New Singers

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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

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

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

This year’s A.G.M. will be on Wednesday October 4th 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!

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

SDFS Appearance At Hurstpierpoint Festival Cancelled

Unfortunately due to a combination of circumstances the SDFS will not be appearing at this event on Sunday 17th September.

Our next main event therefore will be the Southdowns Folk Festival on Saturday 23rd September.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Local Group Report – Chichester – Thursday 17th August 2017

Fifteen singers gathered in The Chichester Inn, but without David to lead us we had to encourage Alan to give us a starting note so that we could tackle The Brisk Young Ploughboy, Country Life and Rosebuds In June. Alan seemed to think that we ought to move out of the sweet smelling meadows and so he sang The Muckspreader with Anne’s assistance. We couldn’t remember who wrote this delightful tale, but as it is obviously from Dorset we won’t be in a hurry to add it to our repertoire. Then we sang West Sussex Drinking Song, The Nightingale, Ha’nacker Mill, Life Of A Man, A Smuggler’s Song and Twanky Dillo before taking a break. Basically we ran through the set list for Arundel with Pleasant And Delightful, Oak, Ash And Thorn and Fathom The Bowl adding The Stedham Oysterman’s Donkey and Valiants All to the mix. We rounded off the evening with three catches that we had learned with Emily at the Weald & Downland Living Museum: Joan Glover, The Cat Sits In The Plum Tree but failed to recall the Icelandic one with enough confidence so ended with Rolling Home.

Do take a look at The Southdowns Folk Festival, Bognor website, on Friday 22nd John Fitzpatrick is appearing with Home Service and Skerryvore on the evening of 23rd September.

Local Group Report – Lewes – Tuesday 15th August 2017

Another lovely summer’s evening, so much so that The John Harvey Tavern was very busy and we decided to use the vacant upstairs room. Eventually, eleven of us arrived and we made a late start with The Farmer’s Toast, The Magpie, On Sussex Hills, Rosebuds In June, A Smuggler’s Song, Green Grow The Laurel and The Turnip Hoer.

At some time we took a break to refill glasses. At Bateman’s, Peter B was handing out our flyers and met Valerie who, I am delighted to say, joined us for the evening. Valerie is a bit of a historian and knows Chris Hare from many years ago.

We also managed to sing through Ha’nacker Mill, Old Adam, Drink Me Brave Boys, The Ladies Go Dancing At Whitsun, All Things Are Quite Silent, Hard Times Of Old England, Country Life, East Sussex Drinking Song, and Thousands Or More, by which time we all felt 100% better for a good sing!

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Singing at Danny Park 300th Anniversary Cricket Match, Sunday 9th July 2017

Update 12th August 2017: A selection of photo images from the 300th anniversary cricket match can be viewed and downloaded here.
To celebrate 300 years of cricket at Danny House, the beautiful Elizabethan country house set in lovely grounds, there was a friendly cricket match, in full period costume, played out between the Danny Park residents and Hurstpierpoint village.

It was a great day, full of fun, with Chanctonbury Morris dancing and the South Downs Folk Singers offering their singing of local folk songs, some from the same period. Spit roast lamb was consumed, ale flowed, games commenced and the onlookers were treated to an exciting match with those dropping the ball sent to the stocks for a good soaking.

Great fun for all and did the sun shine!

A message from Richard Burrows, the organiser of the event:

"Dear John,

I wanted to thank Emily and all the fabulous singers who entertained us so well on Sunday and played a big part in making it such a pleasurable and memorable day.

I hope we can find another occasion to invite you all back to Danny."

Thanks to David Broadhead and Damon Hart for the photos below.