East Anglian Traditional Music Trust



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What are the musical traditions of East Anglia? Profiles of traditional musicians  Jig Dolls  Dulcimers Stepdancing
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News Archive (pre 2014)




EFDSS Gold Badge awards for EATMT directors 2011

Two singers from the Stour Valley

John Clare - traditional musician

200 year-old tunes and dances from Bury St Edmunds

Managing a Masterpiece - Stour Valley Schools Project 2011-13

Investigating Traditional Culture and Folklore

East Anglian Traditions on TV 2011-12

English Country Music Weekend in the East

Norris Winstone obituary

Suffolk magazine article 2011

East Anglian Traditional Music on Facebook

Richard Davies - obituary 2010

Profiles of Traditional Singers & Musicians

EATMT online shop for CDs & books

Songs from the Fen Edge

Museum of British Folklore visit to Traditional Music Day

Summer 2009 events

Melodeons and More 2009

RIP Geoff Ling

Vaughan Williams in the East event

Melodeon-Makers 2008

Fundraising Appeal 2008

Memorial to Sam Larner

EATMT patron honoured

Traditional Music on TV Autumn 2007

EFDSS award for EATMT

North End Voices (King's Lynn)

Blaxhall Ship Re-opens

Melodeon Making Course 2007





Photo: Cyril Barber stepping, 1983, by Maggie Hunt.

See the item below about Profiles of Traditional Singers & Musicians




Traditional Music Day 2014


Traditional Music Day 2014 was just a wonderful day, sunny and mild, a friendly buzzy atmosphere and fantastic music, singing and dance in every corner of the beautiful Museum of East Anglian Life site.

Traditional Music Day page has photos from past events.

Like Traditional Music Day on Facebook to keep up to date with developments.


Click here to see the 2014 timetable of daytime events.



 Stepdance Day 2014




The 2014 Stepdance Day took place on Sunday 27th July at the Swan Inn in Worlingworth, Suffolk.


Winners of the 2014 competitions were:


Steve Monk Memorial Stepdance Championship: Simon Harmer

Best Newcomer: Ron Frost

Font Whatling Traditional Stepdance Trophy: Simon Ritchie


The photo above shows Simon Ritchie (left) and Simon Harmer (right) in informal dancing after the competitions. Further photos are on the Stepdancing page.


It has been held at the Workingworth Swan for several years, as it is where the famed stepdancer Font Whatling lived, and the pub is still very welcoming to musicians and dancers (See Village Portraits page for a new article about the pub). Presentation of the engraved trophies was made at Traditional Music Day, during the Stepdance Special.


Our Stepdancing page here now has lots of links to video clips - do take a look!


 Reg Reader R.I.P.


Reg Reader, dulcimer player and personal friend, passed away on Sunday 6th April 2014 after being gravely ill for several months.

His dulcimer had been inherited from his great grandfather, and his grandson Thomas, now 21, took up the instrument when still at primary school. John and I first met Reg in 1977 and made a bee-line to his door immediately after moving to Suffolk a year later. He was a founder member, with us, of all the various Old Hat incarnations and dance bands Flashing Heels and Katie’s Quartet. He retired from band membership a few years ago but continued to play regularly in lots of local sessions, inspiring many other musicians, until his health began to fail.

A full obituary and numerous tributes to Reg can now be found in our Profiles of Traditional Musicians section.

Katie Howson

Right: Reg playing at the re-opening of the British Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2008.







 EFDSS gold badge awards for EATMT directors


EATMT directors John and Katie Howson received Gold Badge Awards from the English Folk Dance and Song Society on 16th April 2011. The awards and citations were presented at a special event at Cecil Sharp House in London called "It's Just What We Do", curated by John and Katie Howson in aid of the EFDSS Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. The citation was read by EATMT trustee and EFDSS Library Director, Malcolm Taylor, and the badges were presented by EFDSS president, Shirley Collins.




The Gold Badge Award is one of the highest accolades

in the folk music world and nearly 150 awards have been

made since the first one in 1922. Many are or were

household names in the folk world as performers,

teachers or writers such as the Waterson and Copper

families, John Kirkpatrick and Shirley Collins. Others

are less well known as they have worked behind the

scenes, running events or researching songs and

customs; the latter category includes Cecil Sharp and

Ralph Vaughan Williams of course and, more recently,

Mike Yates and Reg Hall. There are not too many names

from the eastern counties, but they include Alec Hunter

(Thaxted Morris), Russell Wortley and traditional singers

Harry Cox and Walter Pardon. Full details of previous

award holders, visit the EFDSS website.






Katie and John were awarded the Gold Badge for their work with the Trust, fieldwork and collecting, the Veteran recording label and the many other contributions they have made to the development of folksong, music and dance over the last thirty years. Click here to read the full citation.



 Two singers from the Stour Valley


This article is about William Sparkes and Maurice Cardy, from whom Thomas Wood collected some songs in 1929. Click here to read the article. It came out of the "Managing a Masterpiece" project which we have been involved with for the past three years. (See below for more details about the project.)



 John Clare - traditional musician


Our February 2013 newsletter contained an article about the music of John Clare, better known as the "Peasant Poet". Click here and scroll down the page to read the article and see a lovely tune called Bedford Races.


Other articles from the newsletters, now on the website


Profiles of traditional musicians More than 30 portraits of traditional singers written by those who knew them.


Village Portraits Village Portrait No.1 is about Mendlesham.


Tracing a Tune.  Tracing a Tune No.1 is about The Perfect Cure and No. 2 is about Starry Night for a Ramble.


Behind the Song  Behind the Song No. 1 is about Peter the Paynter and No. 2 is about The Captain's Apprentice.


There is also a section about a 200 year-old book of tunes from Bury St Edmunds.



200 year old tunes and dances from Bury St Edmunds




It is two hundred years since a small booklet was printed and sold in Bury St Edmunds, called “Twenty Four Dances for the Year 1812”.


This collection is now available online and hope some of you will choose to play the tunes or dance the dances!


To see the tunes and dance instructions and to read more about the background, click here.





 "Managing a Masterpiece" - Stour Valley schools project 2011-13



As part of the "Managing a Masterpiece" project,  the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust is involving local primary

schools and community groups in learning about folk song and local musical traditions.


In 2011 we worked in Essex with Ridgewell Primary School and in Suffolk with Great Waldingfield and Bures St Mary

primary schools and Clare Middle School. Our early work was so successful that the funding has been extended to

take in more schools and in 2012 we are working with Wood Hall (Sudbury) and Stratford St Mary primaries and in

Spring 2013 with Stoke-by-Nayland primary school.



Right: Rob Neal and children from Great Waldingfield Primary School in full voice, singing "Donnybrook Fair",

a folksong collected from William Sparkes of Bures, Suffolk.




 Investigating Traditional Culture and Folklore


As part of the "Managing a Masterpiece" project  in the Stour Valley on the Essex / Suffolk border, the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust was commissioned to run two lecture days for adults, about local folklore and customs, with the aim of equipping people to find out more themselves. The first of these took place in Bures on Saturday 14th April and the second was in Clare on Saturday 10th November 2012.


The line-up of speakers included Steve Roud, founder of the Roud Folk Song Index and expert on folklore, superstition and calendar customs, John Howson, co-director of EATMT, folk-song collector, photographer and recording engineer and Clive Paine, expert on all things to do with Suffolk history, plus exhibitions and an information pack.


The wide-ranging three year project included archaeology, traditional river boats, etc and was funded by the Heritage Lottery Landscape Partnership Scheme.



East Anglian traditions on TV 2011-12


Over the past couple of years we have been very pleased to be featured on a couple of nation-wide mainstream television programmes. Both the series have extremely high viewing figures, so we know that millions of people now know a bit more about our regional traditions as a result!


Our episode of Ade Edmondson's new series, “Ade in Britain” was first shown on ITV1 in Autumn 2011, and was repeated regularly in 2012. Each programme in the series covered a different region and usually included local food and music.


We also recorded a feature for the BBC series “Escape to the Country” which was first shown on 11th May 2012. This is a property hunt show featuring people wanting to move to a rural area, and each programme includes some items of “local colour”. That’s us, folks! Our episode was presented by Jonnie Irwin, who really enjoyed himself - having a go with a jig doll and even borrowing Percy West’s shoes and making a good stab at stepping under Doreen West’s helpful tuition. The programme is no. 69 in series 12, and will no doubt be repeated.


If you're a film or programme maker or researcher, do get in touch. A press section of this website is in development. In the meantime, you're welcome to talk to us on 01449 771090 or email us at info@eatmt.fsnet.co.uk



 English Country Music Weekend in the East


The 2012 English Country Music Weekend took place in Brightlingsea near Clacton in Essex for the second year running, on  22nd - 24th June 2012.


The event was organised  (as in 2011) by concertina player Roger Digby, fiddler Liz Giddings and melodeonists Celia Kemp and Jon Naunton - this gives you a bit of a clue that the weekend is based around music! As Roger Digby writes: “It's worth making clear what the weekend is NOT. It's not a Folk Festival. There are no concerts, crèches and craft stalls; no big tops, big names and big egos. The great majority of the people who attend the ECMW are musicians who gather to play together with old and new friends.” There are several session venues and a programme of talks etc. You really do need to buy a ticket and not just drop in for the pub sessions without one, or it could be swamped. It's also nothing to do with country'n'western music, it's very much about traditional English music as played by country (as in RURAL!) musicians in the past, such as Suffolk's Oscar Woods and Norfolk's Billy Bennington - amongst many others, of course!


The English Country Music Weekend first came to Essex in 2011 - and was by the seaside for the first time too! Prior to this, the last time it was in the eastern region was in 2001, when we organised it at the Museum of East Anglian Life - we liked it so much there that we then started Traditional Music Day. Those of you have been involved for a long time may also recall teh 1981 ECMW at Snape and the 1984 ECME at Mendlesham, both organised by John & Katie Howson.


In 2013/4 it was held in Winster in Derbyshire, and in 2015/6 is in Bampton, Oxfordshire.



 Norris Winstone obituary


Norris “Win” Winstone died in 2011 aged 98. Win was a founder member of Norwich-based morris team Kemp’s Men and an influential figure on local country dance and music. Fellow Kemp's Men Peter Mayne and David Robertson sent the following obituary.


Norris 'Win' Winstone MBE, 1913-2011

Most of you reading this will already be aware, I’m sure, of the sad passing of Norris Winstone at the age of 98. Though when I say ‘sad’, I should add that the funeral was as jolly an event as possible under the circumstances, enlivened (if that’s the word I’m groping for, given the depredations of age, infirmity and alcohol) by the dancing of Kemp’s Men, the side which Win helped to form in 1953. Nor were they alone; over the years, Win had been connected with many other sides in one way or another, and men came from all corners of the country to help us celebrate his long and full life.

For those who did not know him, let me try, briefly, to paint a picture. Physically, he was not an imposing figure: imagine, if you will, Winnie the Pooh pumping away at a somewhat battered melodeon. But his stature was measured in more than feet and inches. Take into account his contribution to music and dance in Norfolk, and he was a towering figure indeed. In fact, English music and the Morris were his abiding passions (though he also harboured an unaccountable enthusiasm for the Hawaiian steel guitar, which he played in a wartime trio - whether to entertain the troops or to deter the invader remains a matter for learned debate).

When I first joined Kemp’s Men of Norwich in the mid-70’s, he had already retired from the teaching profession. But I soon came to realise that he had not given up teaching, and probably never would. Like any good teacher, he had an encyclopaedic knowledge of his subject, and a complete readiness to share it – though he was always receptive to different interpretations of the Morris, and supportive of those who, like me, tried to lead Kemp’s Men in new and occasionally ill-judged directions.

He also had a prodigious memory. Wherever we danced in Norfolk, he would be approached by one ex-pupil or another, with a hesitant “Do you remember me, Mr Winstone?” – and I don’t remember seeing him stumped. What’s more, I have rarely met anyone who carried so many tunes in his head, while still finding room for an impressive collection of dreadful jokes, not always as politically correct as we would consider necessary today.

For more than half a century, Win was a mainstay of the team, hardly missing a summer performance or winter practice session, and apparently as enduring as the tradition itself. Well into his 80’s, he continued to accompany the team on strenuous 3-day Whitsuntide tours, sleeping on village hall floors with the rest of us. The club’s AGMs were also illuminated by what became known as the ‘Winterval’, when he would distribute a selection of  small, and sometimes slightly barbed presents, along with his genial observations on the year gone past.

His contribution, however, was not restricted to the side of which he was a founder member. Several others in the area benefited from his knowledge, his playing and his time. All three were given generously, and for no reward other than to see English traditional music and dance survive and flourish. I should add that Win’s enthusiasm encompassed social as well as ritual dance, teaching and playing for a country dance group on a weekly basis, providing one-to-one tuition for a number of aspiring musicians, and sharing his immense repertoire with anyone who cared to ask.

In short, it is hard to think of anyone who has contributed so much, so generously, so consistently, and over such a long period of time to the enjoyment of English music and dance in our region – and even harder to imagine anyone making such a major contribution in such a modest and self-effacing way.

David Robertson

Sometime dancer and foreman, Kemps Men of Norwich



 "Suffolk" magazine article


In 2011, EATMT co-directors John and Katie Howson were featured in a "Question and Answer" style article in the "Suffolk" magazine. Click here to read the online version of the article.



 East Anglian traditional music on Facebook!


EATMT member and photographer John Halliday has kindly provided an opportunity for you to see more of his photos from EATMT events, and to make links with other enthusiasts. You don't have to belong to Facebook to see the photographs, but you do if you want to post information about events, or your own photos etc. If you want to join the Facebook group, it's called Traditional Music of East Anglia.


There are, of course, photos of most of these events on our website, from several different photographers who work with us on our events - many thanks to all of them! Various people also posted photos from the 2010 and 2008 Melodeon Makers courses: click here and follow the links at the bottom of the page.



 Richard Davies


We were very sad indeed to report the death in May 2010 of Richard Davies, stepdancer and singer from Cromer on the Norfolk coast, and known by thousands of people as the former coxswain of the lifeboat there and a huge part of the local community.


Richard came from a fishing family and was the seventh generation to serve on the Cromer lifeboat, succeeding his uncle, Henry 'Shrimp' Davies, as coxswain in 1976 and retiring in December 1999. His son John is the current coxswain, having taken over in 2003. Richard joined the lifeboat in 1960 and received several awards for gallantry during his lifeboat career.


We first met Richard nearly thirty years ago, introduced by Ann-Marie Hulme and Peter Clifton, who had been researching stepdancing in Norfolk. He made an immediate impact with his ruddy face and initial reserve giving way quickly to engaging sociability and enthusiasm. At the time (early 1980s) it seemed that stepdancing was on the wane, and for a lot of years Richard felt himself to be one of the last: when we met up he was sometimes reluctant to dance, saying that people expected to see “Riverdance” style stuff now. However, he still enjoyed a waltz or polka with wife Julie and he taught his daughter Fiona and grandchildren Ben and Emily to step. This encouraged a resurgence of interest helped along by the presence of other enthusiasts nearby such as Chris Holderness and Richard and Monica Blake. Richard’s dance style was very much in the Cromer tradition, and his singing repertoire also reflected his fishing life.


Richard was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in May 2009, and was active for much of the last twelve months with the things that he loved – singing until only a few weeks before his death on 5th May 2010.


His funeral was held in Cromer Parish Church on 19th May and was attended by over a thousand people. There were pews full of lifeboatmen, the local fire crew, freemasons, fishermen, and fellow pony-and-trap owners and hare-coursing enthusiasts. The tributes described different aspects of Richard’s larger-than-life character and many tales were told reflecting his ebullient nature: when asked why he wanted to buy a mule, he answered “So that there’s someone in this family more obstinate than me!” As his coffin was carried out of the church, his favourite stepdance tune “Pigeon on the Gate” or “Yarmouth Hornpipe” was played by myself, John Howson, Chris Holderness and Richard Blake, as Richard himself had requested. At the gathering afterwards, where there were hundreds of people, Percy and Doreen West, Leo Baker, Lenny Whiting and others paid further tribute to Richard with some stepdancing and lively music.




Photos from left to right: Richard dancing outside Sam Larner's cottage in Winterton, 2008; Richard with fellow steppers Percy West and Lenny Whiting, Hingham, 2005 (both John Halliday) ; Richard dancing at Traditional Music Day (Chris Gill), 2005.



 Profiles of Traditional Singers and Musicians


There are now over 30 short articles in our series of "Personal Portraits" of traditional singers and musicians from East Anglia. These are all written by people who knew the performers, and contain a mixture of analysis and anecdote. Contributors to the series include Martin Carthy, Shirley Collins, Reg Hall, Roger Digby and Keith Summers, alongside EATMT directors John and Katie Howson. The latest article in the series is about Cyril Barber, and there are others about the Old Hat Concert Party, legendary musicians Oscar Woods, Billy Bennington and Billy Cooper, singers Harry Cox, Sam Larner and Walter Pardon and many lesser-known people. Each article also contains a discography so you can find recordings of them too and in 2014 the pages were updated to include audio and video links so you can hear and see many of these old-timers again. Follow the link at the top or the bottom of each page, or click here to reach the index page.

















Left to right: Harkie Nesling, Tony Harvey, Oscar Woods & Billy Bennington




 Online shop for East Anglian Traditional Music


Our website is absolutely the best place to find a huge range of recordings of traditional singers and musicians from East Anglia all in one place. There are also books and other resources and full track listings for all the CDs. The site offers a secure online payment system. New additions are detailed below, or click here to see what else is on offer:

    94-page book containing original research on the history of this instrument, plus photographs and profiles of a number of players such as

    Mary Bergin, Micho Russell and, amazingly, the author Arthur Ransome! (£7.99 + £2.00 p&p)


    Robert Clarke, the inventor of this instrument, was born and brought up in Coney Weston in Suffolk, hence our interest in the instrument!


    This collection tracks John Howson's survey of traditional music making in Mid-Suffolk and includes not only his

    contemporary recordings, but also fascinating archival recordings made by the few other collectors who ventured

    into the area. In 1993 these recordings were released as a double cassette. The original recordings, some made

    as early as 1958, are now housed in the National Sound Archive at the British Library in London so that they are

    archived for the future. They have now also been digitally edited and enhanced, using modern technology, and are

    now available for the first time as a double CD which consists of two 39 track CDs each lasting 75 minutes, giving

    a total running time of two-and-a-half hours. It also comes with a new 32-page booklet, which includes biographies

    and photographs of each of the performers, as well as extensive notes about the songs and tunes. To order a copy

    via our online shop (price £16.99 inc p&p), click here.


Don't forget our own publications:


Blyth Voices song book (2003, republished 2008): 48-page book containing songs collected by the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams in the town of Southwold on the Suffolk coast in 1910. It is also of interest to social historians, the local community and the many people who visit and love Southwold, as it includes original research into the singers, and descriptions of traditional music-making in the town throughout the twentieth century, together with a number of fascinating old photos. To order a copy via our online shop (price £6.75 inc p&p), click here.






Before the Night Was Out ... East Anglian music book (published 2007)


Through the twentieth century, music has been recorded from traditional musicians in Suffolk and Norfolk, and this book gathers together many of the most important and unusual of these lively dance tunes in a printed collection.

Before the Night Was Out aims to shed light on the way in which traditional music in Suffolk and Norfolk has thrived and mutated during the twentieth century, as well as providing a resource for practising musicians. "This outstanding book is … your best purchase of 2008, so far.” Rod Stradling, Musical Traditions magazine. For more details, click here.







Songs from the Fen Edge




These photographs show just a fraction of what went on at the final concert of this project, held in Cottenham Village College, near Cambridge, in November 2009. What you can’t see is the sixty children who performed, or the further hundred or more children who had taken part in the workshops through October and November. What you can’t hear is the glee in the voices of the seven year-olds singing The Row of Pins or the passion of the twelve year-olds singing about the threat of the dykes giving way and communities being flooded, or the emotion in the voices of the adults as they sang The Hungry Army - a song as full of meaning today as when Charlotte Dann sang it a hundred years ago. The remit of the project was to look at the theme of evolution through local folksongs, which gave our two inspirational workshop leaders plenty of scope to investigate the local repertoire and to dream up ways of letting these songs be moulded in the hands of a new community of singers. Chris Coe and Mary Humphreys achieved this balance brilliantly, and a packed audience for the final concert were able to see the results alongside other aspects of the local musical traditions: dulcimer playing and stepdancing. The Cottenham Local History Society also contributed by showing a slide show of old photographs. The project was produced in partnership with the Fen Edge Community Association, the Cambridge Music Festival and Start Arts, with funding from Awards for All and South Cambridgeshire council.


Photos courtesy of Start-Arts.

Left to right: the adult singing group led by Chris Coe, steppers Percy & Doreen West with Old Hat Concert Party, Anahata and Mary Humphreys.



Dance House opening - come and ceilidh on 10th October 2009!


Dance East celebrates the opening of the new multi-million development - the Jerwood Dance House on Ipswich Waterfront with a weekend of open, participatory events in October. The East Anglian Traditional Music Trust is proud to be part of this event, with two spots on the afternoon of Saturday 10th October 2009 promoting traditional dance. The KQ Trio will be playing for some ceilidh dancing, Simon Ritchie will give a demonstration of local stepping styles and there may even be time to get the jig dolls dancing too! We're keen to encourage more people to take part in ceilidh dancing, and to attend local events such as the regular dances held at Sproughton and further afield, so this should be a great opportunity to get more people involved. Mini-ceilidhs at 2.30-3.00 and 4.30-5.00. Morris dancing during the afternoon too, plus a chance to look round the new building, inspect the new cafe, studio and performance spaces.




Museum of British Folklore touring exhibition

to visit Traditional Music Day


The fabulous, innovative and quirky Museum of British Folklore touring

exhibition will be visiting Traditional Music Day at the Museum of East

Anglian Life on Saturday 5th September 2009. It's the only visit to Suffolk!


The exhibition is housed in a caravan, and is the brainchild of Simon

Costin, who is using it as a way of raising awareness of the need for

a permanent national museum of folklore.


For an idea of what to expect, and a fascinating look at the customs

and traditions of the UK, visit the website at









Summer 2009 events


Wednesday July 15th 7.30-9.30pm

Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket

Welcome to the ceilidh!

To celebrate the arrival of the DanceEast Spiegeltent at the Museum of East Anglian Life, EATMT is hosting an early evening dance event. With live ceilidh band Katie's Quartet and caller Bobby Ritchie, this event is for people who fancy trying out some fun English-style ceilidh dancing. This style of dance, which can be found at community barn dances and funky festivals up and down the land is great fun for all ages, and is easy once you've got a few basic ideas sorted out. Bobby Ritchie will help you understand the basic moves and the band will help lift your feet and your heart. Open to all - most of the dances need a partner, but you don't have to come with a partner - this can be a good way to meet people in a very relaxed setting. It's also good exercise of course!







Melodeons and More 2009


This year was the tenth annual melodeon workshop day in Suffolk, and to celebrate asked back tutors from the first two events - Tony Hall and John Kirkpatrick, as well as our first Irish tutor, Con O’Drisceoil from County Cork.


It was followed this year, by another EATMT innovation - a day course on how to maintain and carry out simple repairs on your melodeon.


Photos and a report to follow soon!


RIP Geoff Ling


Suffolk singer Geoff Ling died on Monday 16th February 2009, aged 92. He died peacefully after a few months of poor health. The funeral is at Blaxhall Church on Tuesday 24th February at 2pm. For more information about Geoff as a singer, see our Profile pages - Geoff Ling: a personal portrait


Vaughan Williams in the East


Walberswick, near Southwold, Suffolk, Sunday 8th February


This event is now sold out.


After contributing a talk on the folk-song collecting activities of the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams to an event held by the English Folk Dance and Song Society in London in October, it was clear that we have all the ingredients for a really interesting event here in the eastern counties, and so we decided to bring the performers from that day together with Sue Cubbin from the Essex Sound Archive and singers Adrian May and Elaine Barker, who worked on an event in Peldon in Essex earlier this year. Talks will be given by Sue Cubbin (‘Vaughan Williams & Essex Folksong’), Mary Humphreys (‘Vaughan Williams in Cambs: Deciphering the Manuscripts’) and Katie Howson (‘Vaughan Williams - Then and Now: Collecting and Communities in Norfolk and Suffolk’). The talks, illustrated with various images and excerpts from some of the songs, will be followed by a concert with songs from Mary & Anahata, Sue, Adrian & Elaine and Chris Coe.


Click here for more details of the event.


Melodeon-Makers 2008


In October 2008 we completed the second Melodeon Makers course.  Ten people each made their own one-row melodeon, to very high specifications, with beautifully crafted components. It took only seven days - and some late nights! We hope to run further such courses in the future, as we seem to have generated lots of interest.

To see photographs of the 2008 Melodeon Makers course led by Emmanuel Pariselle in October 2008, click here.



Memorial to Sam Larner


In June 2008, a group of family, friends and folk music aficianados gathered in the small Norfolk coastal village of Winterton to celebrate the life of Sam Larner (below left), a fisherman and singer who had a huge influence on folk singers such as Martin Carthy.


Martin wrote a piece on Sam for EATMT - Personal Profile no. 7.


The Great Yarmouth & District Archaeological Society had arranged for a “blue plaque” to be fixed to the wall of Sam’s cottage in Bulmer Lane, and we arranged for singer Ian Prettyman (below, in front of plaque) and stepdancer (and fisherman) Richard Davies (below, right, dancing for BBC Look East cameraman) to be on hand to mark the occasion in suitable style.


Sam’s songs were heard again during a commemoration in the Church, and then, as Sam would surely have appreciated, we repaired to the ‘Fishermen’s Return’ for more songs and music.





EATMT patron honoured



Congratulations from all at EATMT to one

of our patrons, Gloria Buckley, who received

an MBE in October 2008 for her work in

community relations.


Gloria and husband Trevor have been involved

in the running of three Traveller sites in the

eastern region, and she has proved an

inspiration to many people.


To find out more about our patrons, directors and board, click here.




Traditional Music on TV Autumn 2007


Some of you will no doubt remember the well loved Anglia TV series, Bygones. Well, it’s back on your screens this Autumn, made by an independent team, but with one of the presenters from the old series, Eddie Anderson, in charge. Eddie contacted us early this year, and the results can be seen in the eastern region through November and December. A feature on stepdancing has already been screened, but look out for singer Ray Hubbard (22nd November), sea songs (6th December) and dulcimers (13th December). If you enjoy it, please tell Anglia TV, as we hope they will commission a further series and include more music. Eddie is so keen, he has even taken up the melodeon!



EFDSS award for EATMT


In June 2007, the English Folk Dance And Song Society celebrated their 75th anniversary by awarding seventy five Anniversary Awards.


We were delighted to be nominated, and the Directors, John & Katie Howson went along to Cecil Sharp House in June to receive our certificate. The award was given for enthusing others to participate in traditional music, song and dance and making a significant contribution to the field of research.



North End Voices


For the third year, we have been working on song activities in Kings Lynn, and this summer’s project has been fantastic. We were approached by BBC Radio Norfolk to participate in their Celebrate North End oral history and community project, and were delighted to be able to provide schools and adult song workshops which contributed towards a live event, a radio documentary and a fascinating feature which may still be on the BBC website.

For further details, see the community projects section of this website.


As part of the project, we put together an exhibition of photographs and information, including some original research into the singers, carried out specifically for this project. We have put this together in a spiral-bound booklet called North End Voices. For further information, click here.


The text of the research carried out for the North End Voices exhibition is now available online: click here. A page on this website links all the research content of the site - if you're after information about material, instruments, tunes, songs, dance and traditional performers, start here! This aspect of the website will be regularly updated with new information.


Update July 2014:


Blaxhall Ship Re-opens


The Ship Inn in Blaxhall has had a long tradition of music-making, and was made famous in the 1950s through a short film, 'The Barley Mow', mad by Peter Kennedy and the BBC, which featured local singers such as Bob Hart and Cyril Poacher who both made LPs for the Topic label in the 1970s.


Through the 1970s, 80s and much of the 90s, the pub, particularly under the ownership of Jim and Sue Grubbs, continued to be a centre for singing, stepdancing and music, with Oscar Woods being the resident melodeon player for many years, and Bank Holiday Mondays being the notable days for gatherings.


In more recent years the Ship was run by people less committed to traditional pub life, and the place seemed rarely to be open, let alone the kind of place where singing and stepping was welcomed.


We, and many other people both locally and nationally, are relieved and delighted that the pub is now under new ownership, and that music and singing is now definitely welcome there again! On Easter Monday 2007, well over a hundred people gathered to celebrate with songs, music and stepping, and the Ship felt well and truly 'launched' once more!




Melodeon making course 2007


We were thrilled to be able to offer a unique opportunity in the UK in March 2007. Between March 25th and 30th, eight people joined a course taught by French instrument-maker and musician, Emmanuel Pariselle, to make their own high-quality melodeon.


Click here for further details.



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