THIS weekend, Arbroath Harbour will be the place to be, as Arbroath Sea Fest celebrates the town’s maritime heritage with a host of things to see and do.
Arbroath Sea Fest 2012 has a 1940s theme, with wartime characters, artefacts, music and boats playing an important part in the festivities.
Weather permitting, three historic fishing boats from this era are expected to sail into the harbour between 1 and 2 p.m. on Sea Fest Saturday (tomorrow) which will hopefully coincide with the Sellers Brothers Swing Seven playing 1940s music on the on the Green stage.
“Going to Sea Fest is the highlight of the boating year for us,” said Peter Weightman of North East Maritime Trust, which will be sailing three of its historic fishing boats - ‘Sovereign’, ‘Favourite’ and ‘Rachel Douglas’ - from their present home in Newcastle to Arbroath.
“Each of these vessels has been extensively restored to how they looked 60 years ago, when nearly all our harbours, including Arbroath, had a fleet of these seine netters.”
In a new addition to the Sea Fest 2012 programme, Arbroath Abbey Timethemes will be presenting the premiere of a specially-written short play with a 1940s theme.
“We will be performing this play outside our Wartime Canteen on Beacon Green at 2 p.m. on Sea Fest Sunday (August 5),” explained Bill Smith of Arbroath Abbey Timethemes. “Also, on the hour every hour, and in different parts of Beacon Green, Arbroath Abbey Timethemes will be joined by several members of Arbroath Male Voice Choir for a 1940s sing-along.”
One of the many fishing-related attractions at Arbroath Sea Fest 2012 will be the traditional boatbuilding demonstrations and displays by Northboats, an Aberdeenshire family-run boatbuilding, repair and restoration business.
There will also be demonstrations of the making of Arbroath’s most famous export – Arbroath Smokies – by Iain R Spink, and the chance to go on board the beautiful old lady of the seas, Reaper, one of the Scottish Fisheries Museum’s fleet of historic fishing boats.
Arbroath RNLI will be making a splash at 2.30 p.m. on both days of Sea Fest with the launch of the Arbroath Lifeboat, which will be followed by a re-enactment of a rescue. And, as part of their fabulous fund-raising efforts for the RNLI, Arbroath Ladies’ Lifeboat Guild will be selling cream teas from their stall alongside the lifeboat slipway.
The area around Arbroath Harbour is currently undergoing its annual Sea Fest transformation and, over the next few days, a multitude of stalls will be springing up around the harbour and on Beacon Green.
“We’re delighted by the number of bookings we’ve had from stallholders this year,” said Alistair Martin, Arbroath Sea Fest committee member. “The wide variety and high number of stalls at Sea Fest are among the many reasons thousands of local people and visitors flock to Arbroath Sea Fest every August, which can only be good news for our town.”
Alistair stressed that family fun is always an important element of Sea Fest. “This year is no exception,” he continued. “Children attending Arbroath’s weekend of seaside celebrations can enjoy lots of treats, including story-telling sessions and free face painting.”
Gates open at 10 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) and at 11 a.m. on Sunday (August 5), with the admission charge of £3 (children under the age of five free).
For more information about Arbroath Sea Fest 2012, visit www.arbroathseafest.co.uk.