ISSN 1476-1130






Folk music news for Lincolnshire & East Yorkshire


Shanty Blast Closes


The Shanty Blast, held at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life on the first Saturday of the month has now closed. With the introduction of room charges the event is no longer viable. I have no information on other sessions and events held at the museum, you are advised to check with the organisers before travelleing.


Item added 10/04/18


Seed Funding and Creative Bursaries from EFDSS

EFDSS have announced that their Seed Funding and Creative Bursaries are now open for 2018. 
The EFDSS Creative Seed Funding is an award of 750 to be given to new and emerging artists/groups of artists who wish to explore new creative ideas in the genre of English folk music.
The EFDSS Creative Bursary and Residency Programme, now in its 6th year, aims to support artists in exploring new creative ideas inspired by and sourced from traditional English folk music. This programme provides artists with an opportunity to undertake creative exploration without the pressure of a final product.
The Award offers a bursary of up to 2,000, to cover costs and expenses, research facilities at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library and up to five days of rehearsal space at Cecil Sharp House to an individual, existing band, or new cohort of artists wishing to undertake research and development into a creative exploration of English folk music.
There are three awards to be made for each bursary.
For more information please see the Artists' Bursaries page on the EFDSS site.

Item added 14/03/2018



A New Folk Music Show on Doncaster Radio Station

The Invisible Folk Club is a new radio show recently signed up by Sine FM in Doncaster for an hour of folk and acoustic music, poetry and discussion every Monday night from midnight to 1am Tuesday.
The show is presented by folk singer and songwriter Jon Bickley and produced by film producer and chorister Steve Yarwood. The show has already featured Only Human (aka Tom Bickley) a multi instrumentalist based in Sheffield and will soon be devoting a podcast to Oz Hardwick the Leeds poet.

If you miss the show you can listen to it on their mixcloud page where you will also find previous programmes broadcast.

Some of the live sessions from the show are available on their Bandcamp page

They also produce podcasts.
or for Non iTunes listeners:

For all other information or to write to them, go to

Item added Feb.2018



BBC Folk Award Winners THE YOUNG’UNS to headline finals of Lincolnshire Folk Song contest

BBC Radio Lincolnshire will host its annual Song for Lincolnshire competition on November 2nd in Spalding and topping the bill this year will be the award winning folk group The Young’uns.

The trio, who won ‘Best Group’ 2 years running at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, will perform at the South Holland Centre alongside a host of local musicians including local duo Ben Smith and Jimmy Brewer.

The songwriting contest, which is in its 23rd year, invites musicians from the county and beyond to write their own song which must be about Lincolnshire. Through to the finals this year are Geoff Convery & Jim Hancock (Clarty Sough), Paul Dickinson, Kim Biggs, Salutation, Ashley Groombridge & Angela King, Homity, Steve & Julie Wigley and Penny Sykes .The evening will be hosted by BBC Radio Lincolnshire presenter Jono Brine and will raise money for BBC Children in Need.

It’s really exciting to bring Song for Lincolnshire to Spalding,” explains JonoWe have some fantastic songs that have been entered this year and we can’t wait to have The Young‘uns performing in the town.”

The event will take place on Thursday 2nd November from 7pm and will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Lincolnshire. Tickets are free from The South Holland Centre. Advance booking is highly advisable from the Box Office on 01775 764777.


Folk 'Round 'Ere – the Christmas Show

The cast of last Spring's sell-out community production "Folk 'Round 'Ere" stage a specially written musical show full of the songs and traditional customs of the Winter and Christmas period, guaranteed to get the audience singing along and feeling festive. The performance is part of the Brigg Business Partnership’s “Festival of Christmas Trees” to be held in St John’s Church over the weekend of the 8th-10th December. “Folk ‘Round ‘Ere” singers and musicians will stage their entertaining production on Saturday the 9th of December at 7.30.

The singers will be accompanied by a live band of guitars, mandolin, double bass, melodeon and pipes who will also play some foot tapping seasonal dance tunes. The children from 1st Brigg Brownies will also take part and hope to earn their ‘singing badge’ in the process. The songs are set in context by narrations telling the story of the people who sang them many years ago. The production includes an excerpt from the traditional "Plough Play' which still tours the villages of North Lincolnshire in January every year, full of colourful and amusing characters such as “Dame Jane”, “The Recruiting Sergeant’, “The Fool” and “Joe Straw”.

The show is sure to make the most of the wonderful acoustics of St John's Church and help to raise some money for local charities. Tickets are available for 5 for adults and 2.50 for children and can be reserved by ringing Julia on 07704 666916 or emailing

Item added 22/10/17


Vote For Beverley Festival


Beverley Folk Festival is urging folk music lovers from the town and beyond to support them in the 14th annual UK Festival Awards 2017 and Festival Kidz Awards 2017.


The festival, which is now working towards it's 35th year in 2018, has been nominated for two awards from Festival Awards - "Best Small Festival" and "Best Family Festival" and also from Festival Kidz for "Best Small Festival" Members of the public can go online to cast their votes for the event now.


Celebrating these nominations, Festival Director Jim Pybus said “It would be terrific if we were to receive an award in the run up to our landmark 35th year and it would certainly give us a boost.  Being up for an award acknowledges all the hard work carried out by our volunteers and artists that continue to make the festival a success".


The festival, run and organised by a team of volunteers, has become an important event to the people of Beverley and the East Riding of Yorkshire


Beverley Town Clerk, Helen Watson, commented “The festival is eagerly looked forward to each year, bringing the best in Folk and World music to Beverley, as well as lots of fun and a local economic boost.  We wish them every success with the award and encourage the people of Beverley to get behind them and cast their votes for this local institution.”


Voting for the awards has already started and to help the festival achieve an award, please vote here now: And at 


Item added 21/10/17



English Folk Dance and Song Society announces Gold Badge recipients

Four individuals and a family group are the latest recipients of Gold Badge awards from the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS). Gold Badges are given for unique or outstanding contributions to folk music, dance or song, distinguished service to EFDSS and/or exceptional contributions to EFDSS’ work.

Gold Badges for 2017 will be awarded to: Johnny Adams Nicolas Broadbridge Dave and Maggie Hunt The Wilson Family

They join an illustrious list of Gold Badge holders including EFDSS founder and pioneering folksong collector Cecil Sharp, composer and collector Ralph Vaughan Williams, performer/writer A L Lloyd, and musicians The Spinners, together with EFDSS President Shirley Collins and Vice President Eliza Carthy.

The Chair of the EFDSS Board, Alistair Anderson, said: “All of this year’s recipients have played important roles in their individual fields. They have helped to inspire, to support and to inform generations of folk artists and fans, making significant contributions to the continuing strength and vitality of traditional English folk arts. We are delighted to recognize them with these prestigious awards.”

Johnny Adams is a folk musician, recording artist and producer of fifty years standing. From 1998 to 2008 he was on the National Council of EFDSS, during which time he worked to formalise the Society's web presence, including instituting the first online shop. More recently he has been involved in sub-committee work. He co-founded The Village Music Project, which researches 18th and 19th century dance music, he coordinates the support group for the archive of the folklorist and collector Doc Rowe, and was director of the Paul Graney Archive of recordings made in the North-West of England between the 1950s and the 1980s which is now housed at Manchester Central Library.


Nicolas Broadbridge is an accordionist and a specialist in Playford and similar dance. He learned Country Dancing, Cotswold Morris and Longsword in Surrey in the 1950s, later dancing with Whirligigs demonstration team in London (working closely with Pat Shaw). In 1982 he started two Playford groups in Scotland, The Glasgow and Edinburgh Assemblies, and has run 34 annual Balls there. He formed the Assembly Players in 1987 and has led them for balls, ceilidh dances and workshops; playing on, directing and producing their nineteen recordings of English Country Dances and one of Scottish Ceilidh Dances. He is a composer, editor and publisher of tunes and dances, and a researcher into C17th, C18th and C19th country dances. He has taught widely in England, mainland Europe and the USA.

Dave and Maggie Hunt Dave Hunt is the founder of Sunshine Arts, a long-established English folk arts group specialising in working in schools, at Festivals and in the community. Widely known at folk festivals as the children's entertainer Dr Sunshine, he is also recognised as a top caller for English barn-dances and ceilidh dances, and as an instrumentalist and singer. Dave teaches Border Morris, Longsword dancing and Mumming plays at festivals and in schools all over the country. He has also run workshops on calling and dance writing. Maggie Hunt’s particular strengths have been in encouraging young people in the development of their performance skills. As an integral part of Sunshine Arts, she has been responsible for developing children’s dance and drama activities away from the children’s tents and into mainstream festival activities. She has a strong association with the North East including a regular part in the traditional Skinningrove bonfire, assisting with the design and construction of their spectacular displays.


The Wilson Family are five brothers – Tom, Chris, Steve, Ken and Mike Wilson – who emerged onto the folk scene in 1973 with their own blend of powerful unaccompanied sibling harmonies. In the early days they were a six part a cappella group along with their sister Pat, who stopped touring ten years ago. They have organised and run a folk club in their beloved Teesside for over forty years. The club is still running, providing a platform for local singers. They are regular headlining guests at festivals and clubs across the UK and Europe, and they appeared at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the 2011 BBC Proms. In 2013 the family accompanied Sting to New York to launch his critically acclaimed album 'The Last Ship'. The Wilson Family are particularly known for their dedication to both traditional and social comment songs, as well as their pure joy of singing. They are often cited as a major source of influence by younger performers on today’s folk scene.


Item added 19/10/17



National folk arts library to undergo a major refurbishment

England’s national library of folk music and dance is to undergo a major refurbishment this summer to ensure it is fit for future generations to explore and discover the folk arts.

The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML), the library of the English Folk Dance and Song Society based at Cecil Sharp House in London, will be closed from July 19 to September 5 while work is carried out.

The VWML is the country’s biggest dedicated library and archive of folk music, dance, and other traditions, and received Designated status from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) in 2011.

It opened as part of Cecil Sharp House in Regent’s
Park Road in 1930 to make Cecil Sharp’s personal book collection accessible to the public.

The library was one of the few rooms in the Grade II listed property that escaped serious damage from a WWII bomb, and so it still features the original bookcases made by Heal’s on Tottenham Court Road and its Art Deco ceiling.

The seven-week programme will include the renovation of the historic bookcases by accredited conservators Bainbridge Conservation, painting the ceiling, new flooring, curtains, and readers' lamps.

A new display case to exhibit items from the archive will also be installed, along with facilities for browsing the VWML’s extensive catalogue and online resources. The National Folk Music Fund, set up by Ursula and Ralph Vaughan Williams to support the VWML, is funding the 50,000 cost of the refurbishment.

Laura Smyth, Director of the VWML, said: “The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library is the nation’s most prized resource for folk traditions and has been very well used by musicians, researchers, writers, historians, and other visitors over the years.

“The reading room has not undergone any major refurbishment since 1940, and the historic furniture has become chipped, tired, and cracked over the decades. This carefully planned refurbishment will ensure that the library can continue to serve our users and be a place of discovery for the folk arts for many years to come.”

Library staff will continue to operate an email, telephone, and letter enquiry service during the closure period. For more information, go to


Item added June 2017


Duo to create a series of songs of Doncaster

Poet Ian Parks and musician Mick Jenkinson are creating a series of songs about Doncaster as part of new commission from Arts Council funded Right Up Our Street.  The duo are working on the project, called, Songs of Our Town, with a view to releasing an album later in the year of the songs and poems that they’ve written with the help of the local community.

Ian, from Mexborough, said: “Mick and I are so excited to be working on this project. We met a few years ago when we were both working on the Ted Hughes festival and knew that our creative styles would work well together. “I’d been looking for someone to collaborate with for almost ten years and then along came Mick from just down the road in Balby! Together we developed this idea to create an album of songs of our town and to work with the local community to hear their stories and memories of Doncaster to weave into the songs.”

The project aims to deliver an album about different elements of the town, people and places, unsung heroes and unexplored landscapes. “We’ve been taking the idea out and working with groups to help them to take their stories and write their own songs. “There is a strong sense of legacy about the project. We are developing people’s writing skills in special sessions, sharing stories and creating songs,” said Mick.

Rachel Ryan, from Right Up Our Street said: “This is one of our commissioned projects and we are extremely pleased with Ian and Mick’s proposal which will culminate in an event during DNweekeND in September where the songs are all performed. “The sessions they are holding around Doncaster are all free and there are no restrictions. They are for people off all ages who have a story to share.”

Other opportunities to work with Ian and Mick on Songs of Our Town will be:  The James Paine memorial event on June 17 at the Mansion House.

For further information about Right Up Our Street visit 

Item Added 1/6/2017



New project brings major folk song collection to the UK

A new project to incorporate a pivotal collection into the world’s largest online searchable database of folk songs and music has been announced.


The digitised collection of James Madison Carpenter, which has previously only been accessible by visiting the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, will be added to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Digital Archive, thanks to a grant of more than 63,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Follow-on Funding Scheme.

Carpenter’s work includes a wealth of traditional songs, ballads and folk plays, collected from performers in
Scotland, England and Wales by the Harvard-trained scholar, mostly in the period 1929-35.

As well as more than 2,000 items of traditional song and 300 folk plays, it contains some items of traditional instrumental music, dance, custom, narrative and children's folklore.

The project is being delivered by the Elphinstone Institute, the centre for the study of Ethnology, Folklore, and Ethnomusicology at the University of Aberdeen, in partnership with the English Folk Dance and Song Society, which runs the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library and Archive (VWML) at Cecil Sharp House in London.

A new learning resource for teachers will be created for the online EFDSS Resource Bank using a selection of material from the collection. EFDSS will also deliver a series of creative learning projects with young people, adults, and in schools to introduce the collection to a new audience.

The project will culminate in a celebration concert at Cecil Sharp House in March 2018 featuring material from the Carpenter Collection.

Laura Smyth, Director of the VWML, said: “The Carpenter Collection will be a fantastic addition to our digital archive with collected materials from the early 1930s – a period with little activity from English based collectors.

“It also features a large number of audio recordings, allowing us to get even closer to the original performances.”

Dr Julia Bishop, leader of the James Madison Carpenter Collection Project, said: “‘The Carpenter Collection has been hidden for so long. This is a wonderful opportunity to return it to the communities and places where so much of it originated.”

Item Added 20/04/17




Nationwide search for next cohort of the National Youth Folk Ensemble


The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) has launched a nationwide search for talented young musicians to become the next members of the National Youth Folk Ensemble.

A series of Sampler Days will be held throughout England during May and June to audition musicians aged 14 to 18 for up to 25 places in the 2017 – 2018 Ensemble, which is supported by Arts Council England.

Led by the Ensemble’s Artistic Director, former BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year Sam Sweeney, each Sampler Day includes creative workshops with a team of professional folk artists, individual auditions, and a question and answer session with Ensemble staff.

Selected musicians will be invited to a final audition in London on July 8 or 9. To register for a Sampler Day, musicians have to be aged between 14 and 18 on 1 September 2017, live in England, be able to play confidently on any instrument and have an interest in folk music.

Places on the Sampler Days are free but limited and booking is essential at

EFDSS launched the National Youth Folk Ensemble in 2016 to increase opportunities for young people and audiences to discover folk music and raise the profile of folk music in England.

During the year, members will take part in four weeks of intensive residential courses around the country, receiving high quality tuition and guidance from leading professional folk artists.

They will also develop skills in performance, arrangement and leadership and give public performances 

Katy Spicer, EFDSS Chief Executive and Artistic Director
, said: “The first year of the Ensemble has been a huge success.

“It has been a chance for the young musicians to develop and challenge their own abilities and learn from some of the best musicians in contemporary English folk.

“We are now looking for more excellent instrumentalists who are dedicated to developing as folk musicians and excited about collaborating with others who share their passion. Whether they go on to make the final ensemble or not, taking part in a Sampler Day will be a valuable developmental opportunity for any young musicians interested in traditional music.”

Sixteen-year-old Cori Smith is a classically trained viola player who said she had been “transformed” since joining the National Youth Folk Ensemble.

“I’ve met so many talented people and it has been great to learn from them. I was a bit intimidated at the start, joining in the sessions with tunes that some other people just seemed to know, but by the end of the residential sessions, I had improved so much and was able to join in and play along by ear. It’s really developing my listening skills.

“It is such a warm and supportive environment, you can’t fail to be inspired,” she added.

National Youth Folk Ensemble Sampler Days 2017:

Saturday 27 May – Colston Hall, Bristol

Sunday 28 May – Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester

Monday 29 May – Sage Gateshead

Tuesday 30 May – University of Sheffield

Wednesday 31 May – Stamford Arts Centre

Friday 2 June – The Anvil, Basingstoke

Saturday 3 June – Cecil Sharp House, London

Sunday 4 June – mac Birmingham

Keep up to date with news about the ensemble at and tweet @theEFDSS #youthfolk

Item added 13/04/2017


Lincolnshire Folk Forum

Brian Masson created a new forum for all things folk music in Lincolnshire. You can find it at:




Copyright Jim Hancock 2004 - 2017