TONY Prior, of the Lions Club of Leigh - the hosts of the Old Leigh Regatta - has confirmed that the much loved end of summer annual event is to go ahead this weekend, following the recent fire which destroyed the Fisherman's Co-op.

He said: "Despite the disastrous fire which virtually destroyed the sail loft building in Old Leigh last week, the Old Leigh Regatta will still be taking place but there may be a few minor alterations.


Entertainment - clog dancers


Racers - out on the water

"Its possible there will be one less stage but nonetheless, the following will still be performing: The Hoy Shanty Crew, The Thameside Mummers, Cockleshell Clog, Grand Reunion, the Ondines, Below Sea Level, Mains'l Haul, the Hoolies, the Silver Darlings, Chris Robson Band, Revival, Salsa Heart, Rom Shanty Crew, Goodnight Crow, Random Folk, Leo C, Peter Dunhill and Michael Blant."

He added: "The Regatta will culminate in a combined performance from five Essex-based shanty crews on the Mayflower Arena."

The event will take place with assistance from the Sea Scouts of Old Leigh.

"We are hoping for great weather which will encourage large crowds who will be able to enjoy live music, community stalls, arts and crafts and children’s entertainment" Tony added.

The Old Leigh Regatta has become a traditional event for almost half a century in the old town, with side shows, craft stalls, sailing races and novelty water events.

While the traditional Old Leigh Regatta event hosted by the Lions takes place on the Sunday, The Peterboat pub also adds to the occasion by providing a programme of live music on its premises, making a whole weekend of it and including music on the Saturday too.

Many of the community are involved. Osborne Fishmonger and Seafood Stall, said: "There is so much to enjoy for all the family, with live music, arts and crafts for the kids, water based activities and of course the cockle eating competition! Please come along and support this fantastic community event.

The Peterboat's programme starts on Saturday from 11am and continues on Sunday from the same time.

The traditional event hosted by the Lions Club of Leigh starts from 10:30am until 5:30pm.