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New singers  are always welcome to join us – read more

Event Organisers  – want us to sing for you? – read more
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Friday, 21 June 2013

Local Group Report – Easebourne Thursday 20th June 2013

The SDFS sing at the White Horse in Easebourne was a very jolly affair and attended by about 20 people. We filled the side room and made such a good noise we could be heard both in the bar and outside on the patio, with favourable comments from the pub's patrons!

We first practised all the songs scheduled for Amberley and then went on to sing just about every other song in our repertoire including a very nice rendering of The Cruel Mother. Other songs sung were Where Stormy Winds do Blow, Gooches Beer, Ale Glorious Ale, The Man that Waters the Workers' Beer and A Miner's Life, before ending with John Tams' Rolling Home.

I think we must all have sung for over two hours with barely a break – we're a stalwart bunch at Easebourne and love nothing better than a good sing! (and a joke and a drink amongst friends).

Dave Garrard
next meeting   Thursday July 18th at the White Horse (8pm)

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Local Group Report – Lewes Tuesday 18th June 2013

Exciting News!

Lewes Tuesday took place as usual Tuesday 18th and saw us working hard at the songs we'll sing at Amberley on Saturday week. But a couple of treats made this session a bit special....

Firstly, Tina Cox has agreed to take over the teaching at Lewes (yay! as the kids say!).

"I've been singing on and off since the age of 4, doing solos and working in both small and large groups; covering folk, classical, opera, religious music, jazz standards and community choir-type music; in London and various parts of Sussex. I play piano, guitar and trumpet and can sight-read music" said Tina. "But equally importantly, I think I'm friendly, approachable, good at starting from where people are at and able to show those who think they can't sing that, actually, they can!!"

So ... panic over, then - I'm a bit more relaxed now! We're all looking forward to benefiting from the fruits of her labours! I've padlocked her to the upstairs room at the Royal Oak. Just to be sure ....

And then we were blessed by Folk Royalty: Vic Smith of the Royal Oak Folk Club, Lewes Folk Festival and the Folk Diary graced us with his presence for the second half. We felt quite honoured. I hope he enjoyed himself. He seemed to ....

Adrian Figgess

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


29th June Amberley Chalk Pits Museum 

 The Museum carpark is right by the railway station. From there, there’s a short path (about 100 yards) to the above. It is limited, we expect to be busy, so we encourage car-sharing and travel by train

After discussion with Ann, here is  set list for Amberley (no order though - and we may not manage all of them):

On Sussex Hills

West Sussex Drinking Song

Jolly Good Song

Ebernoe Horn Fair


Eileen Na Ruin

Twanky Dillo

Rosebuds in June

Sussex Wedding Song

Thousands or More
Latest Information 

We are appearing directly after Ann & Son @ 14.30 hrs at the Kilns (opposite the Folk Barn for 30mins presumably at the sound stage,.
The finale 
At 3.20pm the parade starts to line up at the Barn, then it moves off up to the White Pit where the finale takes place
Thomas the Tank Grand finale In the 'White Pits' about 16.00hrs.
Gather there at approx. 15.40pm.  Best finally check on the day and arrive before lunch.
The Museum/Station car park is next to the museum, and they run a train from it into the site but you need to get there early and perhaps share cars (meet at Whiteways Cafe on the A29), or travel by train as the car park has a finite capacity.
There is a Restaurant on site but it wont be open until 3pm.

There will be food concessions in the White Pit as well as hot drinks and real ale in the Friends Centre

One particular point though: if you are bringing a guest and only indicated them as 'guest' to John, they will be on the list as a guest of Ruth Dewdney (our contact at the museum and an SDFS member).  If for any reason they do not arrive with their relevant SDFS member, they will need to state the surname of that member on arrival.
Here's an example: Fred and Wilma Flinstone arrive separately.  Fred's a SDFS singer and Wilma isn't.  She's on the list as a guest of Fred's so will need to state on arrival that she is a 'guest of Ruth Dewdney' and is with Fred Flintstone.  That's how they want it done!

NEW - Local Groups News page and also New Songs for Sessions page. Keep up to date with who is singing what, where!


Monday, 17 June 2013

A WONDERFUL EVENING – CD Launch and Sussex Day Celebrations

The Launch of the CD!

The definitive South Downs Songs CD was launched last night (Sunday 16th June) in the Gridshell at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. There were over 80 singers present as Chris, Emily and Ann closed the South Downs Songs Project and launched the South Downs Songs CD.

The CD is fabulous - from the design on the front to the contents of the CD. Each project group has several songs featured on the album and Adrian Revill has produced a brilliant  recording of each track.

Each participant in the project is able to collect a free CD, so please contact Chris Hare if you would like to have yours.

Here is the recording of last nights performance in the Gridshell, courtesy of Adrian Revill: [update August 2014: sorry, this recording is no longer available]

There will be more to follow about the launch, so watch this space.

Earlier in the day we sang as part of the Sussex Day celebrations being held at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Here is a YouTube video showing parts of this event – after the introduction, we come in again about two minutes from the start:

—————— Coming soon ———————

Tuesday 18th June   Lewes Tuesdays      7.30pm to 10pm

The Royal Oak, Station Street, Lewes

Thursday 20th          Midhurst Thursday   7.30pm to 10pm

The White Horse, Easebourne

Amberley 29th June  - contact John Crane if you want to go

Saturday, 8 June 2013

ON THE CIRCUIT! (so to speak)

Singing with Walkers 
Some of the members of the Easebourne group of SDFS singers attended a concert and ceilidh on Thursday 30th May at the village hall in Elsted. John Jones the well known leader of the folk rock group Oysterband and some 30 of his friends and supporters were walking the South Downs Way from East to West and singing in the evenings at various hostelries. At the event in Elsted village hall Alan Wheeler, Adrian & Wendy, Steve, Dave & Sue and Shirley Blott sang On Sussex Hills to a packed house, and then were requested to sing Thousands or More, which everyone joined in with.
 Dave Garrard - Easebourne and Worthing singer
It's fantastic local groups are singing the songs around their areas. For more local events check out the 'Diary Dates' page  

STOP PRESS! Lift required from Worthing

Can anyone offer David Howell a lift on 16th please?He is a non driver.
If so can you contact as soon as possible! Thanks in anticipation - Linda

Friday, 7 June 2013


A message from Chris 

Hello all,

As the 16th is fast approaching, here are the plans and details for any of you who don't already know...
If you are planning to sing during the day you'll need your pass from John if you want free entry for yourself and a guest. John Crane
We'll be singing at 1pm and at 4pm in the Market Square.
Here are the songs for each performance, good rollicking faves:
Fathom, Nightingale, Rosebuds, Sussex Wedding Song, Hard Times, Thousands or more, and to finish, Jolly Good Song.
4pm, Twanky Dillo, Old Adam, Green Grow the Laurel, Sussex Hills,
Ebernoe Horn Fair, W Sussex Drinking Song, and Jolly Good Song.
Then we'll gather at about 6.30 for 7pm at the Gridshell, no passes needed.
Those of you who will be joining in with the day and the evening can head up to the gridshell as the museum itself closes to the public. The cafe stays open til 5, and just down the road is the Partridge Inn at Singleton which does nice food. SO plenty of places to while away the afternoon.
Once in the Gridshell we'll sing a few more of our songs, beginning with...
Sussex Hills, Sussex Wedding Song, Rosebuds, Shepherd of the Downs,
Rolling in the Dew....
and then we can take requests!
And do bring along a song of your own to share if you fancy, it'd be lovely to hear some unfamiliar ones too.
As there is a goodly number of us it's been decided that a bring and share is the best plan. so, Gentlemen would you please bring something sweet, and Ladies please bring something savoury. That way we should have a veritable feast between us.
And also bring your own drink, whatever you fancy, alcoholic or non, and your favourite thing to drink it out of. Otherwise you'll be sipping from plastic cups, not nearly so pleasureable!
During the evening we will also receive our grand final cd!!!! The glorious fruit of all our hard and joyful work.
And, as a nod toward those among us who favour some sort of unified attire, please come with a flower in your button hole, or thereabouts.
Really looking forward to seeing you all, and singing our hearts out!
Chris, Ann and Emily