Following a revival in Methodism in Filey in 1823, groups of fishermen who were members of the new Primitive Methodist Chapel in Union Street, Filey, began to travel out of town, visiting sailor's Bethels in Scarborough, Bridlington, Hull & Grimsby. Visitors often invited the Fishermen to take services at their chapels in other parts of Yorkshire - Halifax, Rotherham, Huddersfield and Bradford. They would travel by train, spending the weekend as guests of their friends, attending local services, praying and singing the old 'Ranter' hymns.
There was a break during the second world war but he choir took the name of the fisherman's Band and it was not until September 1960 that the choir was reformed for a special service when 38 fishermen took part. The nucleus of the present Filey Fishermen's Choir had been formed.
There are only two members of that choir still singing and carrying on that family tradition. Only about six members of the present choir are past or working fishermen, others come from from all works of life and denominations. Members attend practice each Saturday evening, but there is no requirement to read music, nor are auditions held. The commitment is to attend practices and to travel on more than forty Sundays each year to all parts of Yorkshire, and occasionally to Lancashire, Cleveland, and North Lincolnshire in order to present services of song in chapels and churches.
Filey Fishermen have had a long association with Dutch Fishermen over many generations and this has been celebrated in recent years when the Filey Choir has made two visits to the Dutch fishing port of Scheveningham. There, Dutch and Filey Choirs joined in concerts and the Filey Fishermen sang at Dutch church services. The Schevening Immanuel Choir visited Filey in May 1998 and also 2000, renewing the special association between the two choirs. The Filey Fishermen's Choir continues to preserve tradition, always wearing the blue hand knitted fishermen's 'Ganseys', and maintaining the custom of the annual "Harvest of the Sea" celebration in Filey each September.
This present production by the Filey Fishermen's Choir is the ninth collection of hymns from their repertoire. Original selections were available as long playing records, however the demand for audio cassette tapes led to the re-issue of the early recordings in the tape format. The first two offerings have been available for some time, and encouraged by their own studio "Fairview Music" they have re-recorded the first two collections 'Launch Out' and 'Pilot Me' under the title of 'Fishers of Men', as an audio cassette and for the first time also as a compact disc.
Copies of the Compact Disc can not be ordered through this site but please visit the Choir home page