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Short film from Doc Rowe's collections

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GUEST, topsie 23 May 09 - 03:35 PM
johnadams 23 May 09 - 04:22 PM
Bat Goddess 23 May 09 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,Lord O'May 23 May 09 - 07:01 PM
johnadams 23 May 09 - 07:29 PM
Amos 23 May 09 - 07:54 PM
johnadams 23 May 09 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Lord O'May 23 May 09 - 08:39 PM
Surreysinger 23 May 09 - 08:49 PM
GUEST,Lord O'May 24 May 09 - 05:08 AM
BB 24 May 09 - 09:57 AM
johnadams 24 May 09 - 10:06 AM
Bat Goddess 24 May 09 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,Silas 24 May 09 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,Silas 24 May 09 - 10:22 AM
johnadams 24 May 09 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,Wheatman 24 May 09 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Lord O'May (Sedayne Astray) 24 May 09 - 03:01 PM
johnadams 24 May 09 - 03:18 PM
GUEST, Chris Smith 24 May 09 - 04:21 PM
GUEST,Lord O'May (Sedayne Astray) 24 May 09 - 04:26 PM
johnadams 24 May 09 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,Lord O'May (Sedayne Astray) 25 May 09 - 05:56 AM
GUEST,Lord O'May (Sedayne Astray) 25 May 09 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,Silas 25 May 09 - 06:15 AM
johnadams 25 May 09 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,Wheatman 25 May 09 - 10:27 AM
johnadams 25 May 09 - 10:47 AM
GUEST,leeneia 25 May 09 - 10:52 AM
johnadams 25 May 09 - 11:01 AM
Amos 25 May 09 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,Earl o' Rone (Sedayne at Home) 25 May 09 - 02:09 PM
katlaughing 26 May 09 - 12:27 AM
Splott Man 26 May 09 - 03:18 AM
treewind 26 May 09 - 03:32 AM
johnadams 26 May 09 - 05:19 AM
GUEST,Sedayne (Astray) 26 May 09 - 05:29 AM
GUEST,The Museum of British Folklore 27 May 09 - 04:34 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 27 May 09 - 04:52 AM
Jack Blandiver 27 May 09 - 05:57 AM
Will Fly 27 May 09 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,Silas 27 May 09 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,Silas 27 May 09 - 06:23 AM
johnadams 27 May 09 - 06:25 AM
Jack Blandiver 27 May 09 - 06:39 AM
johnadams 27 May 09 - 07:23 AM
Will Fly 27 May 09 - 07:24 AM
manitas_at_work 27 May 09 - 07:34 AM
manitas_at_work 27 May 09 - 07:37 AM
manitas_at_work 27 May 09 - 07:38 AM
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Subject: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 23 May 09 - 03:35 PM

Hobbyhorses, cheeserolling, tar barrels, bogeys and giants, and more

http://www.showstudio.com/project/britannica

(though it made not load easily if you have a slow connection).


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: johnadams
Date: 23 May 09 - 04:22 PM

This film was edited together for the launch of Simon Costin's launch of Museum of British Folklore

The video is great. I hope the traveling museum has some success. It deserves to.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 23 May 09 - 06:30 PM

Uh, could you please post an explanation and location of the collection of events for us poor ignorant Yanks?

I'm more conversant with British folkloric traditions than most of the US population, but despite general knowledge, I'd really appreciate some more identification.

Thanks!

Linn


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,Lord O'May
Date: 23 May 09 - 07:01 PM

Just had a quick flick - here's a few hazarded guesses:

Minehead Hobby Horse

Copper's Hill, Gloucestershire, Cheese rolling (better footage on YouTube)

Rapper Dancers (?)

Abbots Bromley Horn Dance

Bacup - Britannia Coconut Dancers

Mari Llywd

Tar Barrels - Ottery St Mary

Padstow 'Obby 'Oss

Minehead Hobby Horse

14.37 - Burry Man - South Queensferry

Tar Barrels - Allendale, Northumberland

Not sure who the singer is; likewise the neo-green man masquerade & the lovely old clog dancing (?) footage.

For more info - Google the above!


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: johnadams
Date: 23 May 09 - 07:29 PM

The Earl of Rhone ceremony accounts for one of the Hobby Horses and the guy riding the donkey backwards.

The step (clog) dancing was possibly Dartmoor stepping because the melodeon player sounded a bit like Bob Cann - again, checkable.

The Green Man was possibly the Hastings Jack In The Green Festival?

Interesting to see the two horses at Minehead - I've only ever seen the one which goes around the festivals - The Town Horse?

Between us we can tie all this down and maybe win a prize! :-)


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: Amos
Date: 23 May 09 - 07:54 PM

I don't suppose any of you limeys have the faintest notion how absolutely incomprehensible -- not to say daft -- these clips make y'all seem to those of us on the other side of the Pond.

A


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: johnadams
Date: 23 May 09 - 08:09 PM

Amos, of course we do. We rejoice in our daftness. It's the only thing that keeps us sane in an otherwise crazy world.

Come across the pond and join us at one of our daft ceremonies some time. You'll maybe find a little magic in there!

J


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,Lord O'May
Date: 23 May 09 - 08:39 PM

Some of the footage was instantly recognisable from The Future of things Past, an hour-long documentary broadcast on Channel 4 20 or more years ago now. I still have it on VHS! This present offering is a pretty slipshod affair though, unlike The Future of Things Past which gave the events greater dignity than being presented out of context, washed over with wholly irrelevant folk music and juxtaposed with the new-age posturings of the Green Man Festival (if that's what it is) which looks more like an American Ren Fair. Gawd help us all!


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: Surreysinger
Date: 23 May 09 - 08:49 PM

Singer - Eliza Carthy

Green stuff - Jack in the Green festival, Hastings


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,Lord O'May
Date: 24 May 09 - 05:08 AM

There's more Hunting the Earl of Rhone footage on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aq99sUfNCTY (etc.)

According to Barnstable Tourist Info, Hunting the Earl of Rhone happens this weekend apparently, at Combe Martin in North Devon, so hopefully more YouTube footage to follow. Traditionally observed on Ascension Day (21st May 2009) - according Christina Hole the custom died out in 1837... Ah! The glad discontinuity of English Folklore!


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: BB
Date: 24 May 09 - 09:57 AM

Actually, it's The Hunting of the Earl of *Rone* - as in *Ty-rone*, not French wine. And it's happening right now, this minute, and only an upset stomach is stopping me taking part! And it's also Barnstaple, not Barnstable, which is, I believe, the other side of the pond.

It was traditionally observed in the week before Ascension Day, but after it's reconstruction, it was decided that the Bank Holiday weekend was more convenient for the modern world of the 1970s. As it happens, this year it's almost exactly on time.

If you want to know more, there's lots of - correct - information here

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: johnadams
Date: 24 May 09 - 10:06 AM

Lord O'May wrote

This present offering is a pretty slipshod affair though, unlike The Future of Things Past which gave the events greater dignity than being presented out of context, washed over with wholly irrelevant folk music and juxtaposed with the new-age posturings of the Green Man Festival (if that's what it is) which looks more like an American Ren Fair. Gawd help us all!

This criticism seems a bit off the mark to me. Firstly The Future of Things Past was a properly constructed and budgeted documentary with a narrative structure. This video is purely a short piece of propaganda designed to grab the eye of the casual viewer and get them to investigate further. Chalk and Cheese.

As far as the 'new-age posturings of the Green Man Festival' are concerned, the Green Man festival has a longer history than the Bacup Britannia Coconut Dancers who also feature in the piece.

I didn't like the way Eliza's music was used but that's a stylistic thing and I come back to the point of the video piece in the first place. It was footage of her that Doc had shot and I didn't think it was irrelevant.

Doc is not the keeper of the purity of the traditions - he's a documenter of how things change. To him the evolving graphics on the cards that pimps put up in London phone boxes to advertise their girls are just as important a signifier of cultural change as the growing difficulties of finding enough people to 'Ring' or 'Clip' Wirksworth Church. Reference

The editor's inclusion of these things was entirely appropriate to the job that the video had to perform. I think she did pretty well.

John Adams - Doc Rowe Collection Support Group.
Link to Doc's Support Group


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 24 May 09 - 10:12 AM

Thanks for the info!

Yes -- BarnstaBle is on Cape Cod -- that great hookey thing extending into the Atlantic from the rest of Massachusetts.

Some of us USers, too, "rejoice" in your "daftness" -- envious of such a rich and ancient tradition.

Linn

(What? No swan-upping?!?)


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 24 May 09 - 10:22 AM

I think the clog dancer was Sam Sherry. Singer was Eliza Carthy. Green man festival could have been Clun.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 24 May 09 - 10:22 AM

Oh - brilliant film btw.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: johnadams
Date: 24 May 09 - 10:23 AM

Hi Linn,

It's not only Swan-upping that's missing. Have a look at the list of the events that Doc has covered.

Seasonal Events List

There's lots of ways of being daft!

J


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,Wheatman
Date: 24 May 09 - 01:43 PM

Brilliant documentary, aimed at attracting the innocent eye not the committed participant. I don't care if it does look daft you will have to spend a least 30+ years observing these events and just be there to begin to understand what it is all about, just as Doc has done. All of us who are involved in the preservation and development of British Traditional (and not so traditional) Customs should be very grateful to Doc for dedicating his life to the preservation of both the visual and audio images of the diverse events which encapsulate British culture. It is oh so easy to knock a very short insight to 30+years of work. Just travel the 22 miles over the channel and see just how bizarre some of the events our continental cousins get up to. Come to Britain and experience some of these events, but don't get in the way – enjoy. Brian


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,Lord O'May (Sedayne Astray)
Date: 24 May 09 - 03:01 PM

As far as the 'new-age posturings of the Green Man Festival' are concerned, the Green Man festival has a longer history than the Bacup Britannia Coconut Dancers who also feature in the piece.

Despite some considerable misinformation to the contrary, The Green Man is a modern / new-age / Fantasy Folklore construct which has precious little to do with Jack-in-the-Green etc. And Hastings, in essence, only dates to 1983 - a folk custom dies as one thing, but it is revived as something else altogether! That said, I sported similar garb during the Morpeth Gathering Procession this year - and won first prize for best costume for my efforts:

A Green (Sedayne) Man

If you can't beat 'em... though in actuality there is a bit of serious reconstructive archaeology going on here, based on a notion that certain of the Medieval Ecclesiastical Foliate Heads are actually depictions of Medieval Carnival Masks. I based this one on a misericord at Chester Cathedral - see Here.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: johnadams
Date: 24 May 09 - 03:18 PM

There are lots of customs that are misinterpreted, re-invented, synthesised, etc. The point is not how accurately they are preserved but how people carry their culture forward. That's partly the point of Doc's work and The Museum of British Folklore is doing a good job of bringing people's attention to it.

Being crabby about other peoples efforts to spread the word and develop a bigger audience is not in any way helpful.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST, Chris Smith
Date: 24 May 09 - 04:21 PM

The section at the end of the film, from 15:54 to 17:08, is from the annual Nov 5th Bonfire Night celebrations in Lewes, East Sussex.

The first part shows members of the Cliffe Bonfire Society - one of several bonfire societies in Lewes - processing through the town during the early evening, complete with effigies of Guy Fawkes and Pope Paul V.

This continues (at 16:51) into a section filmed at the firesite (the destination of one of the main processions) showing an effigy of Guy Fawkes (at 16:51) and Pope Paul V (16:57) being set alight with fireworks and blown up.

Cliffe Bonfire Society


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,Lord O'May (Sedayne Astray)
Date: 24 May 09 - 04:26 PM

There are lots of customs that are misinterpreted, re-invented, synthesised, etc.

With the best will in the world I think there's a whole world of difference between (say) The Abbots Bromley Horn Dancers and the Hastings Green Men. Carrying culture forward? Sadly, I think not.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: johnadams
Date: 24 May 09 - 05:05 PM

I can only say it's lucky for us that Doc doesn't have your narrow viewpoint.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,Lord O'May (Sedayne Astray)
Date: 25 May 09 - 05:56 AM

Trying to post here without any success; other threads fine, so what's up (Doc) here I wonder??


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,Lord O'May (Sedayne Astray)
Date: 25 May 09 - 05:59 AM

Why isn't possible to have any sort of discussion around here without being accused of being crabby or having a narrow viewpoint? There is nothing narrow or crabby in pointing out that there is a whole world of difference between Fantasy Post-Modern Folk Customs (such as the Hastings Green Man Jamboree) and the real thing (such as The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance) - or even spirited revivals (such as The Hunting of the Earl of Rone). One would have thought an understanding of those differences is crucial to even the most elementary appreciation of British Folk Customs - just as an understanding of the differences between Traditional & Revival essential to one of British Folk Song.

In these days of mobile phone cams (etc) the documentation of such things becomes a lot more immediate. If you do a YouTube search on any of the above customs you will be sure to find exciting, independent footage taken very much as part of the proceedings, often by the participants themselves. Thus does Youtube become a Museum of Folklore by default. There are, for example, some fine wee films of the Ottery St Mary Tar Barrels given a decidedly non-folky gloss by the respective soundtracks. Worth a look. I'd link to them here but I've having difficulty posting this morning...


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 25 May 09 - 06:15 AM

There is nothing wrong in new 'traditions'. Some are really livley and make a worthy spectacle.

Just pop along to Upton at festival time and look at the morris - its fantastic (Its Morris Jim, but not as we know it).

Also, some traditions, though ancient, are, well, a bit boring. Abbots Bromley, with all due respect, being one of tghe most boring of all, yet Padstow, another ancient festival is one of the best.

There is room on this little island for all of these 'traditions' and the more the merrier I say.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: johnadams
Date: 25 May 09 - 06:36 AM

Sedayne,


The Green Man thing is obviously one of your pet issues and that's fair enough - I've looked at your web site and can see where you're coming from - and I'm not saying you're wrong in what you say. What I AM saying is that you've not spotted the plot here and have compared the incomparable.

Using phrases like 'new age posturings' makes me dismiss you as crabby. Maybe I'm over-reacting but it's just my opinion.

Concentrating on one issue which happens to be your pet hate leads me to think you have a narrow viewpoint.

The video is a frothy top level propagandist attempt to persuade people who don't know about the glories of our folk culture, in all its authentic and non-authentic guises, to take a closer look.

That the Green Man festival thing is made up, synthesised, misinterpreted etc. is irrelevant. Lots of people learn the wrong things before they learn the right things. Lots of people never get to learn the right things. It doesn't matter. The fact is that people do it and Doc includes it in his observation trail. Thus the editor included it in her video as a colourful part of the sequence.

There's a wider viewpoint.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,Wheatman
Date: 25 May 09 - 10:27 AM

Good onya John, what ever happens the good events will stand the test of time and the rest will disapear like a Fenland Mist only to be re invented be some northern oik or similar after a few years sleep. Oh how I wish there had been a Doc around in Whittlesey 150 years ago.
Brian


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: johnadams
Date: 25 May 09 - 10:47 AM

That would have been fun Brian - a Doc with easel and paint brushes trying to keep up with the bear!


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 May 09 - 10:52 AM

Thanks for starting this thread and posting the link, Topsie. There are things I wish they had done differently in making the film, but it's good to see that people of all ages are still having a good time while following the old traditions.

What with war, torture, crime, child abuse, etc, one could conclude that nobody in this world is ever good or happy, and this shows that that is not the case.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: johnadams
Date: 25 May 09 - 11:01 AM

er... Brian?

I've not been to Whittlesea Straw Bear for several years and checking on Wikipedia I see it says Pub sessions of Irish and other traditional music take place in many of the public houses during the day and evening

Is it predominantly Irish and is English music just included in 'other'? I'm just curious.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: Amos
Date: 25 May 09 - 11:19 AM

John, et al:

It is only the lack of familiarity and understanding of the symbols that creates the impression of daftness; once one is into the thing, of course, it is all coherent and meaningful and the sea of random symbols becomes poetic.

BTW, I love the expression "glad discontinuity"!!

Someone tell me, please, what the real ancient Green story is in contrast to the modern-day invented Green thing. I am awash with omitted information...


A


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,Earl o' Rone (Sedayne at Home)
Date: 25 May 09 - 02:09 PM

Someone tell me, please, what the real ancient Green story is in contrast to the modern-day invented Green thing. I am awash with omitted information...

There's a couple of threads here which discuss this in some depth:

Any info about the green man?

Folklore: The Green Man

As ever, there are certain crossover points between the two threads & links to various pages & articles elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 May 09 - 12:27 AM

Sedayne, would you pick ONE name and stick with it, even as a "guest?!"

Thanks to Micca, I was able to recognise the Hastings Green Man right away! Some of the others, I kind of guessed at. I love seeing these. Thanks a bunch, Topsie, for this thread.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: Splott Man
Date: 26 May 09 - 03:18 AM

There are now at least three hobby horse parties in Minehead on Mayday weekend.

It's interesting looking at the the Mari Lwyd (NB one "L"), which I believe is the Llangynwyd one.
The current horse skull does not have a bandaged head.

Splott Man


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: treewind
Date: 26 May 09 - 03:32 AM

John A:
Is it predominantly Irish and is English music just included in 'other'?"
Nick Barber is a regular visitor to Straw Bear (with White Rose Morris) so you can imagine what some of the sessions are like. But yes, there is usually an Irish music session going on somewhere, and there's always a very rowdy singing session at the Bricklayers Arms. None of this has to do with any Straw Bear festival policy itself, of course. It's just whoever turns up.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: johnadams
Date: 26 May 09 - 05:19 AM

Thanks Anahata. I was just a little saddened by that emphasis in the Wikipedia entry. It would be nice to think of one of the nicest English traditions accompanied by English and other traditional musics.

I must get down to Straw Bear next year, now I have lost the day job.

J


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,Sedayne (Astray)
Date: 26 May 09 - 05:29 AM

It is only the lack of familiarity and understanding of the symbols that creates the impression of daftness; once one is into the thing, of course, it is all coherent and meaningful and the sea of random symbols becomes poetic.

Symbols????


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,The Museum of British Folklore
Date: 27 May 09 - 04:34 AM

Lord O'May wrote

This present offering is a pretty slipshod affair though, unlike The Future of Things Past which gave the events greater dignity than being presented out of context, washed over with wholly irrelevant folk music and juxtaposed with the new-age posturings of the Green Man Festival (if that's what it is) which looks more like an American Ren Fair. Gawd help us all!

Oh we do like a forum! I feel some explanation of the Britannica short film might be in order from the person who commissioned it. As John Adams quite rightly pointed out, this was only ever meant to be a small, visually exciting taster, which was shown originally within the context of a launch event for the museum tour. It was put together from 22 hours of Doc's footage and shown to an audience, who for the most part were totally unfamiliar with the content, (and were also busy eating and drinking). It was made with zero funding by a budding young editor on two computers at home, not by a major TV channel. Despite these limitations, the reaction to it has been quite overwhelming and the museum website has been hit with many emails from people asking exactly the same things as some of the people here, 'where was that shot and what does that mean?', etc etc. As for the 'wholly irrelevant folk music', I imagine the person who wrote that didn't take the time to listen to Eliza Carty's lyrics and marry them to the opening image...... 'Strange, how a dreary world can suddenly change, to a world as bright as the evening stars.....'


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 27 May 09 - 04:52 AM

I liked the film - as a visually stimulating collage. But the Museum especially looks simply great - love the artwork the presentation, and concept of a traveling caravan. Highly imaginative, alive and engaging. Nothing dessicated, dully academic or stuffy about this. It's got that magical story-tale thing going-on. Like a little world of wonders tempting naughty children in. Great work.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 May 09 - 05:57 AM

Oh we do like a forum!

Evidently not if you can't take even the most basic piece of criticism and feel the need to offer up such a defensive apology for what remains a shoddy piece of work no matter what it was edited on - it is, after all, a bad workman who blames his tools; and this is most certainly not the impression given by the hype on the page which hosts the footage. Whatever the case, there are innumerable offerings on YouTube made with mobile phone footage edited on lap-tops (or not edited at all) which operate as far more vital introductions to the individual customs than this half-assed pastiche ever could. Here's one of my favourites to be going on with:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bddvXDbXPGk

And one of my own, though I'm sure you'll find the comments a good deal more entertaining than the film itself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=993m0yRR0bg

*

Forgive me though - I love our customs in terms of their empirical feral human autonomy, and it irks me greatly to see them brought under such a twee folksy umbrella and lumped together as if there were part of some sort of common cause which they most certainly are not. Worse still, is to see them co-opted into a project which comes out with such bullshit as:

It is therefore a surprising fact that there exists
no properly funded centre in Britain to research and celebrate
our native traditions and vernacular arts.
It is my aim, that over the next few years, such an institution
will exist, which will address this situation.


Am I the only one to find this statement wholly depressing? Institutionalised centralised state-funded folklore! It'll be the death of it for sure.   

Suibhne O'Piobaireachd / Sedayne / Lord O'May etc.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 May 09 - 06:18 AM

GUEST, Silas:
I think the clog dancer was Sam Sherry.

Sorry to disappoint - 'twasn't Sam. I used to guitar duets with him in the mid-60s in Lancaster. Lovely man and great clog dancer - but it's not him in the film. :-)


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 27 May 09 - 06:21 AM

Suibhne O'Piobaireachd


Are you sure you have posted the right clips?


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 27 May 09 - 06:23 AM

Hi Will

Do you recall him siging 'I want to be a sausage'?


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: johnadams
Date: 27 May 09 - 06:25 AM

Suibhne O'Piobaireachd:

Question. Do you consider Doc's work to be important? If the answer to that is yes, where would you hope that his massive collection would be deposited when he finally shuffles off in years to come?

Personally I hope that it would end up in a properly funded centre in Britain to research and celebrate our native traditions and vernacular arts.

Some people argue that we already have institutions that would take Doc's collection but looking at what happened to other collections (including Peter Kennedy's, although I'm not clear on all the details yet), I don't think it's very satisfactory to put the sound recordings in the sound archive, the film and video in the film archive, the photos in the photo library, the texts in the book library and the ephemera in the museum. Doc's body of work deserves to be kept intact and that means we need a properly funded centre such as exists for other cultures - a 'Smithsonian' would be nice. And Doc's is not the only collection that deserves proper consideration.

At present, the nearest thing we have to this is the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library and while this is a good national folk archive, the EFDSS doesn't enjoy the level of support to deal with a sizable collection such as Doc's.

Maybe you don't think his work is important enough to keep.

Johnny Adams
Doc Rowe Collection Support Group


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 May 09 - 06:39 AM

Maybe you don't think his work is important enough to keep.

Johnny - sorry if I gave that impression; nothing, of course, could be further from the truth.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: johnadams
Date: 27 May 09 - 07:23 AM

Suibhne O'Piobaireachd / Sedayne / Lord O'May etc.

Quite so, but I'm still a bit confused by your reference to Institutionalised centralised state-funded folklore!.

In another thread you ask if the EFDSS have any plans to digitise sound recordings and quote the Max Hunter Collection at Missouri State University ( a state funded institution with a role as a centre for the study of folk song in the Ozarks).

There seems to be a mismatch in your opinions.

Getting back to your reply to whoever it was posting on behalf of the Museum of British Folklore, they weren't attaching any importance to the tools used but merely illustrating the level of operation of that particular edit. As someone who runs a degree course in TV production I would have lots of criticisms of the piece but the fact remains that it was a quick bit of propaganda and will probably be displaced by other more considered work as the MoBF gets more established. Give them a chance.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 May 09 - 07:24 AM

GUEST, Silas:
Hi Will

Do you recall him singing 'I want to be a sausage'?


I don't actually - it's such a long time ago. He was, however, one of the first people I ever heard sing the song about the man with the dancing dolls - "Come day, go day" - drinking buttermilk all the week, whisky on a Sunday, etc. He told me he'd learned it from a man in Liverpool who actually used to do the dancing dolls act in the streets. He sat on a board which stretched out between his legs and the dolls would dance up and down, twirling their legs, in time to the music of a harmonica.

Sam was a lovely guitarist in an old-fashioned style - played a small parlour-style Gibson guitar - and was a good singer. I only found out some time later that he'd been one of the 5 Sherry Brothers - a superb music-hall act, singing, playing instruments, dancing and acrobatics - all at the same time!

I left Lancaster and the local folk scene (including Sam) in 1968 - and I believe Greg Stephens used to play for Sam's dancing in later years.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 27 May 09 - 07:34 AM

I'm not sure if the 'new age posturing' referred to Hastings but Hastings doesn't have a Green Man Festival or Jamboree. There are green men, women and even dogs there but is' a Jack in the Green and is a concious revival of the 19th century sweeps' festivities. Of course many of the participants are new age romantics and I'm sure some of the organisers look askance at this but people are questioned on their belief systems when they join in and the organisers seem very keen to keep the festival open to the whole community even to the point of neo-pagans being allowed to store their processional ginat in the church overnight. There is even a link to the traditional Bank Holiday motorcycle rally with a greened up motorcycle being ridden in the procession.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 27 May 09 - 07:37 AM

I'm pretty sure the step-dancing was being acompanied by Bob Cann.


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Subject: RE: Short film from Doc Rowe's collections
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 27 May 09 - 07:38 AM

Whoops! That should have said 'people are NOT questioned on their belief systems' !


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