A FLOTILLA of 70 vessels descended on Helford River's Tremayne Quay for a concert to celebrate the finale of the Groundwork arts programme on Sunday.

Devised by artist Abigail Reynolds and Gareth Churcher, composer and conductor with St Keverne Band,

the event witnessed an armada of small vessels on the river, with a steady procession of yachts, sailing boats, RIBs, Pilot boats, dories, rowing boats, kayaks, canoes, ferry boats, gigs and even SUPs.

It was presented as one of the final elements in Groundwork, the programme of exhibitions, performances and events that have taken place from May to September under the direction of Cornubian Arts and Science Trust (CAST) in Helston.

The band assembled on the quay amongst the tall beeches, while the audience stayed in their boats to listen.

The afternoon turned golden, the wind dropped and a magical stillness came over the assembled flotilla as the first drumbeats rolled out across the water and the band began to play.

In dialogue with Abigail Reynolds, band leader Gareth Churcher had composed a piece of music specially conceived for the event, with small clusters of musicians on the opposite bank and on a beach down river from the quay.

As the band started to play, a beautiful vessel appeared amongst the assembled boats – the kayak ‘Ghost’, paddled by artist Adam Chodzko, carrying singer Katie Kirk.

Supporters of the event brought parties of people in boats from Sailaway St Anthony, Durgan, Helford Passage, Port Navas and Gweek and also Helford River Sailing Club, which brought parties of guests from Helford Village in its ferry and club boats.

Alastair Cameron of the National Trust, who provided access to the quay and transport for the band and their instruments, described the event as "a beautiful thing".

For John Wilkin, solicitor brother of the drummer Mark Wilkin, who died in a motorbike accident in May this year and to whose memory the concert was dedicated, it was "a triumph".