A group of women from Cornwall are hoping to record their first album in the new year.

Femme De la Mer, a 15 strong group of women from a hailing from across mid-Cornwall, are fundraising to record their first album at the beginning of 2022.

The group, who are spread from Tregony to Helston, Porthtowan and Mount Hawke on the North Coast, started secen years ago when a group of friends went to see the Falmouth Shanty Festival and were so inspired, they decided to form a group and return the following year to be in it.

Since then, the group has evolved and grown, and is now a crew of 15 diverse women aged 21 to 57, and including film makers, teachers, actors, carpenters, photographers, carers, jam makers, farmers, artists, writers, musicians, nurses, herbalists, activists, potters, mothers, sisters and daughters.

The group’s Musical Director, Claire Ingleheart, said: "We are passionate about sharing stories of inspirational Cornish women and keeping traditional shanties and folk songs about the seas alive (occasionally adding a feminist twist to bring the songs into the 21st century!).

"The world of shanties is traditionally dominated by men, both singing and as the subject of those songs.

"When women do appear in the old songs, they tend to either be prostitutes or sweethearts; we think our album will help redress that balance a little."

The album will include three original songs, co-written by Claire herself, which celebrate three Cornish women; Anne Glanville from Saltash, who lead a 4-strong crew of women rowers to victory against all male crews in the UK and France in the early 1800s; Dolly Pentreath, a fish jouster from Mousehole born at the end of the 17th century who was the last known native speaker of the Cornish language; and Jenny Mopas, who rowed the ferry from Malpas to the Roseland at the turn of the 18th Century.

"These songs are really important to all of us in the Femmes de la Mer because they keep the stories of these remarkable women alive, and by recording these songs we ensure their legacy continues."

Falmouth Packet: Femme De la Mer at the Minack TheatreFemme De la Mer at the Minack Theatre

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Claire continued: "2021 has been an incredible year for us; we came out of lockdown and started the season singing at the iconic Minack Theatre on a perfect sunny, early summer evening.

"From that, we went on to support the incredible Ben Howard; performing as the very first act at this year's Eden Sessions, and then supporting him at the Manchester 02 Victoria Warehouse and finishing at the iconic Brixton academy (which was as mind blowing as it sounds!).

"After that, we asked ourselves, where do we go from here? And we felt that the only way to finish a year like this is to plan the recording of our very first studio album."

The fundraiser will close on Friday, January 7, with the group booked to record on Saturday 8.

Antonia Pickup, who joined the group just before the pandemic in 2019 said: "The fundraiser gives people the opportunity to pre-order the CD, which will also be available to download.

"Any support that people can offer will be so gratefully received.

"This is a great opportunity for all of us in the group, and we’re certainly going to enjoy the process of recording; spending a weekend singing together is bliss, but we are also very passionate that this project will have a wider impact in raising and amplifying the voices of women+ past and present."

The group are planning to do a number of local gigs in 2022 to celebrate the launch of their album.

To donate, visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/femmes-de-la-mer-debut-album, the Crowdfunder closes on Friday, January 7.