The East Anglian Traditional Music Trust:

  • Is a registered charity (no. 1082774) and was established in 2000
  • Promotes awareness of and participation in the folk music traditions of East Anglia*
  • Is based on over twenty years previous work in traditional music development by the founders Katie and John Howson
  • Has a management team (Board of Trustees) who meet regularly throughout the year
  • Has patrons, all based in the eastern counties
  • Runs community projects in East Anglia
  • Provides a programme of regular music workshops and evening classes
  • Publishes a newsletter four times a year
  • Commissions and publishes research and resources
  • Provides concerts, lectures, workshops and other events for a variety of other organisations

*Encyclopedia Britannica’s definition states “East Anglia [is the] traditional region of eastern England, comprising the historic counties of Norfolk and Suffolk and, more loosely, Cambridgeshire and Essex”.  Anglia refers to the ‘Angles’ that arrived across the North Sea from Denmark and Northern Germany (Saxony) when the Roman legions returned to Rome in 410 AD.

Between October 2017 and June 2019 the Trust was under the brief leadership of musician/composer Laura Cannell and then writer/poet and social historian researcher David Cain.  Alex Bartholomew, Administrator of the Trust for almost 20 years is currently administering the day to day running of the Trust and has regular input from a number of volunteers.


The East Anglian Traditional Music Trust is a registered charity based in Suffolk, which aims to promote awareness of and participation in the folk music traditions of East Anglia.

East Anglia has a rich seam of such music, and has provided inspiration for composers such as Ralph Vaughan Williams, and been the subject of many recordings, books and articles.

On this website you will find news about our current projects, and how to get involved, including workshops and evening classes, community projects, research and publications.

You will also find further information about our past projects, links to other sites of related interest and an online shop featuring our publications.

Contact us at: info@eatmt.org.uk or ring 07495 054669.

Our office is now based at community based Mid Suffolk Voluntary Organisations Forum headquarters – Red Gables – in Stowmarket. We moved here in March 2021 from our previous home based on the Museum of East Anglian Life site.  You can write to us at: EATMT, Red Gables, Ipswich Road, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 1BE. 

We send out e-newsletters about four times a year. To receive our newsletter, please click here. You can unsubscribe at any time.

We would like to encourage everyone who appreciates the work we do – whether it be this website, the events, the research and publications, the schools and community projects, the exhibitions, the workshops and classes – to join the Friends of EATMT and support our work into the future.

If you sing or listen to a local song, play or hear a local tune, dance or watch or stepdancing, at least part of that is probably down to the work of EATMT, which has been working to keep our local traditions alive and kicking into the twenty first century. If you receive a printed copy or an email version of this newsletter, it is down to the hard work of our part-time staff and volunteers – and the same goes if you are reading this on the website now!

We are a small organisation but with a serious reputation for delivering professional projects and are punching above our weight. Friends’ Membership starts at £15 per year. Donations are always very welcome, a Gift Aid declaration helps it go even further, and we also welcome longer-term enquiries about legacies etc. Please visit our membership page to download a form.

Our policies are regularly updated and approved by the Trustees.  They are available to read on request. You can read our Statement on Public Benefit and Reserves Policy HERE

A summary of our most recent Annual Report is available here if you wish to read it.  The Trust reports to the Charity Commission on an annual basis providing details from this report.

When we set up the Trust in 2000, we asked local singer and farmer Tony Harvey to be our patron. Tony was from farming stock in central Suffolk and had a deep involvement in the region’s rural community. Growing up on a farm, Tony found some of the old farmworkers knew some amazing old ballads, and for the past forty or so years, he had been singing some of them himself. See the Profiles section of this website for further details about Tony.

Tony sadly died in 2006, by which time we had two new patrons: Libby Purves and Paul Heiney, who are well-known broadcasters and writers with long-standing links in East Anglia. They have lived in Suffolk for many years and are great supporters of rural traditions.

In 2007 we welcomed four new patrons: Mark Murphy and Lesley Dolphin, who are both well known broadcasters on BBC Radio Suffolk, and Gloria and Trevor Buckley, who are involved in the running of three Traveller sites in the eastern region. Sadly Trevor died in 2018 and is missed by us all. 

In 2023 we were delighted to welcome co-founding Director Katie Howson as a patron.

EATMT is regularly funded by:
Stowmarket Town Council
Mid Suffolk District Council

EATMT projects have been supported by:
Adnams Charity
Alfred Williams Charitable Trust
Arts Council England (National Lottery)
Awards For All (National Lottery)
Britten-Pears Foundation
Colyer-Fergusson Charitable Trust
Community Champions
Concertina Charitable Trust
Foundation for Sport and the Arts
Heritage Lottery Fund
Hervey Benham Charitable Trust
Joint Morris Organisation
King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council
Mid Suffolk District Council
National Lottery Heritage Fund
Norfolk County Council
RVW Society
Scarfe Charitable Trust
South Norfolk District Council
Suffolk Coastal District Council
Suffolk County Council
Waveney District Council
Stowmarket Town Council

We have worked in partnership with:
Burwell Bash
The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts
Strumpshaw Tree Fair
The Sheringham Museum
Suffolk Artlink
BBC Radio Norfolk
English Folk Dance and Song Society
Cambridge Music Festival
Creative Arts East
Suffolk County Council
Stowmarket Choral Society
Moreton Folk Festival (Essex)
Age Concern (Suffolk)
Suffolk Libraries and Heritage
Essex Sound Archive
Rig-a-Jig-Jig (Norfolk Music History group)
Southwold Museum
True’s Yard Fishing Heritage Museum
Museum of East Anglian Life
Roots of Norfolk

We have completed commissions for:
National Trust
Horniman Museum
Victoria & Albert Museum
Suffolk Coasts & Heaths Project
South Norfolk District Council
Churches Conservation Trust
Stour Valley AONB “Managing a Masterpiece”
Suffolk County Council Positive Ageing
Suffolk Tourism Partnership

We have acted as consultants for:
Arts Council England
BBC TV and Radio
Anglia TV
Folk Arts England
Eastern Angles Theatre Company
Red Rose Chain Theatre Company
Wonderful Beast Theatre Company
Stuff of Dreams Theatre Company

We are members of:

Association of Festival Organisers
English Folk Dance & Song Society
Voluntary Arts Network
Community Action Suffolk
Essex Folk Association