I am sitting in my office on a Saturday evening surrounded by the sound of music.

That is because on this particular Saturday I am also reporting on Maryport Blues Festival.

I have decided I am definitely getting old. I like the music but find, increasingly, that I enjoy it more from 100 yards away from the venue than I do when I am actually up close and personal and being deafened by the sound.

That aside, though, I love what happens when Maryport comes alive during the last weekend in July.

Walking along the marina, I see tents and caravans. This weekend has not been the best weather wise but there are people sitting out on the grass just soaking up the atmosphere and the music.

Actually, talking about the weather, that does not seem to stop visitors and locals from dressing for the occasion.

I am wrapped in my jacket and wearing my comfortable canvas shoes. Obviously I didn’t get the memo to dress up for the blues.

There are young and older women walking around looking very beautiful but very cold!

There has been some drama this year with organisers suggesting that this could be the last blues festival because of those pubs and clubs who do not support it and those who do but let people in without buying wristbands.

These wristbands bring in the income that allows the organisers to bring so many bands and artists to town both in the main marquee and around the town.

This year, for instance, there were more than 75 bands playing.

The pubs do pay a set fee for the bands, subsidised by the organisation.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation it would be a tragedy to lose the blues.

The town has its links to the Titanic, its amazing Roman altars and an equally amazing shipping history.

I would hazard a guess, however, that many people up and down the country and even overseas know it only as the home of Maryport Blues Festival.

When I started reporting in West Cumbria I was amazed at all the money that was being spent on trying to regenerate an area that had been battered down by industry closing and factories moving. Unemployment was – and, sadly, still is – a major issue.

So many fantastic ideas were floated. In Maryport alone, multi-millions were planned to be spent on impounding the water in the harbour, building harbourside cafes and hotels and creating a place where artists would come in their droves to this beautiful little seaside town with all its attractions.

Some things were achieved – although none of the above. But the harbour was smartened up and the marina is lovely to look at.

The one thing that has survived, though, is the blues. It certainly doesn’t solve all Maryport’s problems. It doesn’t bring masses of wealth into the town and it certainly doesn’t make huge profits for the organisations that run it or for those who support it.

The pubs and clubs might not make a huge profit but they usually do make a profit and can be sure that on the three days of the blues and the one day of the carnival, their establishments will be full.

It is also a weekend when we can show our town off and welcome visitors from everywhere here. And maybe, because they have seen what we have – what West Cumbria has – they will come back.

When my arthritic knee is aching from walking up and down Maryport’s hills during the festival, when I am tired and not wanting to work, I might think, for just a moment, that no blues next year might not be a bad thing. But the reality is it would be a huge loss to the area.

We have already lost too much. We can’t lose this too.