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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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Southdowns Folk Festival, Bognor Regis, Sunday 28th September

This post contains all the available information for singing at Bognor. There is the song list and the original post from John C. The last update to this post was on 10th September.

Here is the order of songs for Bognor:
  1. Twanky Dillo
  2. On Sussex Hills
  3. Fathom the Bowl
  4. All Things Are Quite Silent
  5. Ladies Go Dancing At Whitsun
  6. Life of a Man
  7. West Sussex Drinking Song
  8. Thousands or More
  9. Sussex by the Sea
  10. Jolly Good Song

Original post from John C:

They come thick and fast!!

Another new venue (for us) is this established large event in a different area where we can display our constantly developing wares and hopefully recruit even more members.

I won't go into great detail as if you visit all the information is there.

One point about parking though, I for one will be parking free, to the north of the Upper Bognor Road / A259 in one of the residential streets and walking in.

We are in the Dance & Music Stage Marquee at Hotham Park with amplification, so variable weather will not be a problem.

Performance slot is 13.30 - 14.00 hrs, so please be there at the latest by 13.00. There are many other performances that you may wish to watch on the day.

As we have had several recent performances a dedicated practice session will not be necessary, so just turn up at your usual monthly session to fine hone the songs.

Songs will again be selected from the Amberley list below, and optional dress colours the same. [Update 10th September: the song list is now given above.]

As usual please email me if you are coming, or sign up personally with me at the Beechwood Hall session next week.

John C

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Local Group Report – Lewes Tuesday 19th August 2014

At the Royal Oak on 19th August eleven singers gathered in the upstairs room. Regular singers were Adrian, Angela B, Cat, Dave T, Margo, Sue, Tina and Wendy A. We were also pleased to welcome three new singers. Christine from Peacehaven picked up our flyer at the Con Club in Lewes and also saw an article about us in the South Downs National Park newsletter. Christine brought along her friend Angela P from Saltdean. Libby from Rottingdean was looking for folk singing opportunities in the area and found us via Google.

The focus of this session was on the songs for Amberley Ale Festival on 31st August and we got through 15 of the 17 songs with our new singers doing brilliantly to keep up. Angela B and Margo provided excellent harmonies as ever. Well done also to Adrian and Dave T who kept up the volume in the men’s section although greatly outnumbered this evening.

There is a good mix of singers generally. Some have been involved from the start of the original South Downs Folk Songs Project with “Emily and the Hares” while others have joined since Adrian launched the Lewes local group in April 2013. We currently have around 22 singers on the books. Not everyone can manage to get to every session but on the other hand a few stalwart singers regularly pop over to the other local groups in Selham and Worthing as well.

New singers are always welcome. Feel free to come along for all or part of a session as a taster. I’m usually there by 7:15pm putting up the notices in the downstairs bar or setting out the chairs in the upstairs room where we sing. By the time we have got drinks, settled in, done introductions and caught up with news we usually start singing by 7:45pm, we have a comfort/drink break at 8:45pm then carry on until 10pm. I bring along word sheets for each session so don’t feel shy, you just need to turn up with your voice and join in.  As with the other local group sessions there is a suggested voluntary contribution of £1 to £2 per session to cover photocopying and other running costs.

Any queries, comments, suggestions – feel free to contact us at and either Margo (Lewes Admin Rep) or I will get back to you.

Looking forward to seeing singers old and new at the next session on 16th September.


Monday, 18 August 2014

Singing at Amberley Museum, Sunday 31st August

This post contains all the available information for singing at Amberley. There are contributions here from Tina and John C. The last update to this post was on 23rd August.

From Tina:

Amberley Ale Festival 31st August – final arrangements.

Running order (same as at Arundel but grouped in sub sets by theme):
  1. Twanky Dillo
  2. On Sussex Hills

  3. Fathom The Bowl
  4. Gooch’s Beer

  5. Green Grow the Laurel
  6. Hard Times of Old England

  7. All Things Are Quite Silent
  8. Ladies Go Dancing at Whitsun
  9. Home Lads, Home
  10. Life of a Man

  11. Rosebuds in June
  12. Nightingale

  13. West Sussex Drinking Song
  14. Ale Glorious Ale

  15. Thousands or More
  16. Sussex by the Sea
  17. Jolly Good Song
You can download this running order here.

Announcer / MC wanted:
To introduce us as a group, introduce each sub set of songs, thank the audience at the end, plug the CD etc. Adrian is willing to do this if he is there, but he is not yet able to confirm his attendance. If anyone else is able to do this or to be on standby please let me know via and we can sort out the wording.

Photographers / Flyer distributors / CD sellers:
If anyone has relatives or friends who are not singing and can take on any of these tasks please let me know.

Everything else as in John C’s earlier post below.

See you there.


From John C:

Dear Singers,

Here are the final details for the day:

The practice session is this Wednesday, 20th August commencing at 7.30pm sharp at the Beechwood Hotel, Worthing.

On the actual day can you please be on site from around 11.30am, as our sound check is at 12 noon at the Bus Stage adjacent to the Limeburners Restaurant, you can't miss it! Gates officially open at 12 noon but you can enter earlier as your names are ticked off on the list. It's the last day of the three-day Festival so let's stir their hangovers vigorously!

Our slot is 12.30 - 1.00pm, but as we have no instruments except ourselves we will commence singing as soon as possible to welcome the punters in. You will see that the song list allows for this with several songs denoted with an * which can be added if time allows. You can download the song list here. [Update 23rd August: this song list is now superseded by the running order given above by Tina]

Tina has kindly volunteered to lead us, and her contact mobile JUST FOR THE DAY is 07795 335646.

The car park by Amberley Station can get full up quite quickly, so you could come by train, or another suggestion is to meet up by prior personal arrangement at Whiteways Cafe Car Park, at the junction of the A284/A29 and combine transport.

As for the SUN U3A event at Brighton Uni. a combination of blues, greens, white or cream clothes is the theme if you have them but most importantly it's your voices that count!

We have a good number of Singers already signed up, but if you haven't already done so please email me before the 23rd at the latest, so you can be added to the list. Otherwise it's the full entry price on the door.

John C

Local Group Report – Lewes Tuesday 15th July 2014

Eleven singers gathered at the Royal Oak on 15th July. We welcomed back Audrey from Brighton who had attended some of the original Brighton workshops and had kept up with us on the blog since then. Two new singers also joined us – Sue from Lewes had picked up one of our flyers at the Bus Station and had brought along her friend Wendy, also from Lewes. They were both looking to get back into singing regularly and keen on the idea of singing for pleasure in a small local group to start with.

Five of us had been amongst the 22 singers present at the Sussex University of the Third Age Network event at the University of Brighton the previous weekend on 12th July and all agreed this had been a fun and successful venture into the Eastern end of the Downs. This had been the first public performance for Margaret and Mac from Saltdean who assured us it would not be their last.

Gaynor and John from Lewes were basking in the glory of the trip they had organised to Waldshut-Tiengen, Lewes' German twin town the week before that, where they and six other singers had spent four days and had taken part in the Schwyzertag Festival. They also shared the news that as a duo they have been signed up for a paid gig early next year.

As well as chatting and looking at photos we did actually manage to fit in a lot of singing, getting through most of the War and Drinking songs (looking ahead to Arundel Festival and Amberley Ale Festival in August) as well as other newer songs such as Country Life and older established numbers Twanky Dillo and Thousands or More.

We are continuing with the Royal Oak as our permanent venue (subject to the occasional darts tournament when we may need to move to a different evening) so we look forward to seeing singers old and new in the upstairs room in August and beyond.


Saturday, 16 August 2014

Today at Arundel Festival

Despite the short notice we managed to field over 20 singers (a thank you to all who participated for your support, it was much appreciated) today in Tarrant Square, just off the High Street, which made it a very busy location. Led by our lovely Emily, and helped by her diminutive flyer distributors (perhaps braces might be the answer to that particular problem Em!), we lustily banged out the 17 songs that Amaryllis had kindly selected for us.

Initially we were going to have a break half way but when we reached that point, and still had an audience, we didn't want to let them go. Also several singers had prior early evening appointments to get to.

The gods smiled on us for the weather as the location was without cover and the previous singer kindly lent us his mike for Sandria, our announcer for the afternoon, to eruditely top and tail our songs and performance. Sandria's husband Michael kindly took some photos for us and these should be added to this report soon.

Final details to follow for Amberley on the 31st.

John C

Monday, 11 August 2014

Arundel Festival and Amberley Museum Ale & Music Festival

For anybody who hasn't received this information by email, here's the latest news from John:

We have two possibilities for August to encourage new members to join us by knocking the occasional pair of hosiery off the general public!

Arundel Festival, Folk Weekend, Saturday 16th, 3.00pm to 5.00pm, acoustic stage Tarrant Square, Tarrant Street:

I should explain why this different date has suddenly appeared when the blog and the flyers put us there on the 24th. A miscommunication with the organisers (both sides to blame), despite us having appeared on the same weekend for the last two years, left us with no performance slot on that Sunday. We have been given the above slot because a 'noir progressive acoustic folk band' have cancelled leaving a void in the programme for the day which would enable us to provide a less 'Goth' regressive joyful range of our most practised repertoire to the assembled multitude! I know it's very short notice, but if you could register your ability to perform at the event by Wednesday evening at the latest to me, I can then confirm with the organisers that we will be there, otherwise there will be a lonely empty stage.

Amberley Museum Ale, Food & Music Festival, Sunday 31st, 12.00 - 13.00hrs (note the possibly longer slot), on the amplified Bus Stage adjacent to the 'Limeburners Restaurant':

No problem here for members already volunteering to appear, but I need to provide Ruth with a final list of performers' names for ticking off at the entrance, with a cut off date for emailing me of the 23rd. Singers wishing to attend the event after midnight on that date will unfortunately have to pay the full entrance fee on the day.

John C

Song List for Amberley

NB The list below was compiled before we heard from John about the possibility of a longer slot.

Here is the song list for the Amberley event on 31st August.

This is only a suggestion of running order, making sure we start with a song with which we are all very familiar and ending, before "A Jolly Good Song", with an upbeat song and again one with which we are all confident.
  1. Twankey Dillo
  2. On Sussex Hills
  3. Fathom The Bowl
  4. Gooches Beer
  5. West Sussex Drinking Song
  6. Glorious Ale
  7. The Nightingale Song
  8. Rolling Home
  9. Thousands Or More
  10. Half A Pint Of Burtons

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Extra Session At The Beechwood

Here are a couple of updates for our public performances at Arundel and Amberley:
  • Arundel Festival, 24th August: We are still not exactly sure what performance opportunities are being offered to us and consequently a decision has has not yet been made on whether we will be performing there. There will be more information here when it's available. If you would like to sing at Arundel, please give your name to John C as the number of singers wanting to participate may influence our decision on whether to perform.
  • Amberley Museum Ale, Food & Music Festival, 31st August: There will be an extra practice session at the Beechwood, Worthing on 20th August to prepare us for our performance at this event (and also for Arundel if we are performing there). If you are going to sing at Amberley, please give your name to John C otherwise you may have to pay to get in!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

SUN Event at Falmer Campus – 12 July 2014

The Sussex U3A Network held an open day to share an exhibition of work that many local groups had produced for their South Downs Project and organisers had invited us to join in – probably because of our name. About 22 attended in the Checkland Building at Brighton University and could enjoy a variety of ways to celebrate our area through Geology, Natural History, Walking groups, Art and Music.

taken by a member of the audience
In the Asa Briggs Theatre, at 2pm, a group of singers presented a set of folk songs – they came from seven different U3A groups and had never rehearsed as a whole before and stood in a straight line. Then a play reading finished early and we were ushered forward to start ahead of schedule before the audience wandered off. Tina acted as pitch finder and time keeper while Adrian introduced the songs. We were an equal number of men and ladies, which included Margaret and Mac from the Lewes Group who were singing at their first SDFS event. Our performance was well received and Adrian managed to sell another 3 CDs. We were followed by the Crowborough U3A Choir dressed in black and white with keyboard scarves or ties with a repertoire of old favourites from Shows (which were not connected to the South Downs).

We were wearing a variety of blues, greens and white and standing behind our beautiful banner.

The theatre and microphones were an advantage for the sound, but with the glass windows behind us photos taken did not reproduce well. Altogether, I think we appeared better prepared and put our songs across in rather a professional manner. Well done everyone.