Come and join us at the next Folk Club this Wednesday 25 January at the Malthouse on Oldham Road, Rishworth (HX6 4QB) starting at 8:00 p.m. Our guest is Tom Lewis, whose songs and stories of the sea are all the more authentic as a result of his long career serving on Royal Navy diesel submarines. Tom is a great entertainer, catch him on Youtube HERE.
We are enjoying a winter free of snow and bad weather – so far! If bad weather does disrupt our plans we will post up-to-date information about changes to our programme here on the Ryburn 3 Step web site, and on our Facebook page. If you are on our email list we will notify you by email as well. Hopefully, contingency plans won’t be needed……
A good crowd turned out for the January Barn Dance at Waring Green and they were treated to a fine evening of music and dancing.
Caller Dave Hunt has many years of dance calling experience and is a regular visitor to Calderdale. We were treated to some dances written by Dave, including Shifting Sands (named after his wife) and his popular Waterloo Dance to the tune of the same name. Dave also introduced dances with unusual figures such as the double-backed chain in Bob Cann’s Sicilian Circle Dance and the North Country Ladies Chain in the Rifleman. As we have come to expect from Dave, he encouraged a certain element of mayhem in dances such as Three around Three and the Garland Square and if you are ever in a set and he claims that the Boston Tea Party can be danced by more than 6 couples, be prepared for an energetic workout.
The music for the dance was provided by local musicians and Ryburn 3 Step stalwarts, the Black Box Band.
With Johnny Adams providing a solid rhythm on the keyboard, the band played a succession of popular, lively and mostly northern tunes. Perhaps the musical highlight was the tune set for the Rifleman, when Johnny joined Chris Partington on fiddle, Steve played harmonica and, supported by Chris Coe’s dulcimer, they played two cracking versions of the Morpeth Rant, the second from the playing of border fiddler Tom Hughes.
With at least seventeen dances over the course of evening and a final polka to the tune of Astley’s Ride, Ryburn 3 Step provided yet another great evening of dancing.
The Black Box Band line-up was (for this occasion):
Steve Harrison Melodeon and harmonica Chris Partington Fiddle Chris Coe Hammer Dulcimer Johnny Adams Piano and fiddle
A selection of the dances Dave Hunt called included: Scatter Promenade 2 couple circle dance Shifting Sands Sicilian Circle Chancellor’s Farewell Sicilian Circle Waterloo Dance Square sets Soldiers Joy Longwise Dear Jim 4 couple longwise Fairfield Fancy Sicilian Circle Carousel Sicilian Circle
What better way to welcome in the New Year than with the Long Company Mummers?
The Long Company Mummers have completed their 4 appearances in 2017 with a performance at the picturesque Olde Bridge Inn in Ripponden on 12th night, watched by over 200 people. The performance finished with a spectacular firework display as the Mummers disappeared into the night, not to be seen again until January 2018. Afterwards the song and music session in the bottom bar was heaving with singers, musicians, and dancers, some of whom had travelled from places far away from the Calder Valley – Sheffield, Lincolnshire, and even Lancashire!
The Mummers’ first 3 performances were at the Navigation Inn in Sowerby Bridge, the Hinchliffe Arms in Cragg Vale, and the Alma Inn in Cottonstones. All were lively gatherings, with songs and tunes inside the pubs afterwards. We thank all the staff for welcoming us to their pubs for these traditional English seasonal performances.
Donations of £50 each have been made by the Mummers to Cragg Vale and St Bartholomew’s Churches from the collections each night.
What a night of seasonal fun we had last night at the Malt House!
The Pit Band was on fine form to start the evening with some lively tunes, and then there was a succession of ‘seasonal songs and novelties’ ranging from carols, songs and poems to dancing and pantomime.
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.
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.
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