For decades the Ryburn musicians have gathered together each Monday night to sit in a pub, have a drink and play tunes on fiddles, melodeons, concertinas, hammer dulcimers and various other acoustic instruments. In the early days they were held in The Blue Ball at Soyland and regulars even included visitors from across the great divide (ie. from Lancashire) such as Mike Harding. Due to the proximity of Bill Leader’s recording studio there were occasional surprise visitors such as Nic Jones, Tony Rose and on one occasion, Pick Withers from Dire Straits. Nowadays we often welcome visiting musicians, which have recently included Vic Gammon, Pippa Sandford, a marvellous trio of young fiddlers from Canada, and most recently Anahata and Mary Humphries from rural Cambridgeshire.

The session has moved around but for 15 years has been settled in The Old Bridge Inn in Ripponden – probably Yorkshire’s oldest hostelry, appearing in recorded history in 1307.

Commencing at 9pm, the Monday session is a jamboree of mostly (but not exclusively) English tunes. The standard of playing is fairly high but people are welcome to come along and join in – lead your favourite tunes or play along with ours. There are recordings of our sets of tunes that we like, and plenty of printed music available for those who want to practice at home before venturing out to play in public. Chris Partington has put together a selection which you can find here.

Contact Johnny Adams on 01422 822413 if you want some more information. Or just come along, say hello, have a beer and see what it’s all about.

On Monday (16 January) we were joined at the session by a hurdy gurdy and a bowed psaltery, complete with their players, which was really nice. Afterwards we found this.

If you recognise it and would like it back, please get in touch.

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An Independent Folk Development Project in the Ryburn Valley