Exeter Heritage Harbour Festival 2024

8 Jun 2024 – 9 Jun 2024

Regular hours

10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00

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A packed programme of free entertainment for all the family, celebrating our maritime history and Heritage Harbour status.


Saturday 8 June
11am – 10:30pm

Transit Shed & Custom House area

Taster sessions with Saddles & Paddles:
Pop in or call them to book your free one hour sessions on a range of watersports.
T: 01392 424241

Redcoat Canal Tours with Exeter Cruises
11:30am (£ applies), Tel: 07984 368442

Parker’s Harbour
Richard Parker shows the development of Exeter harbour over five centuries via his own brilliant illustrated re-creations. Custom House, 2:00pm

Exeter Red Coat tour of Historic Quay
2:00pm – Custom House

Take a trip on the River Exe Swan Boat (land based version)
with Burn the Curtain Theatre Co. (See website for times). Bookings from outside the Custom House.

Drop-in and Visit Cricklepit Mill
Throughout the day

Nautical Film Festival

• 3.00pm: Finding Nemo (2003)

• 5.20pm: Captain Peacock and the Swanboat of the River Exe by Burn the Curtain followed by The Onedin Line Redux

• 6.00pm: Your Local Arena screening of Caroline 199 – A Pirate’s Tale, plus special guest panel talk. Enjoy a screening of a classic BBC Arena archive film on the story of Radio Caroline, followed by a panel talk and commissioned poem. Part of the Your Local Arena project produced by Speaking Volumes, Lucy Hannah and hosted by Quay Words.

• 8.30pm: The African Queen, classic feature film (1952)

Piazza Terracina & Canal Basin

Activities Celebrating 200 Years of the RNLI
Piazza Terracina, 11:00am – 3:00pm

Arrival of flotilla of vessels from the Steamboat Association of Great Britain
Canal Basin, Approx 12.30pm

“Steam” Sunday 9 June
11am – 4:00pm

Transit Shed & Custom House area

• Steam City Jazz Band

• Willow Workshop with Weird Sticks CIC.

• Take a trip on the River Exe Swan Boat (land based version)
with Burn the Curtain Theatre Co. Bookings from outside the Custom House

• Redcoat Canal Tours with Exeter Cruises
11:30am (£ applies), Tel: 07984 368442

Piazza Terracina

• Lord Mayor Arrives by Steamboat, 11am

• Steam Traction Engines

• Maritime Market

• Ride-on Steam Railway

• Steam Vessels from Steam Boat Association of Great Britain

• Redcoat Tours of Historic Quay at 11.00am, 1.00pm and 3.00pm

• Live Music from Spin 2, Dilly Boys, Liberty Sisters

East Quay

• Co-Create Open Day, 12pm – 3pm

• Tours of sailing smack Britannia, 12pm – 3pm

• Traditional ship-working demonstrations

• Garden Railway Exhibition (Topsham Brewery)

South West Maritime History Society talks at Haven Banks Outdoor Centre.

11:30am – 12:15pm
Brunel’s atmospheric caper

Jonathan Turner will explore the perilous progress of the Exeter to Plymouth railway: Britian’s first long distance atmospheric railway. Illustrated with original watercolours from the time by William Dawson.

1:30pm – 2:15pm
Not Plain Sailing

John Ellis of the Stover Canal Trust chats about the lives and work of bargees on the Stover Canal, and compares them with those working on the Exeter Ship Canal. His talk will also explore the impact of war and the lives of navvies in terms of both housing and crime.

2:30pm – 3:15pm
Horse vs Steam Power

Jonathan Turner looks at the struggle between horse power and steam power on the Exeter Ship Canal between 1840 and 1920. Steam powered tugs were widely used in British ports from the 1840s, so why were ships still being towed along the Exeter Ship Canal well into the 20th century?

3:30pm – 4:15pm
Follow your Noses: fish, tallow and beer along the 1920’s waterfront.

Join Dr Julia Neville, Project Manager for Devon in the 1920s, as she explores the businesses, workers and families who lived around Exeter’s quay during the 1920’s.


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