Spring 2021

Spring Hope!

©Karen Cater  www.hedinghamfair.co.uk

A New Partnership and Online Event for 2021

At the end of February, EATMT teamed up with the Burwell Bash – a voluntary organisation that organises in normal times a week long folk music summer school at Burwell House in Cambridgeshire.  The partnership is usually with Burwell House but they are still on furlough so EATMT have been approached to fill the gap.  This year will be the Bash’s 30th year of running and determined to offer an alternative, the event is running online from Tuesday 27th to Thursday 29th July 2021.  Because the usual event pot of money is not available, the Bash organisers have set up a Support Us page – anyone interested in joining the event is encouraged to donate between £60 and £80 for the 3 full days and evenings.  If the target is met, then the full plans can go ahead.  At the time of writing, we are already more than half way there!  Running this event online means there isn’t the usual restriction on numbers.  In normal times, it is fully booked within 24 hours of box office opening. Do take advantage of this unique situation! Booking is online via www.burwellbash.info.

After years in the Museum Stables,
in a flurry of boxes and labels,
the East Music Trust
shook off the dust
and moved across town to Red Gables

From the Old Stables to Red Gables – We Are Moving!

The beautiful grounds of the Museum of East Anglian Life has been home to EATMT for over 15 years but with a growing archive, a dry and secure space to store collections has become a necessity.  It was inevitable that the last year’s crisis will have seen businesses and organisations sadly fold and as a result, two offices on the first floor at Red Gables in Stowmarket have been vacated and offered to EATMT. Over the next few months, we will be gradually moving in to our new home which is owned and run by Mid Suffolk Voluntary Organisations Forum and we will be joining other voluntary/charitable organisations such as Ace Advocacy, BSEVC, Achieving Aspirations, RSVP, Mid Suffolk Axis, Synthesis Media and the Counselling Room.    

There will be a small office and an archive room which we hope eventually we will be able to offer as a resource/education facility.

Other Events for 2021

Traditional Music Day – 4th September – POSTPONED TO 2022

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that this event will not be going ahead.  With five venues around Stowmarket booked and artists to fill for the day and evening events, EATMT cannot afford to risk either low visitor numbers which is understandably inevitable after this past 12 months, nor can we afford to incur any financial losses that we could face if a further lockdown were to happen.  2022 will be our focus for this event and fingers will be firmly crossed.  A new date will be announced in due course.

Smaller events in 2021

We do however hope to run a number of smaller events between September and March next year in various areas around the region provided there is enough demand.   We have kept our booking for the John Peel Centre on Saturday 4th September open and are planning on offering a small ticketed event.  In October, we hope to run a small event in Great Yarmouth but all of this is still in the planning stages and we hope to bring you more news in the Summer newsletter and of course, details will appear online as and when we have news to share before then.  Do keep checking in to our EVENTS page over the coming weeks.

Stepdance Day usually runs in July and because it is so close to the proposed end of restrictions day (perhaps) of 21st June, we have decided that this too needs to be postponed until 2022 but we hope to have a very small presence of dancers and local musicians at the Strumpshaw Tree Fair which is cautiously proceeding with their event this year but with a later date of August 14th and 15th 2021.

We hope to have a stall at FolkEast (20th-22nd August). FolkEast organisers are also proceeding with due care and with many changes planned to enable something to go ahead.

The Chris Holderness Archive
We are delighted to announce that Norfolk musician, historian and collector Chris Holderness has offered EATMT his vast archive consisting of over twenty years of articles, transcriptions, recordings, photographs etc from his collecting of musical traditions in Norfolk.  Many of Chris’s articles appear on Rod Stradling’s online magazine “Musical Traditions” but Rod’s retirement has prompted Chris ensure this whole unique collection is looked after and made available to all.

Chris Holderness
Photo A Helsdon

As a result, we have a new page within our  Archive section and over the year, will be  uploading this collection.  We are also  delighted  that Chris is adding new articles to  this and we  have uploaded two of these  articles  to launch  the new web pages.  The  first article is called  “Two Sides of the Same  Coin – collecting  musical memories in  Norfolk” which relates to  Chris’s  collecting years including the Rig-a-Jig-Jig  project and the second entitled “The  Broads  Bros” is an article about brothers  Harry and Fred Cox – which was uploaded on to our site  just in time  for Harry’s 136th birthday (27th March)! 

2021 is the fiftieth anniversary of Harry’s death so we will be updating other details from Chris’s archive in due course relating to the great singer. 

It should be noted that EATMT’s star volunteer of the year, Alan Helsdon, is also Chris’s neighbour and ‘bubble’, so together they are working through this collection to get it ready for the next stage in its life.


John Brown’s Tune Book – (Brown-Soffe tune book)
All of the current dance tunes from this Norfolk tune book have now had links added to the musical ABC notation with thanks to musician Flos Headford (Old Swan Band).  This page is in a slightly different format than its original presentation.  There is an alphabetical list of dance tunes each with a link that takes you to a new page.  Within that page is a photograph from the original tune book and the tunes from that page have 2 different musical notations and a sound file for the original version (warts and all) and then for a playable version – perhaps in a more popular key, or with questionable notes “righted”.  The remaining hymn tunes are yet to be uploaded.  Flos has dutifully notated them – it is Trust Admin that is holding their resting place up!

Flos offers a number of interesting points that he raises having worked on this manuscript and you can find these within the page.  Lockdown has made it tricky to confirm certain physical aspects of the tune book because staff are working from home and don’t have access to the book, but we hope to get further clarifications on some of the questions both Alan and Flos have had once Lockdown restrictions are removed. 

The Dave Cooper Collection
The second sort of this vast music collection was completed in February and volunteer Alan Helsdon turned his hand to delivery driving and transported Dave’s 1800+ recordings of the Robin Hood Folk Club, Tiger Folk Club and FolkWaves radio show to Folk club organiser Phil Hind who is involved in these Midlands based clubs.  The Norfolk West Gallery Quire are now in receipt of the recordings and books that Dave had whilst he was a member of the Quire and the Shape Note music has found its way to Shropshire and to Dr Ian West.  Ipswich Online Radio and specifically the ‘Gap Year Show’ features a tune or song from one of the donated albums from Dave’s Global collection of music every week (Fridays 6pm-7pm www.ioradio.co.uk) and Rita Gallard from Norfolk has painstakingly gone through several reel to reel recordings from Dave’s collection and created a list of who features in them.  The remaining vinyl and CDs have been bought as a job lot by local record dealer Chris Manning (Misty Mountain Music).  Chris can be found on his stall at Bury St Edmunds’ markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays and at Ely market on Sundays.   We now have left the East Anglian part of Dave’s collection which will be added to the Trust’s archive as well as a number of books. 

New article on Melodeons
Our Friend and regular tutor Steve Dumpleton has contributed to another web page on the EATMT website (www.eatmt.org.uk) about the melodeon.  It includes details about the workings of the instrument and gives mention to past and present East Anglian players – of both one and two row instruments and includes photographs, recordings and links.  

HIlton’s Hoard
Over the last 18 months, several of our friend’s treasured instruments have found their way to new loved homes.  One such instrument was Adrian’s Castagnari Mori which Martyn White kindly serviced and altered the tuning so it suited it’s soon to be new owner, Dave Praties.  Dave has several recordings on his youtube site – HERE is one with Adrian’s Mori that he recently added. 

Recently singer and musician Nick Hart launched Nick Hart Instruments and Nick recently took possession of a few of Adrian’s instruments still in our possession that needed a bit of tidying up and fixing and he will be preparing those for re-sale in the coming months on our behalf.


Bruce Lindsay’s book ‘Two Bold Singermen and the English Folk Revival’ has been on sale for a few months now and Chris Holderness has kindly written a review of  this which is now available to read on our website. 

The Folk Voice Conference – Traditional Song Forum
This conference was due to take place in June 2020 and instead is being presented online over three Sunday afternoons – April 18th, 25th and May 2nd 2021.

The conference looks at the way in which traditional songs have been and are being performed and at the singers of tradition and the revival.   There are some very interesting topics covered over the three Sundays with some excellent speakers.  Worth pointing out are Bruce Lindsay (mentioned above) whose talk will be on “Some Nights at the Rechabite: How they built Sam Larner” and Katie Howson who will be talking about “A Hundred Years of Singing in a Fishing Community: King’s Lynn 1870-1970”.

For details about the full programme see HERE.

Music Box Archive
Megan Wisdom has recently added Rob and Lesley Neal and Tracey and Paul Wisdom to the Music Box Archive.  An interview and recordings of each singer appear on each singer profile page.  Megan will be back in Suffolk recording again over the summer.

Sea Shanty Article
We are extremely grateful to Debbie Jones, press officer for the Harwich International Shanty Festival, for kindly writing an article about Sea Shanties. The festival committee are busy planning their 2021 Festival.  Details can be found within the article on the Sea Shanty.

Jig Dolls

Jig Dolls in care homes in Stowmarket
We are delighted with our new Jig Dolls in Care Homes resource presentation that Katie and John Howson created for EATMT.  Volunteer Nina Truin is now in the process of booking the package into care homes across Stowmarket.  There is clear guidance – including video and music clips – for care workers to learn, then “show and tell” on social afternoons in care homes and of course, the box of jig dolls will be included in the full package.

Interesting Jig Doll find

EATMT recently received an email and photos (above) from a lady who had been busy house clearing her parents’ home. In their possessions she found a jig doll that she had vaguely recollected seeing in her childhood. Her parents hailed from East Anglia – Mr Smith from Ipswich and her mother from Hartest near Bury St Edmunds but had moved away from the area in the 1950s. There is no patent number on the wooden doll – we thought perhaps it was a type of Jolly Boy. It is quite different from any of the images EATMT have in its archive. If you think you might know more, do get in touch!

Remembering Geoff Roberts

Norfolk’s The Flying Folk Club Geoff Roberts sadly died  at the end of February after a short illness.  Damien Barber has  kindly written a tribute to him which is on our website and  Friend Pete Rushmer has written a tribute to the Norfolk Hero  on Mardles online.  

Geoff (on melodeon) with Mike Barber
Photo K Woods

Keep up to date

Do keep checking our website over the coming months with our plans for bringing events to you.  For an up to date listing of events across the region, look no further than Mardles online.  And if you know that your favourite festival is not going ahead this year, or you don’t quite feel ready to attend your usual events, why not visit the regular stall holders’ websites instead.

East Anglia’s PJ Music has used the past year to update their website.    Pete writes: “I am now about half way through the refurbishment of my new website. About 830 music books ranging from simple tune books, detailed instrument tutor books, maintenance and construction, English, Irish, Welsh, Scottish, French, Eastern European, Scandinavian, and American tune, dance and song books.  Many Whistles, Accessories, including Strings, and other interesting items have been added and there is still much more to come…”

 You can visit PJ Music on www.pjmusic.co.uk or telephone 01379 890088.  PJ Music will be at Ely Folk Festival this year.  

Hedingham Fair  is another locally based company that many will know from folk festivals up and down the country.  Their website will be having a major overhaul over the summer months but you will still be able to shop online with them at hedinghamfair.co.uk.

Volunteer Thanks

EATMT are grateful to the following volunteers who have given their time to help during the first 3 months of 2021:  Eammon and Judy Andrews, Damien Barber, Ivan Cutting, Fiona Davies, Steve Dumpleton, Rita Gallard, Frances and Neil Hammond, Flos Headford, Alan Helsdon, Chris Holderness, Debbie Jones, Gemma Khawaja, Roderick Mansel, Lesley Neal, Rob Neal, Judy Smith, Miriam Stead, Nina Truin, Lindsay Want, Maria Windsor, Megan Wisdom, Paul Wisdom, Tracey Wisdom.  

2020-2021 Supporter Thanks 

click for the homepageThe Scarfe Charitable Trust     
The Alfred Williams Charitable Trust
Friends and Supporters of EATMT


As ever, we are extremely grateful to our supporters who have taken out a Friends’ membership with EATMT. This is an annual subscription of £15 and since its existence has been a vital part of our income. In addition, we are able to claim back Gift Aid through this scheme. Your support is invaluable and is very much appreciated. If you’re not yet a Friend or if you are a lapsed Friend, please do consider joining/re joining. You will benefit from cheaper event tickets and early bird booking as well as knowing that your contribution to the Trust helps keep traditions alive. Find our Friends’ membership form here.

Other ways to help

EATMT is a member of Recycle4charity.  If you are working from home, you will likely be using up the ink in your home printers far quicker than normal.  These can be recycled. BUT the system has changed.  This company is no longer accepting the envelopes that we previously sent out.  Instead you will need to go directly to their website and print off a label to get your free postage.  As a sweetener for your extra efforts, the Trust is promised almost twice as much back per ink jet cartridge than previously, so please do consider this option.     
Please do get in touch if you would like to get involved in the Trust’s work.  We rely heavily on volunteers but more than that, we rely heavily on your knowledge based input.  We’d love to hear from you! 

Wishing you all a safe return to a non lockdown life 
Alex Bartholomew, Administrator and the EATMT Trustees