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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

South Downs Folk Singers “Wassail” winter party!

Our annual clan gathering to celebrate the turn of the year and look forward to a new season of song, is now on the diary page of this website.

South Downs Folk Singers, plus family and friends, are all welcome.

The fun will begin at 7.30pm (arrivals from 7.00pm) on Saturday 20th January 2018 at the venue we used last time:
St. John’s the Divine Church Hall, on the corner of Ripley Road and Elm Grove in West Worthing, BN11 5LD.

Tickets are £2.50 each.

Numbers are limited, so to avoid disappointment contact Margo NOW via the South Downs Folk Singers email (or you may see her at some local group sessions).

She will reply to confirm your booking, and also the payment arrangements (in advance if practical, otherwise ‘on the door’ when you arrive).

(NB Tickets may be available on the door too, but only if not all SOLD OUT in advance.)

Bring food to share and your drinks of choice – and as usual your voices and a readiness to join in song!

Individual contributions are also invited to add to the pleasure of the evening – songs, readings, dance and music – any and all are welcome. (Please let Margo know if you’d like to contribute.)

See you there – “Wassail”!

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Local Group Report – Lewes – Wednesday 22nd November 2017

Eleven of us met on this altered evening and Tina led us through 15 songs. While Shepherds Watched to Pentonville, Sussex Mummers' Carol, Hark The Herald Angels to the new tune, The Angel Gabriel, The Moon Shone Bright and then switching to Apple Wassail before the break.

Continuing with Sugar Wassail, Christmas Now Is Drawing Near at Hand, Masters in This Hall, Sweet Chiming Bells, then the combined catches Child of Light and Hey, Ho, Winter Snow to which it didn’t take folk long to catch on, and finishing our winter collection with the tongue-twisting Falmer Carol.

Tina then refreshed our memories of our Dave’s Caburn Hill, and while he sang the verses we mumbled along and tried the harmony. We hope that we can present it to the whole group soon. And so to finish we sang Thousands Or More and The East Sussex Drinking Song which we hope will have a revised final verse in the New Year!

Looking forward to Michelham Priory on the 10th and our other altered meeting date of Monday 18th December.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

'Offical Opening' of Renovated 17th/18thC Barn at Sullington Manor Farm

Update 27th November: The timing for some of the proceedings has been brought forward and singers are now asked to arrive at 12.30pm to allow for this.
Update 13th November: Further details have been added to the end of this post. Twelve singers have now volunteered. (Further update: 15 singers as on 15th November.)
The local MP Nick Herbert will be opening this Exhibition and Community use barn on Friday 1st December. Gail and Grahame (who organised and applied for the HLF grant funding for this second renovation, after the previous Great Barn restoration) have asked us if we could sing some songs on this occasion to enliven the proceedings.

The opening has been delayed, due to unforeseen circumstances, to a less clement time of year, so unless you are well wrapped up you may not want to take a trailer tour ride (which is also dependent on the weather).

Don't RSVP Gail, as on the poster, please email me on southdownsfolksingers@gmail.com if you can come.

Eight Singers have volunteered so far (as on 9th November) and further details will be posted as they become available, but the songs will be ones that you are all familiar with.

John C.


Further details

Singers please arrive around 1.00pm to ensure a parking space on hard ground.

We have been asked to sing an introductory few songs as people are gathering before the first trailer trip, and then again before the next one. This will allow listening to the intervening talk and participation in the 'champagne' tea.

Provisional song lists

First set:
  1. Country Life [Eb - Ab]
  2. The Coppers' Christmas Song [Bb]
  3. Old Adam [E]
  4. On Sussex Hills [A]
  5. Brisk Young Ploughboy (leaving out 2nd verse) [C]
  6. Sweet Chiming Bells [B]

Second set:
  1. Twanky Dillo [G]
  2. Rosebuds in June [B]
  3. The Holly Bears a Berry [C]
  4. West Sussex Drinking Song [E]
  5. Thousands or More [A]
  6. Here We Come A-Wassailing [C]

Calling all the South Downs Folk Singers preparing to sing at our Winter season Events

This notice is to confirm plans for an Extra session on Wednesday 15th November at 7.30pm at “Ye Olde House at Home” pub in Worthing (BN14 9AD).

(N.B. Another extra session considered for 29th November will NOT be going ahead – but the next regular Worthing group session, on Wednesday 6th December, is open to all as usual.)

Monday, 6 November 2017

Along The Road With Cotillion in Local Song and Verse

Saturday 25th November at 7.30pm in St Nicolas' Church, Old Shoreham, BN43 5NH
Doors open 7.00pm. Bar available


We are delighted to announce that Cotillion are returning to St Nicolas' to present a collection of folk songs, tunes and poetry from their Folk Shows and CDs.

The group (which includes two of our SDFS, Anne and Alan) sing and play various instruments to create a superb atmosphere with catchy songs and rhythms, spiced with humour.

Tickets (£5) will be available from the church and the usual outlets – Bookworms and Day Lewis Pharmacy in Shoreham, The Red Lion in Old Shoreham, or on the night on the door. Proceeds to the Friends of St Nicolas' who maintain the fabric of this beautiful historic church.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Local Group Report – Worthing – Wednesday 1st November 2017

Our new hosts at “Ye Olde House at Home” made us very welcome and 35 singers gathered for an evening of festive songs to herald the season ahead and prepare us for our events at the Weald and Downland Museum and Michelham Priory.  On Sussex Hills, which has almost become our anthem, warmed us up before moving on with The Holly and The Ivy, the Sussex Mummers Song (with a different selection of verses), and then Christmas is Drawing Near at Hand which some have dubbed the ‘Marmite’ song due to the mixed responses it receives!  The Pentonville tune for the shepherds and their flocks reunited us and, with a refreshment break along the way, we continued with Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Masters in This Hall and The Angel Gabriel, which was liked by all.  Sugar Wassail, The Moon Shone Bright (beginning with women’s voices but gradually introducing the men’s), and the Falmer Carol with its different harmonies, were all sung before time and energy ran out and the session needed to close. The end of our first evening at “Ye Olde House” concluded with enthusiastic agreement from singers and landlord alike that we make it our regular venue, and future sessions were duly booked.

(NB – These include an Extra session on 15th November to have more time to prepare for the Weald and Downland event on 26th November – and similarly, an option on 29th November, if needed (tbc), before Michelham Priory in December.  Our usual Worthing session will be there again on 6th December.)

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

W&DLM 'Christmas Market' Sunday 26th November

Update 20th November: 40+ Singers will be attending. Set lists have been added to the end of this post.
Update 13th November: A reminder that John will be at 'Ye Olde House at Home' on 15th November and will have with him the last few free passes for singers, to distribute to those who have either already booked a place by email or who want to participate.
Update 4th November: Here's a message from John C to keep us up to date – "Following the issue or reserving of 30 of the 40 wristband passes for this event I will be attending the practice at the 'Ye Olde House at Home', Broadwater on the 15th November to issue the remaining ten to Singers wishing to take part. If you are volunteering for this event and cannot attend on this date, please ask another Singer to pick up the requisite pass for you.
Obviously if you are a paid up supporter or volunteer at the Museum you will not need a pass."
Again a packed event with over 120 stalls, so if the weather is reasonable it's worth making a day of it.

All the new 'Gateway' buildings are operational now.

As always Sunday is the busiest day with the whole of the overflow car park filled out to West Dean College by 1pm on a good day.

If you arrive early (by 10.30am) you may be able to park in the permanent parking area, or nearer to the entrance booths, and avoid being in the long traffic queues around the site. Use the dedicated 'Friends' / stall holders queue for quick entrance by showing your pass.

See the organiser's website.

We have two sets, at 1.00-1.30pm on the decking outside the Gridshell building and 3.15-4.00pm at the Music Tent in the Market Square, with Emily leading us.

Dress for cold variable weather and wear stout shoes, but please don whatever festive headgear you want for the occasion.

I will be at the practice at Worthing on the 1st November and hope to have with me by then the Singers' free passes for those of you who have already booked but not collected them.

If you are one of the above Singers, and in the interim you have discovered another commitment and cannot come to the Market, please email southdownsfolksingers@gmail.com so that I can reallocate the remaining passes to those Singers still on the reserve list.

John C.

First Set:
  1. Pentonville (While Shepherds...) B
  2. The Holly Bears A Berry C
  3. The Falmer Carol (See seraphic throngs...) Db
  4. Sussex Mummers' Carol (When Righteous Joseph...) G#
  5. Hark The Herald Angels Sing F
  6. The Angel Gabriel B
  7. Deck The Hall B
  8. The Moon Shone Bright Bb
  9. Here We Come A-Wassailing C

Second Set:
  1. The Holly & The Ivy F
  2. The Sugar (Sussex) Wassail (A wassail, a wassail...) C
  3. Christmas Now Is Drawing... G
  4. The Sussex Carol (On Christmas night all...) G#
  5. Apple Tree Wassail (Oh lily-white lily...) G
  6. Masters In This Hall B
  7. Sweet Chiming Bells (While Shepherds...) D
  8. (Rounds) Child of Light & Hey Ho
  9. We Wish You A merry Christmas C

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

A 'Victorian Christmas' at Michelham Priory, Sunday 10th December

Update 20th November: 33+ singers will be attending and we will be singing either inside the house, or in the barn, or a combination of both.
If other than wearing the odd festive decoration on your person you want to dress in Victorian-themed garb, please do.
Please be there for 11.30am, the song sets are provisionally scheduled for 12.00 & 2.30pm.
I (John C) will be on the gate to identify you for swift entry.
Set lists have been added to the end of this post.
We have been invited to sing seasonal songs in the Priory on the middle weekend of three in December with a Christmas theme.

Helen the organiser writes:

"...it's the first time we have done a 'Victorian' theme. Our Tudor weekends are generally quite well attended, but they are not massive events. At the Victorian weekends, there will be decorations, children's craft activities, Santa, dressing up / drama and a trail, plus some cookery in the house. There may be a film show in the barn, but we aren't sure yet. It might be a good idea to have the Christmas folk singing in the house. Anyway, let me know whether your Singers can help us make it an even better weekend."

See the organiser's website.

12 singers including Tina (leading) and Emily have volunteered so far.

It will be a great way of airing our seasonal songs in addition to the W&DLM 'Christmas Market'.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you are willing to support it at southdownsfolksingers@gmail.com

Song sets and other details will be added in due course.

John C.

First Set:
  1. Pentonville (While Shepherds...) B
  2. The Holly Bears A Berry C
  3. The Falmer Carol (See seraphic throngs...) Db
  4. Sussex Mummers' Carol (When Righteous Joseph...) G#
  5. Hark The Herald Angels Sing F
  6. The Angel Gabriel B
  7. Deck The Hall B
  8. The Moon Shone Bright Bb
  9. Here We Come A-Wassailing C

Second Set:
  1. The Holly & The Ivy F
  2. The Sugar (Sussex) Wassail (A wassail, a wassail...) C
  3. Christmas Now Is Drawing... G
  4. The Sussex Carol (On Christmas night all...) G#
  5. Apple Tree Wassail (Oh lily-white lily...) G
  6. Masters In This Hall B
  7. Sweet Chiming Bells (While Shepherds...) D
  8. (Rounds) Child of Light & Hey Ho
  9. We Wish You A merry Christmas C

Hark, Hark What News The Angels Bring

Yes, it's coming up to that time of year again. The Brighton Pub Carols practices start on Tuesday 7th November – just two weeks away.

As usual, these will take place at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church, Dorset Gardens, off St James's Street, Brighton from 8.00 pm to 10.00 pm.

Dates are 7th,14th, 21st & 28th November and 5th December. The 12th,19th and 23rd December have been earmarked for the three pub nights – probably at the same pubs that have been used for the past few years.

Practices will be in the upstairs hall and you can arrive from 7.45 pm. Teas and coffees will be available as usual – a small donation is requested to cover the hall hire and refreshments.

Two carols that we haven't sung before will be introduced and these will be covered in the first practice. Music for them will be circulated via Dropbox or e-mail attachments nearer the date. Visit the Brighton Pub Carols Facebook page for all the details!

Local Group Report – Chichester – Thursday 19th October 2017

A wet and windy evening found 12 singers at the Chichester Inn on the 19th October. We decided to each pick a song we’d like to sing. We resurrected The Cuckoo and Drink Me Brave Boys, songs which we haven’t sung for a long time, and then continued with Jim the Carter Lad, Country Life, and Hard Times of Old England. We thought we’d better sing something for the Weald and Downland Christmas Market event so sang Sweet Chiming Bells, Where Stormy Winds Do Blow and the Coppers’ Christmas Song. The Turnip Hoer made an appearance along with the Brisk Young Ploughboy, Valiants All and the Song of the Sussex Downsman. Despite proceedings being interrupted with the unblocking of some drains, a good time was had by all and we rounded off the evening with Rolling Home.