An old friend glided into Whitehaven harbour on Saturday for a flying visit – and drew appreciative onlookers throughout.

The Tall Ship Phoenix, a 112ft brig, first visited the town for the 1999 Maritime Festival and came to enjoy subsequent events.

She was built in Denmark in 1929 and began her working life as an evangelical Mission Schooner. Twenty years later she was put to new use carrying cargo until her engine room was damaged by fire.

When Square Sail bought her in 1987, she was brought to the UK and underwent a complete refit. In 1991 she was converted to the 15th century Caravel 'Santa Maria' for Ridley Scott's film '1492' but in 1996 was converted into the two-masted 18th Century brig she is today, and reverted to her original name ‘Phoenix of Dell Quay'.

The Phoenix and her crew sailed back out of Whitehaven on Sunday afternoon bound for Liverpool.