FolkEast 2022

Home for 3 days, the FolkEast Instrumental area with the coming and going of musicians playing and singing in impromptu sessions by the giant guitar was as ever a wonderful place to be. Thank you for everyone who came to say hello – old friends and new. Thanks too to the weekend stall team – Nicky, Mark, Eliza & Nez who all helped on the stall at various points of the weekend enabling us to undertake various jobs (more below!). They helped take enquiries about the Vaughan Williams Project, sold tickets for the forthcoming Traditional Music Day as well as talk about the Trust and it’s various strands.

Sound recordist and our podcast maker Jake Lee-Savage joined us on early Thursday evening where we set up a relaxed recording outdoor ‘studio’ and recorded a Podcast introducing the Vaughan Williams’ Folk Project. You can hear that podcast here!

On Friday morning, we headed for the Stage on the Far Side of the Woods where Norfolk researcher and musician Alan Helsdon was giving an illustrated talk “A Letter From Blackfriars Road – 17th January 1905” assisted by fellow researcher and musician Chris Holderness.

After a week’s hard work noting songs and tunes in and around King’s Lynn, Ralph Vaughan Williams spends the weekend in his hotel on Blackfriars Road, perhaps going over the material he had collected. The singing of the Captain’s Apprentice and other songs had truly inspired him, but memories of the previous week keep interrupting him…

This talk was filmed by Nicky Stockman and Jake Lee-Savage boosted the sound by recording the audio and thanks the wonders of technical know how, you can watch this talk on our youtube page below.

On Friday afternoon, Youth Moot organisers Finn Collinson and Emma Beach ran an hour long music workshop for 11-17 year olds introducing to the participants the song “40 Miles” collected by Vaughan Williams and George Butterworth in October 1910 in Reydon, Suffolk.  Jake and Nicky on behalf of EATMT filmed the arrangement at the end of their hour workshop. This film forms another strand to our digital production for this project and also features as part of an introduction to the Youth Mentorship Scheme which is open until 31st October 2022 for musicians aged 16-25. The film can be viewed below:

Over the weekend, 2 well attended stepdance workshops were run by Cambridgeshire stepper Michael Czarnobaj and Norfolk stepdancer and FolkEast Dance Tent Artistic Director Fiona Davies and on Sunday afternoon we ran on FolkEast’s behalf the second FolkEast Stepdance Competition after the afternoon ceilidh in the dance tent. 

What a turn out!  The youngest dancer taking part was Charlotte aged 5 and it would be rude to say how old the oldest was but it was a wonderful sight seeing so many decades represented in this event.  Our three judges once again were Gloria Buckley, Pam Ross and Fiona Davies and musicians were Richard Cove, Ron Ross, Erin and Barry Watson and the atmosphere created was lovely and good spirited. 

It is particularly worth noting that the event this year took place in the dance tent – a huge area especially when you decide to take part in a solo (or duo) dance competition – with quite a lot of onlookers! So everyone who did decide to have a go really does need a large round of applause!

Congratulations go to Ethan Beal who was awarded FolkEast Champion for the second year in a row, taking home the Copper Kettle for a second year, to David Cotter (who started stepdancing at last year’s FolkEast stepdance competition) who was awarded Best Newcomer and to 7 year old Lucy Brown who was awarded Junior FolkEast Champion.

Happy Birthday Bubbles Abbott

Bubbles (above) came to watch great grand-daughter Stevie Chenery take part in the stepdance competition. Stevie was FolkEast Junior Champion in 2021. Bubbles used to be a regular in the Bedfield Crown and Worlingworth Swan (just refurbished and opened after a period of closure) where she would regularly watch the stepdancing.