The 6th Fishstock Brixham Seafood and Music festival took place in perfect weather conditions on Saturday 13th September. Crowds had gathered before the festival even opened at 10am and there was a constant stream through the gates throughout the day, paying their £5 entry fee in support of the Fisherman’s Mission.
“The fishmarket had only finished trading at noon on Friday, so the transformation to a full festival set-up was nothing short of miraculous and is a testament to the hard work of our wonderful team of volunteers, the staff at Brixham Trawler Agents and the staff of Brixham Harbour Authority”, said festival manager Jim Portus.
Record crowds filled the exhibition halls, queued at food and drink outlets and rocked to the beats of the music stages. The festival, which is held to raise vital funds for the Fishermens Mission, prides itself on bringing quality, delicious world foods as well as the best of fresh Brixham fish to its festival goers, with a backdrop of local musicians, interactive cooking shows and local traders. This year was no exception and the show fizzed from the get-go.
Fishstock Brixham is now an important event on the tourism and trade calendar for Brixham and south Devon, generating a loyal following of locals and tourists from further afield, who travel to enjoy the relaxed, family orientated atmosphere of probably the best of British one-day seafood and music festivals.
Jim said, “I pay tribute to the Fishermen’s Mission for the work that people like John Anderson do, often in difficult and emotionally challenging circumstances. Tragedy strikes our fishing communities too often and hardship is only the next storm away. The “Mission Man” is always ready and always will be if we keep refuelling the coffers of the Fishermen’s Mission.
“I want to thank all who made this wonderful event run smoothly from beginning to end. Sheila Anderson put together a formidable team of local volunteers to attend the gate, to keep the site clean and to act as guides to the many inquiring tourists. We are indebted to BRNC Britannia for a squad of RN cadets, who served as stewards, the guides and brownies who served Devon Cream Teas made by S D College students and the locals who gave up their time and worked hard during set-up and clean-down as well as on the day.
The music festival got off to a great start with Jumping Out Jazz and ended with a rousing finale by Torbay’s “soon-to-be mega stars”, These Reigning Days. It is thanks to local fish and seafood businesses, Coombe Fisheries and Falfish who sponsor the stages that we have such a variety of quality talent to delight the audience. Both sound stages played to capacity crowds all day and into the evening to Midnight.
The cookery and “Food is Fun” kitchen-theatre demonstrations included “masterclasses” from Simon Hulstone (The Elephant) and Andy Sewell (The Quayside), to name just a couple from the many.
For the first time, the event featured a “Food is Fun” seafood kitchen classroom, sponsored by Morrisons. More than 60 children enjoyed learning to handle, prepare and cook fresh fish, turning out dozens of fishy-fingers for their waiting parents to sample. Other sponsors included Interfish Ltd Plymouth, Paramount 21, Bookers, Kingfisher and Kitsons Solicitors.
Without any doubt this was a festival to remember, a crowd pleaser that served its true purposes and educated many about the wonders of fishing, the delights of fresh fish and the need for due regard to our precious fisheries resources and marine environment.
My raising vital funds in the way, the Fishermen’s Mission benefits greatly and the public becomes so much more aware of its functions.
Jim Portus concluded by saying, “It may be exhausting to put on such a show, but the benefits are clear for all to see and to sample. There are no losers at Fishstock Brixham and I am proud to lead such a wonderful team of volunteers who made it work for the 6th time. God Bless them all!”