to sing at the BBC’s ‘The One Show’ which they said was a thoroughly entertaining experience.
In 2011 they performed two festivals in quick succession, in France at the St Vaast Festival followed quickly by the the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival – a festival the Shantymen have attended since its inception some years ago and witnessed the organizers develop one of the best shanty festivals in the country. The Shantymen also performed for ‘Ade In Britain’ in 2011 and ‘Country File’ in 2012.
In March of 2014 the Shantymen made their 6th CD in St Peters Church Sheringham and enjoyed another great season.
In 2015 they celebrated their 25th anniversary and completed three special concerts, two in Sheringham and one in Cromer Pavilion Theatre. It was a great year which they enjoyed immensley and they gave their profound thanks to the people of Norfolk who have supported them throughout.
2016 was another great year for the Shantymen as they welcomed some new younger blood into their midst and these will help develop new ideas and new ways for the future. They also made their 7th CD at St Peters Church which comprised a selection of their favourite songs.
Brian J Farrow
20th January 2017