Arrrr! It’s that time of year again land lubbers! The Pirates of Poole are taking over the Quay for Harry Paye Day!Paye

The Pirates of Poole are a local community group striving to keep the maritime history of Poole alive and they also hold events to raise money for local charities and causes. In 2006 they began an event to celebrate Poole’s most famous and notorious pirate of all and thus Harry Paye Day was born! The day was such a success that it became an annual celebration.

Who Was Harry Paye?

Harry Paye certainly made a name for himself in the 15th Century, so much so that you still hear the tales to this day. Both Paye and his ship, the Mary , appear in the Kings records as being a transport to Spain, but the Spaniards marked him as a thief. He is said to have stolen the gold cross from the Church of Finisterre... We wouldn’t put it past him! Paye became notorious for burning the Spanish city of Gijion, home of his lover Countess Isabel. All of his terrible escapades drove the Spanish to seek revenge on the dreaded Arripaye! In 1405 passing Spanish and French Galleys discovered that Poole was the home of their nemesis and unleashed a deadly fighting force upon the town. When Harry Paye got wind of destruction to his home and that his brother fell in the horrific battle, he took action! He gathered a fleet of ships and captured French and Spanish cargo vessels, seizing copious amounts of booty, including rather of lot of high quality wine. Paye took the cargo back to Poole and shared it with the town’s people in hope that it would ease the suffering that he bought to them. According to the stories they feasted and drank for days after.

Harry Paye Day

This year’s event will take place on Saturday 20th June down at Poole Quay and through the town itself. The fun will begin at midday and run until 6pm. You will be treated to a parade of pirates and plenty of live music and entertainment, including authentic shanty singing! There will be cannon, musket and fencing displays taking place throughout the day for you to enjoy too. There really will be something for everyone including the little ones, with children’s fun fair rides and competitions for them to take part in. If you’re more interested in being on the water STS Tenacious will be docking from the 19th June and setting sail again after the celebrations on the 21st.

What To Wear?

It’s not just the re-enactment groups that dress up on Harry Paye Day, the whole town get involved! People sail on down to Poole in their hundreds head to toe in pirate garbs ready to enjoy everything the Pirates of Poole have to offer. If you’re in need of a costume for Harry Paye Day then Hollywood is the place to come! We have something for everyone, men, women and children, from full costumes to little accessories, right down to the parrot on your shoulder!