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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Friday, 30 September 2016

Local Group Report – Lewes Tuesday 20th September 2016

The John Harvey Tavern is under new management and we found our usual tables laid up for full dinner, so 16 of us sat around three separate tables and managed to get through 14 songs. Tina had selected those that were on set lists, but also added some we haven’t done for a while. Country Life, Oak, Ash & Thorn, The Magpie, The Run of the Downs, A Smuggler’s Song, The Turnip Hoer, On Sussex Hills, Rosebuds in June, Ha'nacker Mill, Poor Froze-Out Gardeners, Where Stormy Winds Do Blow, The Constant Lovers, The Woodcutter's Song and Thousands Or More. We were very pleased that Cat could join us (31 weeks pregnant) and introduce her little man to our repertoire.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Local Group Report – Easebourne Thursday 15th September 2016

Thunder and lightning accompanied us at our Selham session on 15th September but eleven of us soldiered through with a rousing set of old and new songs in our repertoire including The Woodcutter's Song and Oak, Ash and Thorn. We're looking forward to singing at our 'home' ground at Midhurst on 24th September. Alan then gave us some lovely old Music Hall songs such as What a Mouth (What a North and South) and those of us old enough to remember them joined in. He then sang the lovely The Parting Song and for Emma, the Three Moles landlady, he sang The Freeborn Man of the Travelling People.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Shoreham Wordfest Event

Dear Singers,
One of our members, Janet Behan, is performing a play she has written on 2nd October 2016, see the flyer below, it looks very interesting. More information.
See you soon
Peter Bo

Friday, 16 September 2016

Local Group Report – Beechwood, Wednesday 7th September 2016

We welcomed two new singers to our recent gathering to sing at the Beechwood. In preparation for our September events we raised our voices in praise of the Sussex Hills before singing the ‘Kipling songs’, and revisiting and refining our rendition of The Woodcutter’s song. The rich tones of The Magpie and rustic tones of The Turnip Hoer were enjoyed as ever, as were some old favourites Ebernoe Horn Fair, Rolling in the Dew and Ale Glorious Ale. Thanks to all contributors. Notices about our SDFS and other events of local interest were shared, and reminders were given about the extra session at the Beechwood on 28th September (to refresh our winter season repertoire), and about the AGM preceding the singing at the next regular Beechwood session on 5th October.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

“South Downs Folk Singers” – A.G.M. Notice

This year’s A.G.M. will be on Wednesday 5th October 2016. As previously it will be held at the Beechwood Hall Hotel in Worthing starting at 7.00pm.

(It precedes our usual monthly singing session there, so the early start allows for a break and goodly time to sing afterwards.)

The AGM is our opportunity collectively to review our activities and achievements from the last year and to make plans for the next year. As usual, the Meeting Minutes file, the Constitution and the Accounts will all be available to view.

There will also be the annual elections for our committee, and now is your chance to volunteer to join the team! To date there have been about four or five committee meetings each year, using the “Beechwood” as a venue central to the current members.

You can become a member without having to take on a specific role in the Committee – but if willing to get more involved we currently have some ‘vacancies’ where the help of a Minutes Secretary and a Publicity Officer would be of great benefit to us all!

So… if you are interested in doing more than the singing and want to have a more active role in discussing, organizing and planning for the future of the SDFS… Please contact me as soon as possible via the SDFS email address ( with your name, the name of another singer willing to nominate you and another singer happy to second this.

You can also support others wishing to stand for election by nominating them or seconding their nomination.

Voting will be conducted at the AGM by a show of hands and carried on a simple majority of those present. I look forward to seeing you there.

Henny (Chairperson)

The SDFS go ‘To The Woods’ and then ‘To The Shore’

Update 20th September: For anybody planning to use the trains this weekend, please be aware that there will be replacement buses between Littlehampton and Chichester/Bognor on both days due to engineering work at Ford. Read more.
A celebration of the heritage of the South Downs is being held in Midhurst on Saturday 24th September followed by the Southdowns Folk Festival in Bognor Regis on Sunday 25th September.

Midhurst Saturday 24th September

The celebration marks the end of the Secrets of the High Woods project and will be held at the headquarters of the South Downs National Park Authority in North Street, Midhurst opposite the main bus departure point, with various activities and performances (details here) taking place from 10.00am.

We will be singing two song sets, at 11.00am and 1.45pm. Please arrive by 10.30am.

Buffet lunch and drinks will be provided, and parking will be available on a ‘first come first served’ basis in the visitors parking at the front of the Centre. If all parking places are taken, further parking is in the main municipal car park opposite (pay and display).

Download a sketch plan (pdf file) of the venue.

In case of precipitation the Memorial Hall will be available to the side of the ‘arena’.

For those of you who would like to learn more about this three-year HLF-backed project culminating this autumn, the travelling interactive exhibition will be on site with a précis of that information (further information here).

First set:
  1. Country Life
  2. Pleasant And Delightful
  3. On Sussex Hills
  4. Rolling In The Dew
  5. Rosebuds In June
  6. Run Of The Downs
  7. Smuggler’s Song
  8. West Sussex Drinking Song
  9. Hard Times Of Old England
  10. Green Grow The Laurel
  11. The Turnip Hoer

Second set:
  1. Oak, Ash And Thorn
  2. Twanky Dillo
  3. The Magpie
  4. The Woodcutter’s Song
  5. The Nightingale
  6. Fathom The Bowl
  7. Ebernoe Horn Fair
  8. Life Of A Man
  9. Thousands Or More
  10. Sussex By The Sea
  11. Jolly Good Song

Bognor Regis Sunday 25th September

The Southdowns Folk Festival is on all weekend but we will be singing only one song set at 12.40pm outside on the patio of (or if raining inside) The William Hardwicke pub in High Street, Bognor. The street will be pedestrianised for the event and the William Hardwicke will have a Real Ale Festival in full swing. We will be preceded by Bellacapella and followed by the two-hour Sussex Young Folk Competition.

Please be there by 12.10pm. Parking will be at a premium, especially if the weather is as good as in previous years. I will again be parking in a residential road to the north of the A259 and walking in. There is of course the bus or train if you intend to imbibe some wobbly juice!

The song set is:
  1. Country Life
  2. West Sussex Drinking Song
  3. On Sussex Hills
  4. Pleasant And Delightful
  5. Smuggler’s Song
  6. Ale, Glorious Ale
  7. The Magpie
  8. Thousands Or More
  9. Life Of A Man
  10. Sussex By The Sea
  11. Jolly Good Song

See you there
John C.

Local Group Report – Lewes Tuesday 16th August 2016

We spent a very pleasant evening at The John Harvey Tavern singing through the songs that are most likely to be used at future events. Angela B sang with her usual enthusiasm as she won’t be able to get to Arundel Festival or September’s Beechwood session. And we have heard that Cat won’t be able to sing with us again because she is expecting a baby in the autumn and routines will be changing! Thank you to Keith for rearranging the lyrics and recordings so that they are all under the same section which will make it much easier to find for photocopying, specially for our newer recruits.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Another Date For Your Diary

An Extra Singing Session – 28th September
Open to all our singers wanting to contribute to our public performances.

Although whilst writing this post it is still the summer, we are already looking ahead to our events in the winter and festive season (the first of which is in November). So to help prepare and refresh our winter repertoire in readiness, an extra session has been booked at The Beechwood Hall Hotel in Worthing for 7.30pm on Wednesday 28th September 2016

The more the merrier! See you there!

Bateman’s 2016

John C
John C
Fiona Hancock of the National Trust thanked us for “Again contributing to a very successful WW1 Remembrance weekend, with your fine selection of songs celebrating Kipling, and reflecting the traumatic effects of the war on the society that endured it.”

Colin B videoed the event and together with Keith D’s recordings, both here and at the Sullington Flower Festival, moved us toward promoting ourselves further to attract more members.

John C
Peter B
Special thanks to Emily, Amaryllis and Libby for providing the extra songs that were sung in the entrance hall of the house (till we were turfed out) and when ‘under fire’ afterwards, protected by the hedge in the garden when the whistles blew for ‘over the top’.

Mike, understudying David, did us proud with the song announcements which he was seen rehearsing at various points within the gardens between performances.

The event generated our best turnout of Singers so far this year.

Fiona is considering changing the format next year, so I will keep more closely in touch.

John C
Peter B
John C
Peter B