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No 25

Tony Rose dies

We're very sorry to have to announce that, after more than a year, and when it almost seemed that he had won the battle against cancer, that Tony Rose died on June 6th.

The funeral is on Friday 14th at 12.30 at Odcombe Church, with drinks in the Mason's Arms nearby afterwards.  There will also be a service at the crematorium at 1.30, but that's for family only.

Advertisement: PhD Studentship - Oral Heritage of Scottish Travellers

(Closing date 1 July 2002)

Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD Studentship commencing October 2002 under the provisions of the George Reid Memorial Fund.  Full fees at the Home/EU rate and maintenance of £5640 p.a. will be provided.  The successful applicant will contribute to the HLF-funded Oral and Cultural Traditions of Scottish Travellers Project based at the Elphinstone Institute.  The studentship will be based in the Elphinstone Institute, Faculty of Arts and Divinity, Aberdeen.

Qualifications: The student would be expected to have a 1st or 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant subject (e.g. Ethnology, Folklore, Social Anthropology, Cultural History).  A Master's degree in a relevant subject would be an advantage.
Eligibility: The conditions of eligibility are those applicable to research awards made by AHRB.
Interviews: To be held in July.

Further details, application form and informal enquiries to Dr Ian Russell - 01224 272996, e-mail: or visit the website

Mountainous error:

I am sorry to have to inform any purchasers and reviewers of Far in the Mountains : Volumes 3 & 4 (below) that one major and a few minor errors have been detected in copies.

The major error is that on Volume 3, the final track (32) should have appeared 5 bands earlier as track 27 Whiteoak Stomp. I hope this does not spoil any purchaser's enjoyment of the CD.

The minor booklet errors are that:

These errors will be corrected in future versions both of the CDs and of the booklets.

Cover pictureFar in the Mountains : Volumes 3 & 4 now available

The latest pair of CDs from MT are the second two volumes of Far in the Mountains, Mike Yates' 4-CD Appalachian collection, 1979-83.  These are now available, handsomely presented in a double DVD case with the booklet included inside the case, for the sum of only £16.00 inc UK p&p.

Both CDs are full of excellent stereo recordings - 58 tracks, 149 minutes - of ballads, songs, tunes and stories, which Mike made in North Carolina and Tennessee.  As usual, the complete booklet notes are available as an article in these pages, and ordering details and an Order Form are to be found on our records page.

Anyone purchasing all four volumes at the same time can do so at the Set price of £30.00


Royal Oak Club dates:

Royal Oak, Station Street, Lewes, East Sussex - Thursdays Further info at:

The Festival of Village Carols, 2002

A Festival of Village Carols is held every two years to celebrate the remarkable carol singing traditions that flourish in the villages near Sheffield, and elsewhere.

The next Festival is on Saturday 30 November 2002, at the Grenoside Community Centre, Sheffield.

The guests will be:

Bookings will be taken from 1 October 2002.
For a booking form, please write to Village Carols, P.O. Box 2099, Sheffield S35 0XU.

Review correction:

In our recent review of the new edition of F J Child's The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, Volume 1 it was stated that in a randomly selected ballad example - The Twa Sisters (Child 10) - two mistakes in the text were found.  The editor, Mark F Heiman, has now pointed out that these were later corrections made by Child and published in his Volume III.

The review has now been corrected, and I would like to apologise to Mr Heiman for our having unintentionally impugned his work.

Rod Stradling - 14.5.02

Return to Camden Town 2002

Festival of traditional Irish music, song and dance - 10 days of concerts, céilis, set dancing, workshops sessions and talks

Friday 18th - Sunday 27th October 2002

The London Irish Centre, 50-52 Camden Square, London NW1 9XB.  Tel. 020 7607 8396. This festival, now in its 4th year and will feature:

Information: e-mail

Musical Traditions Club dates:

King & Queen, Foley Street, London W1 - Junction of Foley Street/Cleveland Street.  Nearest tube Goodge Street.
Monthly, Fridays Autumn guests invited include Packie Byrne and Breda McKinney; The Dartmoor Pixies (Jason Rice, Robert Murch and Mark Bazeley); The Copper Family.

Information: Peta Webb - 020 8340 0530   or

Cover pictureFar in the Mountains : Volumes 1 & 2 now available

As indicated in last month's Editorial, the latest pair of CDs from MT are the first two volumes of Far in the Mountains, Mike Yates' 4-CD Appalachian collection, 1979-83.  These are now available, handsomely presented in a double DVD case with the booklet included inside the case, for the sum of only £16.00 inc UK p&p.

Both CDs are full of excellent stereo recordings - 80 tracks, 150 minutes - of ballads, songs, tunes and stories, which Mike made in Virginia and North Carolina.  As usual, the complete booklet notes are available as an article in these pages, and ordering details and an Order Form are to be found on our records page.

Scottish Folk Directory

The Scottish Folk Directory 2002/2003 will shortly be going to press. For full details, see the Website at:  and to reserve a copy, available at £4.00 including postage within the UK (£4.50 elsewhere), please e-mail:

Seamus Tansey in London

Seamus Tansey, the Sligo flute player, is appearing in an informal concert at The Auld Triangle, Plimsoll Road, Highbury (near the Arsenal ground) London on Saturday, 27th April at 8.00 until late.  Admission free.

The following evening, Sunday 28th April, he will join the resident musicians (Gary Connolly, accordeon; James Carty, flute; Sinead Linnane, fiddle, Reg Hall, piano; and probably many others) in the bar at 7.00pm, finishing around 11.00pm (perhaps later).  Admission free.

The landlord and the musicians are bringing Seamus over from Ireland for just these two engagements.

Royal Oak Club dates:

Royal Oak, Station Street, Lewes, East Sussex - Thursdays Further info at:

Féile Joe Éinniú

Because of organisational problems, Féile Joe Éinniú, Conamara's celebration of the life and artistry of Joe Heaney, has been in abeyance for the past couple of years.  It will however take place again this year in Joe's home village of Carna, from May 2nd to May 5th.

For further information, write to the festival Director, Micheál Ó Cuaig, Áill na Brún, Chill Chiaráin, Conamara, Co. na Gaillimhe. Phone 095 33599 or 33613.

All are welcome and Micheál assures us that the weekend will produce some 'mighty' sessions.

FARNE project : two vacancies

There are 2 vacancies for the FARNE project - Folk Archive Resource North East.  They are setting up a web site on Northumbrian folk music, which will contain a lot of digitised archive material from museums, libraries and archives across the North East.  The posts are for the digitisation of the material.  Full details on FARNE's advert in these pages.


2002 ECMW booking form now online

The Booking Form for the 2002 English Country Music Weekend is now available at the ECMW Page.  It's available either as an HTML page (4Kb), to be viewed and printed from your browser, or as a Word Doc download (27Kb), for people who prefer such things.  Also included in both formats is a list of B&Bs and Campsites.

See you there!


Re: Competition No 5:

There has already been one winner - Patrick Hutchinson, of Rhode Island, USA; congratulations Patrick - so two prizes remain: each of John Carty: Yeah, That's All It Is; Cathie Ryan: Somewhere Along the Road and Danu: All Things Considered.  To make things easier, the first two entries with just 20 out of 25 questions correctly answered will be declared the winners.

Hamish Henderson John Doonan and Wiggy Smith die

Photo by Doc RoweHamish Henderson, the celebrated poet, songwriter, folklorist and hero of the Scottish folk revival has died.  Hamish, who had been ill for some time, died at The Grange nursing home in Edinburgh on Friday evening 8 March.  He was 82.  His wife of more than 40 years, Ketzel, and his two daughters were with him.

Hamish's groundbreaking discoveries in the 1950s of the continuing survival of a wealth of folk song and ballad repertoire in the living oral traditions of Scotland's traveller community provided the major stimulus to Scotland's folk song revival of the latter years of the 20th century.

The funeral will be on Friday 15th at 2 30 pm at St Mary`s Episcopal Cathedral, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh - then on ... a considerable celebration and wake probably at The Pleasance [tbc] around 5.00.

For full information on his life, his death and latest confirmed funeral arrangements, see the Scottish Ballad Weblog with links to related sites and obituary by Raymond Ross in The Scotsman today, Monday 11 March 2002.

Peter Shepheard - 11.3.02

We have also heard that John Doonan, of the Doonan family band of north-eastern England, died on Friday.  His 80th birthday concert in Newcastle went ahead on Saturday.

And, as if that weren't enough, we've just heard that Wiggy Smith died at the weekend, as well.  His funeral, at St Paul's Church, Cheltenham, was very well attended.  For an account of Wiggy's life, see his CD booklet notes in these pages.

These have been a black few days, and no mistake!  All three men will be much missed.

Just to add to the blackness, John McCoy, one of the original members of the Teesside Fettlers, also died that week.

Tom Morrison recordings?

Re: the request published here two days ago:

Eileen Morrison Darren has e-mailed to say that she has had an excellent response to her request for Tom Morrison recordings.  In fact, she has had so many offers that she will be able to cover all the recordings she is looking for.  There is therefore no need to get in touch over further copies.

However, she would still be glad to hear from anyone who may have information about Tom Morrison - contact her at

Fred McCormick - 9.3.02

Reel-to-reel tape machine needed:

Before she left England to live in America, Peggy Seeger donated most of the materials which she and Ewan MacColl amassed during their working partnership, to the library of Ruskin College, Oxford.  The donation includes a large number of field recordings of traditional singers, musicians, storytellers, etc., and includes such famous names as the Stewart Family, Joe Heaney, Harry Cox, George Dunn and Jeannie Robertson.

There are also many less well known performers, such as Nelson Ridley, Caroline Hughes and Maggie McPhee.  As well as the usual materials of folklore, the collection contains large amounts of interview material.  It is therefore an invaluable resource for the study of vernacular culture and it will prove inestimable source material for future generations of folklorists, social historians etc.

The recordings are currently on reel to reel tape, a medium which is notoriously subject to deterioration.  Unless they are transferred to a non-destructible medium, this wonderful legacy will eventually become unplayable and unusable.

Unfortunately, Ruskin library does not have the means or the funding to do anything about their preservation.  I have therefore offered to transfer the recordings to CD-ROM at no expense to anybody but myself.  However, I do not nowadays possess a suitable reel-to-reel recorder, and I need access to one in order to make the transfer.

I am therefore interested to know whether anyone possesses a tape recorder, in reasonable working condition, which they would be willing to loan for the duration of the exercise?  It will need to run at 3.75 and 7.5 ips and it must be able to accommodate 7" reels.

If you have such a machine, and would be willing to loan it for this important exercise, do please contact me on 0151 678 6311, e-mail   Naturally, I will guarantee to take scrupulous care of any equipment loaned to me, and to return it in the best of condition.

Fred McCormick - 9.3.02

Talking Traditions: Irish Music and Dance in Two British Cities

Marion Leonard, a post graduate student at the Institute of Popular Music, Liverpool University, is organising an exhibition of Irish music and dance in Liverpool.  It will be open from Friday 15 March to 16 June 2002, at The Museum of Liverpool Life, Pier Head, Liverpool.

The exhibition, which has previously been staged at Coventry, contrasts the Irish musical experience in these two cities.  It will show how the musical traditions of Ireland have been maintained and developed by first, second and even third generation Irish.  Through oral history, objects, photographs and music, Irish people from both cities explain how these traditions have been central in creating a sense of identity, community and heritage.

For further information visit the museum's webpage at or phone 0151 478 4080.

Fred McCormick - 8.3.02

Beltona information wanted

Bill Dean-Myatt maintains the Beltona Records website at  He is looking for information regarding some records for which he has no information beyond their numbers, and for further information regarding some records for which he has only the performer(s) and record number(s).  The list can be seen here, as can Bill's contact details, should any reader be able to help him with some information.

Shirley Collins Talk

VWML & Sharp's Folk Club present.....

A Most Sunshiny Day : Sussex and two folk song revivals

an illustrated talk by Shirley Collins, with John Watcham (concertina), at Cecil Sharp House, Tuesday 14th May, starting at 8pm.

Advanced tickets £4.50 (£5 on the door).

Contact: Malcolm Taylor (Librarian), EFDSS, Tel 0207 485 2206 x18  E-mail:  Web:


Shirley is also goving the same talk as part of the Hastings Jack in the Green Festival on Sunday 5th May 2002, 4 pm in the Stables Theatre, The Bourne, Hastings.  Entrance is free but suggested donations £2.

Contact: Fee Lock:   The website is

Cover pictureMummers' Play book

Room, Room, Ladies and Gentlemen : an introduction to the English mummers' play - by Steve Roud and Eddie Cass (edited by Doc Rowe and Malcolm Taylor), 120p, map, fully illustrated, 9 play texts and song.  Published by the EFDSS in association with The Folklore Society, £12.95 (plus £1.50 p&p)

Two of England s foremost authorities on folk drama provide us with a discussion about the roots and history of this fascinating and living tradition, together with a selection of texts of the various play types and some hints to their performance.

With all orders for this book, a companion volume, The English Mumming Play : an introductory bibliography, can be purchased at the cheaper price of £3.50.

Contact: Malcolm Taylor (Librarian), EFDSS, Tel 0207 485 2206 x18  E-mail:  Web:


Rod Stradling - e-mail:    Tel: 01453 759475
snail-mail: 1 Castle Street, Stroud, Glos GL5 2HP, UK

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