Niamh Boadle at the Folk Club on Wednesday 22 February

The guest at the Folk Club at the Malt House, Rishworth HX6 4QB, on Wednesday February 22nd is Niamh Boadle.

Niamh is a talented singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and has absorbed strong influences from both the English and Irish traditions. She also finds time to dance with the respected Star and Shadow rapper side. Her two CDs have received critical acclaim in a wide range of publications so this is an early chance to see her before she appears at Warwick, Sidmouth, Towersey and Bromyard folk festivals in the summer. Catch her in performances posted on her web site.


Tickets are £9:00 (£8:00 for concessions) and the evening begins with tunes from the “Pit Band” at 8:00 p.m. sharp.

Some other bits of information that you might be interested in…..

Longsword – Ryburn Longsword presents a’ Village Barn Dance‘ at the Victoria Hall in Ripponden on March 11th.
More information HERE.
Tickets from Steve and Pauline Jones (01422 823099).

In the afternoon before the Dance there will be a Family Barn Dance from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m.
Entrance for children is £3:00 (they must be accompanied by a responsible adult for whom admission is free). All proceeds will go to the Ripponden J&I School PTFA funds. Tickets from Ripponden J&I School PTFA or from Steve and Pauline Jones (01422 823099).

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 side, please contact Pauline Jones on 01422 823099. Practices are on Wednesday nights in Ripponden, and dancers of all ages are welcome.

Workshops – Our first workshop in 2017 will be an introductory session for the Ryburn Ukelele Band on 2 April, 1.00 – 2.30 p.m. at 103 Oldham Road, Ripponden. More Information…

Singing Group – A mention of the Ryburn 3 Step Singing Group. Expertly marshalled by Chris Coe and Annie Dearman, the Singing Group meets for songs and a rattling good time at 103 Oldham Road, Ripponden every Thursday evening at 8:00. The Thursday evening sessions are open to singers of all abilities and the Group occasionally gives cameo performances (for example at Folk Club and Mummers sessions). If you fancy coming along or would just like to find out more information, please contact Chris Coe on 01422 822413.


Our Northern Branch and Sarah Clough – 18 February 2017

This was the first time that caller Sarah Clough had been to to a Ryburn 3 Step Barn Dance. Based in Stoke, although soon to move to Yorkshire, Sarah put together a varied selection of dances, some of which were old favourites (Nottingham Swing), and some of which were unfamiliar to me (e.g. the Eva 3 Step). Sarah chose dances with a range of figures to the extent that the first swing was called after the half time break and there were only three left and right handed stars danced all evening.

In their places were figures such as Ducking for Oysters in Wring Out the Dishrag, dipping and diving in the Waves of Tory, much pivoting and place swapping in the Postie’s Jig, progression via the third couple of a 5 couple longwise set in Hazel’s Jig and the Elephant figure of the Palestinian Polka (written by Martin Harvey!) which involved men grabbing the shoulder of the man in front with their left hand whilst holding the waist of the woman with the right arm (followed by a bit of basic hamboning; you had to be there…!)

Ryburn 3 Step stalwarts, Chris Partington and Johnny Adams (fiddles) were in their all-string formation as “Our Northern Branch” and they were ably assisted by Jon Loomes (fiddle) and Dee de Witt (cello). Many of the tunes the band chose to play were tried and tested favourites (such as Earl Grey, Kerry Mills Barn Dance, Morpeth Rant, The Cream Pot). What made the music stand out apart from the obvious qualtiy of the musicianship was the tasteful and varied patterns plucked and bowed by Dee de Witt on the cello.

We were pleased to welcome a number of Barn Dance newbies to Waring Green on Saturday. Whilst they coped admirably most of the time with the varied programme, occasionally unusual and unplanned variations to the basic figures of some of the dances evolved. Both regular dancers,newbies and caller absorbed these deviations with a good nature and much merriment and we hope to see them again in the near future (the dancers perhaps not the variations).

Next month’s Barn Dance (March 18th) features dances called by Ryburn 3 Step’s EFDSS Gold Award recipient Pete Coe and music from the Black Box Band. But before that, Ryburn 3 Step is running an extra Village Barn Dance at the Victoria Hall in Ripponden on March 11th tickets and more information from Steve and Pauline Jones (01422 823099). Click HERE for more info…

“Our Northern Branch” are:
Johnny Adams; Fiddle
Chris Partington: Fiddle
Jon Loomes: Fiddle
Dee de Witt: Cello

Sarah’s dances included:
Farmer’s Jig; 4 couple longwise sets
Hazel’s Jig; 5 couple longwise sets
Drops of Brandy; 4,5 or 6 couple longwise sets
Spanish Dance; Sicilian circle
Grapevine Twist; 4 couple square sets
TAG; 4 couple longwise sets
Wring out the Dishcloth; Sicilian circle
Waves of Tory; 5 couple longwise sets
Quiet Suare; 4 couple square sets
Jack’s Alive;5 couple longwise sets (Hugh Rippon)
Nottingham Swing; couple in lines for as many
Postie’s Jig; 4 couple longwise sets
Eva 3 Step; couples in a circle
Jig a Jig Square; 4 couple square sets (Martin Harvey)
Palestinian Polka; progressive couples in a circle (Martin Harvey)

Steve Jones

Tom Lewis at the Folk Club 25 January 2017

High boots and pigtail hanging down behind, it was not hard to imagine that the guest at Wednesday’s Ryburn 3 Step Folk Club would regale us with things nautical.

Tom Lewis proved to be a very interesting and entertaining ‘turn’, splicing songs and stories in a very craftsmanlike fashion. His collection of songs was trawled from many experiences throughout his long life, (though his appearance belies this).

Born in Belfast (he briefly mimicked his grandfather who worked in the city’s shipyard), his own eclectic accent hinted that this man was much travelled. This was revealed throughout the evening as he told of his of his time at sea and of living abroad for many years. Time spent as a naval submariner and of subsequently living in Canada gave him the opportunity to develop his engaging style of delivery and hone a strong voice, well suited to songs about the harshness of life at sea and reflecting the humour needed to cope with often difficult situations.

Photo: Andy Day

Tom accompanied himself on melodeon and ukulele several times through his performance which included several items written by Cicely Fox-Smith, including the stirring ‘Eight bells rang from the foc’sle’.

His audience of around 45 strong at the Malt House were told of his early childhood memories, principally his affection for radio programmes, in particular ‘Green Sailors’ which helped foster his burgeoning fascination for the sea. Tom reflected on his musical influences, mentioning Lou Killen, Peter Bellamy and Cyril Tawney. These luminaries of the folk revival inspired Tom to write and sing thereby telling his own story as a seaman in the Royal Navy. Tom also ‘strayed onto land’ with a very fine rendition of the Bellamy classic ballad, ‘Hobden’.

Prior to the whole event the audience found themselves walking into a BBC Sport television recording in which local folk celebrity Joe Stead was being interviewed. Joe enlisted residents and audience members to sing the chorus of  ‘Swing low Sweet Chariot’ for reasons too long to go into here but was broadcast on the BBC news on 3 February as part of the introduction to the ‘Six Nations’:



The club residents were in fine form. Pete Coe, Johnny Adams, Andy Day, and Steve Harrison opened the evening with a lively set of tunes. There were subsequent contributions from residents Annie Dearman and Steve Harrison, Tim Edwards (making his first appearance as an official club Resident), Sue Burgess, Terry Evans, Chris Manners, Alice Jones and more. Another splendid and highly successful Club evening.

Annie Dearman

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