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Shanty Pete Sedgewick - 'Haulaway'


Shanty Pete (AKA Haulaway) has been a stalwart of the vibrant Swanage shanty scene since the very beginnings of Kelp! 


Never one to bother himself with the finer details (like learning the tune or words), Pete can be found by day hiding in his boatshed gently whittling a large log into a boat shaped object. 

When not in the shed he can be found in the Red Lion smelling of glue and trying to avoid the attention of his entourage of groupies….take a close look at the sails on Maid of Marion and you will notice that they have been lovingly stitched from the vast collection of ladies (mostly) undergarments which have been thrown at him in mid song. 

As a cheerful Northerner, Pete works hard at developing his generous streak while hosting our practise sessions with the provision of the occasional offcut for the fire or a cream bun of unknown origins…


'Hanging Johnny' Gilmour


With a vast experience of all things nautical and academic, a personality which is both effervescent and in some ways reminiscent of a headmaster, John can both play several instruments as well sing almost in tune. Originating in the far North and with a kindness and generosity one would associate with a Yorkshireman he has a tendency to insist on singing ballads rather than shanties, although we try to keep this in check by telling him to go into the naughty corner or worse.

A keen sportsman, a member of the Swanage Lifeboat Crew and with a wife who is better at most things he thinks he is good at, John has been a member of Kelp! from the beginning of time. If he managed to attend the practices rather than spending all his spare time doing ‘Parent Evenings’, we might all benefit from his skill as a musician and undying enthusiasm for changing everything every time he turns up for a practice session.

Steve 'Whalefish' Williams


Blamed by the masses for the unseemly gathering of Kelp! off Swanage’s infamous Blue Flag Beach, Whalefish Williams, known to his mates as Steve, or that bloke from the RNLI, has bravely tried saving many a tune from a ravaging by rogue notes. Nothing has yet barred his way. First fiddle strings fell to his fingers, and all at an age when many might think it wise to make do with a tuning fork. But sailing up Geek Quay one day, he found his digital source, since when he’s forever pursued the hope of helping Kelp! find its opening note.

The quest led this plucky fella on then to the mystics of the Far East from where he returned fluent in Mandolin. But voyaging home he suffered that traveller’s malaise, the terrible C6 ukulele. Half cured, or pickled perhaps, he found voice again and now stands on the cusp of success, all he needs is the right crew around him. Kelp!




Tim 'Belay!' Altham


Quiet, authoritative, exceptional baritone and lapidoptery are all words one rarely hears when in dialogue with or about Tim ‘Belay!’ Altham.
Tim is a highly motivated and dynamic individual with a long track record of inspiring individuals and groups with songs of the sea. His own daughters often insist on hearing their father sing softly and quietly to them, his subtle control over tone and volume relaxes and de-stresses like no other. Many a grown man has been reduced to tears after only a few sonorous notes...

Tim has run his own marketing, publishing and retail distribution business for the last 20 years. He is very commercially aware of the key elements required to drive a business forward and completely understands all the requirements and the critical aspects of negotiating and communicating. Tim’s motto? “One step wrong and the potential sale is lost“.  He also has a talent for fostering relationships with complimentary musicians and singers. Indeed, just the other day we were discussing the need for the group to buy a PA. Tim kindly jumped in with an offer to review the CVs and set up interviews.

Within Kelp!, Tim is one of the pillars holding up the structure. He has carved a niche with his unique delivery - of lyrics, one liners and pearls of wisdom. The Secret Shanty Shed would be a poorer place without him.


Rickanakanaka Lunt


Having started his singing career way back, Rick has played the Prince Albert Auditorium, the Stone Quay, the Mowlem Theatre and many other recently established venues on the Swanage shanty circuit. Originally pressed into becoming a founder member of Kelp!, Rick is now known for his subtle brand of quiet humour.

He’s also a great fiddler, mostly with Pete’s tools in the boat shed while we’re practicing; “If anyone can tease a chord out of a chisel and hammer that’ll be Rick”. Talking of being hammered. Kelp! benefits from Rick stretching the limits of the Shanty genre as ugly excess inevitably follows his long-periods of soda-water sobriety: a creative time when slurred words, mixed/forgotten verses seemed to make good sense, but are (fortunately) soon forgotten.

As his shipmates say “Shanty Rick has a vast experience and deep technical knowledge”; he can also sing shanties. Famed for his definitive version of “Leave Her Johnny Leave Her”, Rick has an established an increasing repertoire of a couple of songs.

When he’s not singing, he works in an office dug into the side of a hill, cycles, fends off the ravages of family, and cycles some more. Fine fellow he is.

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