Jimmy Crowley – Wednesday 26 October at The Works, Sowerby Bridge.

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.”



Barn Dance 15 October 2016

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

October’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.


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 www.efdss.org/efdss-about- 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.


An Independent Folk Development Project in the Ryburn Valley