Stradbroke – Pop up Traditional Music Cafe 22nd March 2022

A true taster session. Much appreciated by all who came. Informal, inclusive – a sharing of talent, information and experience. A real “for everyone” event.

Stradbroke attendee

Stradbroke is a village in Mid Suffolk with a history steeped in traditional music and there are still regular music, song and stepping sessions that take place in the surrounding areas. Prior to this event, we had been very kindly donated a number of tape recordings made in the early 2000s by local musician Tony Braidley of a number of traditional music sessions run at the popular Stradbroke Queen’s Head. We had this playing in the background as people arrived and chatted with each other.

Maurice Listens Whilst Ray Plays Melodeon

As with our Brandon audience, we had a keen audience willing to get involved and quickly little groups were formed – some to have a quick lesson on the Spoons thanks to Ron Ross, some to dance a jig doll with music kindly provided by some of the Company of Horham Old School musicians and some to have a go at the C row melodeon.

We were treated to broom dance demonstrations from Erin Watson (with Nicky Stockman accompanying) and Eammon Andrews (with Judy Andrews accompanying) and stepdance demonstrations from Doreen West and Pam Ross with Ron Ross providing musical accompaniment. Veteran Ray Hubbard treated us to a song, a trio of tunes on his melodeon and a poem. He also joined in with his Jig Doll Horse when members of Company of Horham Old School provided us with some lovely traditional tunes. A song too from Mike Harding-White and Eammon Andrews made for a lovely varied afternoon of entertainment.

Stepdancer Lenny Whiting and his lovely wife Brenda also joined us for the afternoon as did other regular EATMT supporters but we were also delighted to meet a number of new faces. Shirley Harry did a sterling job as compere for the afternoon and tea and cake was enjoyed by all!

It was humbling to learn that for some, this was the first social outing out since March 2020 and so it was a great honour to think that this special milestone had been made at one of EATMT’s events. A number of people shared details of local music sessions that have started up. In particular:

Horham Old School monthly music session – 2nd Monday of the month. Contact EATMT for more details.

Open House Music Group, Thetford – 1st Wednesday of the month at the Bell Inn, Thetford, 7pm.

Our thanks go to: Shirley Harry, Ron Ross and Pam Ross for bringing the music and entertainment to Stradbroke and to additional members of local Company of Horham Old School: Eammon Andrews, Judy Andrews, Sarah Hall, Mike Lawrence and Sue Lawrence. We are also grateful to Doreen West, Ray Hubbard and Mike Harding-White for taking a performance spot. Thanks too go to Erin Watson and Nicky Stockman for performing, setting up, making tea and working the cameras.

There will be snippets of film from the event posted on our YouTube Channel over the coming weeks so feel free to Subscribe if you don’t want to miss any!

Photos: Erin Brown