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.

Next month at the R3S Folk Club – Johnny Handle and Chris Hendry.

But before then:

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 Black Box Band with Sue Coe

The next R3S Barn Dance at Waring Green Community Centre is on 18 March with the Black Box Band, and caller Pete Coe. The glittering testimonials on confirm that punters at their gigs love to dance to them, so come along and join the fun!


Some other activities…..

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…

Longsword – 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.

Singing Group – The Ryburn 3 Step Singing Group is led by Chris Coe, and meets for songs and a rattling good time every Thursday evening at 8:00, 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.


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

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