Summer 2022 Newsletter

Remembering John Howson

John Howson

It is with great sadness that this Summer Newsletter comes to you with the news of the death of one of EATMT’s founders and original Directors, John Howson.  Following a short illness, John passed away at home with Katie at his bedside on Monday 13th June.  It is a huge shock and loss for our musical community.  His contribution to the promotion of Traditional Music, Song and Dance was immense and will live on in his work he leaves behind.

Katie is organising a Celebration of John’s life which will be held in Stowmarket on Tuesday 12th July.  There will be memories, photographs, music, food and a music session in his local musical pub the Little Wellington.  The celebrations start at midday in the John Peel Centre, moving to St Peter’s Church Hall for a buffet at 1.30 and then on to the Little Wellington from 3pm.  There are obviously number restrictions on all of these venues but if you would like to join Katie and friends in celebrating John’s life, please get in touch with Katie directly or through EATMT – telephone 07495 054669 and we will pass numbers on to Katie.

Donations to St Elizabeth Hospice who put in outstanding care and support for both John and Katie in the last few weeks of John’s life.


Vaughan Williams’ Folk Project

EATMT is delighted to bring you news of an exciting 18 month long project that the Trust has been successful in securing National Lottery Heritage funding for (just short of £66,000) to run across the region of East Anglia. 

Over this 18 month period we aim to showcase the research that has already been carried out over the region – some of which has been out of print for some time – as well as spotlight some forthcoming publications which have been written by East Anglian residents which are being published in this, Vaughan Williams’ 150 year.  This research and knowledge will be shared through all age groups and we will be working on a Youth Mentorship programme in partnership with FolkEast’s Young Folk Moot and also in schools offering musicianship and resource packs relevant to the songs and tunes collected in their counties.  There will be lots of opportunities to get involved during this exciting journey and you can find out more at Traditional Music Day on Saturday 10th September where the project will be launched at 12 noon in the Church of St Mary’s and St Peter’s.

EATMT is extremely grateful to the hard work, dedication and heritage experience of Nicky Stockman who is Project Co-ordinator.  Nicky developed the project from an idea born over lunch with keen volunteer Alan Helsdon and EATMT administrator Alex. 

We are also delighted to be working with the Young Folk Moot (creative arts programme at FolkEast) and specifically Finn Collinson and Becky Marshall-Potter.  We are also delighted that our podcast creator from earlier in the year, Jake Lee Savage, is also able and extremely keen to join us to build upon this new digital phenomena!  We have wonderful support from a good number of researchers in the region who are firmly on board as well as willing and keen educational establishments who want to be part of the project – from primary schools through to a local university. 

A new webpage dedicated to this project can be found HERE which will be regularly updated.  If you would like to be involved in any way, please do get in touch.

An American Visitor

Nora Rodes with Trustee Eammon Andrews at the Geldeston Locks Inn, 21st June 2022

We have been very fortunate to have had the company of young Ballad singer and Traditional Ballad Scholar, Nora Rodes staying with us in Suffolk.  19 year old Nora from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania may be known to those of you who are members of the Traditional Song Forum and who may have seen Nora present a couple of talks on the monthly TSF zoom meetings during the pandemic.

Nora arrived in the UK mid-May where she is based until mid-July – working on various archives – indexing and cataloguing – as well as editing her chapter of a forthcoming book published by the Ballard Partners.  She has also been keeping up with some of her university studies and helping out where opportunities arise – at the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust, Nora produced a new “Maypole Resource Booklet” which will form part of the Maypole Hire documentation.  She was able to use part of a recently donated archive belonging to Essex based Folk Dance Teacher Pam Warren.

She attended the “As I Roved Out” traditional song conference in Limerick in early June and will be presenting a paper at the end of July in Portugal at the International Council of Traditional Music Conference based around her research on the collection of Eloise Hubbard Linscott that is in the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center.

Nora has been in Suffolk for slightly longer than planned with Covid featuring regularly amongst her fellow hosts and even herself which has led to the rescheduling of plans on several occasions, but we’ve been delighted to have had some of her extended stay with us in East Anglia! So far we’ve been to celebrate the summer solstice at the Geldeston Locks Inn, attended a sculpture exhibition opening and attended a Dance Folkus ceilidh. Nora has been working with Steve Roud and Martin and Shan Graebe and has been introduced to the wonders of the British Library with a planned visit to Cecil Sharp House in the coming weeks.

More than Melodeons

Vocal workshop with Janet Koralambe

Our huge thanks go to Judy & Eammon Andrews for co-ordinating this event on behalf of EATMT and introduced many to the beautiful Wingfield Barns complex. 

This day comprised a day of workshops – fiddle, melodeon, concertina, whistle plus ensemble for any instrument and we were delighted to have a wonderful team of Tutors: Dave Shepherd, Janet Koralambe, Sally Barrett, Andrew Collins, Jill Parson, Mim Barnes and a very last minute replacement melodeon tutor, Nick Hart who stepped in to replace a poorly Jack Hogsden and his workshops.  We are also grateful to Ron Ross and Tin River who ran two sessions.  Tin River also performed in the evening concert.  The lovely Suffolk Wild Flour pizza bar fed us in the evening and the Wingfield Barns staff looked after us all day providing not just a wonderful set up, but also ale, coffee, tea and lunch.

This event was also made possible with the help from Acorn Instruments, Andrews Survey & Evaluation Ltd and Mid Suffolk District Council.

For a detailed report of the day see HERE.

More Than Melodeons will be back again next year! Dates to be announced in due course.


Traditional Music, Song and Stepdancing at Strumpshaw Tree Fair

16th/17th July is the date for the wonderful Strumpshaw Tree Fair and we are once again indebted to Chris Holderness and Norfolk band Hushwing for co-ordinating on behalf of EATMT some entertainment. 

Hushing and Friends will be performing around the Gypsy Wagons just after midday and in the dance tent at 4pm on Saturday 16th July.  Entrance is £15 for over 12s, £5 for under 12s and free for under 5s.  If you’re going on the Sunday 17th July, from 2pm there will be folk music from Norfolk Duo “Two’s Company”.

Stepdance Day at Chippenham Village Hall, Cambridgeshire

Sunday 24th July sees Stepdance day taken to the Suffolk/Cambridgeshire borders and the village of Chippenham, near Newmarket.  The event starts at midday at Chippenham Village Hall with workshops – the first led by Norfolk Stepdancer Fiona Davies accompanied by fiddler James Delarre.  Some of the tunes played in this session will be taught – guided by Ron Ross – to eager musicians in a workshop geared towards the musician and playing for dancing.  Stepdancers will discuss what they look for in a musical accompaniment. The competitions will follow at 2.15pm and the event will finish with a general music and stepdancing session.

We have had a trio of support this year for this event – from our Stepdance Day co-ordinator Fiona Davies, Erin Brown – previous winner of Best Newcomer, and musician Nicky Stockman.  Erin and Nicky are keen to showcase some of the stepdancing that is alive and well in Cambridgeshire.

We will be bringing Steve Monk’s anglo concertina which was recently donated to the Trust by Steve’s daughter and we invite any anglo concertina players to come along and treat the steppers to a dance tune played on this concertina.

This is always a lovely social event – do come and join in!

This event has been funded by the Instep Research Team.  

FolkEast – Stall, Stepdancing and Vaughan Williams’ Folk

19th, 20th & 21st August This is another lovely festival and we will be there all weekend with our stall and co-ordinating the FolkEast Stepdancing competition for its 2nd year, which will take place on the Sunday.  There will be a workshop on the Friday and the Saturday. 

Following the success of the Vaughan Williams’ Folk project funding award, we will be putting on an illustrated talk at some point over the weekend with one of our researchers and Finn Collinson and Emma Beach as part of the FolkEast Young Folk Moot will be introducing local songs/tunes collected by Vaughan Williams over 100 years ago as part of youth project will are working on with FolkEast. 

East Anglian Traditional Music Day – Stowmarket

Friday 9th September (7.30pm) and Saturday 10th September sees the return of Traditional Music Day.  We are delighted to be joined by a whole host of wonderful musicians, mostly from the Eastern region, for a day of Music, Song, Dance, Storytelling and Talks. 

Tickets for both events are on sale from July 1st 2022.  Please see HERE for a booking form.

Friday 9th September kicks the weekend off with a Ceilidh at the John Peel Centre at 7.30pm with the Hosepipe Band and caller Mary Panton

On Saturday 10th September we have a full day and evening of events.  The line up so far is looking like this:

Cohan Braithwaite-Kilcoyne       Tony Hall & The Von Krapp Family band           
Belinda Kempster & Fran Foote            Harbour Lights Trio            Mossy Christian & Megan Wisdom        Roger Digby & Liz Giddings         Racker Donnelly                   Justine Di Mierre
Peta Webb & Ken Hall      Katie Howson          Sound Tradition      Potiphar’s Apprentices
Hushwing & Bristol Fashion & Friends including Steve Matthews and Ray Hubbard      The Cambs Acoustic Collective  Gemma Khawaja    The Harbour Inn Crowd           
The Story of the Blaxhall Ship    Christopher Heppa – My Life with Harry Cox    
Haughley Hoofers              Golden Star Morris            Boudicca Morris    

Expect concerts, sessions, talks, workshops, storytelling and dance across a number of venues in Stowmarket including the John Peel Centre, St Peter’s Hall, St Peter’s and St Mary’s Church, Stowmarket Library, Stowmarket Scout Hut, The Mix, The Walnut, The Pallet Bar and the British Legion.

Tickets for both events are on sale from July 1st 2022.  Please see HERE for a booking form.

Saturday 26th November – Vaughan Williams’ Folk – Research Conference – Stowmarket

Watch this space for further details on this event – part of our 18 month long project – Vaughan Williams’ Folk.

How can you help?

As ever, you can support EATMT by joining as a Friend. Support from our Friends’ membership scheme has been a vital source of income over the many years of its existence and continues to be so.  We are grateful to volunteer Shirley Harry for providing administrative support to the running of the scheme.

We are also looking to increase our board of Trustees over the next year.  If you find yourself with more time on your hands and are keen to get more involved with EATMT then this could be for you!  You don’t have to be a musician, dancer or storyteller, but you have to have an interest in what we do and like what we represent.  Ideally you will be able to commit approximately one day a month/6 weeks.

As a registered charity we can only exist with a Board of Trustees – all of whom give their time for free. We meet a minimum of 3 times a year but the role is not limited to just that.

If you are interested in finding out more about the role of a Trustee, please get in touch with Alex, Administrator – 07495 054669 and more details will be given. Thank you to those who have enquired thus far. Once the summer events have taken place, we will be in a position to look further into this.

As ever, we would welcome any offers of help at events – in particular we are looking for volunteer stewards for September’s East Anglian Traditional Music Day.  Please do get in touch if you would like to be involved.

Best wishes and Happy Summer! 
Alex Bartholomew, EATMT Administrator