03 Apr

A performance by a young Cumbrian folk artist will kick off months of events and entertainment due to take place at Whitehaven Harbour throughout the year.

Folk singer Holly Brooke will perform at The Hub on Friday 7 April, for the first of six ‘Harbour Sessions’, organised by Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners. The Harbour Sessions will take place on the first Friday of every month, from 5pm to 7pm.

The lineup of performers is being curated by Tom Salmon, who has spent the last 10 years promoting the region’s music on local and national radio.

Who's playing The Harbour Sessions?

Tom said: “The lineup will include a whole range of Cumbrian performers, some from Whitehaven and some further afield. We’re going for a stripped back, relaxed sound, so expect some easy listening, pin-drop moment performances.

“Holly is from the Carlisle area and she has a fantastic versatile voice, which she accompanies with a mixture of ambient acoustic and electric guitar. A fantastic act to open The Harbour Sessions and a taste of what’s to come.

“I’ve grown up with the harbour on my doorstep, so being asked by the Harbour Commissioners to curate these events is something I’m really excited about. I like to think that people going for a stroll across the harbour will have a lovely surprise when they stumble across these chilled out performances from our Cumbrian singer-songwriters. I’m sure music fans in the area will be adding these Friday gig dates to their diary - we’ve got some brilliant performances lined up.”

The Harbour Sessions are just one of a series of events planned for the harbour between now and Christmas.

What else is happening in 2023?

On April 28 and April 29 Workington Transport Heritage Trust will be returning to the harbour with their fantastic Leyland National 51 event.

Last year’s event saw dozens of vintage Leyland buses gather on the harbourside to mark half a century of the Leyland National bus, which was assembled at a purpose-built factory in west Cumbria.

This year’s event, which is being run in partnership with Whitehaven Town Council, will feature bus rides as well as commercial vehicles and cars from the 1970s.

Something for everyone

May 6 to May 8 will see the return of the popular continental markets on the harbourside, featuring a range of stalls selling an array of foods and other goods, accompanied by Taylor’s Funfair.

The continental markets and funfair, which are being organised alongside the town council, will also take place from July 20 to July 23.

In June, The Harbour Commissioners are hoping to bring a large, open-air cinema screen to the harbourside every Saturday night to show classic movies.

On July 1 the Harbour Commissioners will team up with Rosehill Theatre for the return of Harbour Fest. The day-long, free festival will feature live promenade performances, including music, arts and crafts.

Every Sunday throughout August the Harbour Commissioners will host a series of family fun days, featuring crafts and other interactive creative activities and performances.

In September the harbour will resound to the music of acts including Jake Bugg and the Vaccines during the three-day Whitehaven Alive festival. In addition to these chart-topping acts, the festival will also feature food and drink villages, Cumbrian producers and street theatre.

Finally, in December, the harbour will host a Christmas firework display in partnership with Whitehaven Town Council.

John Baker, chief executive of Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, said the range of events was all part of its mission to make the town a great place to live, visit and do business.

“The programme is about staging events that are free to attend and appeal to the whole family. They will be great fun and entertainment for the local community but will also attract visitors to the town and create opportunities for local businesses,” he said.

“I think the variety on offer over the coming year shows just how versatile the harbour can be as an events hub and solidifies Whitehaven’s reputation as a destination in itself. I’m looking forward to the first of the Harbour Sessions getting underway on Friday.”

John added that Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners are keen to hear from any businesses and organisations interested in sponsoring any of the events, or local traders interested in having pitches along the harbourside on event days.

Anybody that would like more information can email info@whitehavenhc.org.uk

The first of the Harbour Sessions will take place at The Hub on Whitehaven Harbour on Friday 7 April from 5pm to 7pm.

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