New Singers

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Thursday, 9 November 2017

'Offical Opening' of Renovated 17th/18thC Barn at Sullington Manor Farm

Update 13th November: Further details have been added to the end of this post. Twelve singers have now volunteered. (Further update: 15 singers as on 15th November.)
The local MP Nick Herbert will be opening this Exhibition and Community use barn on Friday 1st December. Gail and Grahame (who organised and applied for the HLF grant funding for this second renovation, after the previous Great Barn restoration) have asked us if we could sing some songs on this occasion to enliven the proceedings.

The opening has been delayed, due to unforeseen circumstances, to a less clement time of year, so unless you are well wrapped up you may not want to take a trailer tour ride (which is also dependent on the weather).

Don't RSVP Gail, as on the poster, please email me on southdownsfolksingers@gmail.com if you can come.

Eight Singers have volunteered so far (as on 9th November) and further details will be posted as they become available, but the songs will be ones that you are all familiar with.

John C.


Further details

Singers please arrive around 1.00pm to ensure a parking space on hard ground.

We have been asked to sing an introductory few songs as people are gathering before the first trailer trip, and then again before the next one. This will allow listening to the intervening talk and participation in the 'champagne' tea.

Provisional song lists

First set:
  1. Country Life [Eb - Ab]
  2. The Coppers' Christmas Song [Bb]
  3. Old Adam [E]
  4. On Sussex Hills [A]
  5. Brisk Young Ploughboy (leaving out 2nd verse) [C]
  6. Sweet Chiming Bells [B]

Second set:
  1. Twanky Dillo [G]
  2. Rosebuds in June [B]
  3. The Holly Bears a Berry [C]
  4. West Sussex Drinking Song [E]
  5. Thousands or More [A]
  6. Here We Come A-Wassailing [C]

Calling all the South Downs Folk Singers preparing to sing at our Winter season Events

This notice is to confirm plans for an Extra session on Wednesday 15th November at 7.30pm at “Ye Olde House at Home” pub in Worthing (BN14 9AD).

(N.B. Another extra session considered for 29th November will NOT be going ahead – but the next regular Worthing group session, on Wednesday 6th December, is open to all as usual.)

Monday, 6 November 2017

Along The Road With Cotillion in Local Song and Verse

Saturday 25th November at 7.30pm in St Nicolas' Church, Old Shoreham, BN43 5NH
Doors open 7.00pm. Bar available


We are delighted to announce that Cotillion are returning to St Nicolas' to present a collection of folk songs, tunes and poetry from their Folk Shows and CDs.

The group (which includes two of our SDFS, Anne and Alan) sing and play various instruments to create a superb atmosphere with catchy songs and rhythms, spiced with humour.

Tickets (£5) will be available from the church and the usual outlets – Bookworms and Day Lewis Pharmacy in Shoreham, The Red Lion in Old Shoreham, or on the night on the door. Proceeds to the Friends of St Nicolas' who maintain the fabric of this beautiful historic church.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Local Group Report – Worthing – Wednesday 1st November 2017

Our new hosts at “Ye Olde House at Home” made us very welcome and 35 singers gathered for an evening of festive songs to herald the season ahead and prepare us for our events at the Weald and Downland Museum and Michelham Priory.  On Sussex Hills, which has almost become our anthem, warmed us up before moving on with The Holly and The Ivy, the Sussex Mummers Song (with a different selection of verses), and then Christmas is Drawing Near at Hand which some have dubbed the ‘Marmite’ song due to the mixed responses it receives!  The Pentonville tune for the shepherds and their flocks reunited us and, with a refreshment break along the way, we continued with Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Masters in This Hall and The Angel Gabriel, which was liked by all.  Sugar Wassail, The Moon Shone Bright (beginning with women’s voices but gradually introducing the men’s), and the Falmer Carol with its different harmonies, were all sung before time and energy ran out and the session needed to close. The end of our first evening at “Ye Olde House” concluded with enthusiastic agreement from singers and landlord alike that we make it our regular venue, and future sessions were duly booked.

(NB – These include an Extra session on 15th November to have more time to prepare for the Weald and Downland event on 26th November – and similarly, an option on 29th November, if needed (tbc), before Michelham Priory in December.  Our usual Worthing session will be there again on 6th December.)

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

W&DLM 'Christmas Market' Sunday 26th November

Update 20th November: 40+ Singers will be attending. Set lists have been added to the end of this post.
Update 13th November: A reminder that John will be at 'Ye Olde House at Home' on 15th November and will have with him the last few free passes for singers, to distribute to those who have either already booked a place by email or who want to participate.
Update 4th November: Here's a message from John C to keep us up to date – "Following the issue or reserving of 30 of the 40 wristband passes for this event I will be attending the practice at the 'Ye Olde House at Home', Broadwater on the 15th November to issue the remaining ten to Singers wishing to take part. If you are volunteering for this event and cannot attend on this date, please ask another Singer to pick up the requisite pass for you.
Obviously if you are a paid up supporter or volunteer at the Museum you will not need a pass."
Again a packed event with over 120 stalls, so if the weather is reasonable it's worth making a day of it.

All the new 'Gateway' buildings are operational now.

As always Sunday is the busiest day with the whole of the overflow car park filled out to West Dean College by 1pm on a good day.

If you arrive early (by 10.30am) you may be able to park in the permanent parking area, or nearer to the entrance booths, and avoid being in the long traffic queues around the site. Use the dedicated 'Friends' / stall holders queue for quick entrance by showing your pass.

See the organiser's website.

We have two sets, at 1.00-1.30pm on the decking outside the Gridshell building and 3.15-4.00pm at the Music Tent in the Market Square, with Emily leading us.

Dress for cold variable weather and wear stout shoes, but please don whatever festive headgear you want for the occasion.

I will be at the practice at Worthing on the 1st November and hope to have with me by then the Singers' free passes for those of you who have already booked but not collected them.

If you are one of the above Singers, and in the interim you have discovered another commitment and cannot come to the Market, please email southdownsfolksingers@gmail.com so that I can reallocate the remaining passes to those Singers still on the reserve list.

John C.

First Set:
  1. Pentonville (While Shepherds...) B
  2. The Holly Bears A Berry C
  3. The Falmer Carol (See seraphic throngs...) Db
  4. Sussex Mummers' Carol (When Righteous Joseph...) G#
  5. Hark The Herald Angels Sing F
  6. The Angel Gabriel B
  7. Deck The Hall B
  8. The Moon Shone Bright Bb
  9. Here We Come A-Wassailing C

Second Set:
  1. The Holly & The Ivy F
  2. The Sugar (Sussex) Wassail (A wassail, a wassail...) C
  3. Christmas Now Is Drawing... G
  4. The Sussex Carol (On Christmas night all...) G#
  5. Apple Tree Wassail (Oh lily-white lily...) G
  6. Masters In This Hall B
  7. Sweet Chiming Bells (While Shepherds...) D
  8. (Rounds) Child of Light & Hey Ho
  9. We Wish You A merry Christmas C

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

A 'Victorian Christmas' at Michelham Priory, Sunday 10th December

Update 20th November: 33+ singers will be attending and we will singing either inside the house, or in the barn, or a combination of both.
If other than wearing the odd festive decoration on your person you want to dress in Victorian-themed garb, please do.
Please be there for 11.30am, the song sets are provisionally scheduled for 12.00 & 2.30pm.
I (John C) will be on the gate to identify you for swift entry.
Set lists have been added to the end of this post.
We have been invited to sing seasonal songs in the Priory on the middle weekend of three in December with a Christmas theme.

Helen the organiser writes:

"...it's the first time we have done a 'Victorian' theme. Our Tudor weekends are generally quite well attended, but they are not massive events. At the Victorian weekends, there will be decorations, children's craft activities, Santa, dressing up / drama and a trail, plus some cookery in the house. There may be a film show in the barn, but we aren't sure yet. It might be a good idea to have the Christmas folk singing in the house. Anyway, let me know whether your Singers can help us make it an even better weekend."

See the organiser's website.

12 singers including Tina (leading) and Emily have volunteered so far.

It will be a great way of airing our seasonal songs in addition to the W&DLM 'Christmas Market'.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you are willing to support it at southdownsfolksingers@gmail.com

Song sets and other details will be added in due course.

John C.

First Set:
  1. Pentonville (While Shepherds...) B
  2. The Holly Bears A Berry C
  3. The Falmer Carol (See seraphic throngs...) Db
  4. Sussex Mummers' Carol (When Righteous Joseph...) G#
  5. Hark The Herald Angels Sing F
  6. The Angel Gabriel B
  7. Deck The Hall B
  8. The Moon Shone Bright Bb
  9. Here We Come A-Wassailing C

Second Set:
  1. The Holly & The Ivy F
  2. The Sugar (Sussex) Wassail (A wassail, a wassail...) C
  3. Christmas Now Is Drawing... G
  4. The Sussex Carol (On Christmas night all...) G#
  5. Apple Tree Wassail (Oh lily-white lily...) G
  6. Masters In This Hall B
  7. Sweet Chiming Bells (While Shepherds...) D
  8. (Rounds) Child of Light & Hey Ho
  9. We Wish You A merry Christmas C

Hark, Hark What News The Angels Bring

Yes, it's coming up to that time of year again. The Brighton Pub Carols practices start on Tuesday 7th November – just two weeks away.

As usual, these will take place at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church, Dorset Gardens, off St James's Street, Brighton from 8.00 pm to 10.00 pm.

Dates are 7th,14th, 21st & 28th November and 5th December. The 12th,19th and 23rd December have been earmarked for the three pub nights – probably at the same pubs that have been used for the past few years.

Practices will be in the upstairs hall and you can arrive from 7.45 pm. Teas and coffees will be available as usual – a small donation is requested to cover the hall hire and refreshments.

Two carols that we haven't sung before will be introduced and these will be covered in the first practice. Music for them will be circulated via Dropbox or e-mail attachments nearer the date. Visit the Brighton Pub Carols Facebook page for all the details!

Local Group Report – Chichester – Thursday 19th October 2017

A wet and windy evening found 12 singers at the Chichester Inn on the 19th October. We decided to each pick a song we’d like to sing. We resurrected The Cuckoo and Drink Me Brave Boys, songs which we haven’t sung for a long time, and then continued with Jim the Carter Lad, Country Life, and Hard Times of Old England. We thought we’d better sing something for the Weald and Downland Christmas Market event so sang Sweet Chiming Bells, Where Stormy Winds Do Blow and the Coppers’ Christmas Song. The Turnip Hoer made an appearance along with the Brisk Young Ploughboy, Valiants All and the Song of the Sussex Downsman. Despite proceedings being interrupted with the unblocking of some drains, a good time was had by all and we rounded off the evening with Rolling Home.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Local Group Report – Lewes – Tuesday 18th October 2017

Sixteen of us spent a very pleasant evening with a wide mix of songs. Maybe it was the weather that triggered us to start with Constant Lovers and The Coppers’ Christmas Song before Tina introduced us to Arthur Beckett’s Song of The Sussex Downsman. Tina was pleased with our sight-reading ability, but in fact our quick grasp of this tune and lyrics was helped by Barbara, Judy, Keith, Alwyn, Angela and Margo who had been taught the first verse and chorus by Emily the traditional way in preparation for Sullington! Then we “ran the length of the Downs” with the Floral Dance tune so that we could refresh our memories of the lyrics and names. Sweet Chiming Bells, The Moon Shone Bright and Masters in This Hall brought us to the break when we had much to discuss.

Rehearsals for the Brighton Pub Carols start on Tuesdays next month and many would like to attend the series so we will meet as SDFS on Wednesday 22nd November and Monday 18th December instead, and get back to our usual third Tuesday of the month next year.

Tina started the second half with Seasons Turn with a firm emphasis on the THIS is the time I love best. Then another new one, Hares On The Mountain with the amalgamated first and second verse and with hares and sheep in their rightful environments. Passions rose with the plight of The Turnip Hoer and then Adrian’s lively Hanover Hill. This will probably remain with us in the east as it is very specific to Brighton. Another of our group, also from Brighton, Dave has written a song and two melodies which Tina has realized blend in perfect harmony and on first attempt we are keen to forward Caburn Hill for the whole group to hear and adopt.

We finished the evening with Thousands Or More and Adrian’s East Sussex Drinking Song which he will have to modify again when we know where we will settle down as a Worthing venue.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

PLEASE NOTE – Change of Venue for the SDFS Worthing Local Group

Next Worthing singing session Wednesday 1st November 2017

Very sadly The Beechwood Hall Hotel in Worthing has had to close, so our next singing session with the SDFS Worthing Local Group will be at a different venue.

We will be meeting in the public bar at “Ye Olde House at Home” pub in Broadwater (77, Broadwater Street East, Worthing, BN14 9AD) (01903 230103). Our hosts there are Derek and Carole. The pub has its own car park, in addition to street parking nearby. The session times remain the same – arrivals from 7.30pm, to start singing by 8.00pm and finish by 10.00pm.
We look forward to seeing you there for a jolly good sing of some jolly good songs, with some new hosts who are keen to meet and hear us.

NB Some other parts of this website still refer to the Beechwood Hall Hotel. These will be brought up to date as time allows and as more information becomes available.