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Folklife's Updates

6 Mar 2024 🎵

FOLKLIFE, print & online publishers: 3 PUBLICATIONS, 3 websites ... plus these UPDATES.

    4 Mar 2024 - Journal now online; Folklife West deadline 20 March; Updates

    Dear    (your details that we hold are at foot of email).

    Lots of Updates below --- 3+ weeks notice, please, gives us time to process your Updates.

    (1) JOURNAL (articles) just out; updates.     (2) DIRECTORY updates.   (3) FOLKLIFE WEST folk news from Folklife UK members, and from overseas readers.


    160-word-limit as announced in 11 Feb email, for FW and for your UPDATES news

    • 160 not counting name, plus at end  phone, email, web, social media
    • More words with adverts 1/8 up to 220 words - and 1/8 ad is only £10 mono
    • 1/4 240 (£18 mono); 1/2 280 (£32); A4 360 (£60). Colour
    • Festival Diary/Workshops "further details": same limits (=160, more if advert).


    "You have a great website. I wish I had known about it earlier when I was researching ballads for a discussion group." 

    Researched articles are

    • The Holy Well, by Charles Menteith
    • The Golden Glove, by Rosie Upton
    • Jane Teare and Catherine Ann Lawson: two singers from Jurby, Isle of Man, by Stephen Miller
    • A Song My Grandmother Taught Me: The Knocker Up, by David Harley
    • The ship is all laden, by Keith Gregson (additional tune by Johnny Handle)
    • Rushes, by Roy & Lesley Adkins
    • My Love's Gone, collected from William Shepherd, by Victoria Lowe

    Trac Cymru (folk development for Wales); King for a Day and The Doc Rowe Collection. News from researchers and Folklife Societies.  Seasonal Local Celebrations from Doc Rowe.

    • FTJ online: read free, and even free download PDF. We welcome an annual £3 donation from non-"Folklife members", payment details at end of email
    • FTJ in print: £2 where sold in clubs & sessions etc.
      • one copy FTJ posted £3.50, Europe £5.20, rest of world £6.15,
      • subscription FTJ posted 3 issues: £10, Europe £15, rest of world £18.
      • Bank card
      • BACS: Folklife West T/A Folklife, Sort Code 09-01-55, Account 1867518

    UPDATES from

    🄹 Top 100 Best Selling Ballads of the 17th C
    From Bob Askew
    Dear All,
    I am happy to say that Professor Christopher Marsh has at last completed his Website with the tunes of the Top 100 Best Selling Ballads of the 17th Century. It has audio renditions of the songs, and I think it is a wonderful resource. A great chance to get to know some ballads that are a bit earlier than most that we sing. There are some great ballads in there, and some tunes which would have gone on to be used in later ballads as well.
    Some of the ballads may be religious or political, but it is great to know that misogynic ballads were not popular. There are some lovely and interesting ballads. Many would be great to hear sung today, although some might benefit from some shortening, just as seventeenth century people shortened some of the earlier ones!
    I think that it is a wonderful resource. Do send on to any singers, researchers, historians, or anyone who might be interested.
    All the Best, Bob

    TSF Online Meeting 61, 17 March 2024, 4pm GMT. There will be three presentations at this meeting which will be preceded at 15:30 by the TSF Annual General Meeting. The presentations will begin, as usual at 16:00.

    • Steve Gardham 'Same Song—Different Song' Ever since Professor Child started to number the ballads he compiled...
    • Brian Peters 'John Stafford and Radical Song in Lancashire, 1800-1850'
    • Vic Gammon 'The (Too?) Remarkable Life of James Stuart (1728-1844) Fiddler of Berwick'

    ​See more details on

    TSF Spring Conference (date was noted in FTJ; these are more details)
    Saturday 6th April 2024; 9.30am - 5.00pm Venue: Stowmarket Scout Centre, Milton Road North, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 1EX
    Speakers will include Alan Helsdon, Chris Heppa, Chris Holderness, Katie Howson, Hazel Marsh, Martin Nail, John Marshall Potter. Topics will encompass singers like Harry Cox, Walter Pardon, and Fred Whiting; communities such as the songs of Travellers and singing at the Blaxhall Ship, and a report on the recent Vaughan Williams Folk project. There will also be books and CDs for sale.
    This is an in-person meeting but it will be recorded and a video will go up on the TSF Youtube channel after the event.
    You can book your place through Eventbrite, using this link:
    Full details of the programme for the day will added to the Eventbrite page nearer the time.


      • UK or Overseas, we want to list YOU - it's free!   
      • Just ask us to draft something for you to approve/amend, all we need is your website. 
      • Or send in something in our format, see homepage for categories.


      VENUES - Cymru/Wales
      De-Ddwyrain / South-East Glamorgan, Gwent
      🄵 1st, & other Fri Swansea PONTARDAWE THE VALLEY FOLK CLUB (xAug) Huw & Heather Pudner 01792 862062
      → Pontardawe Heritage & Visitors Centre, The Old Stable, Herbert Street, Pontardawe SA8 4EB (behind Dillwyn Arms at traffic lights, centre of town). 8pm. Free town car parks; please don’t use pub car park. Bring Your Own refreshments (pub next door & small supermarket along the road).
      PontyVFC<at> Facebook Pontardawe Valley Folk Club
      ⊕ ​1st Fridays Open Nights (£2), a warm welcome to everyone to sing, play, recite or just enjoy. Guest Nights (usually £8; pre-arranged floor spots), usually 3rd Fridays. Often a 50/50 Night on 5th Fridays. Check club website diary for variations. [2024 Feb; new venue from 2024 March 15]


      🄵 1st or 2nd Thu Worcs BRETFORTON The FLEECE CEILIDH CLUB Pub 01386 831173
      → The Cross, Bretforton, near Evesham, Worcs WR11 7JE. From 7.30pm
      ⊕ Historic National Trust pub. With the Fleece Ceilidh Band & caller Tina Morris - a real fun experience! £10 (-18 £5). Dates see website. All Fleece Inn event tickets available on line: (added Feb 2024)


      → Practice night (8-10pm) Monday, at Catshill Methodist Church Hall, 66 Golden Cross Lane, Catshill, Bromsgrove B61 0LG (check our calendar during the dancing season!)
      → email: nancy<at> fb: Nancy Butterfly Women's Morris Dancers
      ⊕ Nancy Butterfly dance in the North West style wearing distinctive red clogs. We have fun around Worcestershire and beyond dancing at pubs, festivals and other events. We are always ready to welcome new dancers and musicians. (new listing, February 2024)

      🄵 Kent DEREK TAYLOR BOOKS 01303 760 546
      books<at>, Facebook: Derek Taylor Twitter:
      ⊕ Publishers of ‘Little Book Of Ballads’, a portable little pocket book. The book is available at Amazon etc and
      [added, Feb 2024]


      UPDATES on    Up to 160 words welcome (don't send a lot of words, we don't have time to read/edit). International news from non-UK non-members also welcome for this page. 3+ weeks notice gives us time to process your Updates.

      Two items on our Updates have been postponed (not cancelled), date to be announced. 
      Wales: Midlands (Mid-Wales), 🄵 TASC : A Day with Will Pound, was Saturday 9th March; and Scotland Zoom 🄵 Themed Shanty Big Sing – No 15 – “Blow, Boys, Blow” - Was Tuesday 5 March .  Original details given on

      CYMRU / WALES   🄵🅆 Cymru

      Wales: South-East
      🄵 VALLEY FOLK CLUB, PONTARDAWE have moved back to Pontardawe.
      Pontardawe Heritage & Visitors Centre, The Old Stable, Herbert Street, Pontardawe SA8 4EB (Behind The Dillwyn Arms at the traffic lights, centre of town.) Evenings usually start at 8pm.
      There is ample Free Parking (from 6pm) in the town car parks; please don’t use the pub car park. Bring Your Own refreshments (the pub is next door and there is a small supermarket along the road).
      Valley Folk Club usually meets on 1st. 3rd. and 5th Fridays with a few exceptions which are posted in the diary on the web page.
      1st Fridays are usually Open Nights, 3rd Fridays Guest Nights and often a 50/50 Night on 5th Fridays featuring 2 acts.
      On Open Nights a warm welcome is extended to everyone to sing, play, recite or just enjoy. We sometimes allow a short set showcasing visiting performers. Please make contact to pre-arrange this. Open Nights are £2 to cover room hire.
      Guest Nights Usually 2 x 40/45 min sets with floor spots before the 1st set. It will be advisable to reserve tickets by email for Guest and Special Nights, usually £8
      The club web page is which is updated regularly. Email:- PontyVFC<at>
      We are also on Facebook. See Pontardawe, Valley Folk Club

      Wales: Midlands (Mid-Wales)
      🄵 TASC: Membership 1st April to 31st March. This income (£5 for individuals and £15 for groups helps us to put on events for the enjoyment of traditional music and dance for the community, and to maintain our website, with its wealth of resources. If you are not a member please consider joining us to show support for our work - we also try to give members some small benefits when we can, like a reduced price for the Welsh Clog Day Workshops.
      You can pay or join here:
      Best wishes, Claire, Trevor, Louise, Lisa, Kay and Sue, TASC trustees

      ENGLAND -- WEST COUNTRY based  🄵🅆 West Country

      🄵 CHELTENHAM FOLK CLUB  March 11 No club (room not available)  March 25 Blackthorn Buskers  Time for floor spots every time. All at the Sandford Park Alehouse at 8pm. Sorry, no dogs. For details, please join the mailing list, machteltje<at>

      ENGLAND -- EAST & WEST MIDLANDS 🄵🅆 Midlands  ---


      🄵 MOONRAKERS (based Oxfordshire)
      Sat 2nd March Snell’s Hall, Church Street, EAST HENDRED, OX12 8LA. 7.30pm. £14 + booking fee in advance from or on the door. Bar drinks.
      Sat 16th March St Giles Church, Horspath, OXFORD, OX33 1RU. A welcome return to this lovely church in a village tucked beneath Shotover Hill near Oxford. 7.30pm. £12 on the door. Enquiries: 01865 769206.
      Sat 23rd March Christ Church, SWINDON, SN1 3HG. A lovely church in the centre of Swindon. 7.30pm. £12 on the door, or in advance for £10 from Enquiries: 01793 617237

      🄵 LITTLE BOOK OF BALLADS ** special price of £5 post free to Folklife readers.
           If you like rhythm and romance, drama and enchantment, you’ll love this collection of ballads. The experts are still arguing about when the earliest of them, generally referred to as the ‘border ballads’ – Sir Patrick Spens, The Wife of Usher’s Well, for instance – were written. Most agree, however, that the best ones were written over a fifty year period in an area covering about sixty square miles, which points to one man - True Thomas:
      ‘A pretty gift ye would give to me
      For I might never buy nor sell
      At fairs or stalls in my countree,
      Nor sue a fair ladee.’
      Enjoy these ballads for all that they tell us about ourselves, our folk culture and our history. They are sung to different tunes. We wanted to create a portable little pocket book of ballads and space was a constraint that stopped us from including the tunes, but they are easily found in rich variety on the worldwide web.
      🄵 Derek Taylor, books<at>    The book is available at Amazon etc and

      ENGLAND - YORKSHIRE & HUMBER based 🄵🅆 North ---

      ALBA/SCOTLAND based 🄵🅆 Alba•Scotland   --

      INTERNATIONAL - news here from ØØ international UPDATES non-member readers. 
      Plus; we can include your news in printed Folklife - next: out May 1, deadline March 20 if you become a Folklife member 🄵 - just £9 a year for sending you PDFs of Folklife West (x3), and Journal (x2), via WeTransfer. Or posted £27 Europe £27 / rest of the world £33.
      Members' sings, concerts, shops, festivals, media -- up to 160 words, for each news item, plus a small picture, as below.
                For payment by card, see ‘shop’ -- PDF on

      Delighted to welcome Doug 🄵 as our
      first US Folklife member !   More welcome!  So, draft for our first 2 international news items below (not sure if insert news-image will work...)

      FESTIVALS & WORKSHOPS DIARY 🄵🅆 Festivals, Workshops Diary

      FESTIVALS updates  to  FW January 2024 as copied to 🄵🅆 Festivals, Workshops Diary

      🄵 2024 May 24 - 27 CHIPPENHAM FOLK FESTIVAL
      → CHIPPENHAM, Wiltshire.
      ⌂ Chippenham Folk Festival, The Cause Music and Arts Centre, The Causeway, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 3DD. 01249 657 190 (answered by an answerphone and checked weekly)
      ⊕ With our 51st festival, 24th - 27th May, now well on the way we can proudly announce we have over 180 artists and sides confirmed. Thanks to our dedicated volunteer team we’ll once again be bringing Chippenham Town alive with colourful dance displays, music, folk dancing and entertainment for families alongside fun with a vibrant local community. Grab your weekend ticket and immerse yourself in one of the liveliest South West folk events. Visit to see line up and grab your weekend ticket.

      2024 Aug 17 - 23 WHITBY FOLK WEEK
      → WHITBY, North Yorkshire. Numerous venues throughout the town.
      ⌂ Whitby Folk Week; General Enquiries email:; Ticket Sales email: or postal: PO Box 6150, Sheffield, S11 0HB; Camping Enquiries email:; Craft Fair Enquiries email:
      ⊕ Whitby Folk Week is a celebration of British traditional song, dance, music and storytelling, which takes place in the picturesque fishing town of Whitby on the North Yorkshire Coast.
      Whitby is renowned for it’s wide variety of workshops, many of which are a progressive through the week, e.g. Singing in Harmony, Playford for All, Festival Orchestra. There are many opportunities to learn new styles of dance, or take take up an instrument, as well as sessions aimed at both beginner and experienced dancers and musicians.
      There is a full programme of daily concerts, talks, interviews and presentations, as well as social dances and ceilidhs every evening in the Spa Pavillion.
      Our annual Music and Craft Fair is open daily throughout the week with a wide variety of musical instruments, crafts, and, of course, festival merchandise.
      With with hundreds of events to choose from, including a full Children’s Festival programme, Whitby Folk Week has something for everyone, and all the family! ​

      Adverts for May 2024 Folklife West     We are happy to feature adverts sent early:
      they are featured on the Updates
      And a revised advert from HOBGOBLIN.

      DONATIONS from readers who are not paying Folklife members.    Following some enquiries from those kindly offering to donate, we suggest: a £3 annual donation.

      • Preferred way to pay: BACS / phone banking: Folklife West T/A Folklife, Sort Code 09-01-55, Account 18675181; annual standing orders welcome! 
      • Or by card:

      OR instead . . . buying magazines. Instead of donating, you're welcome to use the Ko-Fi donate button to pay for a PDF of the current Folklife West (£3) or a posted copy (£6 UK), or for annual membership, PDF £9 or £18 UK posted including Journals as well.

      All the best,

      Sam and Eleanor

      Sam & Eleanor Simmons, for the Folklife volunteers. 01684 561378, UK daytime.

      We don't have time/resources to promote our non-profit publications.     so, please publicise us ~ on your email-lists, website, Facebook

      • DETAILS WE HOLD:   if any changes needed, please do let us know.

        ,   .
         ~  Our Ref.Nº:  .

      • 1000+🄵 Folklife Members (=you/group pays for FW): 1000+, posted or 1900+, PDFs sent
      • 2000+: ++ Non-member Advertisers.          2500+: Ø Associate Members.
      • 3000+ 🄹 Journal subscriber/contributor.   5000+: ++ Other readers, on this mailing-list: UK
      • 6000+, ØØ Other readers: international.   9999 Status TBC eg if not yet renewed
        Folklife, 16 Barrett Rise, Malvern, WR14 2UJ, United Kingdom

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