Saturday, 20 September 2014

Local Group Report – Easebourne Tuesday 18th September 2014

Now meeting monthly on a regular basis at the quaint little country inn – the Three Moles at Selham, GU28 0PN – a small but select band of singers gathered on Tuesday 18th September to spend a couple of hours quaffing great beer and singing our favourite songs. Present were Dave G who led the singing, Shirley B who gave out the current notices, Carol & Peter B, Barbara W, John Kydd, Sue Crawford, Julie T and Stephen A. In the small but intimate bar with its excellent acoustic we sang through the song list for the Southdowns Folk Festival – Twanky Dillo, On Sussex Hills, Fathom the Bowl, All things are quite silent, Ladies go dancing at Whitsun, Life of a Man, West Sussex Drinking Song, Thousands or More, Sussex by the Sea and Jolly Good Song. In the second hour we invited requests from the floor: Dave introduced a new song – the Woodcutter’s Song, which seemed to be well received, John requested Pleasant and Delightful, which has a great chorus, Julie wanted Shepherd of the Downs, and Shirley led us in singing A Miner’s Life. [There are of course chalk quarrymen working on the Downs!] We finished with Ale Glorious Ale and Rolling Home specifically requested by Sue. If you couldn’t make this month’s sing at the Three Moles, be sure to be there on Thursday 16th October when we’ll all meet again! New singers are always welcome.

Dave G

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Shoreham Beach Sand Dance

Update 19th September: Carol says they hope to be singing before 5pm, possibly about 4.30 or 4.40. The original post follows.

Carol B is asking if anybody would like to join her and a group of SDF Singers at the annual Shoreham Beach Sand Dance this Saturday, 20th September. You can read a report from last year's event here.

Here's the message from Carol:
I have been asked by the people responsible for Shoreham Beach Sand Dance, a FREE community event this Saturday 4 pm 'till dusk, if we might provide a few South Downs Folk to sing a few of our songs. The event is good fun given fine weather. Dancing on the low tide sands to: Naked Voices, Shoreham Allstars, Old Play – dance tunes, DJ Hungrrr and some Shoreham Singers.

I have been able to recruit at least six singers and maybe, via the blog a few more will join us.

The venue is on Shoreham Beach via Beach Green, right of the toilet block. Car Park nearby. Bring your own picnic, drink, blanket or chairs.

There is a sound system. Sorry about the short notice.
Best wishes, Carol B

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

A Poignant Opportunity

About 3 years ago my neighbour Roy told me that he had a WW1 memorial plaque in his garage, that he and a colleague had saved from a skip when the offices of Travis Perkins in Littlehampton were demolished and the 'Look & Sea' Centre was built on the same site.

It commemorates the employees of T.P.'s forerunner Ede Butt & Sons of Littlehampton and Shoreham timber yards, who died in that conflict. This plain plaque was made by Eric Gill the artist, who among many other commissions designed the stations of the cross in Westminster Cathedral and many of the fonts you will find on your computer.

To cut a long story short, several approaches were made to various organisations to have it again on public display, without result. It was therefore placed in Littlehampton Museum's store for safe keeping.

Earlier this year the Centre approached me about placing the plaque within the building as part of the national WW1 commemorations. The Museum has subsequently agreed to place the plaque on permanent loan to the Centre.

On Friday the 14th November there will be a low key re-dedication of the plaque, with the Mayor, Vicar, local school children and the press in attendance and we have been asked to sing a few of our WW1 repertoire songs, particularly the ones that brought tears to a few people's eyes when we performed them at the Arundel Festival.

Unfortunately as it's a weekday this may limit singers participation but we will be performing indoors, so numbers are not as important, and the weather will not be a factor.

If those singers who might be interested in taking part could email me by the next Beechwood session at the latest (1st October), I can then confirm with the organisers that we will be there and pursue a possible mention on local T.V. news.

John C

Update 11th September:
I am now informed that the re-dedication ceremony will take place take place mid morning on the above date.
The final times have still to be arranged to tie in with whether we will be performing or not depending on singer support.

Southdowns Folk Festival Song List

The details for this event have now been updated with a song list – see it here.

Chichester Hospital Radio Outside Broadcast – 13th December 2014 HOLD THE DATE

We have been invited to sing outside Sainsbury's Chichester (SDFS proposed time 12:30pm tbc) as part of their outside broadcast between 10am and 4pm. Afterwards (again tbc) at The Chichester Garden Centre from 2:30pm collecting for Chichester Hospital Radio. Further details will follow.

Event co-ordinator - Shirley Blott

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Amberley Chalk Pits Museum – Ale and Music Festival, 31st August 2014

Peter Bohannon
We had a welcome return of the summer sunshine and a good turnout of our singers from across Sussex for this event.  We welcomed some first-time performers from our Lewes sessions and a good time was had by all.

The stage provided was full to the brim with SDF Singers, and with the occasional accompaniment of toots and rumbles from the train and bus rides around the site, we kicked off the day’s proceedings with a tour de force of about an hour of songs to entertain the visitors to the event.

This was well received, and for our own and others’ fun a more modest “flashmob” group repeated some of the songs later in the afternoon outside the old cafĂ©.  Then some singers joined the visitors there for a cream tea and others returned to the ale barn (and many did both) before we all rolled home!

Colin Bolton
Colin Bolton

Peter Bohannon
Peter Bohannon

Peter Bohannon
Peter Bohannon

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Annual General Meeting to be held on 1st October 2014

Our first A.G.M. – on Wednesday October 1st 2014 at the Beechwood Hall Hotel in Worthing – is fast approaching. It will precede our usual monthly singing session at the Beechwood, therefore please gather from 7.00pm to start promptly at 7.30pm.

It wasn’t easy to find a date and venue to suit everyone – but October 1st is already established in our singing calendar and Worthing is a relatively central location – so we hope you can make it.

The AGM is a necessary formality but also a chance to celebrate and review the achievements of our first year as the independent “South Downs Folk Singers”, and to look ahead and make plans for our next year.

Although conducted quite informally, our Committee has the traditional roles and titles of Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary, plus the all-important Blog Manager, Events Organiser and the Worthing, Lewes and Midhurst Leads.

All in the Committee will effectively resign at the AGM to allow elections for the new year’s Committee to proceed – but all have said they are willing to stand for re-election.

That includes our busy Events Organiser who has also been covering the Secretary’s role, although he has said he would be glad to pass that on – and there are other ‘vacancies’ to fill (e.g. Co-ordinator for Promotion and Publicity of our activities) to help the SDFS stay on track and prosper.

So – now is your chance to stand for Election to the Committee – to seek a specific role or just to get more involved and be part of the team supporting the SDFS.

If you are interested please make yourself known to us as soon as possible – by email to, or by adding your name to the AGM Election Candidates list (to be available at each of our local singing evenings this month).

As well as your name, please state the name of the singer/member who is nominating you to stand and another who is seconding that nomination.

Voting will be at the AGM by a show of hands and carried on a simple majority of those present.

We look forward to meeting all the candidates and to seeing as many of our singers as possible for an enjoyable AGM, and of course to SING, on October 1st.


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