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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Saturday, 28 March 2015

'Food & Folk Festival' at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, Sunday 3rd May 2015

Update 13th April: The times and location have been added at the end of this post.
A new one for us as the folk element of the weekend has come to the fore to ring changes on the previous format.

We will be doing two approximately 30 minute sets, one before lunch and one afterwards, exact times and other details will be confirmed to participating Singers at least 10 days before the event.

For this year at the Museum we have been issued with wristbands for the day, instead of passes which will make it easier for you to return to your vehicles in the overflow car park during the day if you want to.

Please in the first instance email me ( that you are definitely coming and whether you can pick up your wristband at one of the three monthly meetings in April, at Worthing, Midhurst or Lewes. I will have them with me on the 1st April meeting at Worthing.

As it is the beginning of the season there will be an EXTRA TIME practice session on Wednesday 29th April at the Beechwood Hotel, Worthing to polish up the selected song list for the Museum performances which will form the core of our set list for the season, with odd songs added or deleted to suit the various venues through to October.

John C

The organiser's website is here.
Here are the songs we will be singing (download this list here):
First Set:
  1. Twanky Dillo
  2. On Sussex Hills
  3. Ale, Glorious Ale
  4. Life Of A Man
  5. The Nightingale Song
  6. Hard Times Of Old England
  7. All Things Are Quite Silent
  8. Green Grow The Laurel
  9. Rolling In The Dew
  10. Rosebuds In June
  11. Fathom The Bowl
Second Set:
  1. West Sussex Drinking Song
  2. Old Adam
  3. Ha’nacker Mill
  4. Country Life
  5. Ladies Go Dancing
  6. Thousands Or More
  7. Ebernoe Horn Fair
  8. Gooch’s Beer
  9. Rosebuds In June
  10. Home Lads, Home
  11. Sussex By The Sea
We will be singing 12.00-12.30pm and 2.00-2.30pm in the main field adjacent to the tea tent in the middle of the food area, or if very wet under the brick shed. Please arrive well before we are due to start singing.

Local Group Report – Lewes Tuesday 17th March 2015

The John HarveyTavern off Cliffe High Street is proving a good move. The pub's "snug" room with its low ceilings creates an atmosphere conducive to singing through our repertoire and so far we haven't been asked to take our noise elsewhere.

In February, four new faces turned up and the good news is three of them returned in March.  Also another party of four turned up from Newhaven thinking that the Tavern hosted a proper folk club every Tuesday. They stayed for the whole evening's entertainment – three of them hailed from County Durham so they were enlightened by our strange Sussex ways.


Saturday, 21 March 2015

Singing in Slindon – Friday 20th March 2015

Celebration of Northwood Sculpture Project held in Slindon Parish Church

Many thanks to Amaryllis for leading our singing at this event and well done to everybody present. Here are messages from Amaryllis and from the event organisers:
Yes, it did go well! Proof below! And great thanks to all the lovely singers who appeared from all parts of Sussex to give SDFS a really specially treatment. Emily would have been really proud of us all!

Have a very happy official Spring day!

Warm regards,

Dear Amaryllis & John

Very many thanks for your wonderful contribution to our event last night.
The songs were beautifully chosen and superbly sung – it really added an effective and complimentary element to the evening and lots of people commented how much they enjoyed the 'light and shade' you added to the entertainment.

Please pass on our thanks to all the other singers too – we really appreciated the fact that so many came along and joined in the whole evening so enthusiastically.

Very best wishes

Jon & Mike

Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Sovereign Seas Maritime Folk Festival

Here is news we have received of an upcoming Folk Festival being held in aid of RNLI Newhaven, which may be of interest.

We are writing on behalf of Newhaven & District Lifeboat Society to make you aware of an upcoming Folk Festival being held in aid of RNLI Newhaven.

We are proud to announce that the arrival of Spring will see the good folk of the local and surrounding areas enjoying the Sovereign Seas Maritime Folk Festival taking place over the weekend of 27th, 28th and 29th March.

Following their two successful Sea Shanty and Entertainment evenings during 2014, Hard Pressed, joined by Charlotte and Spong, John Cave, Long Man Morris and Marlings Clog, among others, will be returning to perform at Newhaven Lifeboat House as well as at Seaford Folk Club, The Ship and The Ark Public Houses, raising vital funds in aid of RNLI Newhaven.  This Folk Festival weekend really is one not to be missed.

Further information is available from

Ticket enquiries and bookings email:

Come along for the opportunity to support the local lifeboat whilst enjoying being entertained by like-minded Folk!  Please be kind enough to forward this email on to your friends, family, work colleagues and anyone else you think may be interested – the more the merrier!

Support your local lifeboat - Respect the water.
Kind Regards
Paula & Graham Hillman
(Joint Secretaries Newhaven & District Lifeboat Society)

Friday, 13 March 2015

Celebration of Northwood Sculpture Project – Friday 20th March 2015

Here are the details from John C for singing at Slindon.

Slindon Parish Church, Church Hill, Slindon, Friday 20th March

Dear Singers,

Please be at the church by 18.30hrs to give plenty of time for us to settle into the choir stalls, remember your surplices! No really, dress optional but anything green or blue would be an extra.

Parking is possible outside but the road is narrow, so I for one am going to the top of the hill, turn left at the junction, and park alongside the Slindon College wall on the left.

We have a loosely timed clear ‘running order’ with cues for the various songs on the night as below:

After an introduction to the evening, perhaps 5-7 minutes in:

    • The Life of a Man

Then about 7-10 minutes later after a reading about the circumstances in which Belloc wrote the song:

    • Ha’nacker Mill

Then just before the interval (to raise the energy before a drink):

    • Twanky Dillo
    • West Sussex Drinking Song

In the second half...

About 10 minutes in, after a reading:

    • Rosebuds in June

To end, again after a reading:

    • On Sussex Hills

If you have not volunteered to sing to date and want to come, please email me so that I can identify you on the door.


John C.

Editor’s notes:
1. The time being advertised by the organisers for this event is 7.30 to 9.30pm, further details here.
2. On the spelling of “Halnaker”: various spellings have been used over the years, with the modern-day spelling of course being “Halnaker”. If you search the internet for the lyrics to the song, invariably the spelling used is “Ha’nacker” and I must presume that this is the spelling that Belloc chose to use.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Ha’nacker Mill

Update 10th April 2015: A small change has been made to the recordings given here and to avoid confusion for any of our singers learning this song, the links below have been disabled. Please refer to the "Ha'nacker Mill revisited" post for new recordings.

For anybody needing a bit of help learning this song.

Download the lead sheet (pdf) here.

Here’s our recording from "Wednesday at the Beechwood":

Download the mp3 file here.

Piano recording (computer generated and without pauses) for the first verse:

Download the mp3 file here.