People came from all over the south from the other side of Guildford, from Newbury, from Melksham and over from the Isle of Wight and, of course, from the Forest. The majority stayed all day and evening. Local descendants of singers Fred Osman, Harry Purkiss, and William Wilkins, came along, as did descendants of Marchwood singer Samuel Bull, who travelled down from Thames Ditton for the day.
The exhibition in the Village Hall and the Hampshire Carols Workshop in Christ Church were packed out and the evening concert was a sell out with over 120 people attending. The majority of those attending were local people who may have been previously unaware of the great heritage of local songs.
Period Photograph Display Village Hall 12noon-6pm
Curated by How We Used To Live Emery Down's local history group and Paul Marsh. Around 200 people came to look at this huge exhibition, with double sided display boards the length of the hall on both sides, and more. Photographs and panels were sourced and selected from their archives by Tessa Davis, Sara Hall and Angela Trend of How We Used To Live, to complement Pauls 15 A3 information panels and related photographs on George Gardiner and his song collecting.
Lots of photos of the Blake family were recently donated to How We Used To Live. There were many of Moses Blake and his family amongst them. How We Used To Live used some of these to produce A3 panels showing Moses Blake's world.
Also on display was information on the singers and their songs and some short biographies of a few of them. Profiles of a few of the singers have been added to Hampshire Voices.
Follow links to profiles:
George Blake Moses Blake Fred Osman William Wilkins Alfred Stride
For a Gallery of Photographs from the Exhibition please click here
For a Gallery of Paul's Panels from the Exhibition please click here
Hampshire Carols Workshop Christ Church 3pm-5pm
Run by Mike Bailey and members of The Madding Crowd, the workshop was a great success. The church was packed. Mike Bailey was very pleased and said it was the biggest workshop they had run. Everybody was very willing to sing. Traditional four-part singing, accompanied by woodwind and strings, was heard in a full church.
George Gardiner collected carols from several singers in Hampshire. Although complete versions were noted, in many cases fragments or a single remembered tune line were all that was collected. Mike Bailey of The Madding Crowd used the music from those sources as it was, when he had it. The words as collected by Gardiner on EFDSS Take6 pages were put with that music when possible, but some additional words or complete tunes were used.
For a Gallery of Photographs from the Workshop please click here
For a Gallery of Videos from the Workshop and further information please click here
Evening Concert of Folk Songs Christ Church 7.30pm-1030pm
Before the concert started, Robert Osborne, (church organ) and Miss Ann Fraser, (recorders and violin), played sixteen songs, collected in Hampshire by George Gardiner, arranged for pianoforte, by Gustav Holst. (Folksongs from Hampshire collected by George B Gardiner, Novello & Co., 1909). These highly stylised arrangements were in total contrast to the rest of the concert and very well received.
Paul Marsh MC. Great intros and wonderful performances from Tim Radford, Geoff Jerram and The Askew Sisters.
Emily and Hazel Askew, Paul Marsh, Geoff Jerram and Tim Radford
Thanks to John Paddy Browne for the photograph
Tim Radford, despite getting over a heavy cold, was in good voice. He sang unaccompanied, just as those who sang for Gardiner did. Tim grew up in the area and has researched Gardiner's collection, particularly New Forest singers. All of the songs Tim sang had been collected within a few miles of the venue.
Southampton born Geoff Jerram has been singing and researching songs collected by George Gardiner since the mid-1960s. Geoff was on top form and sang a lovely set of songs from all over Hampshire, at times accompanying himself on English Concertina or guitar.
Tim and Geoff sang six songs each in the first half, alternating after three, and The Askew Sisters who were also on top form with beautiful singing, accompanied by melodeon, fiddle, harp or English concertina did three songs at the end of the first half.
The second half started with two songs each from Tim and Geoff and a great duet Rolling in the Dew to conclude their set. The Askew Sisters then finished the concert with a set of Hampshire songs including King Henrys three sons [Frank Harrington, Bartley] and Through Lonesome woods [Henry Purkiss, Cadnam]. Tim, Geoff and Paul joined them as they led the audience in If I were a Blackbird as the finale.
Both Tim and Geoff have solo CDs which feature some of the songs they performed at "Songs in the Forest". The Askew Sisters have recorded a number of CDs which feature some of the songs they sang in the concert. For futher information please click on their names.
Many thanks to everybody who supported this event and helped to make it such a success.
For a review of "Songs in the Forest" published in The Lymington Times, 10th Dec.,2011
please click here
I HOPE TO BE ABLE TO ADD MORE PHOTOGRAPHS AND AUDIO FROM
"SONGS IN THE FOREST" IN DUE COURSE.
IF YOU HAVE ANY PHOTOGRAPHS OR VIDEO OF "SONGS IN THE FOREST"
AND WOULD BE WILLING TO SHARE THEM, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH.