Next at the Folk Club – Johnny Handle and Chris Hendry, 29 March

The next Folk Club, on Wednesday March 29th, 8 p.m. at the Malt House, Oldham Road, Rishworth HX6 4QB, features Johnny Handle and Chris Hendry. Johnny’s knowledge, experience, and talents are legendary – singer, musician, songwriter, composer and, above all, Geordie! Chris Hendry is regarded as one of the best singers in the North East and sings a wide repertoire of material from the old ballads to farming and industrial songs. Together they will keep you entertained with an evening of Geordie music, song, and humour coupled with Scottish songs and ballads.

Admission is £9:00 (£8:00 for concessions). MORE INFORMATION..


And then in April…..

Sunday 2 April –  Our first workshop in 2017 will be an introduction to the Ryburn Ukelele Band for aspiring and existing ukulele players on Sunday 2 April from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at 103 Oldham Road, Ripponden, HX6 4EB.

The session leader will be Si Barnes and the workshop is open to all levels of ability and all ages. To book a place phone Pete or Sue Coe on 01422 822569 or email
And don’t be put off even if you don’t have a ukulele as there will be some instruments available to use.   More Information…

After this introductory workshop, the Ryburn Ukelele Band will meet regularly on the 1st Sunday of each month (from 7 May) 1.00 to 2.30 at 103 Oldham Road, Ripponden, HX6 4EB.

Saturday 15 April – Barn Dance at Waring Green: ‘Tenterhooks’, caller Sue Coe – MORE INFORMATION….

Wednesday 26 April – Folk Club at the Malthouse: Rosie Stewart – MORE INFORMATION….

Some more activities with Ryburn 3 Step…..

Longsword Dance – The Ryburn Longsword programme in 2017 is HERE. (More events and occasions will be listed when they are confirmed.)
If you are interested in joining the team, please contact Pauline Jones on 01422 823099. Practices are on Wednesday nights in Ripponden, and dancers of all ages are welcome. MORE INFORMATION…

Singing Group – The Ryburn Singers are an informal singing group for those who enjoy singing mainly English (British) folk songs. It is led by Chris Coe, and meets for songs and a rattling good time every Thursday evening at 7.30, at 103 Oldham Road in Ripponden. These sessions are open to singers of all abilities and the Group occasionally performs (for example at the Folk Club and Mummers sessions). If you fancy coming along to join the singing, or would just like to find out more about the group and its activities, please contact Chris Coe on 01422 822413. MORE INFORMATION…

The Black Box Band and Pete Coe – 18 March 2017

Last night’s  barn dance at Waring Green featured the stalwarts of Ryburn 3 Step the Black Box Band with caller Pete Coe, and highlighted the organisation’s commitment to keeping English Country Dance alive in West Yorkshire. Declining numbers attending (and consequently revenue from) the Waring Green dances have meant that we are now focussing on booking local bands (and on occasions local callers) to reduce travelling costs. Since West Yorkshire has several excellent bands we have been able to maintain the quality of the dances.

The crowd who came to the dance last night certainly did not leave disappointed. Pete Coe has decades of experience playing and calling for barn dances and he used that expertise to construct an interesting and varied programme. The evening was topped and tailed with old favourites the Boston Two Step and Soldiers Joy. In between we had dances from Scotland (Foulla Reel), Lancashire (Lancashire Reel) and, closer to home, Jack the Lad, which was collected in Barkisland and (uniquely, I think) has a curious “window wiping” clapping sequence. Interspersed were some of Pete’s own dances (Black Hole, 200 Not Out – extemporised at a birthday dance for four fifty year old friends and Athelstan’s Crown -which was devised with the help of pupils from Athelstan’s Junior School).

The Black Box Band provided a solid musical platform for Pete’s dances and while many of the tunes were old favourites (e.g. Bielbie’s and the Kirkgate Hornpipes, the Hesleyside and Roxburgh Castle reels, Captain White’s and Four Seasons jigs), they were perfectly matched to the dances in terms of lift and speed. The musical highlight of the evening was the set played for 200 Not Out which comprised the Sadler’s Wells and Butcher’s Hornpipes. These lovely old tunes cascade lyrically over two octaves and were ideally suited to what is a rather stately dance.

So, another great evening of music and dance for which we should be very grateful to the skill and generosity of the Black Box Band and Pete Coe.

The last dance of the Ryburn 3 Step series before the summer break takes place on Saturday April 15th and features caller Sue Coe together with the Tenterhooks Band MORE INFO…

The Black Box Band consisted of:
Steve Harrison on melodeon and harmonicas
Chris Partington on fiddle
Alice Jones on piano

Pete’s Dances included:
The Boston 2 Step – couple dance
The Lancashire Reel – couples in a big circle, progressive
Black Hole (Pete Coe) – 4 couple longwise
Jack the Lad – couples longwise for as many as will
Heartbreaker – couples square sets
Aethelstan’s Crown – multiple couples in a circle
200 Not Out -Sicilian Circle couples (Pete Coe)
Flowers of Edinburgh – longwise for as many as will
Quarndon – Sicilian Circle couples (Roger Watson)
The Rock and the Wee Pickle Tow – 4 couple longwise
Foula Reel – 4 couple longwise
Three Meet – Sicilian Circle triples
Soldiers Joy – couples in a big circle

Steve Jones March 19th 2017

Niamh Boadle 22 February 2017

Niamh Boadle entranced our audience last night at the Malt House with beautiful singing, virtuoso guitar and bodhran accompaniments, and wonderful tunes on the fiddle.

Photo: Andy Day


Photo: Andy Day
Photo: Andy Day







Photo: Andy Day

Niamh performed  traditional songs such as “Young Hunting”, “Maid on the Shore”, and “Creggan White Hare” (with a wonderful bodhran accompaniment), and recently composed songs such as “The Only Life Gloria Knows” (Anthony John Clarke), “I’m a Fading Day by Day”(a combination of traditional with modern by Elizabeth Smith), plus two of her own compositions “Bill’s Missed the Last Boat Back” (about her grandfather’s experiences in WW2) and “Red Dust Road” remembering a road trip in Australia). I was impressed with the way she moved her voice to lift her songs. In between the songs she played some beautiful tunes on the fiddle, including a haunting set of “Dear Irish Boy”, “Waterman”, and a “Shetland Reel”.

Thanks to the Niamh, the Pit Band and the Residents for a wonderful evening.

Andy Day.


EFDSS Gold Badge Award to Pete and Sue Coe

On Wednesday 16 November Pete and Sue Coe received their Gold Badge awards from the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) presented by the Chair of the EFDSS Board, Alistair Anderson.

Photo: Annie Dearman

Over 100 friends attended the event, which included songs and music from many of the performers that Pete and Sue have collaborated with, taught, or encouraged over careers of more than half a century of Folk song, music, and dance. Four other Gold Badge holders were among the friends attending: Bill Leader, Alistair Anderson, Derek Schofield, and Vic Gammon.

Photo: Annie Dearman

For more information about EFDSS Gold Badge awards, go to .

Pete’s contributions include traditional song research, song writing in traditional style, the founding of several seminal bands, plus solo and duo performances, dance calling, recording, field research, local folk activism in Ryburn Three Step and teaching at various levels. He has  worked extensively in schools throughout the country as a visiting musician both on his own account and for the EFDSS on the Take 6 Project. He was the founder member and visionary force behind three particularly ground breaking groups – The New Victory Band, Bandoggs and Red Shift – all of which brought something new to the folk scene.

As well as developing a wide range of traditional songs for performance, Pete has had an illustrious songwriting career with many songs covered by other artists. His collecting of a single verse of Marching Down through Rochester with its Waltzing Matilda tune, and its subsequent expansion to a full song has made him the focus of attention by various researchers in search of the roots of the famous Australian song. Most recently Mark Radcliffe featured his rather personal Rolling Down The Ryburn on his BBC Radio 2 programme, sung by Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar.

Pete has contributed a number of field recordings including Caleb Walker (musician for Manley Morris), travellers Charlotte & Betsy Renals and Sophie Legge, and Willy Taylor. He has carried out extensive research into the work of Frank Kidson, which resulted in a touring show and a CD under the title of Five Finger Frank.


Sue successfully gained funding and promoted Ryburn Three Step in the early days as well as teaching Appalachian step dance and the Ryburn Longsword dance team, which she formed 22 years ago. As well as Appalachian dance and Longsword, Ryburn Three Step also organises a range of regular activities for local people including clog step dance classes, a singing group, an offshoot rapper side, a mummers side, monthly folk club and dances, occasional workshop days plus weekly music sessions in the local pub.

Sue led and developed Ryburn Longsword for many years, recruiting youngsters from local schools and including their mothers in the dancing, resulting in a junior and a senior team. Along with team members she developed new dances with a local flavour and has presented the team regularly at dance festivals. In addition to her ongoing Longsword and Step dance activities she now runs weekly workshops around West Yorkshire for disabled and wheelchair bound youngsters, developing dances suitable for their abilities and providing for them a very necessary inclusion.



An Independent Folk Development Project in the Ryburn Valley