A brief history of Forest Tracks records
FOREST TRACKS was founded as a NON PROFIT MAKING ORGANISATION to issue recordings of local folk music from Hampshire and Dorset. Originally the brainchild of Gordon Mignot, Forest Tracks was formed after a meeting (c.1970) of interested parties at which the original team of Gordon, Dave and Andy was established.
GORDON MIGNOT was the treasurer for Christchurch Folk Festival for its early years and also on the team of Folk Southern so he brought with him organisational and financial skills. In 1980 Gordon returned to his native Australia but kept an advisory interest in Forest Tracks.
DAVE WILLIAMS was a well known and respected performer and prime mover on the South coast folk scene, involved with everything from Sidmouth Folk Festival to the local school dance. Dave brought creative energy and ideas to the team.
ANDY JACKSON brought his recording experience, both professionally and through the production of The Cutty Wren Folk Club LP the previous year. Having found a name (Andy thought that up) and a logo, from the pen of Dave Williams, we agreed the general reasons for our being. Work then started on raising the finance needed for our first project. It was decided that the first release should be a showcase of talent, drawn from the local folk clubs. The first LP, First Tracks, released in 1972, sold well enough to finance the next release and so Forest Tracks has continued.
JOHN EDGAR MANN joined us in 1975 when he suggested and planned the concept album, Folk Songs from Hampshire. His career as a journalist and his many years organising Southampton's Fo'c'sle folk club, made John an ideal member of the team. He dealt with orders, suggested projects and championed FT and its releases through his journalism.
PAUL MARSH a local singer, musician and folk music collector became involved in the early nineties and we released important field recordings of previously unknown artists featuring Paul's personal recordings. After the untimely death of Dave Williams in 1997 it seemed more important than ever to keep Forest Tracks going, and Paul became a fully fledged and active member of the team.
John retired from his involvement with Forest Tracks in 2001 and Paul and Andy welcomed local singer and folk musician
RON COE to the team, who brought his love of traditional and folk music and financial and accounting skills.
Although never intended as a commercial enterprise, Forest Tracks has generally issued a recording most years.