Eye patches, earrings and cutlasses are being polished up in readiness for Poole’s annual celebration of skulduggery.
Saturday June 21 is devoted to celebrating the exploits of Poole’s favourite pirate, Harry Paye.
Organised by the Pirates of Poole and supported by Poole Tourism, the popular shindig gets underway from 12noon with the colourful Parade of Pirates along Poole Quay.
There will be cannon, musket and fencing displays to enjoy, followed by belly dancers and baton twirlers and a traditional Aunt Sally stall. There will be plenty to entertain children with rides, teddy bear stall, face painting and storytelling with Pirate Pete.
Quayside traditional pubs, bars and restaurants will be offering the finest grog and there will be a sea shanty or two with live music from local bands including Spiderpig.
“Paye Day is a fantastic family event that gets everyone out and celebrating Poole’s rich history,” said Bruce Grant-Braham, chairman of the Poole Tourism Partnership.
“There’s so much to see and everyone really gets into the spirit. So get practising your pirate speak, dig out your fancy dress and let your inner pirate loose.”
Arripaye, as he was known to the Spanish, led a colourful life from the deck of his ship Mary. He was notorious for having burnt the Spanish walled city of Gijon, home of his lover the Countess Isabel.
His activities drove the Spanish to seek revenge and in 1405 a fleet of Spanish and French galleys sacked Poole, killing many, including Harry’s brother.
Two years later Harry’s ship and 14 others captured 120 French and Spanish ships loaded with valuables including good French wine.
Harry brought the captured ships back to Poole and the town feasted and drank for many days.
This year the event is raising money for Poole charities Lewis Manning Hospice, Victoria School and Diverse Abilities Plus. Poole Quay will be closed to traffic from 9am and will re-open by 7pm.