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News: 2014 - 2015


We are always pleased to receive news items relating to folk arts in the region, but we cannot always guarantee to include them here. Concise, relevant copy with full contact details is particularly welcome, especially if you can also supply a photograph or other illustration.

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Volunteers wanted to boost BAMfest 2015

Organisers of Bedale’s acoustic music festival – BAMfest – are calling on local people to get involved and help make this year’s festival even better than before.

An Open Evening for Volunteers is being organised for Tuesday February 24 at Big Sheep Little Cow Farm in Bedale between 7 and 8pm. Light refreshments will be served.

Festival volunteer co-ordinator Josh Waterton-Bailey said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of the festival, without them we wouldn’t be able to make the festival happen. In exchange for a few hours of volunteering across the weekend, we will reward you with free festival tickets”

“We have organised this open evening to explain what is involved and give people an opportunity to meet the Festival team and other volunteers. We’d love to see even more people get the BAMfest buzz!”

Volunteers are required to assist in various areas - to help set up site/venues and clear site/venues, to steward on the festival campsite, the BAMfest ticket desk/info point, help to sell BAMfest merchandise/CD’s as well as venue stewarding.

Full details are on the BAMfest website - www.bamfest.co.uk. If you want more information call the BAMfest hotline on 07925 817116 or email volunteers@bamfest.co.uk.

BAMfest is now in its third year after being launched in 2013. The three-day event attracts hundreds of visitors to the market town, with local pubs and cafes all getting involved.

The2015 Festival will see appearances by Martin Stephenson and the Daintees, Blackbeard’s Tea Party, Henry Priestman, Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra, Babajack, Les Barker, Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby, The Young’Uns, The Jon Palmer Band, The Duncan McFarlane Band and many other acts from across the UK.

An extra Farm stage is being launched this year on the Festival site allowing organisers to bring dozens of new bands to Bedale.

Item added 17/2/2015

EFDSS Soundpost Weekend - Dungworth and Bradfield

In association with English Folk Dance and Song Society, the next Soundpost weekend will be focussed around The Full English archive.

The Full English is a ground-breaking project delivered by EFDSS drawing together important early 20th century collections into the most comprehensive free searchable database of British folk songs, tunes, dances and customs in the world.
Curated by Fay Hield, The Soundpost Full English Weekend will explore the archive through a mix of tunes and songs, creating music and thinking about the many ways this archive can be used with some of the top performers and educators.

Members of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winning Full English Band, archivists, educationalists, academics and other performers will host a weekend of practical workshops and talks on how the archive can be used by performers and educators alike, providing participants with the tools to approach this tradition inquisitively through the use of archives.

The weekend runs 23-25 October 2015 and takes place in community buildings around Dungworth and Bradfield, north Sheffield. Booking opens March 2015.
For more information contact Kate Thompson: kate@soundpost.org.uk

Item Added 25/01/15


Live music in Brigg gets a real boost next month with a great new concert at The Angel.

Lincolnshire legend John Conolly, the internationally renowned singer/songwriter will be topping the bill, supported by virtuoso musician and singer, Robin Garside.
Grimsby based John has toured all over the world and appeared at all the major festivals where his mellow voice and lilting guitar and melodeon accompaniment have brought him wide acclaim. He has also written songs for radio, TV and the stage, perhaps most memorably for ‘The Northern Trawl’. His best known song is undoubtedly ‘Fiddler’s Green’, which has become so much part of the folk fabric that it is assumed by many to be traditional.

Robin Garside hails from South Yorkshire and has often performed alongside his old friend John. A master musician, he plays fiddle, guitar, mandolin and banjo to accompany his singing, and describes his style as blues, jazz and bluegrass as well as traditional folk. He too has appeared at a host of major festivals and is a regular at the North’s biggest folk festival, Whitby.

The pair are playing at The Angel Suite on Saturday 29th November at 7.30pm. This promises to be a terrific night, so don’t miss it. Tickets are £9 in advance (£10 on the door) from Brigg Tourist Information and Scunthorpe Central Library.

It is hoped that this will be the start of a regular programme of live music events in Brigg so look out for advance publicity which should be out and about very soon.

Item Added Oct 2014

Whitby Folk come together to commemorate Rohilla rescue.

Whitby songwriter and musician, Richard Grainger, is putting the final touches to the first part of his most recent project, ''STORMBOUND'' - the True Story of The Rohilla Disaster. It is to be performed at St Hilda's Parish Church, West Cliff, Whitby on Nov 1st at 7.00pm by Richard and a cast of musicians, actors and young people from the Whitby area.
Drawing from the authoritative publications of local writer Colin Brittain, statements of survivors and rescuers involved in the tragedy that occurred in November 1914, and with the invaluable the aid of Whitby Lifeboat Museum's Curator, Peter Thomson, the performance traces the story of the modern cargo/passenger ship ROHILLA, from its launch at Harland & Woolf, Belfast through its requisition as a 'state of the art' Hospital Ship, to its eventual demise off Whitby.
The show will also tell the story of the dramatic rescue undertaken by local folk and with the combined efforts of lifeboats from Whitby, Scarborough, Teesmouth and Tynemouth, 142 lives were saved though 85 were lost.
''It's a truly amazing story that will captivate the audience. The bravery, heroism and determination of the local lifeboat crews who battled mountainous seas time and again and the people of Whitby, who came out in their hundreds to drag people alive and dead from the sea, carry survivors to their homes and care for them or take them to hospital is like a work of fiction - but it's all true!"
Richard Grainger added: "I have written brand new material for this and been able to use some other more familiar songs."
Among the many artists joining Richard Grainger that evening will be master accordion player Chris Parkinson, East Cleveland Singer Sara Dennis, Whitby's Polly Buxton along with a host of singers and musicians from Caedmon College and Shanty Group Monkeys Fist. The team are also delighted to bring into the line up several local traditional choirs; 'Men Of Staithes' and 'Ramshackle Shantymen' from Filey. The Overture has been compiled by Hannah Beattie, a Music Tutor at Caedmon College.
Actors Ivan Hall and Alethea Estill are joined by Iain McNicol, Karen Mason, Kevin Young, Paul Ivison, Hadden Grainger, Max Crossling and John Morgan.
Richard has been working in local secondary schools through the Festival On The Moor's Young Roots Project and has discovered several more excellent musicians and actors from Caedmon College and Eskdale School.
The show is part of the official centenary weekend being organised by The Rohilla Centenary Team. Supported by The Heritage Lottery Fund through it's Young Roots programme, it allows all proceeds from ticket sales to be donated to RNLI local funds.
All tickets are £5 and can be purchased from The Lifeboat Museum, the Lifeboat Station or online at http://www.whitbyseafest.co.uk

Item Added Oct 27 2014

Armistice Pals

Commemoration with a difference – all folk/dance clubs and singers sessions across the land are invited to take part in a grass roots community celebration of the folk scene organised by Armistice Pals during October and November which is hoped will draw much needed attention to the club scene and the unsung heroes who run them in order to help keep the circuit alive and kicking.

Armistice Pals is the name given to a ‘super group’ of over 35 musicians from across the folk firmament who in the year that sadly presented us with the passing of Pete Seeger and the much reported 100 anniversary of the ‘war to end all wars’, have come together to create a special charity single. Think ‘Perfect Day’ using the song Pete Seeger made popular ‘Where have all the flowers gone’ and you won’t be far off !

The single will be released as a limited edition 7” single, a physical cd and on iTunes on November 9th, with all proceeds going to peace keeping and anti war charities (The Red Cross, Malala’s Fund, The Peace Foundation and Peace through Folk) and was conceived by Merry Hell’s manager Damian Liptrot who organised the ambitious project with Folkstock Arts Foundation’s Helen Meissner.

The single will be released on Folkstock Records.

We are delighted that Peggy Seeger has asked to be on the single and she is joined by, among others, Dave Swarbrick, Lucy Ward, Johnny Coppin, Peter Knight, Chris and Kellie While, Julie Matthews, Judy Dyble, Luke Jackson, Kelly Oliver, Ninebarrow, Reg Meuross, Said the Maiden, Gavin Davenport, Flossie Malavialle and more, as well as Pete Seeger.

If those interested in taking part register their intention to hold a special Armistice Pals themed session in October or November, which could also involve videoing their rendition of the song, the organisers have said they will add the club name and the video to their social media, promote the club and hopefully boost attendance by focussing on the life enriching experience of coming together in song.

Something which Peggy Seeger told us was Pete’s legacy.

A video in which Peggy talks about the single and why she was keen to be part of Armistice Pals will be released on social media shortly.

Press and radio promotion is also lined up, with all clubs taking part potentially gaining free publicity

on their local radio shows as well as via national media as a direct result of their involvement.

There is no fee, just a commitment to mark the release of the single with a special themed evening.

If you want to take part in the biggest country wide club and singers grassroots project we’ve seen in recent years, please contact

Damian Liptrot or Helen Meissner via email armisticepals@hotmail.com

Or our website http://www.armisticepals.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/armisticepals

Twitter https://twitter.com/ArmisticePals

Item added Sept 25 2014

Festival on the Moor's new youth project, Ghosts of Heroes, wins Heritage Lottery Fund support.

Today Festival On The Moor has received £40,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project called ''Ghosts Of Heroes'' in Whitby and the North York Moors.

Led by Festival on the Moor volunteers, and supported by the Rohilla Centenary Team and local schools, the project focuses on World War 1 and in particular The Rohilla Disaster, Whitby Bombardment and the stories of soldiers and civilians from the surrounding moorland and coastal communities between 1914 and 18.

The project will enable around 100 young people to research these topics and present the stories in various creative ways including Drama, Music, Creative Writing and by building a website as a permanent reference to future researchers.

Festival On The Moor is a community arts and heritage organisation that organises festivals and educational activities based on folk music, local heritage and culture. It works with young people through its Shoots & Roots programme and students from Whitby's Caedmon College and Eskdale School will take part and benefit by helping them develop their research, media and communication skills and enjoy the creative aspects while learning more about their local heritage.
They'll work alongside professional musicians and actors and gain insight from local heritage professionals.

Commenting on the award, Festival Director, Jeanette Grainger said: ' We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will enable us to increase our work with young people from Whitby, the coastal communities and the Esk Valley to help them discover more about their heritage and have fun with their discoveries.

Fiona Spiers, Head of HLF Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Every area has its own stories of their involvement and experiences of the First World War at home and abroad. By focusing on the Rohilla Disaster and the bombardment of Whitby by German Warships young people will learn about the impact of the war on their local area, and further afield.”

Item added Set. 16 2014

Item Added 29/08/14

More Morris, Better Morris conference

A one-day conference to share effective practice in how to inspire the next generation of morris dancers will be held at Cecil Sharp House in London on Sunday 2 November 2014.

‘More Morris, Better Morris, in schools and beyond’ is being organised by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) with the Joint Morris Organisations. Sessions will be across a range of morris and sword dance traditions including Cotswold, Molly, North West and Border morris, as well as rapper and longsword.

Workshop leaders, presenters and speakers will include practitioners from across England who are experienced in teaching morris to young people, including: Damien Barber from the Demon Barber Roadshow and the Lock In Dance Show; Will Hampson and Bryony Griffiths; John Bacon, Ann Bacon and David Johns; Dave Leverton from the National Youth Folklore Troupe of England; Laurel Swift and Benjamin Moss; Sue Bousfield; Gordon Phillips and Nicky Stockman; Liam Robinson; and Kim Woodward. More names will be confirmed early September and will be updated online.

The day will include topics such as:

· Delivery in primary and secondary education and links to the curriculum

· Setting up and running groups in out-of-school settings

· What an inspiring morris dance workshop looks like for children and young people and current best practice in dance education

· Safe practice – looking after the bodies of young dancers at different stages of their development

· Kitbag – ideas, information and resources on planning, structuring sessions, writing a CV, insurance and safeguarding issues

Rachel Elliott, EFDSS’ Education Director, said: “This conference offers a fantastic opportunity to learn more about teaching morris dancing to young people, whether you are an experienced morris dancer, a teacher or in a morris side, or just starting out and keen to pass on the morris traditions. EFDSS is delighted to presenting this landmark event in partnership with the Joint Morris Organisations. “The aim of the day is to inspire people, connect them and feed them ideas for the delivery of great morris dancing sessions with young people!”

Conference fee: £20 including refreshments and light lunch

For more details and to book http://www.efdss.org/efdss-education/professional-development/more-morris-better-morris

Promoted by: EFDSS and the Joint Morris Organisations (The Morris Federation, Open Morris and The Morris Ring).

Item added 5/8/2014

Dave & Julie Evardson CD in aid of St Andrew's Hospice

Many of you may know that St Andrew's Hospice provides amazing care facilities in the North East Lincolnshire area. They are currently creating a new adult hospice as well as making improvements to the existing children's facility. They need a great deal of financial support to complete this work.
Many local people are coming up with fundraising ideas. To do our bit Julie & I have issued an album of ten of our songs with a Lincolnshire flavour entitled 'Missing Lincs'. We hope people will buy it digitally & it's now available to download using your credit card from www.cdbaby.com for $8.49 (that's about £5). Here's the destination URL:


We hope you'll support this important work to enhance Grimsby's major Hospice facility - and, of course, that you'll enjoy the songs!

Kind regards,

Dave & Julie


The award-winning Beverley Folk Festival has launched an online pledge campaign to help maintain its programme of free community events.

This year’s festival takes place from June 20-22 at Beverley Racecourse with a stellar musical line-up including Billy Bragg, Martin Carthy & Eliza Carthy, Chas & Dave, Home Service, Lau and Thea Gilmore. In addition the festival – a not-for-profit organisation – encompasses comedy, film, drama, poetry, literature and storytelling. Also, the festival delivers a range of free admission events and activities for visitors, including:

· Free entry to the festival village, giving people the opportunity to enjoy the festival atmosphere, explore the craft stalls and perhaps even enjoy a real ale

· A wide range of fun and creative activities in The Den children’s marquee

· The Westwood Sessions, a free drop in practice and performance venue for young musicians age 11-18, nurturing new young talent both local and from further afield

· Free performances from selected festival artists on the Festival Green stage and across Beverley town centre

An online pledge campaign has been set up via CrowdFunder, with the aim of raising £3,200 to support the staging of free events at the festival, which was winner of the Remarkable Tourism Event at the 2014 REYTA awards. In return for donations of various amounts, from £5 to £250, pledgers are offered a range of exclusive offers including tickets, merchandise or goodie bags. Festival director Andrew Mills says: “Beverley Folk Festival is a not-for-profit organisation run by a small and dedicated group and supported by a loyal team of unflagging volunteers. “We believe passionately in supporting our local community, which is why we are asking for support to nurture the links we share.”

The campaign runs until 22nd June and pledges can be made at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BeverleyFolkFestival. For festival information and tickets go to www.beverleyfestival.com or tel: 01377 217569.

The Search For Five Finger Frank

Pete Coe & Alice Jones did the launch concert for their double CD "The Search For Five Finger Frank" at The Square Chapel, Halifax on April 13th with an audience of around a hundred.
The CD presents songs collected by Leeds man Frank Kidson ( !855 1926 ) and the concert was recorded by BBC Radio Leeds as part of a radio documentary on Kidson to be broadcast later this year. The concert was also filmed and they plan to get some clips up on Soundcloud, Youtube and their own website http://fivefingerfrank.co.uk soon, where you can also find information on purchasing the CD and reprints of Kidson's book 'Traditional Tunes'.
In the meantime, they are booked to do the full show at Chippenham & Sidmouth Folk Festivals and some smaller venues in Yorkshire, including ... 29th April Kiveton Park Folk Club, 10th May Holmfirth Folk Festival (Folk Club), 14th July Beverley Folk Club

Item added April 22 2014

Shepley Spring Festival Cancelled

Shepley's Website carries the following information....
"It is with regret that we have to announce that Shepley Spring Festival will not be happening this year. We have had it confirmed that the festival’s regular grant funding is not available to us for 2014. This would leave the festival, should it go ahead, with a major shortfall which we simply cannot bridge, despite some generous offers of help............... If you have already bought tickets for this Shepley Spring Festival 2014 we will be getting in touch with you in the next few days."

For a fuller statement visit the festival's website at http://www.shepleyspringfestival.com/

Item added April 22 2014

Epworth Music Day 2014

The annual Epworth Music Day (held on 21 June) is very much a community event. Musicians, dancers and other performers of any genre and at any level of experience and ability are encouraged to perform and people are invited and welcomed to watch, listen and participate at a number of venues throughout the town. All this is done without payment to any performer and without charge to any member of the audience. As a result, it encourages participation from those who might otherwise be nervous about performing in public as well as providing a great spectacle to those watching and listening.

Epworth Music Day 2014 falls on Saturday 21 June and they are planning for this Music Day to be something rather grand. The event is planned to run from 10am to 10pm. Events are expected to take place throughout the town – indoors and outside. These will be both programmed and impromptu. There will be an evening concert in St Andrew’s Church.

Anyone wishing to become involved be it as performer of audience please contact Peter Barnard at peter.barnard@me.com

Item Added 7/4/2014

450 Miles of Music

Tim Moon is off on his musical long distance walking again, singing and playing his way from Filey to Penzance in May and June.
If anyone want to meet up on route, to walk and play or at one of the nightly gigs. Or offer a bed for a night the schedule and so on is at www.justgiving.com/tim-moon. He would love to see you.
Item added April 2014

Beverley Festival wins Tourism Award

Beverley Folk Festival have been selected as joint winners of the ‘Remarkable Tourism Event’ category at the REYTAs (Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Awards) held on Thursday evening in Bridlington.

Chris Wade, Artistic Director of the Folk Festival said “It’s an award that should be shared by all the staff that work so hard throughout the year, our volunteers and supporters and all the wonderful artists who give their best for us over the festival weekend.”

Read more about the awards and all the winners [here]

Item added 18/3/14

Malcolm Douglas 1955 - 2009

We are deeply saddened at the loss of one of our number, Malcolm Douglas, an invaluable member of the Yorkshire Folk Arts' management team from its inception. In addition to designing, setting up and maintaining the YFA website Malcolm could always be relied upon to contribute thoughtful, knowledgeable and very sensible observations to all of our discussions and planning sessions. His fondness for good beer and debate were among the many other attributes that made for an enjoyable colleague and all-round excellent bloke. He will be sorely missed.

Three of Malcolm's good friends have written the following words which we are glad to reproduce below.

Martin Bull, Chairman, for all of YFA

Malcolm Douglas

Our friend Malcolm Douglas, who has died from cancer aged 54, had many talents, but two in particular brought him to national prominence. He had a compendious knowledge and understanding of traditional folk song (mainly, but not exclusively, English folk song), and he was a renowned illustrator and comic artist. He fell into these contrasting fields by accident, but he treated them with meticulous attention to detail and a professionalism that belied his lack of formal training.

He became an illustrator after volunteering to illustrate a student union newspaper at Sheffield University, and found that people were prepared to pay him to do what had hitherto been a hobby. His illustrations featured in a wide range of comics, of which the best known was Oink; he was also the illustrator of the footballing devilkin Fred the Red, for five years delighting both young and old readers of Manchester United match programmes.

For the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) he revised the evergreen song collection, The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, originally edited by Ralph Vaughan Williams and A.L. Lloyd in 1959. In his new edition, published as Classic English Folk Songs, he corrected previous errors and brought to the book a wealth of additional detail.

He did the same well-researched and comprehensive review of another of the EFDSS's most successful publications, Marrow Bones, a collection of folk songs from Dorset and Hampshire, originally edited by Frank Purslow. He was working on a third, The Wanton Seed, when he succumbed to illness. He was also well-known amongst folk music enthusiasts for his contributions to the on-line forum The Mudcat Café, where he hadposted almost 9000 detailed answers to questions about the most obscure aspects of folk song and music. He was happy to point people to the sources of his knowledge and help them to find answers for themselves.

Malcolm was born and brought up in South London, and after attending Trinity School of John Whitgift in Croydon, he came to Sheffield University to study French and English and stayed in the city, which he regarded as his home town.

Malcolm was committed to the principle of the people's ownership of their cultural heritage and was involved in many grassroots initiatives, even expressing concern about what he saw as the over-professionalisation of the folk arts. He was co-host at Sheffield's Red Deer folk club for a decade and was active in regional organisations such as the South Riding Folk Network (SRFN) and Yorkshire Folk Arts, bringing his literary and technological skills to bear in maintaining websites for both organisations, editing the SRFN magazine and designing the south Yorkshire folk magazine Stirrings.

Malcolm was also a performer, playing fiddle, mandolin and cittern with various concert and dance bands and was a familiar figure at music sessions in and around Sheffield. He never married, but is survived byhis mother and brother Ian.

Ron Day, Dave Eyre and Raymond Greenoaken.



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