Hundreds enjoy weekend of entertainment at maritime festival

The Wells whelker Harvester, which is now owned by Rescue Wooden Boats, at the Maritime Heritage Festival

The Wells whelker Harvester, which is now owned by Rescue Wooden Boats, at the Maritime Heritage Festival - Credit: Reg Holl

A celebration of maritime heritage and historic fishing boats has been hailed as a rip-roaring success. 

Twenty-one historic wooden whelkers and crab boats went on display as Wells Maritime Heritage Festival was staged over the weekend (July 23-24).

The whelker Harvester during the festival flotilla 

The whelker Harvester during the festival flotilla - Credit: Reg Holl

Seventeen vessels, including Dunkirk veteran lifeboat 'Lucy Lavers', took part in a spectacular flotilla which sailed from Tugboat Yard to the harbour mouth on Saturday afternoon. 

About 100 people were on board, including people whose family members used to own or constructed the boats. 

Crowds at Tugboat Yard watching the flotilla during the Maritime Heritage Festival in Wells

Crowds at Tugboat Yard watching the flotilla during the Maritime Heritage Festival in Wells - Credit: David Fincham

The event, organised by Rescue Wooden Boats in collaboration with Wells Harbour and Curlew Coastal Charters, offered plenty for families to do throughout the weekend. 

Mark ‘Hooker’ Taylor provided a demonstration of crab and whelk pot making and mending, while Black Shuck distillery launched its rum liqueur named Lucy Lavers. 

Nelson’s Shantymen and Anto Morra delighted revellers with live music on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Anto Morra performed during the Maritime Heritage Festival in Wells

Anto Morra performed during the Maritime Heritage Festival in Wells - Credit: Dave Fincham

Nelson’s Shantymen performed at Wells' Maritime Heritage Festival after the flotilla returned

Nelson’s Shantymen performed at Wells' Maritime Heritage Festival after the flotilla returned - Credit: Chloe Dewson

A scene from the flotilla at Wells Maritime Heritage Festival

A scene from the flotilla at Wells Maritime Heritage Festival - Credit: Dave Fincham

Miss Judith, built 1936 by Johnnie Johnson, lived part of her life in Wells

Miss Judith, built 1936 by Johnnie Johnson, lived part of her life in Wells - Credit: Reg Holl

A Rescue Wooden Boats stall with displays telling the stories of the crab and whelk boats

A Rescue Wooden Boats stall with displays telling the stories of the crab and whelk boats - Credit: Wendy Pritchard