Folk music will echo down Old Leigh's streets with the return of the shanty festival over the next few days.

This weekend a score of shanty crews will navigate their way from around the UK and Europe to the historic Strand Wharf as the ever-popular Old Leigh Shanty Festival returns.

Businesses around the Old Town will also be supporting the festival with shanty stages at the Mayflower, the Smack, the Boatyard, the Peter Boat, the Crooked Billet and No 1 Cockleshed.

Organised by Leigh Lions Club, the event will kick-off with a shanty singaround at the Crooked Billet this evening, carrying on into tomorrow evening at the Estuary Club on London Road.

Shanty crews from Arundel, Stony Stratford, Swaffham, Lowestoft, Brightlingsea, Maldon, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Devon, Lavenham, Kent and Leewarden in Holland will be performing across the weekend.

Access to the three-day event is free of charge, with the Lions Club of Leigh collecting for the Leigh Endeavour Trust, Leigh Lions Charitable Trust and Southend RNLI.

A Visit Southend spokesman said: "Grab your dancing shoes and warm up your vocal cords as the Old Leigh Shanty weekend returns this weekend.

"Featuring a whole host of toe tappingly good shanty crews over one weekend, you'll be sorry if you miss this fantastic event!"