DOZENS packed out historic Old Leigh for the first full day of this year's shanty festival.

The 2024 edition of the Old Leigh Shanty Weekend returned on Friday evening with a shanty singaround at The Crooked Billet.

Echo: Performing - Motley CrewPerforming - Motley Crew (Image: Richard Huckett)

However the first full day of the free event was hosted yesterday, with a score of shanty crews from around the UK and Europe performing at the historic Strand Wharf and stages throughout the Old Town including the Mayflower, the Peter Boat, the Smack, the Boatyard and No 1 Cockleshed.

Echo: Crowd - festival-goers enjoying the performancesCrowd - festival-goers enjoying the performances (Image: Richard Huckett)

Organised by the Leigh Lions Club in conjunction with the Hoy at Anchor Folk Club, access to the three-day event is free of charge, with the Lions Club collecting for the Leigh Endeavour Trust, Leigh Lions Charitable Trust and Southend RNLI.

Photos from our brilliant camera club members show yesterday's event with huge crowds filling pubs and restaurants to enjoy the traditional seafaring music from crews throughout the day.

Echo: Shanty crew - two performersShanty crew - two performers (Image: Richard Huckett)

 This year's festival continues with a third and final day today, and is being sponsored by Priority Management to celebrate their 35 years serving the community.

Echo: On song - Silver Darlings performingOn song - Silver Darlings performing (Image: Richard Huckett)

Scroll down to see more photos

Echo: Hands up - Motley CrewHands up - Motley Crew (Image: Marie Gofted)

Echo: Packed - the crowd at The Crooked BilletPacked - the crowd at The Crooked Billet (Image: Marie Gofted)

Echo: Performers - the youngest shanty crew at the eventPerformers - the youngest shanty crew at the event (Image: Richard Huckett)

Echo: Sailors - the event is hugely popularSailors - the event is hugely popular (Image: Richard Huckett)

Echo: Seafarer - the festival was packedSeafarer - the festival was packed (Image: Marie Gofted)

Echo: Singing - Motley CrewSinging - Motley Crew (Image: Richard Huckett)