The Scottish Maritime Museum’s evening of music with Zawisza Czarny - the largest, regularly performing sea shanty choir in the world - was a sell-out and a storming success on Monday. 

The Polish male choir, which is made up of ‘singing sailors’ and crew members of the Kapitan Borchardt, the flagship of the Polish Scouting Association, performed a host of shanties as well a Polish rendition of ‘Caledonia’. 

North Ayrshire Provost Anthea Dickson officially opened the concert which was held in the museum’s vast, glass roofed Victorian Linthouse building on Irvine Harbourside. 

Also in attendance were representatives from the Polish Consul in Edinburgh and Polish Combatants Memorial Group in Scotland. 

The members of Zawisza Czarny, who berthed their vessel Kapitan Borchardt overnight at Clyde Marina, Ardrossan, also visited the Sikorski Polish Club at Dom Polski in Glasgow during their visit.

They also paid their respects at the Polish plot in Dalbeth Cemetery and at Cardonald Cemetery where several of the sailors from ORP Orkan are buried.

Chris Woodland, commercial manager at the Scottish Maritime Museum, said: “We were delighted to host Zawisza Czarny for their only performance on the west coast of Scotland this year.  

“It was a terrific evening and we were thrilled to make new connections with the Polish Consul in Edinburgh, Lukasz Lutostanski and John Lassa from the Polish Combatants Memorial Group in Scotland and maritime associations in Poland.”

Eva Bukowska, exhibitions and events officer at the Scottish Maritime Museum, added: “The amazing Zawisza Czarny is made up of a diverse and talented group of individuals so last night everyone enjoyed a truly memorable, exciting and authentic experience.  

“We hope to welcome Zawisza Czarny back to the museum over coming years.”

Each year, the crew of 50 men aged 18 – 70 years of age, embark on a cruise of international ports to promote maritime traditions through singing and music as well as celebrate their home port of Gdynia on the Baltic coast in North central Poland.

Zawisza Czarny, which is comprised of a full ship’s crew with captain, officers, boatswains and cooks, has sailed around the world since 2012. 

All crew members have a prior connection to working at sea, sailing or marine science and to music.

Many are singers in Gdynia shanty and folk bands; cultural event animators; and descendants of Gdynia's naval orchestra bandmaster.