A group of Cornish sea shanty singers, who were propelled to stardom after their album reached the UK top 10, are performing on Port Isaac beach to raise money for the UK’s retired and impoverished seafarers on July 15.
Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends performed this year to a massive crowd on the main stage at Glastonbury this year, but have set aside time to appear at a more modest fundraising event in their home town to support the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.
The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society has been supporting the seafaring community in Cornwall for over 172 years. In the last 12 months, grants totalling over £1.5 million were distributed to former seafarers in 2,650 cases of need throughout the UK.
The event has been organised by Dugald Sproull, the Society’s honorary agent for Port Isaac, who knows the group personally through his involvement in the area’s fishing community and as chairman of the Port Isaac Harbour Commission.
Commenting on the event, he said:
“Since some of the group are fishermen themselves and understand the financial difficulties that fishermen can face in retirement, the charity seemed like the perfect choice for their fundraising activity.”
Hundreds of people from Port Isaac and the surrounding areas are expected to attend the performance on The Platt in Port Isaac which will generate essential funds for the Society which relies heavily on public donations.
“The Society has an historical tradition in Port Isaac going back to 1860 and has been supporting fishermen ever since. I took over the role of honorary agent in 1992 from my mother who had supported the Society since 1944 said Mr Sproull.
Malcolm Williams, Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, said:
“We are delighted that Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends are supporting the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society. Being fishermen themselves, they understand the risks of working at sea and the struggle many mariners retiring on meagre pensions often face. All the funds raised from the performance will make a real difference to the quality of life of former seafarers and their families.”
Since topping the album charts in 2010, Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends have held several concerts and made numerous TV appearances, including an ITV1 documentary about their rise to fame which aired last week. However their forthcoming performance at Glastonbury will be their most prestigious event yet.
Information about the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society can be found at www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk
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