The Isle of Man Maritime Group's rousing evening reception was one of the highlights of this year's London International Shipping Week.

As official sponsors of LISW 2015, the Isle of Man Maritime Group's "Nautical by Nature" event held on September 8 led guests on a journey through the Island's rich seafaring heritage to its current position of maritime centre of excellence.

Simcocks is a member of the Isle of Man Maritime Group.

Manx actors Chris and Howard Caine wrote and performed a set of unique sketches that brought to life just some of the Isle of Man's maritime heritage, starting with: the 'legacy of the Vikings' they went on to introduce guests to the 'ringleaders of the Mutiny on the Bounty'; Next came 'the courage of Captain John Quilliam' who was First Lieutenant on HMS Victory rounding off nicely with a scene around 'the inspiration of Sir William Hilary', who founded the RNLI. The award winning Manx band, Barrule performed its fresh take on traditional and contemporary Manx music and the invited guests were also able to sample local Bushy's beers after Martin Brunnschweiler stepped up to donate some local Manx drinks for the reception. Towards the end of the evening Chris and Howard led the guests in raising the roof in a loud and exuberant sea shanty.

The music and drama were showcased in the historic surroundings of Trinity House, the remarkable 18th Century headquarters of the Corporation of Trinity House, which has maintained British lighthouses since the 16th Century. On arriving, guests were greeted by fluttering Manx flags and salutes from members of our very own Isle of Man sea cadets in uniform who guided more than 150 visitors up the grand, sweeping staircase to a reception in the main state room on the first floor. Everyone had the opportunity to visit the four other state rooms adorned with maritime paintings and antiquities including a replica of the 500-year-old oar mace presented by Manxman Justice Teare.

Isle of Man Maritime Group Chairman, Bruce McGregor said: "We used drama, music and humour to show off the rich, nautical heritage of the Isle Man. For our many international guests it not only entertained but gave them a context of how and why the Island has become a leading maritime centre of excellence. The spectacular venue was a perfect place for us to meet and talk with the leading industry figures who were all in London for LISW and to explain the wide range of maritime related services the Isle of Man has to offer the maritime sector including of course global yachting and shipping."

Director of the Isle of Man Ship Registry Dick Welsh gave a speech emphasising the maritime significance of the Island. He told guests: "The Isle of Man's international ship register is one of the world's leading registers and the flag of choice for many of the world's top commercial shipping companies as well as for owners of prestigious superyachts. The register has become the fifth fastest growing register over the past five years. Truly international in its client base, it attracts owners and operators because of its client-focus and pragmatic approach to regulation."

"Whilst the register may be at its heart, it is Island's maritime business community which enhances the overall offering. The public/private partnership which exists does work to great effect. Together we can bring in new initiatives and promote a one-stop shop for all maritime activities. The expertise which now exists in sectors ranging from ship and yacht management, financial structures and a wide range of associated professional services, typifies how quickly the Isle of Man can adapt.

"We have become one of the world's leading centres for superyacht business with the Island's service companies being responsible for managing some of the world's most iconic and valuable assets. Likewise in the merchant shipping sector, the Isle of Man offers a full range of professional, management and associated technical services which continue to grow all the time. With vessel and crew management now well established, we have added: ship ownership; ship finance; payroll; legal services; security; enterprise maritime IT solutions; and insurance to the wide range of services on offer."

Guests at the reception met with IOM Maritime Group representatives from: the IOM Ship Registry; IOM Shipping Association; the IOM Superyacht Forum; KPMG; Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (Isle of Man); Döhle (IOM) Group of Companies; PDMS Maritime; Simcocks; MHG Insurance Brokers; Affinity Management Services and InterManager.

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