New Singers

+ + + +
+ + + +
+ + + +
New singers  are always welcome to join us – read more

Event Organisers  – want us to sing for you? – read more
+ + + +
+ + + +
+ + + +

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Local Group Report – Lewes – Tuesday 16th May 2017

Twelve of us enjoyed a warm evening at The John Harvey Tavern singing a wide variety from the repertoire. Tina worked us through old favourites, spending time to polish up on the harmonies: Rosebuds in June, Pleasant and Delightful, The Farmer’s Toast, Country Life, The Magpie, The Turnip Hoer, Thousands or More, Ha'nacker Mill and The Woodcutter’s Song.

We also looked at some of the songs that might be on the set list at Bateman's in the summer: The Ladies go Dancing at Whitsun, A Smuggler's Song, Home Lads Home, Follow Me 'Ome, and Hard Times of Old England.

It was good to see Sandria again and Chris, who came last month, and brought his girlfriend along this time.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Adur Valley Beer Walk

Saturday 27th May 2017

Emily has been busy gaining permission for us to sing from the pubs and making a plan for us to sing along the Adur Valley Beer Walk. Get the official flyer from the Camra website (pdf file) which includes a map showing the pubs to be visited. If you want to join in, just turn up on the day – the more the merrier!

Hello All,

For those of you who fancy a delicious local ale or two and a rousing sing, here's the plan for the Adur Valley Beer Walk:

Gather at 2pm at the Riverside Brewery in Upper Beeding for sampling Ale and singing.

Then stroll to the Rising Sun for same.

Then up the river to the Kings Head for same (although possibly the only local ale they'll be serving is Harveys).

Then along to the Castle Inn for more of the same.

The Old Tollgate is on the map too but disapproves of singing, so perhaps then –

Wandering up to the castle ruin for those who want to see it, and then we can all head off, or on for those who fancy more, towards the pubs in Steyning, of which the Norfolk Arms, the White Horse, Chequers and the Star are all part of the trail.

If you can't make 2pm at the Riverside Brewery then you can catch up at the next couple of pubs...

Lets hope it's a lovely day, or nice and cosy in the pubs...

Look forward to seeing you there!


Thursday, 11 May 2017

Local Group Report – Worthing – Wednesday 3rd May 2017

After chats and notices we gathered our voices to sing and warmed up with a couple of old favourites – Fathom the Bowl and The Nightingale. We continued with Jim the Carter Lad to polish some details and later Ha’nacker Mill to brush the dust off, both in readiness for use at the Michelham Priory event on Sunday 14th May. Emily reintroduced The Littlehampton Collier Lads for those not yet familiar with it and proposed to spend more time on this at our June session. Then for our interest and enjoyment (and perhaps to consider it for listing in the future alongside Belloc’s Sussex Hills) she shared with us a song by Arthur Beckett who was one of the early Sussex Downsmen (which later became the South Downs Society). Dave and Alan also entertained us with a May-time song, Sumer is icumen in. Otherwise our songs were requests from ‘the floor’ – Constant Lovers, Follow Me ’ome, The Magpie, A Smuggler’s Song and again, for the sheer pleasure of it, the Brave Young Ploughboy.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

South Downs Folk Singers entertain at Horsham English Festival

A message of thanks from Les B and a report from David G:

Very many thanks to everyone who came and sang at the English Festival in Horsham yesterday. Our performance was much enjoyed, the festival organisers were most grateful and we received many compliments.
We're booked in for next year – 13th May 2018!
Best, Les.

On Sunday 7th May more than twenty of our gallant singers attended the Horsham English Festival and sang a rousing 40 minute set of Sussex songs praising amongst other things Hepworths Beer and life in the countryside. We were well received by the townsfolk, many of whom joined in with the choruses. The afternoon was organised by Horsham Folk Club and was in aid of the Samaritans. Well done to everyone who volunteered to sing at such short notice. See you at Michelham Priory next Sunday!

Photo: Barbara W

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Weald and Downland Museum – ICOMOS Singing Project

Sunday 28th May, 11.00am-4.00pm

Here's a short message from Emily about an exciting workshop coming soon.
Hello all, I am delighted to have the opportunity to be involved in this brill workshop at the Weald and Downland Living Museum.

It's a project suitable for all ages and families, to explore our 'intangible cultural heritage', what a phrase! And, most importantly, to sing some wonderful songs, rounds, or 'catches' as they were once called. The workshops are free, so they are also a great chance to look round the museum which is wonderful. Check out this link for more info.

SDFS at Michelham Priory, nr Hailsham, East Sussex, Sunday 14th May 2017

Update 12th May 2017 – here are the song lists:

First Set:
  1. Country Life Ab
  2. The Turnip Hoer Bb
  3. Ha’nacker Mill E
  4. The Nightingale A
  5. Jim, The Carter Lad B
  6. The Magpie C
  7. Follow Me ’Ome B
  8. Thousands Or More A
  9. Jolly Good Song

Second Set:
  1. Oak, Ash & Thorn E
  2. Pleasant & Delightful B
  3. On Sussex Hills A
  4. Life Of A Man B
  5. Ha’nacker Mill E
  6. A Smuggler’s Song C#
  7. Rosebuds In June B
  8. Fathom The Bowl D
  9. Sussex By The Sea (if time) A
  10. Jolly Good Song

If you have not been before, Michelham Priory is a very interesting and attractive group of buildings on a Medieval and later site. The event is part of National Mills Weekend and is the first time we have been able to support both a Sussex Archaeological Society 'Sussex Past' event and the national Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings celebration.

Please use this link to download the poster (pdf file) where you will see that we are down to sing two sets, at midday and 2.30pm. Emily will be leading us.

As the event is so close we will use the two song sets used at the Weald & Downland Living Museum last Sunday, with of course Ha'nacker Mill, hopefully the weather will be warmer and this will allow you to perhaps wear items of apparel of blue, green or cream.

I will be at the entrance to identify free entry for singers on the day and half-price entry for one accompanying person with each participant. Complimentary teas, coffees and soft drinks will be provided for Singers.

Please gather at the watermill on site about half an hour before each set.

As I need to let the organisers know the number of singers that have volunteered to support the event, please either email me ASAP at or book a place with me at the Beechwood session this week.

Could you also indicate to me if you wish to volunteer for the Brighton Museum's heritage event on Saturday 17th June so arrangements can be made, especially for car sharing/parking with the organisers, if you are not coming by public transport to the event.

Many thanks,

John C.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Local Group Report – Worthing – Wednesday 5th April 2017

Apologies from the editor for the late publication of this report, which was received nearly two weeks ago.

A list of songs proposed for performance at the “Folk and Food” event on 30th April set the agenda for most of this month’s Beechwood Hall session. We sang our way through the Sussex Hills, Ale Glorious Ale, The Farmer’s Toast and, although a fine spring evening, the Poor Froze-out Gardeners. We cracked on with Jim the Carter Lad (using the words as amended on the SDFS website) and then tried out The Brisk Young Plough Boy again. This had been aired at our March meeting and all agreed it is a lovely song, but since it is not yet on our SDFS list or website and probably not known by all the local groups there was doubt about its suitability for singing on 30th April. After a break we galloped on with A Smuggler’s Song and The Magpie, and gave The Farmer’s Toast another go. This left enough time for Emily to sing and then guide us through a song in keeping with the spring season, Moon-gazer, written by one of our singers (Brian) inspired by the folk stories and legends about hares on the South Downs. The session closed as it often does with, by popular demand, Rolling Home.

Singing at Horsham English Festival, Sunday 7th May 2017

We have accepted an invitation to sing at the Horsham English Festival next Sunday, 7th May 2017, at 2.00pm, for about half an hour. We will be singing in the Bandstand in the Carfax, in the centre of Horsham. Apologies for the short notice, but the invitation has arisen following a cancellation by another choir. There is a Festival web-site with information, but briefly there are food stalls, music, classic cars and motorbikes and some splendid pubs. Our singing spot will be part of a concert held in support of the Samaritans. We propose to sing the songs approximately from the second set that were sung at Singleton on Sunday.

If you would be available and willing to sing next Sunday then could you please let us know by replying to South Downs Folk Singers.

A wee tip regarding parking in Horsham: there is an excellent park-and-ride, at Hop Oast on the southern route into Horsham. £2.00 for a car and 5 passengers. If that does not appeal then the nearest car park is probably Piries Place.

We'll meet at the Bandstand at 1.30pm.

Best Wishes,