The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group is marking its 100th anniversary with a major community celebration for islanders and visitors on the Isles of Scilly this June.
The Steamship Group was formed in 1920 to help provide lifeline travel services between the islands and the Cornish mainland, and the group’s centenary year is being celebrated throughout the year with a number of competitions, offers and giveaways designed for everyone to take part in.
There will also be week of free events held on Scilly from 15-19 June, including a public exhibition of historic memorabilia on St Mary’s and family wildlife rambles.
The celebration week culminates on Friday 19 June with a major community event for Scilly including live music, food and drink stalls and a spectacular firework display over St Mary’s Harbour.
Everyone living on the islands or visiting Scilly is invited to attend the free community celebration, which will take place on Holgates Green in Hugh Town from 6pm until 11pm.
Live music from local bands and performers will be on offer all evening until 10.30pm, including a special finale performance of rock ‘n’ roll classics by the Scilly-based Steamband.
There will be a BBQ selling hot food and a pop-up bar and beer tent based in a marquee on the green, both run by the Rotary Club of the Isles of Scilly, from 6pm.
The celebrations will conclude with a colourful firework display from professional Cornish firm Celebration Pyrotechnics at 10.45pm. Fireworks will be set off from the end of St Mary’s Quay and are expected to be visible from all five inhabited islands, but the display over the harbour will be best viewed from the vantage point of Holgates Green.
The entire event aims to be as environmentally-friendly as possible too, with plastic-free fireworks being used, and a plastic-free bar and food stand.
The Steamship Group is partnering with the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust for a litter pick the day after the event to help ensure no rubbish is left on the green or the harbour beach.
Sharon Sandercock, Marketing and Communications Manager of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, said: “The Steamship Group was founded 100 years ago by a group of islanders who wanted to provide regular, reliable travel between the islands and the mainland, and we wanted to give something back to the islands by hosting a major community celebration on Scilly, for the benefit of islanders as well as visitors, in recognition of the Group’s roots.
“We hope to see as many people as possible at the community event to enjoy some fantastic live music from local bands, as well as the chance to enjoy a professional-standard fireworks display over St Mary’s Harbour.
“2020 is a milestone year for the group and we want to celebrate this anniversary with our customers and the islanders for whom the group was first founded, and who we continue to serve every day.”
Over the past 100 years, the Steamship Group has grown from its roots as a small ferry operator running the Penninis of Scilly vessel to providing a suite of transport services including the 485-seater Scillonian III passenger ferry which operates between March and November, year-round freight shipping services and Skybus flights from Land’s End, Newquay and Exeter airports. The Group also owns and operates Land’s End Airport and Penzance Dry Dock.
There are a number of offers, giveaways and competitions planned for 2020 to help everyone join in the anniversary celebrations, with further announcements to come this spring.
Already the Group has launched a photography competition to enable photographers and videographers to visit Scilly for free if they enter a competition to try and capture the magic of the islands on film and showcase Scilly successfully with a great image or short video clip.
Find out more about the competition and the community event by visiting www.islesofscillytravel.co.uk and keep up to date with other events and giveaways by following Isles of Scilly Travel on social media at Facebook/IslesofScillyTravel or Twitter @IOSTravel and Instagram at IslesofScillyTravel.
Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, we have made the decision to postpone our June celebrations to later in the year. In this unprecedented time, we cannot proceed to plan or hold our community event as planned on June 19th. We are hopeful that we will be able to move this to a later date at the end of the season, subject to different circumstances.