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Polperro Fishermen's Choir

History of the Polperro Fishermen's Choir
The Choir today
Contact details

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History of the Polperro Fishermen's Choir

The Polperro Fishermen’s Choir was formed in 1923 by Eva Cloke & Thomas Mark, a lay-preacher who was known as the "Fishermen’s Bishop". This was in the days when fishermen were hardy and relied on their seamanship and their belief in God to carry them safely home. The fishermen would sing hymns and songs whilst they worked.
 
 

With the decline of the fishing industry, the choir suffered losses until other tradesmen from the village joined the choir. Very soon the choir was singing regularly in the village and around Cornwall, mainly at religious services where they praised the ‘Harvest of the sea’.

Until 1982 the choir uniform was a rough home knitted roll-necked jersey, which was knitted by the wives and daughters for their men folk. In 1982 the uniform changed to a black blazer and roll neck shirt, with a blazer badge.

Eva Cloke stayed with the choir until her death in1969. Visitors to Polperro can see the seat and plaque donated by the choir as a lasting memorial to her work and dedication to the choir. It stands on the spot in the harbour where she conducted many open-air concerts.


After Eva’s death, Jack Libby led the choir in concerts throughout the south of England, bringing pleasure to audiences and performers alike. His devotion and enthusiasm made the choir what it is today. On the 6th September 1986, in recognition of his services to choral music in Cornwall, Jack Libby was received into the Gorsedd of Cornwall as a Bard and assumed the Bardic name ‘Map Porthpyre', which translated, means ‘Son of Polperro’.

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The Polperro Fishermen's Choir today

The choir has made several television and radio appearances, including Songs of Praise from Polperro for BBC TV. When Songs of Praise was broadcast in Australia and the USA, the choir began receiving fan mail. In 1998, they were proud to appear with the Polperro Ladies Choir in a Festival of Choirs at Plymouth Guildhall.


The choir has forged friendships with choirs from Wales and the Sydney Welsh Choir from Australia, who joined them on a visit to Looe. The choir’s aims and objectives are as strong as ever and a great many charities have benefited from their devotion and loveof singing.

On most Wednesday evenings throughout June, July & August the choir can be seen ‘at home’ on the quay in Polperro, led by Phil Carrigan, giving a traditional concert to the locals and tourists alike. The choir also gives its famous Christmas Concert in Polperro Methodist Chapel which attracts an audience from many parts of the country and indeed the World.

 Phil Carrigan, Musical Director of the Polperro Fishermen's Choir

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Contacting the Polperro Fishermen's Choir:

For further information about the Polperro Fishermen's Choir, future bookings and contact details, click here to visit the Choir's website.

 

 
   

© 2002

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