Barn Dance 15 October 2016

“Joyous. Wonderful music …..fabulous dances” Fiona Miller, regular dancer at Ryburn 3 Step Barn Dances.

This month’s barn dance brought Sheffield caller John Brown with one of his regular bands, Trinculo (also from Sheffield) to Waring Green Community Centre for a great evening of rousing music and excellent English ceilidh dances. Despite missing a number of Waring Green regulars, the dancing was enthusiastic and new dancers were readily incorporated to the sets by the more experienced.


A list of John’s choice of dances is below. Highlights included an opening dance with three couple triangular sets called the “Mysterious Triangle”; the square set “The New Mrs. Arrowsmith” danced to a wonderful Swedish hornpipe translated as “Judgement”; a contra style dance written by Martin Harvey called “Aw Shucks” which was danced

Photo: Steve Jones
Photo: Steve Jones

to two fine reels (one of unknown name but “collected” from the playing of Last Night’s Fun and a Quebecois reel called “Le Quatre Ser en l’Air”; and a final gallop in the Beckett formation (long sets with partners side-by-side) in the “Yarmouth Long Dance”.


Trinculo’s line-up of bass, guitar, piano accordion, fiddle, whistles and soprano saxophone generated depth and pace with an eclectic choice of tunes and original arrangements. John’s dances covered a range of styles and degrees of difficulty which were accessible to new dancers and challenging enough for the Waring Green regulars.

Photo: Steve Jones
Photo: Steve Jones

All in all, the evening was a terrific start to the new season of Ryburn 3 Step Barn Dances which continues on Saturday November 19th with music from local band Tenterhooks and caller from the other side of the hill, Sid Calderbank.

John Brown’s Dances (some of which are published on his web site) were:
1 Mysterious Triangle; Triangular sets of 3 couples;
2 Country Bumpkin; 5 Couple Longwise sets;
3 Fairfield Fancy; Circassian Circle;
4 The New Mrs Arrowsmith; 4 Couple Square sets;
5 Rosa; Couple Waltz;
6 Waves of Tory; 5 Couple Longwise sets;
7 Strip the Willow Square; 4 Couple Square sets;
8 Unknown (yes that is the title); 5 Couple Longwise sets;
9 Aw Shucks; Long sets, improper;
10 Stoke Golding Country Dance; 5 Couple Longwise sets;
11 Twelve Meet; 4 Triple Square Sets;
12 TAG; 4 Couple Longwise sets;
13 Yarmouth Long Dance; Long sets Beckett formation;

Trinculo are:
Simon Dumpleton – Piano Accordion;
Nigel Holmes – Acoustic Guitar;
Aisling Holmes – Fiddle;
Lee O’Donnell – Electric Bass Guitar;
Jemma Gurney – Whistles and Soprano Saxophone.

Steve Jones.

Jimmy Crowley from Cork is the guest at the next Ryburn 3 Step Folk Club on Wednesday October 26th at 8:00 p.m. in the upstairs room at the Works on Hollins Mill Lane in Sowerby Bridge (HX6 2QG). Jimmy sings songs from a wide range of sources including music hall, the Irish tradition and his own pen and among the many accolades he has received is the following from Mick Moloney;

“He is a consummate stage performer as well as a song writer, adding colour to his songs by weaving stories about Cork characters, maritime exploits and daily life into his act. His singing style is truly unique – nobody hearing Jimmy could possibly mistake him for anyone else.”

Upcoming events – October 2016

Dana & Susan Robinson
Photo: Andy Day

Last Wednesday evening, Ryburn 3 Step Folk Club at the Works was treated to a fantastic evening of American Old Time music from Dana and Susan Robinson on the penultimate date of their UK tour. It was a great start to a wonderful season of music, song and dance which runs right through to June next year.


The next Ryburn 3 Step Folk Club takes place on Wednesday October 26th at 8:00 p.m. in the upstairs room at the Works on Hollins Mill Lane in Sowerby Bridge (HX6 2QG) when the guest performer is Jimmy Crowley from Cork. Jimmy sings songs from a wide range of sources including music hall, the Irish tradition and his own pen and among the many accolades he has received is the following from Mick Moloney;

“He is a consummate stage performer as well as a song writer, adding colour to his songs by weaving stories about Cork characters, maritime exploits and daily life into his act. His singing style is truly unique – nobody hearing Jimmy could possibly mistake him for anyone else.”

The next Ryburn 3 Step Barn Dance takes place at Waring Green Community Centre, Brighouse (HD6 2AS) on Saturday October 15th from 8:00 p.m. This month the musicians are the Sheffield band Trinculo whom we have booked and enjoyed many times over the years together with caller, John Brown. Baz Parkes (another frequent and welcome visitor to Ryburn barn dances) said of Trinculo:

“Rock solid guitars and bass underpin driving melodeons. Fiddle, sax and whistles weave in and out of carefully chosen tunes; traditional and self penned. Five grins (Six if you count the caller). If Trinculo doesn’t make you want to dance, check you still have feet”

For those of you who enjoy traditional English dancing, you might want to check out our updated Longsword Team page on the website. You are welcome to come along to a practice night at 103 Oldham Road Ripponden (most Wednesdays from 7:30) to see what it is all about and give it a try. Phone Pauline on 01422 823099 for further details.

And finally a mention of an extra event early in November. There will be a house concert at 103 Oldham Road, Ripponden on November 7th at 8:00 when the guest will be Jody Kruskal. Jody is a fine concertina player and singer from New York city (perhaps best known for his work in the contra dance band Grand Picnic) who is in the final stages of his UK tour. Places are limited so contact Pete or Sue Coe on 01422 822569 to book your seat. There is no fixed admission charge but a metaphorical hat will be passed round for suitable contributions.

If you would like to receive our monthly email and event reminders, please send an email to:

English Folk Dance and Song Society announces Gold Badge recipients


Five people who have made key contributions to the folk arts are the latest recipients of Gold Badge awards from the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS). Gold Badges are given for unique or outstanding contributions to folk music, dance or song, distinguished service to EFDSS and/or exceptional contributions to EFDSS’ work.

Pete and Sue Coe, the musician and dancer who were founders of Ryburn Three Step, Maggie Fletcher, a leading musician on the English country dance scene, and long term EFDSS and folk dance volunteers and advocates Mike Wilson-Jones and Mary Wilson-Jones have all been chosen to receive the awards. They join an illustrious list of Gold Badge holders including EFDSS founder Cecil Sharp, composer Dr Ralph Vaughan Williams, performer/writer A.L. Lloyd, and musicians The Spinners, EFDSS President Shirley Collins and Vice President Eliza Carthy.

The Chair of the EFDSS Board, Alistair Anderson, said: “I am delighted that Pete, Sue, Maggie, Mary and Mike have been recognised for the important role they have played in their individual fields.

“They have all helped to inspire, support and inform generations of folk fans which enables the traditional English folk arts to continue to thrive. They are all very well deserved awards.”

Pete and Sue will receive their Gold Badge awards in November, at a ‘by invitation only’ event here in the Ryburn Valley.

For more information about EFDSS Gold Badge awards, go to us/gold-badge-award.


Pete and Sue Coe  are well known nationally and internationally, and especially well-known in West Yorkshire having founded Ryburn Three Step some 25 years ago to promote and encourage folk music, dance and song locally.

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 Coe came to English folk music later in her husband Pete’s career and through her enthusiasm and hard work she 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.


REVIEW – Granny’s Attic – 29 June 2016

It is always a pleasure to attend an evening at the R3S Folk Club at The Works, the abundance of quality floor singers, and the wide range of songs sung by them, sets the standard of the evening and last night was no exception. In a week when politics and sport have not been very reassuring, it was so reaffirming to listen to songs and tunes played in surroundings that are familiar and comfortable and which are going to be carried forward into the future. After last night’s guest performance I think we can all be assured of that.

Granny’s Attic have developed a remarkable reputation which has travelled before them, and for me it was the first time that I had heard the three band members perform together.

Photo: Andy Day
Photo: Andy Day

So young, I could almost hear everyone say, and compared to the audience , they were! Age was not an issue and was soon forgotten as they delivered two sets of songs and delicious tunes, still on my mind is a Polish tune that was so tempting to dance to, familiar songs Poor Old Man , The Coal Owner and the Pitman’s Wife, The Highwayman were delivered with just a flavour of Bellamy, not a bad thing. They gained the respect of the audience and in return gauged so well the amount of information that was needed in their introductions, respect reflected, the less said by them the better. Flipping clever, fabulous and brilliant, were some of the comments I heard and agreed with. They were entertaining and joyous to watch, I think they enjoyed themselves just as much as the audiences did.

Highlights from the evening for me were: the opening tunes by the resident band , Pete’s Rolling Down The Ryburn, and Lynda Hardcastle and Alan Rose singing Dave Goulder’s January Man, but most memorable was the Granny’s Attic performance, a joy to behold and a reassurance that they are doing what they do for the same reasons as ourselves, which is our love of the music. Long may they continue!

Granny's Attic
Photo: Andy Day

To top off the evening I won the raffle and have a CD to remind me of a great evening.

Elaine Wood


An Independent Folk Development Project in the Ryburn Valley