Ken & Alan at Hull Sea Fever Festival

'Bitter End'

'Bitter End' are Ken Hunnybun & Alan Hardy, a duo specialising in shanties, forebitters, sea songs and chat about life at sea in square rigged sailing ships.

Ken Hunnybun grew up on the Isle of Wight. He served his time as a shipwright apprentice in John Samuel White's shipyard working on Naval vessels, cross channel ferries and the like. Curiously he didn't start sailing until he moved to Leicester. He started in dinghies then moved to yachts with trips to Gibraltar, Holland and France - the latest trip being from Weymouth to Inverness via Ireland! (If you meet him, ask why he is not keen on the North Sea?!!). His one big regret is that he never took any interest in the shipping around the Isle of Wight when commercial sailing ships were still trading.

Alan Hardy was born and raised in Liverpool. He was introduced to the Liverpool docks by his grandfather at a very early age and on leaving school, became a marine underwriter, firstly in Liverpool and later in London. His family connection with the sea goes back even further with a relative lost at sea, having fallen from the cro'jack yard of the clipper ship 'Slieve Roe' whilst on a trip from Canada around Cape Horn in early 1908. Alan's love of the sea resulted in him purchasing his first sailing dinghy to sail at West Kirby, just after getting married (and before they had a stair carpet!!) and this led to joint ownership of a yacht which was moored at Pin Mill on the River Orwell in Suffolk.

The two met in Leicester whilst studying for their RYA Yachtmaster Certificate. Strange to say, about as far from the sea as it is possible to get in England. Their mutual interest took them on a number of North Sea voyages to Holland and once up the Thames. But lately singing about the sea has begun to have more appeal than being blown about all over it!

Their first introduction to sea songs was at Shotley Classic Boat festival where Shanty Jack and Ken Stephens entertained the yachtsmen locking in to the Marina. Doing the rounds of the shanty festivals, combined with a local singaround led them to start performing. This has taken them to Liverpool, Lancaster, Hull, Swansea and Maldon in the U.K. and Middelburg, Medemblik and Workum in the Netherlands as well as regular spots in the folk clubs in the East Midlands and East Anglia.

Recently, the duo have also performed with two friends from Liverpool complete with concertinas offering a much richer sound.

Catch up with 'Bitter End' in 2009 at:

2nd-3rd April - '1st Solihull Real Ale & Shanty Festival' - Royal British Legion Club, Solihull, Birmingham (U.K.)

10th-12th April - Easter Shanty Festival, Shotley Marina, Shotley, Suffolk (U.K.)

4th- 6th September - 'Sea Fever' Festival, Hull (U.K.)

'Bitter End' in 2008:

23rd February - 'Countesthorpe Folk Weekend'- Countesthorpe, Leicestershire (U.K.)

21st- 24th March - The Glasson Dock Maritime Festival, Lancaster (U.K.)

18th- 20th July - Shanties 08, Tall Ships' Race, Liverpool (U.K.)

5th- 7th September - 'Sea Fever' Festival, Hull (U.K.)

For bookings of 'Bitter End', please contact:
Alan Hardy
Bartlow Road
Castle Camps
Tel. No. +44(0)1799 584718

This information was last updated on 29th March 2009.

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