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News: 2013 - 2014


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.

See Also Clubs & Sessions News

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

Folk Camp Bursaries

The Ambassador Bursary scheme is open to people aged between 18 and 29 and it offers the chance to attend a Folk Camps holiday for the price of the deposit - £20. Holidays range from workshop weekends to fully catered week-long camps.

Folk Camps Society is a charity that has been running for more than 50 years, whose aim is to preserve and pass on the folk traditions of the British Isles. With an emphasis on participation and creating a community, we offer a variety of camping holidays across Britain, where volunteer staff help organise and lead musical activities, with daily workshops, singarounds and ceilidhs. As well as offering a virtually free holiday, this could be a chance for people to expand their repertoire, increase their mentoring skills and network with others involved in the folk world.

If you have any queries, you can get in touch with the bursary team by emailing bursary@folkcamps.co.uk Detailed information and application forms are available on our website at www.folkcamps.co.uk/bursary.asp

Item added Dec.2013

Brian Dawson – Obituary

Born Lincoln, 16 August, 1939
Died Scunthorpe, 22 November, 2013

Collector and performer of songs and dialect in the Lincolnshire tradition.

I first met Brian when he became a regular performer at Grimsby Folk Club in the late 1960’s, after moving from his home at Washingborough near Lincoln to the little market town of Caistor in North Lincolnshire, to teach at the Caistor Yarborough Primary School. He had already been playing for some time with the Lincoln-based folk dance band “The Redwings”, and his music was quickly recognized as a great asset to the club. It wasn’t long before he was invited to join the Grimsby club’s resident group “The Broadside” where, together with myself, Bill Meek and Tom Smith, he formed the core of a band which, throughout the 1970’s, recorded six albums and travelled the length and breadth of the country to play at festivals and folk clubs.

Brian’s abiding interest was always the traditional songs and stories of his native county, and through his friendship with the folklorist and collector Ethel Rudkin, he introduced us and our audiences to the songs of North Lincolnshire village singers like Luther “Luke” Stanley of Barrow-upon-Humber, and William Hill of Tetford – and to the treasure-house of song which had been collected in Lincolnshire by Percy Grainger. He was also a great admirer and performer of Tennyson’s Lincolnshire dialect poetry, and it was a pleasure and a privilege to see Brian in full flow, enacting the role of the chuntering old chap in “The Northern Farmer”, advising his errant son against courting the daughter of the impoverished parson –
“What’s a beauty? – the flower as blaws –
“But Property, Property sticks – and Property, Property graws . . .”

Brian was a longstanding member of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, and a skilled musician on both accordion and fiddle – his knowledge of tunes and dances was one of the essential building-blocks supporting the formation of the Grimsby Morris Men, the Cleethorpes Folk Festival, the Plowgild Folk Dance Group and the Broadside Ceilidh Band.

There is so much to remember him for, but what sticks in my mind are the little personal things which made Brian such a character. . .

He would have no truck with P.A. systems, or New Technology, and I was deeply impressed with his “designer visiting-cards” which consisted of small squares cut from corn-flakes packets, with his address hand-written on the back . . . He just loved to sing and play, and that was why he had so many friends – he would travel any distance to share his songs and stories. It was always a struggle to persuade him to raise our Ceilidh-band’s fees in line with inflation – we knew very well that Brian would rather play for nothing than not play at all . ..

Despite his steadfast refusal to get involved in new-fangled stuff like Emails and Websites, I think Brian would have been genuinely amazed at the many messages of love and affection for him which have appeared on international Folk Forums like Mudcat Café. . .

Long after the Broadside Band “retired from active service”, Brian
continued to travel, sing and play, not just in his beloved Lincolnshire, but all over the country, from Scotland down to Cornwall, at gatherings of traditional singers and musicians.

Brian’s voice has not been silenced – it lives on, in the many old songs which he loved so much, and brought back to life in his performances.


New venue for Bootleggers Dance Team

Bootleggers Appalachian Dance Team will be moving to new premises on Wednesday the 30th October and in future practices will be split into 2 hour sessions to accommodate both new dancers and those who want to practice more advanced routines.

Practices will be at Kimberley’s School of Performing Arts at South Leys Campus Enderby Road, Scunthorpe, DN17 2JL. (part of the old Riddings/South Leys School Campus). There is plenty of free off-road parking and even more importantly – a new semi-sprung floor!!!

Item added Oct. 2013

The Enigma of Nic Jones: Return of Britain’s Lost Folk Hero (18)

Film introduction by Sam Carter
Friday 27th September – 6pm. Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX

Director Michael Proudfoot explores The Enigma of Nic Jones the moving story behind an artist’s determination to perform after a tragic accident, and his rise to the stage once again. In 1980 his album Penguin Eggs was widely acknowledged as a classic; even recently, a poll by The Observer rated the piece number 79 of the ‘100 Best Records of All Time’ - an amazing achievement considering that the LP never actually charted.

In 1982 Nic’s life was changed forever. Barely surviving a near-fatal car crash, the sought- after artist disappeared from the public eye. After 30 years, Nic returned to the stage for several festival performances including Cambridge Folk Festival, singing alongside his guitarist son, Joe Jones, and keyboard player Belinda O’Hooley.

Like these performances, the film gives fans (new and old) a chance to hear the legendary weathered voice live. Narration is provided by the singer/songwriter Cerys Matthews. The film will be introduced by Sam Carter (also performing a live gig at the Library Theatre later that evening).

Tickets can be purchased from: http://www.showroomworkstation.org.uk/nicjones www.sensoria.org.uk

Item added Sept 2013

Musicport Festival - October 18th-20th 2013 at Whitby

Musicport has recently heard that it has been awarded Arts Council funding to involve the local community more fully in its activities. Organiser Jim McLaughlin said "Funding for the arts is so competitive, we're delighted that the Arts Council recognised the value of what Musicport does and has achieved since 2000. We want to use this grant to bring the town and the festival together and create something people will remember. It's very exciting!”

Here are some of the unique activities that are planned:

1. A performance on Friday 11th October, in advance of the festival, by the Tashi Lhunpo Monks from Tibet - demonstrating their ritual chants and dancing in stunning costumes - free @ St Ninian's Church, Baxtergate, Whitby - Starts 7.30pm.

2. Musicport Big Draw Project - 5 local schools will work with artists Quentin Budworth and Bridget Wilkinson to create 5 large pieces of artwork with a musical and cultural theme which will be installed by Whitby Pavilion in the Exhibition Hall. A sixth panel will be created during the festival, and they will make a permanent feature in the room, all with a definite Musicport theme. The panels will be unveiled at the opening of the festival on Friday 18th October.

3. Fire display and procession to the opening in the Exhibition Hall. Musicport favourites Forro Porro will lead local school musicians (who will have worked with the band in advance) marching into the Pavilion for the opening, and a performance by Whitby Community Choir of their BBC-commissioned piece "Standing On The Edge Of The World" by Rebecca Gross.Free entry event.

4. MASS UKULELE JAM....massed ukuleles with Jacqui Wicks and colleagues from Ossett Ukulele Philharmonia. A chance for uke players from far and wide to bring their ukuleles and join a great free event on the morning of Saturday 19th October. A downloadable songbook will be available from the Musicport website and Facebook page so that participants can practise in advance. Free entry event.

5. Six of Yorkshire's best Open Mic Sessions (Sheffield, Leeds, Loftus, Bridlington, York, Scarborough) will descend on the town for the festival weekend. The Angel Welly Open Mic will play host, and all these acts will play around the town during the day on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th, before performing on the Musicport Lighthouse Stage - where they will be judged by a panel including Eliza Carthy and the winners awarded a spot on one of the main stages in 2014. Musicport is still looking for unusual places in central Whitby for them to play where a welcome is guaranteed.

6. Radik Tulush the throat-singer from Tuva (Mongolia), who performed at the festival previously with Yat Kha and accompanied by well known English folk singer Carole Pegg, will work with local students before the festival.

7. Brazilian drummer Claudio Kron will continue the work he started last year with West Cliff School in developing their Samba drumming and will involve them in the opening procession.

8. Chromavan - a wonderful experience in colour, housed in a caravan, will be in town during the day on Friday 18th October where there will be a chance for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in an intense and relaxing colour bath and to try it out for free. From Friday teatime it will be at the Pavilion where it will be available to all festival-goers.

9. Jackie Oates, the award winning young folk singer, will be performing with her trio including Musicport favourite Belinda O'Hooley on Sunday 20th October in La Rosa Hotel. Free entry event but very limited spaces.

Item added 10/09/2013


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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