POOLE Quay was awash with pirates on Saturday as the Harry Paye Pirate Day got under way.

Scores of people lined the road side for the blasts of the cannon before the highly-anticipated pirate parade took off.

Led by the Mayor of Poole councillor Lindsay Wilson and other dignitaries and marshals, the parade set off with a parrot adorning nearly every shoulder.

They were supported by a crew from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, the Wessex Majorettes, members of the RNLI Poole Lifeboat crew and the Rockley Rocket land train.

Children took part in a fancy dress competition, judged by the Mayor, and there was a variety of live music and entertainment.

Pirates of Poole chairman Marty Caine said it was a fantastic day all round.

"The place was absolutely mobbed," he said. "We were chatting about it later on and we reckon there must have been about 15,000 people there.

"Looking down from Banana Wharf there wasn't space for people to stand. 

"Let's hope the it's reflected in the charity boxes - because that is what it's all about. 

"It's about keeping the history of Harry Paye alive and raising money for charity.

"It was just a fantastic day.

"Everybody that was involved was nothing short of fantastic and it was blisteringly hot. We were going through water like it was going out of fashion.

"All the bands did really well and just well done to everybody really. 

"I think it is the best Harry Paye Day we've had so far. It was very well organised, there were no problems, no rowdiness, it was just great. 

"That is what we want Harry Paye Day to be every year."