Cork Jackets and Drill tells the story, through original songs and narration, of the 1886 Southport lifeboat disaster, which claimed the lives of almost all the crew members of the Southport and St Annes lifeboats.

The songs and script are by Southport-based playwright, Len Pentin, whose work has been performed at Liverpool’s top theatres, BBC Radio Merseyside and the London fringe.

The musical performance, with its folk roots, is skilfully steered by the Cork Jacket Crew (Chris Nelson, Siobhan Nelson, Len Pentin, Clive Pownceby and Pete Rimmer) who are all active singers and musicians in the Southport area.  The narrator is actor Colin Wayte.

Cork Jackets and Drill tells how the dreadfully impoverished fishermen of the northern towns of Southport, Lytham and St Annes bravely gave battle one terrible storm-ridden December night in 1886, in an attempt to save the crew of the German ship Mexico, in distress off Southport sands.

At the time, the tragedy touched and deeply affected the whole of the UK but it is now, sadly, largely forgotten. Cork Jackets and Drill attempts to rehabilitate the memory of the brave lifeboatmen (mostly fishermen by trade) who risked and gave their lives that evening for others - many going out to sea with empty stomachs, such was their desperate financial plight.

Download Flyer
Image description
Image description