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, 29 September 2017

A.G.M. Reminder

Our Annual General Meeting (further details here) is on Wednesday 4th October at the Beechwood Hall Hotel, Worthing. We aim to start promptly at 7.00pm to cover as much as we can before our singing begins at 8.00pm.

The agenda (download pdf file) invites you to come along with your comments and ideas and to have your say!  I look forward to seeing you there.


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Southdowns Folk Festival Report

The South Downs Folk Singers sang brilliantly at the Southdowns Folk Festival in Bognor Regis on Saturday 23rd September. First off many of our singers joined the Secret Shore singers to sing a super set of shanties and sea songs outside the William Hardwicke public house and then performing as the South Downs Folk Singers we sang an hour of folk songs in the main street, with lots of people joining in with the choruses – especially Sussex by the Sea.

Photo: Richard Corkrey and his team of Festival Photographers

Monday, 25 September 2017

Local Group Report – Chichester – Thursday 21st September 2017

It was lovely to welcome sixteen singers to The Chichester Inn on Thursday 21st September for our monthly sing. The number included three new members – Chris, Vicky and Patsy – who came along to lend their voices to our group, having seen us perform at the Arundel Festival. Talk of course was of our two upcoming performances at the Southdowns Folk Festival and at the special “Songs, Poems & Pints” concert in Sullington Church in October. To that end we spent a good half hour practising the Song of the Sussex Downsman. With Keith on hand to guide us expertly line by line through the quite complicated melody, we eventually felt that we were beginning to master this beautiful song. After that we sang through much of our repertoire, songs both old and new, and especially the ones which were deemed by the group to need a bit of practice. We sang Rosebuds in June, the West Sussex Drinking Song (all four verses), Ebernoe Horn Fair, Home Lads Home, and Oak, Ash & Thorn before stopping for a break, a natter and a spontaneous sing of some of Emily’s catches. After the interval we visited the Stedham Oysterman’s Donkey, the Saucy Sailor, Hares on the Mountain and the Brisk Young Ploughboy and, in a surprising change to our usual routine, finished up with the shanty Leave her Johnny Leave Her. It was a convivial evening and we hope to see everyone again next month. Remember there’s no fee – you only have to turn up to come and join the South Downs Folk Singers!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

'More Songs, Poems & Pints' At Sullington Church, Saturday 7th October

Evening performance commencing at 7.30pm.

As you know we have the lovely Sullington Church performance coming up soon. It was so well received last year at the biennial Flower Festival (which will be held again next year in June) that we have been invited back in this intervening year. The refreshment break will be made in the newly-refurbished 17thC smaller barn adjacent to the Saxo Norman church if the weather precludes it being available outside the church.

It is a ticketed event so we need to be at our musical best! To this end we have made a couple of extra practice dates, one on the 20th and one on the 27th, to go through the set and make it as good as it can be. We've chosen two dates to make as much extra practice available as possible, to those who want to come. You don't need to come to both, but just whichever one suits best.

As the Sullington Church is quite small we have limited the spaces to 20/25 people. So if you are hoping to come please make sure you can make at least one extra rehearsal, and do please give your name as soon as possible to John to confirm your place. Update 20th Sep: all places are now taken. Also, please have a listen to the Song of the Sussex Downsman which we will be singing.

Thanks indeed, see you soon,


Here is the provisional set list:
On Sussex Hills
Ha'nacker Mill
Oak, Ash and Thorn
A Smuggler's Song

Pleasant and Delightful
Hares on the Mountain


Country Life
The Magpie
The Woodcutter's Song
The Brisk Young Ploughboy

Jim the Carter Lad
The Farmer's Toast
Song of the Sussex Downsman

Song of the Sussex Downsman

Update 19th October: Please note that the audio file has been revised, as indicated by "rev2" in the filename. (Apologies, in the previous update three days earlier an incorrect file was uploaded here.) One note has been changed, for the syllable "be" in "Wool-ston-be-ree". This is at 1m9s from the start. The score remains unchanged and corresponds to this revision.
For everybody who will be singing at Sullington in a few weeks' time (and of course anybody else who takes an interest in this!), here is a recording of Emily singing the first verse of Song of the Sussex Downsman.

Download mp3

Download score pdf

Monday, 18 September 2017

Local Group Report – Worthing – Wednesday 5th September 2017

We made a prompt start with brief notices on future events, including a reminder about the AGM due on 4th October (see notices on this website). Emily confirmed the finalised song list for the Sullington Church event, for the particular attention of the limited number of singers able to attend (the location has limited space). The evening’s singing proceeded by warming up On Sussex Hills before spending time on the Sullington list – all worth a sing whether going to the event or not. We sang The Woodcutter’s Song with a repeat chorus to finish; The Brave Ploughboy; Jim the Carter Lad and The Farmer’s Toast. Emily then took us through the opening lines of the first verse of The Song of the Sussex Downsman that some of us had tried at our last session, and by the end of the evening we had gradually progressed to complete all of the first verse and tried the chorus. We sang Pleasant and Delightful to conclude the break and, last but not least, we worked on another lesser known song Hares on the Mountain including trials of different arrangements between male and female voices. (Like The Song of the Sussex Downsman this song is not in our official repertoire but suits the requirements of the Sullington event, and may thereafter join the queue of songs awaiting consideration by all three of our local groups.) A busy but enjoyable evening – more please!

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

Update 29th September: Download the Agenda (pdf file) here.

This year’s A.G.M. will be on Wednesday 4th October 2017. As previously it will be held at the Beechwood Hall Hotel in Worthing starting at 7.00pm.

(Our monthly singing session will follow at about 8pm.)

The AGM is our opportunity 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 be available to view, and we will hold the annual elections for our committee. Voting will be conducted at the AGM by a show of hands and carried on a simple majority of those present.

The Election gives you another chance to volunteer to be part of the team. There are usually four committee meetings a year, currently held at “Beechwood” as the most central of our venues.

The meetings are very informal and you can be a committee member without taking on a formal role – although the role of Minutes Secretary is available if anyone wants the job!

So … If you are interested in doing more than the singing and want to take 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, and the names of the singers proposing and seconding you as a candidate for the election – and if seeking a particular role or office, please specify.

Also, if there are any items you would like to raise for discussion at the AGM please let me know and they can be added to the Agenda.

I look forward to seeing you there - Henny (Chairperson)

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Southdowns Folk Festival Saturday 23rd September

Note the change of day this year to Saturday as we asked for the busier day based on our experience last year.

The venue will again be the William Hardwicke Pub, High Street coupled with a performance area opposite the Arcade.

As a first at the Festival, Emily will be leading a short 'taster' Sea Shanty Workshop (possibly to be expanded next year) between 12.00-1.15pm at the William Hardwicke, and the SDFS will subsequently perform either in the pub or at the Arcade (see below) from 1.30-2.15pm. All those Singers who have taken part in the recent 'Secret Shore' workshops are welcome to support either session but please let me know if you're coming, at by the 16th September. Please be at either or both sessions half an hour before they commence just in case there is any last minute change of plan. I will be there early putting up the banner and liaising with Roger.

Depending on the weather, the singing for the first session will either take place inside in the performance area at the rear of the pub, or outside in the temporarily-pedestrianised High Street. If the weather is good we will then move to the Arcade stage area (opposite the Arcade at the southern end of London Road Precinct) for the second session. Alternatively if it's raining we will perform inside the William Hardwicke.

Other details will be added to this post as they are arranged.

John C

Set list for SDFS:
  1. Country Life [Eb - Ab]
  2. Rosebuds In June [B]
  3. West Sussex Drinking Song [E]
  4. The Nightingale [A - D]
  5. Ha'nacker Mill [E]
  6. Life Of A Man [B]
  7. A Smuggler's Song [C#]
  8. Twanky Dillo [A]
  9. Pleasant & Delightful [G]
  10. Oak, Ash & Thorn [E]
  11. Fathom The Bowl [D]
  12. On Sussex Hills [A]
  13. Ebernoe Horn Fair [G - C]
  14. The Magpie [D]
  15. Home Lads, Home [B]
  16. Thousands Or More [A]
  17. Sussex By The Sea [A]
  18. Jolly Good Song

Marine Conservation Society Beach Clean Saturday 16th September

Use this link to download a pdf file containing the poster with text that can be read easily.

Here's the information provided by Barbara for this event:

In essence anyone interested needs to email name and numbers (if a group) to the address given on the poster and then turn up, preferably before 10.30am, to sign in at Beach House Grounds next to Splashpoint Pool. Clean-up finishes at lunchtime so folk can go along to Steyne Gardens to the Food Festival for eats!