New Singers

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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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Monday, 30 June 2014

Thanks - and see you later!

Today I am handing over the blog to IT wizz Keith Dillon.  I took it over from Linda T what seems like ages ago and it's been lots of fun to do.  A big thank you to everyone who reads it - and a big raspberry to those who don't!  It is a very useful way of keeping people updated as to the events and sessions we singers get up to, as well as providing other useful, interesting and relevant information so if you look at it only rarely, you're missing out!

Keith is a great successor and knows far more about the techy stuff than I do so the blog will be in even safer hands!  Thanks Keith.

Right.  Over and out.  See (some of) you on Wednesday at the Beechwood.

Adrian F

Friday, 27 June 2014

To all the singers in the play .....

Tomorrow's the last performance of the Worthing Community Play!  Good luck to the many SDFS singers who have been a part of it all - what a ride!

Adrian F

PS - should we create the SDFS Mummers to take advantage of our acting talents?!

Thursday, 26 June 2014


Links to the lyrics of 37 songs and ten carols are now on the Lyrics and Music page.  More to come in due course!  There may be a few tweaks made but they are broadly correct.

The carols will have another three titles added in time for Christmas: The Falmer Carol, While Shepherds Watched their Flocks By Night (Sweet Chiming Bells version) and Christmas is Now Drawing Near at Hand.

There is a training version of the last one already available.

Adrian F

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

SDFS Committee Meeting

The next SDFS Committee Meeting is scheduled for 31 July.  If you have anything you would like raised, please let the secretary know via the general enquiries e-mail address on the Contact Us page.

Adrian F

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Local Group Report – Lewes Tuesday 17th June 2014

At the Royal Oak on 17th June we welcomed new singer David Turner from Brighton (who sings with the Orpheus Choir and is rediscovering folk singing) and returning singer Andy Miller from Lewes (who still works for Harvey's Brewery after 43 years).

We ran through the eight songs on the setlist for the Sussex University of the Third Age Network event on 12th July and then turned our attention to some of the newer songs including Ale Glorious Ale, Constant Lovers, Country Life, Gooch's Beer and Ha'nacker Mill. We have now sung all the 39 songs in our repertoire at least once (except for the carols which we will look forward to starting come October ... but let's not wish the summer away with Amberley and Arundel just around the corner – look out for announcements soon...)


Easebourne tomorrow!

Just another quick reminder, folks: this and next month's Easebourne sessions will be held at The Three Moles, Selham.  More information on the Local Group News page ....

Adrian F

Monday, 16 June 2014

S.U.N. event - Brighton University, 12 July

Coming to the S.U.N. event?  Lyrics for all the songs we will sing at Falmer are now on the dedicated S.U.N. event page below (edited to enable deletion of dedicated page). But then you know them all already, don't you?!

Adrian F

Sussex U3A* Network (S.U.N.) - Saturday 12 July at 3pm
- Celebration of 'Sussex and the South Downs' project

This is a follow-up to the e-mail sent out last Wednesday, 11 June.

The S.U.N. event celebrates the history, natural history, literature, art, crafts, music, industry and traditions of the South Downs and aims to have 10-12 musical performances of about 20 minutes each.  With this in mind, I’ve put together the following setlist adding up to around 21 minutes (download the lyrics here):

Fathom the Bowl
Hard Times of Old England  
All things are Quite Silent
On Sussex Hills
Ladies Go Dancing at Whitsun
Life of a Man
Rosebuds in June
Thousands or More 

These songs cover class / politics / poverty; drinking and festivity; farming and industry; life cycles; love and loss; nature; roving; the sea and the seasons.  As an acknowledgement to the anniversary of the Great War it includes a couple of our gentler new war-themed songs which we can go through at the sessions in Lewes on 17th June, Easebourne on 19th June and Worthing on 2nd July. 

The comments on the blog and from singers at Horses at War regarding a dress code seem to indicate a majority wanting some kind of identity - but not a uniform.  A couple of people have suggested green for the Downs and blue for the sea and I thought we could try this out for this event with added white and / or cream for a more summery feel.

So basically, any kind of clothing / hat / buttonhole of your choice in any shade or combination of green / blue / white / cream.  All of which should accommodate Lincoln green SDFS polo shirts (if you have one) blue jeans, pale chinos, summery dresses, straw hats and anything else anyone may wish to wear.

We need to know how many singers will attend so please let me know as soon as possible at

Any questions?  Send them to me at too.


PS - a reminder of the details:

Event details:
The overall event will all take place over three floors in the Checkland Building, University of Brighton (Falmer campus) between 10.30am and 3.30pm.  We will be singing in that building.  There will be many stands, suitable for all ages, displaying the wide range of activities promoted by the project.
More details from the website here. 

Getting there:
The Falmer campus is adjacent to the Brighton & Hove F.C. Stadium.  There is free entry for the public and free parking.  It is easily reached by train (Falmer) or bus (23, 25 direct; 28, 29 to Sussex University - alight opposite Falmer station).

* University of the Third Age

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Horses at War

We sang for a full 50 minutes outside in the sun at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum Horses at War event on Saturday 6th June and our songs were very well received by an appreciative audience. In my humble opinion, we sang the best we have ever sung out of doors, thanks largely to the spirited conducting by our musical director Emily Longhurst and also the beautiful singing of Amaryllis Gunn and her quartet, ably backed by the rest of the group. But as you can see from the smiles in the photos, the big reward for us is to meet and sing and be happy together. First outing for the new SDFS banner too!

Let's have more of these events please!


David G

Friday, 13 June 2014

Sussex U3A Network (S.U.N.) Celebration of 'Sussex and the South Downs' project

Further to the e-mail sent out last Wednesday (11th June) Tina has now put together a dedicated page for the S.U.N. event on 12th July, with setlist and what-to-wear info!  This is a real chance to get ourselves a little more known in the east so have a look at the page and make it a date!

Adrian F

Thursday, 12 June 2014

VENUE CHANGE - Easebourne sessions, 19 June and 17 July

If you are planning to go to the Easebourne session this month and in July, please note that they will be held at

The Three Moles
West Sussex
GU28 0PN

The Three Moles is small traditional pub about a mile south of the A272 between Petworth and Midhurst.  Turn off the A272 opposite the Halfway Bridge Inn and follow the road south for 1 1/2 km (1 mile).  There is a hump back bridge soon after the entrance to WL West's wood yard so take care!

The sessions should return to the White Horse at Easebourne in August - but keep an eye on the blog for up-to-date information.


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Come and join in!

Are you coming to the monthly sessions?  There are three song sessions every month, at Lewes, Worthing and Midhurst - so there's bound to be one near you!  Unless you're reading this in Cumbria, of course.  Come along and stretch your lungs, meet some great people and wrap your larynx around the wonderful folksong of the South Downs.

We ask for a modest contribution of around £2 per session - but it's voluntary so if you need to keep something back for the bus fare home, that's ok.

See you soon!

Adrian F

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Horses at War

It went very well, my sources tell me.

What did you think?  If you were one of the singers yesterday, write and tell me what you thought and I'll put something on the blog.

If you are not (yet!) one of the South Downs Folk Singers but watched us sing, why not write and say what you thought of us?  Did you enjoy our songs and our singing?  Are we any good?  Would you recommend us to a friend?!

Adrian F

Wednesday, 4 June 2014


Thanks to "Anonymous" x 3 for your comments in the last 24 hours - it's great to have some involvement and feedback.

But please put your name to your comment so that a more meaningful exchange can take place: any thread (if one develops) is tricky to follow if all contributors are called "Anonymous" !!

Keep 'em coming!

Adrian F

New SDFS blog header!

So .... do you like the new header to the blog?  Designed by a Jolly Nice Lady called Clare Mullineux, it replaces the well-used and well-loved original design introduced by the South Downs Songs Project all those years ago.  It will also be used on a new banner for us to display at events, leaving our enraptured audience in no doubt as to who we are!

Stationery and publicity will also carry the new design.

Adrian F

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

SDFS Dress Code (yes, really!)

Should we adopt a particular style of dress or uniform when we sing at events?

It would enable us to build up an image - something that would be recognizable from event to event, helped by our new banner.  The issue has been raised before, with some people adamantly against it and others going so far as to print shirts with logos.  I think consistency is important here (ie we'd all have to wear it - at all events) - but also a rationale.  Why would we do this if we perform at, say, just six events a year plus a similar number of local events?  John Lamb and the team have a 'uniform appearance' planned for the German trip - but no uniform as such.  Indeed, is uniformity in general compatible with our professed background - namely casual singing for pleasure in the pub for ourselves and anyone else who cares to listen?

The committee discussed this at the May meeting and would now like your views.  What's it to be?  Dungarees with SDFS standard issue pieces of straw for our worn out hats?  Or a smart lincoln green polo shirt with a neat embroidered SDFS logo above the left breast?

Let us hear what you think - you can use the 'Comment' facility below (click on 'comments').

Adrian F

Monday, 2 June 2014

Keep on checking!

It's a very good idea to check in often with Folksinging Central - ie this weblog!  Here you will find all the news about the SDFS, what we are doing and where we are doing it, updated frequently for your delight and delictation!

If you are singing at a main (ie whole group) event (as opposed to a normal monthly session) please let John C know if you are coming.  (If it's a local event, please let the local admin person know.)  This is important for logistical reasons (parking, passes / permits, general numbers - will there be enough of us etc).  Contact details are, unsurprisingly, on the Contact Us page.

If you need or can offer transport, please also let John or the local person know.  We can then make sure that everyone can get there and back.

Adrian F

Local Group Report – Lewes Tuesdays 15th April and 20th May 2014

– and looking forward to 17th June ....
A few of our regulars were away on holiday or taking part at other events such as the Brighton Festival but we were pleased to be joined by returning singers Rona Couper from Hove, Penny Steel from Brighton and a new singer Frances Ocean – also from Brighton.

We mainly rehearsed the songs for the Horses at War event (see here for the report and photos from this enjoyable and well-received performance).  Several of the newer songs for 2014 were started and we also sang some old favourites, in particular The Moon Shone Bright, a request from Penny who just likes it, hadn't heard it for a while and and thinks it a shame that such lovely old carols are only aired in the latter part of the year.

At the next session on 17th June we will reprise eight of the Horses at War songs for the Sussex University of the 3rd Age Network event at the University of Brighton on 12th July (details here).  If you would like to sing in this event please e-mail me at  Do come along to the Royal Oak session next week – you will be very welcome!  If you can't make it, there will also be runthrough sessions in Worthing and Easebourne (see Diary Dates).  The lyrics for these songs will be on the blog shortly so you will be able to learn / brush up your words between sessions. 

I look forward to seeing you soon.


Sunday, 1 June 2014

Local Group News – Easebourne Thursdays in June and July 2014

If you are planning to go to the Easebourne session this month and in July, please note that they will be held at

The Three Moles
West Sussex
GU28 0PN

The Three Moles is small traditional pub about a mile south of the A272 between Petworth and Midhurst.  Turn off the A272 opposite the Halfway Bridge Inn and follow the road south for 1 1/2 km (1 mile).  There is a hump back bridge soon after the entrance to WL West's wood yard so take care!

The sessions should return to the White Horse at Easebourne in August – but keep an eye on the blog for up-to-date information.