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PICTURES: Celebrating the creatures that keep Cornish town alive

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 27, 2013

  • Crowds line the harbour at the Newlyn Fish Festival yesterday. Below left, MP Sheryll Murray at the blessing of the fleet, and right, fishmonger John Bernasconi and daughter Erin, 5 Pictures: Colin Higgs

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Near-perfect weather saw the number of visitors to the historic Newlyn Fish Festival in Cornwall almost double yesterday, with the event organisers delighted as it aimed to re-engage with its fishing roots.

The annual fundraiser for the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen celebrates the fishing industry at its location dotted around Newlyn Harbour on the edge of Penzance.

Guests of honour in the past have included celebrity chef Rick Stein, and last year actress Caroline Quentin in pouring rain. However, this year's event saw a change of tone with Brittany fishing expert Yan Giron opening the festival. Yet, despite the change in approach the festival retained many of its popular events, including cooking demonstrations and its Fish Monger of the Year competition and on Sunday night, the traditional blessing of the fleet took place in the fishing port.

Steve Ryman, festival secretary, said: "It's been pretty good. I suppose with the good weather, the car park filled up very early on. It's been a massive turn around on last year, the weather has been just perfect, almost too perfect at times, but as a consequence, we have probably got double the amount of people as last year. It's back to what the festival has always been like, we don't know the numbers yet but we think they are very high. I think what's happened over the years is that it's become a really fun family event but perhaps that engagement with the fishing industry has been lost so it's crucial that we turned that around and do our best to reengage with the fishing industry.

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