September 2023

About time I wrote another one of these. There are concert appearances, a new collaboration, more different talks and while there are still some of my standard barn dances and care homes, other aspects of my work are actually winding down as planned – it’s just taking longer than I expected.


Redbourn Folk Club have invited me to share the stage with Ranagri and Elizabeth and Jameson for their Folk on the Common. A real privilege and a chance to dust off some of that folk material.

Now working with singer and author, Zoë Jasko – we met through a publisher’s event, played at her book launch, did a fundraising gig in June for UNICEF Ukraine appeal and did a live rehearsal at a care home. Zoë is a wonderful singer and as her brilliant second book is set in WW2 we started with that material and are now looking at more songs from the shows that work for both of us. See attached leaflet.

Care Homes

Care homes and similar bookings have continued to provide plenty of opportunities, and most are leading to repeat work with a new strand being down in Kent as I get to know different care homes through helping my mother – it certainly helps pay for the frequent trips needed at the moment.

Dance Teaching

I have just signed up for another year of job-sharing with Mary Panton for the Country Dance classes in Camden for English Folk Dance and Song Society, and there are other occasional club nights too. See events.

I have been encouraged to do more brownie sessions and have produced a leaflet to prove it’s not just maypole, click here.


New talks to add to the growing list of options. Songs and Stories from the Music Halls for Abbots Langley Local History Society and then St Albans U3A group was very well received as was a brief look at Music and Instruments for Country Dancing. A huge topic which I reduced to something coherent in 45 minutes (plus 15 minutes of questions). There was a brief talk followed by a Maypole session for Blackthorne Tilly Widgets WI group and I am currently working on a presentation based on Sea Shanties and Songs of the Sea for next month. Maybe eventually I will finish the new leaflet to cover all of these and the existing ones. After all, this was always supposed to be a retirement project.

Tradamis and the mAy team

Tradamis had one Maypole project in Tonbridge involving two schools, a community group and some teacher training although a couple of other projects fell through. We have hopes of bringing in another Trustee or two so I can step back from being Director and hopefully give it a new lease of life. My own book launch took place in May at the Chiltern Open Air Museum and gradually people are aware of the existence of the e-book and downloadable music, while Morris! Hey! is available as a free download from EFDSS. See my shop for more information.

The mAy team seems to be winding down as the major gigs at the showgrounds such as Countryfile Live and Spring Live have not appeared in the same way since lockdown. We will be doing what may be our farewell gig at COAM on October 1st with Young Miscellany. Book tickets here.

Elsewhere is not quite as busy as some years on the music and dance side of things but there is still plenty going on. Quicksilver had a gig at Hever Castle and another couple are in the diary. Allcock and Brown had fun at what might be their last gig. As well as lots of calling, often to recorded music, I have recently led some other bands from accordion which has been fun.