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The Unthanks-A Very English Winter-on BBC Player

Related threads:
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nutty 13 Dec 12 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,George Henderson 13 Dec 12 - 07:28 AM
nutty 13 Dec 12 - 11:59 AM
Will Fly 16 Dec 12 - 03:25 PM
Paul Davenport 16 Dec 12 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 16 Dec 12 - 04:37 PM
Tootler 16 Dec 12 - 04:52 PM
Tootler 16 Dec 12 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,FloraG 17 Dec 12 - 03:54 AM
GUEST,achmelvich 17 Dec 12 - 04:33 AM
doc.tom 17 Dec 12 - 05:03 AM
GUEST 17 Dec 12 - 07:15 AM
GUEST,allan fcmm 17 Dec 12 - 07:35 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 17 Dec 12 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,henryp 17 Dec 12 - 08:50 AM
Phil Edwards 17 Dec 12 - 09:33 AM
Herga Kitty 17 Dec 12 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Guest 17 Dec 12 - 12:05 PM
doc.tom 18 Dec 12 - 06:14 AM
r.padgett 18 Dec 12 - 01:03 PM
Les in Chorlton 18 Dec 12 - 01:41 PM
NormanD 18 Dec 12 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,JohnB 19 Dec 12 - 01:29 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 19 Dec 12 - 05:04 AM
GUEST,CJB 19 Dec 12 - 06:39 AM
GUEST 23 Dec 12 - 04:10 AM
GUEST 23 Dec 12 - 06:33 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 23 Dec 12 - 08:02 AM
GUEST 23 Dec 12 - 09:09 AM
GUEST 23 Dec 12 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,henryp 23 Dec 12 - 02:17 PM
GUEST 24 Dec 12 - 06:35 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 24 Dec 12 - 07:53 AM
Valmai Goodyear 24 Dec 12 - 08:13 AM
Les in Chorlton 24 Dec 12 - 10:03 AM
nutty 24 Dec 12 - 10:27 AM
Tradsinger 24 Dec 12 - 05:42 PM
GUEST 25 Dec 12 - 02:39 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 25 Dec 12 - 02:40 AM
r.padgett 25 Dec 12 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 25 Dec 12 - 07:20 AM
Les in Chorlton 25 Dec 12 - 08:08 AM
Manitas_at_home 25 Dec 12 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,henryp 25 Dec 12 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 25 Dec 12 - 03:15 PM
Les in Chorlton 26 Dec 12 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 26 Dec 12 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,henryp 26 Dec 12 - 09:54 AM
Les in Chorlton 26 Dec 12 - 11:00 AM
GUEST 26 Dec 12 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,henryp 26 Dec 12 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 26 Dec 12 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,Henry Piper, of Ottery !! 26 Dec 12 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,henryp 27 Dec 12 - 05:56 AM
Edthefolkie 27 Dec 12 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 27 Dec 12 - 08:16 AM
GUEST 27 Dec 12 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 27 Dec 12 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,achmelvich 27 Dec 12 - 10:03 AM
Les in Chorlton 27 Dec 12 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,achmelvich 27 Dec 12 - 01:03 PM
GUEST 27 Dec 12 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 28 Dec 12 - 06:26 AM
GUEST,Folknacious 28 Dec 12 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 28 Dec 12 - 01:44 PM
r.padgett 29 Dec 12 - 04:14 AM
bradfordian 29 Dec 12 - 05:21 AM
Allan Conn 29 Dec 12 - 07:52 AM
Spleen Cringe 29 Dec 12 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,upnorth 30 Dec 12 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,CS 30 Dec 12 - 06:49 AM
Stu 30 Dec 12 - 08:54 AM
Wheatman 30 Dec 12 - 09:41 AM
Stu 30 Dec 12 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,Derrick 30 Dec 12 - 11:36 AM
Wheatman 30 Dec 12 - 11:49 AM
Semofolkie 30 Dec 12 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 30 Dec 12 - 02:21 PM
Rumncoke 30 Dec 12 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,Sugarfoot Jack in the electron cloud 30 Dec 12 - 04:40 PM
GUEST 30 Dec 12 - 04:56 PM
Tattie Bogle 30 Dec 12 - 07:56 PM
r.padgett 31 Dec 12 - 04:57 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 31 Dec 12 - 06:09 AM
Stu 31 Dec 12 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 31 Dec 12 - 12:34 PM
r.padgett 31 Dec 12 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 31 Dec 12 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 31 Dec 12 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,henryp 31 Dec 12 - 02:11 PM
Howard Jones 01 Jan 13 - 05:38 AM
Les in Chorlton 01 Jan 13 - 07:41 AM
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Jim Martin 18 Jan 17 - 08:20 AM
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Subject: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: nutty
Date: 13 Dec 12 - 07:06 AM

More folk customs from around the country introduced by Rachel and Becky. BBC 4 Sunday 16 th December at 8pm

I really enjoyed their last foray into TV presentation so am looking forward to this.

The website says that it will also be available on iPlayer soon.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 13 Dec 12 - 07:28 AM

I will tune in to that. Great to see that they are coming to Bray in Ireland next February 28th, Mermaid Arts Centre. Tickets are now on sale at €20 (comcessions €18) with a 10% discount if bought before Christmas. going fast.

They will be supported by the Keelers.

Really looking forward to this event.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: nutty
Date: 13 Dec 12 - 11:59 AM

That makes it a real family event as dad George is a member of the Keelers. He also used to be in the Redcar Sword Dancers who, I understand, are also appearing in the programme.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Dec 12 - 03:25 PM

Just watching this as I write - great programme. Good shots inside the Royal at Dungworth, Bonfire Night in Lewes, Longsword near Hartlepool...


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 16 Dec 12 - 04:28 PM

Lovely programme. The girls handled it very well being both informative but also with a light touch. The two programmes ought to be aired back to back to get the whole picture!


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 16 Dec 12 - 04:37 PM

Great fun spotting the folk-faces in the onlookers - Jon Boden, Phil & Cath Tyler - and dozens more! It's a small world...


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Tootler
Date: 16 Dec 12 - 04:52 PM


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Tootler
Date: 16 Dec 12 - 04:56 PM

Oops, sorry pressed the wrong button.

Excellent programme, though. Celibration of English Folk traditions which too often have been sneered at by the Grauniati in recent years.

Yes, and great fun spotting familiar faces. Saw quite a few.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 17 Dec 12 - 03:54 AM

Ah bless.
I thought they did well on this one - better than previous ones. Less of ' heres me morris dancing' heres me sword dancing ' heres me carrying a barrel' heres me singing. More on the actual traditions.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,achmelvich
Date: 17 Dec 12 - 04:33 AM

very enjoyable programme - don't know if folk abroad can get bbc i-player but if you can it should help you realise that we are a very strange lot. and there are hundreds more idiosyncratic local traditions going back over the centuries. i particularly like the way that a whole town can throw small exploding fireworks at 'the pope' without it being offensive or anyone taking offense. i enjoy any expression of lingering dissent or living radicalism - (and 'tootler' i read the guardian and have never seen it sneered at there, just by lazy comedians) the folk and morris tradition is still alive and kicking


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: doc.tom
Date: 17 Dec 12 - 05:03 AM

Good programme. Nice to avoid the contempt with which our traditions tend to be covered by the media - and even a comment or two about that! Slightly reminiscent of doc's Future of Things Past - but personality-led as is the fashion. I wondered if they'd get Dad's song into the Allendale section - of course they did. Here's to more.
TomB


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Dec 12 - 07:15 AM

A very enjoyable programme; lovely to see Dave Eyre, and other familiar faces. Does that mean Dave is now a Venerable English Tradition?

Matthew (non-sneering Guardian reader) :-)


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,allan fcmm
Date: 17 Dec 12 - 07:35 AM

I see that it is being repeated on Friday 21st Dec at 1am on BBC4.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 17 Dec 12 - 08:13 AM

No wassail but otherwise very good


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 17 Dec 12 - 08:50 AM

If you have an interest in Traditional Customs, the calendar published each year by Hedingham Fair (Colin and Karen Cater) is an invaluable source of information.

The 2013 calendar has a list of wassails - getting on for 200 - from Penzance to Perthshire.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 17 Dec 12 - 09:33 AM

i particularly like the way that a whole town can throw small exploding fireworks at 'the pope' without it being offensive or anyone taking offense

That part freaked me out slightly, and I'm not even Catholic. But I think a real service that programme did to some of these traditions was making it plain that they're not all hey-nonny-nonny hankie-flapping (and I've got nothing against hankie-flapping in its place). There's some scary stuff going on out there - some of those ceremonies were genuinely alarming, culturally, physically or both. Good!


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 17 Dec 12 - 11:48 AM

I watched it and enjoyed it last night - now planning to record the repeat in the early hours of Friday morning so I can see how many old friends I failed to spot the first time round!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 17 Dec 12 - 12:05 PM

I believe you can watch and record at the same time (if you want to).

That's what we did!


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: doc.tom
Date: 18 Dec 12 - 06:14 AM

I'm with you Phil. Amusing to hear how rationalisation of what we do develops as prevailing social attitudes change - blacking up, popery, H&S, etc.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: r.padgett
Date: 18 Dec 12 - 01:03 PM

Yes seen it twice now and spotted one or two folkies

I was impressed and amazed at the Lewes Bonfire spectacular!

Did anyone spot the guys spendinga penny? Lol ~ alcohol clearly to the fore once again!

Yes very informative and shows just how keen we in England love to be part of and involved in the traditions of the country despite Health and Safety concerns, what year are we in 2013 (very near!)

Ray


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 18 Dec 12 - 01:41 PM

If you seriously doubt the importance of H & S watch mothers with young children on busy roads or near fires

Best wishes


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: NormanD
Date: 18 Dec 12 - 02:27 PM

I'm sure there are many UK Mudcatters who can recall how wild some of the Bonfire activities were during their childhoods. In my case, in Northampton, streets would organise their own 'bonnies', raiding rival areas for firewood, breaking up their stacks, etc. Some firework displays would be carefully organised, but wilful disregard generally took over, with bangers aimed at each other or let off in tin cans or even jam jars, and other acts of casual cruelty I won't even mention. The only music I can recall being involved was whatever people were singing at the time - variations of pop songs, advertising jingles, etc. The main thing that was passed on through the years was protection of territory and having a scrap.

This was probably little different from most other parts of the country and I'm sure it continues these days. A ritual or living folk tradition? Who knows what you'd call it. It probably gets defined (and recollected or studied in later years) once it gets written down.

The tv prog is great fun and very entertaining. One of the Unthanks did seem to get an eyeful of spark from a fire that looked like it caused her some discomfort. Little H&S considerations, for the most part!


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 19 Dec 12 - 01:29 AM

Not sure what happened then, it just posted as I was typing.
Anyhow, really enjoyed the prog (I am not really an Unthanks fan)thought they did a good job.
Recognized: Jim McGeehan, Dave Eyre, Jon Boden, Grenoside Sword and what I thought was Ouse Washes Molly.
JohnB who watched it in Canada thanks to Expatshield.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 19 Dec 12 - 05:04 AM

From an H&S point of view, and sheer spectacle, there's no tar barrels like those on offer at Ottery Saint Mary - oddly absent from the Unthanks show - but featured in The Future of Things Past. Always some great YouTube footage & this year is no exception...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mh8oNBl6dmo


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 19 Dec 12 - 06:39 AM

T.V. progs on BBC iPLayer can be viewed overseas using ExpatShield or equivalnt. Also this applies to 'UK-only' progs on YouTube such as from Channel 4 and 5.

If you want to download a Beeb t.v. prog. sans DRM or one from YouTube and you are overseas start up ExpatShield, then use get_iplayer or a YouTube downloader.

RadioDownloader will get most (all?) Beeb radio progs. and all podcatss anywhere and certainly works in Thailand, New Zealand and Europe, etc.

TheBox.bz has many UK t.v. progs.

RadioArchive.cc has many radio progs.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Dec 12 - 04:10 AM

the future of things past is on youtube here for those that enjoyed this programme!

http://youtu.be/g1HhfjT70HY


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Dec 12 - 06:33 AM

Legally?

http://youtu.be/g1HhfjT70HY


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 23 Dec 12 - 08:02 AM

Cheers, Guest. TFOTP is a much more satisfying programme than one The Unthanks did & I remember it with great affection. All the way through their Allendale Tar Barrel segment I had my fingers crossed - please don't sing the song, please don't sing the song, please don't sing the song... - but they did! An appealing rough & ready rendering in someone's kitchen, but even so...

Even with TFOTP I could do with the commentary. All you need is the footage without the folky speculations as to what they might 'mean' or 'signify'. The Medium is the Message! And this stuff was going on long before some joker invented the ghastly notion of Folklore.

PS - Love The Unthanks very dearly, their version of A Tree Song (Oak Ash & Thorn) is definitive & their cover of Starless ain't bad either (hardly definitive but would we expect it to be? HERE'S the original for folkies who've never ventured down that particular path). Just don't like that song - it's a personal thing. I like my rituals wild and feral and without the Folk Gloss...


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Dec 12 - 09:09 AM

Another version of TFOTP (part 1) is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fr69U2Ut0dE


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Dec 12 - 10:41 AM

I just hope that folk from outside the north east don't think we're all as miserable as the Unthanks


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 23 Dec 12 - 02:17 PM

Mark Steel devoted an evening to the oddities of Ottery St Mary on BBC Radio 4 last week.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Dec 12 - 06:35 AM

Mark Steel at Ottery St Mary

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pc3by

Episode 4
Series 4 Episode 4 of 6
AVAILABILITY:2 DAYS LEFT TO LISTEN
Duration: 30 minutes
First broadcast: Wednesday 19 December 2012

Comedian Mark Steel returns with a new series, looking under the surface of some of the UK's more distinctive towns to shed some light on the people, history, rivalries, slang, traditions, and eccentricities that makes them unique.

Creating a bespoke stand-up set for each town, Mark performs the show in front of a local audience.

As well as examining the less visited areas of Britain, Mark uncovers stories and experiences that resonate with us all as we recognise the quirkiness of the British way of life and the rich tapestry of remarkable events and people who have shaped where we live.

During this 4th series of 'Mark Steel's In Town', Mark will visit Tobermory, Whitehaven, Handsworth, Ottery St Mary, Corby, and Chipping Norton.

This week, Mark visits Ottery St Mary in Devon to discuss Coleridge's embarrassing childhood, pixies, and what happens when you put five thousand people in a square with a lit tar barrel.

Additional material by Pete Sinclair.
Produced by Sam Bryant.

Get it from iPlayer or RadioDownloader


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 24 Dec 12 - 07:53 AM

"I just hope that folk from outside the north east don't think we're all as miserable as the Unthanks".

The programme was extremely well produced and edited. I particularly liked the fact the fact that each custom was lingered over long enough for people to grasp the sense of it. Also, the extensive intercutting of modern and archive footage to convey the feeling of continuity.

But why, and let me say that I have nothing whatsoever against the Unthanks whom I've never met and never heard, did they have to dominate the whole thing. Unthanks being tutored in sword dancing. Unthanks digging the Antrobus play. Unthanks tossing pancakes. Unthanks singing an unbelievably dreary song about the Allendale fire festival right in the middle of someone else's Allendale fire festival. (Yes, I know they're from Northumbria, and so is Allendale, but the place they grew up in is about thirty miles away from where the festival takes place. As a seasoned observer of calendar customs all over the country, I learned a long time ago never to intrude. They are not yours or mine. Calendar customs belong to local communities, without whom they would never exist.) It's their beanfeast and it's part of their lives, and without their involvement these things would never exist.

I don't know why it is, but every time anyone makes a documentary about anything to do with folk, they have to have a 'name' to front it. Doesn't matter a twopenny damn whether the 'name' knows anything about the item under scrutiny, just so long as they're well known and they can toss pancakes.

Remember the good old days when Bert Lloyd used to present radio and tv programmes on all manner of esoteric folklore subjects? Expert, erudite and entertaining, just the way it should be.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 24 Dec 12 - 08:13 AM

A few moments from Cliffe Bonfire Society's final procession after the crowds have gone home and we Bonfire Boys have Lewes to ourselves. Turn the volume up and you'll feel that the Chinese crackers are in the room with you.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Dec 12 - 10:03 AM

Fire and darkness are a very powerful combination and drama is an essential feature of human behaviour. All knids of cultures expolore their power.

I once worked on an American Summer Camp. About half way through the 6 odd weeks the children and young people ( 8 - 14 years) were divided into one of two teams reds or greys.

This was a massive event carried out at night, in the dark, on a small field surrounded by woods. Torches burned and a drummer with a full kit played endlessly. An adult stood on a platform at the end of a ramp and each child in turn ran up the ramp to the sound of his name. The adult raised both arms, a red glove and a grey glove, then one fell on the child's shoulder, "the crowd went wild" so to speak.

It was one of the most scarry experiences I have ever witnessed - and I was outside as an adult.

For the next week the two sides competed at every sport. Children cried when they lost.

I went to a workshop about 40 years on English Fire Festivities - by Bert Lloyd or maybe Tony Foxworthy, I cannot really remember. Whoever it was made a lot of the non-christian/ pre-christian aspect of these events which I suspect we would now doubt, but I do remember whoever it was saying that at Lewes they would not feel easy if they were a catholic at that event.

When we seek to reclaim or revive or simply continue old traditions can this always be caried out 'safely'.

Best wishes

Les


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: nutty
Date: 24 Dec 12 - 10:27 AM

For Fred and the uninitiated - The Tar Barrel song was written by one George Unthank and is sung with pride by the girls - Good on em , I say.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Tradsinger
Date: 24 Dec 12 - 05:42 PM

Good programme, I agree with PEASANT that it would have been good to have some wassailing, both the house-to-house type and the orchard wassail. Good English winter traditions.

But a good effort.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Dec 12 - 02:39 AM

"The Tar Barrel song was written by one George Unthank and is sung with pride by the girls"

Plus I'd imagine the good folk of Allendale are on the whole proud of the song too. I can't imagine they are quite as insular as the other post seems to suggest they'd be. Don't have personal knowledge of it as such but come from just across the border and here the locals of the various towns tend to be delighted when others take an interest and contribute to festivities etc!


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 25 Dec 12 - 02:40 AM

Sorry that last post was me. different puter


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: r.padgett
Date: 25 Dec 12 - 06:24 AM

Well I don't agree with Fred above

Unthanks did a great job in my view on this documentary and more power to their elbows!

I believe that the sisters do have their own lives away from their origins and families etc

Early life surrounded by singers such as George, Pete Wood, Jim Mageean, Alan Fitzsimmons, musicians and local traditions and a life of entertaining make them ideally placed to empathise with the Winter and other seasonal traditions

I enjoyed the film clips and the presentational style which was not too gushing but factual and participative

Good to see Doc Rowe involved too a true unsung hero of the Folk Traditions and inspired film maker (tho not the main film maker here!)

Ray


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 25 Dec 12 - 07:20 AM

Well, I suppose it depends on whether you want to watch seasonal customs or whether you want to watch the Unthanks. Personally, I'm wondering how far they'd be prepared to go with all this participation stuff. After all, it was once thought that many of our winter customs originated with the ritual sacrifice of delectable young maidens. Pacifying the Gods and killing off the old year and all that. That conjures up a very bizarre image indeed; the Unthanks being sacrificed on the altar of tv ratings to assuage the wrath of the great God BBC. Go for it girls. That's one honour they certainly wouldn't have awarded to David Attenborough.

Hey ho. Merry Christmas everyone.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 25 Dec 12 - 08:08 AM

How about the ritual slaughter of folklorists fred


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 25 Dec 12 - 08:10 AM

I didn't think the Unthanks were being intrusive with their song. The event was over and they were invited back to someone's house for a standard New Years party the way many of us are. They sang for their supper the way many of us do (or tell jokes, or show the white-eared elephant or the one-armed fiddler!). It brought the celebration back into the home showing it's not all about the public events but also about the private hospitality.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 25 Dec 12 - 08:42 AM

I don't know whether it is right to stand by respectfully and watch traditional ceremonies die.

You could argue that the interest of 'outsiders' has brought new life to some events.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 25 Dec 12 - 03:15 PM

henryp. There's quite a few folk customs been brought back from the dead including Bacup, according to one authority of my acquaintance. One could also mention numerous one-time musicians and singers who were encouraged to re-hone their musical skills and present them to a new and interested audience. Among blues singers alone, I can think of numerous luminaries such as Son House, Sleepy John Estes, Bukka White, Mance Lipscomb and John Hurt. Then there's the case of Joe Holmes (the Ulster singer and fiddle player, not the blues singer Joe Holmes who called himself King Solomon Hill), who never sang a note outside the house until Len Graham encouraged him to go public. Come to think of it, what sort of state would the Sheffield carols be in today, without the support and encouragement of Ian Russell.

So there's an awful lot to be said for judicious and respectful external encouragement of folk tradition. But there's a world of difference between that and invading someone else's beanfeast with no consideration for the locals.

However, I still cringe with embarressment whenever I recall the time I walked into someone's garden at Castleton. Purely by accident of course.

Les. Unless you have someone in particular in mind, then I must disagree. I can think of several whom I would delightedly put on a four hour roast. But by and large, collectors and folklorists are a pretty un-selfserving lot and they have done a vast amount to further our knowledge of folk tradition, and what our ancestors thought and felt and how they went about their lives. And that's not something I would ever have got from any schoolbook.

"Behold me now with my back to a wall, playing music to empty pockets." Antoine Ó Raifteiri.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 06:14 AM

To be honest Fred i was only following this thread to see how long it would be before someone tuned 'nasty' on The Unthanks. Not a very laudable activity on my part.

As for folklorists, it seems anybody can be one and say anything they like with out the bother of much evidence or even semi-serious research. Is that the legacy of Bert Lloyd? He was an immense character, who was easily a force for good , and has been explored in depth here and elaswhere, but he was never short of a hypothesis, theory or some connecting ideas between aspects of 'folklore' that were in all probability inconnected.

Wassail, as somebody used to say

Les


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 09:54 AM

I wasn't turning nasty on The Unthanks, I just don't like that song. To have a couple of Folkies doing a show on so-called Traditions largely perpetuated / revived / attended / regulated by other Folkies demonstrates how far such things are now removed from their original non-Folkie habitat...


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 09:54 AM

Where judicious external encouragement has revived an event, does it belong to the local community just as it did long ago?

What role do the 'outsiders' then have? Do they become intruders once again?

In Sheffield pubs, for instance, this isn't a problem while there is room inside. When demand exceeds the space available, who should be sacrificed - new locals, the old enthusiasts or the seasoned observers?


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 11:00 AM

"I wasn't turning nasty on The Unthanks, " - I know Sean I was having a mild poke at Fred - quite undeserved - but a poke at dodgy 'folklorists- folkers/ fakers' is always good fun and needs to be done - I always enjoy your own activities in that area

Les


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 11:19 AM

Fred McCormick is spot on- the BBC thinks you have to have celebs for less interesting topics like traditional music so haul in The Unthanks, Phil Cunningham, etc to liven it up- these plonkers will never grasp the fact that msany thousands of people are interested in the TOPIC rather than the celebs- also as i am from the Northeast can I say again that Geordies are really quite cheerful folk but this lot are the most bloody miserable crowd I've heard since leonard Cohen


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 12:45 PM

Well, I've never thought of Leonard Cohen as a miserable crowd. He makes me laugh! Am I the only one to think he has a great sense of humour?

I've also enjoyed visiting the traditional events in the company of those celebrities the Unthanks. Have they completed their travels or is another tour planned? There's still time to catch some wassails.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 12:57 PM

henryp. In my view, the custom or whatever would remain with the local community to whom it has always belonged. They, after all, will be here long after we are gone, and hopefully still rushbearing or wassailing or whatever.

Who should be sacrificed? That's a moot point. Normally, I would say the third group. After all, if your presence is actually getting in the way of the custom, there's not much point in hanging around. However, I can think of one custom where it's suddenly become fashionable to be seen at. Dunno why, although it's possible that media attention is to blame. But over the past few years people have started pouring in from neighbouring towns and villages, with the result that you can't get into any of the local pubs for love or gold.

That would be acceptable, even allowing for the admittedly usually amiable drunks and the stench of barbecues all over town. But the number of people who attend the actual ceremony has not changed one iota since this influx began. In other words, they mostly go for the booze and the burgers, not the custom. (Thinks. Anyone who has ever tried to find a decent session and a pint at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann will know exactly what I mean.)

So I'd say 'new' locals should certainly be encouraged, but they should be encouraged to take a pride in their customs, and to take an active part.

BTW 1., as I've said before, I'm not blaming the unthanks so much as the media mekons who think the only way they can get ratings is by sticking a 'celebrity' in front of whatever the programme is supposed to be about.

BTW 2., I absolutely love Geordies. They are warm hearted, friendly and very funny. A bit like scousers on helium in fact.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Henry Piper, of Ottery !!
Date: 26 Dec 12 - 02:29 PM

Who needs "experts" to keep a local Custom Going, Our Tar Barrels here in Ottery are supported to a man by the townspeople as well as attracting many outsiders who come to see this unique event,
and not a folklorist, morris dancer, folk singer,or similar to be seen, who needs 'em !!!


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 05:56 AM

Thursday 27 December 2012
Open Country 3.00pm BBC Radio
Helen Mark visits Kirriemuir in search, I believe, of Peter Pan rather than traditional folk celebrations.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 07:34 AM

I think it's a fait accompli that any TV programme about anything now has intermediaries who supposedly act as representatives of the viewers. I notice that Patrick Stewart features as said intermediary with Stirling Moss on a prog tonight. Hope he isn't let loose on the Mille Miglia Mercedes 300SLR, leave that to Sir Stirling methinks.

However, the Unthanks obviously know a bit about the North East and singing, and I thought the latest effort was much better than the first one.

I don't see that them singing their dad's song was particularly corrupting - even Padstow seems to have accepted outsiders on May Day these days (a bit).


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 08:16 AM

Henry Piper. I didn't say we don't need folklorists. I said we don't need the Unthanks.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 09:08 AM

Yes Fred, again spot on- can we include Eddi Reader, Kate Rusby and
Seth Lakeman in your surplus to reqirements' list- and if you want Geordie music, bring back Eric Burdon, more soul than the whole folkie crowd...


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 09:22 AM

Guest. You certainly can, and several more besides.

Eric Burdon? I must say I'm inclined to agree, except that I've shared more than a few songs with the Elliotts of Birtley in the past. Brother, you want to get them going on a good night.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,achmelvich
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 10:03 AM

in what sense are the unthank lasses 'celebrities'? the folk world (and particularly the english folk tradition) is small - the term 'folk star' is an oxymoron. i've been into the music for 40 years, i regard live music events as the highpoints of my time and have travelled thousands of miles for gigs and festivals. so i'm a 'folkie' - and therefore not welcome to some writers above? i'm well used to the sullen locals mistrust of incomers in any part of the country i've lived (there are some in my local who don't speak - i'm from carlisle, 25 miles away) i hadn't realised there are those who think we should just stick to our own village bonfire, when everyone i've met on my travels has been friendly and welcoming. maybe i'm just lucky to have lived in scotland and the north. what would joe strummer do? is, i reckon, a decent way of looking at such things. and laughing lennie cohen? he's all right.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 10:11 AM

If I were you achmelvich I would quit this thread. It has reached the point that most threads do on here: Nothing new or relevany will besaid and people will go on and on about what they don't like.

best wishes


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,achmelvich
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 01:03 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZiPCJrd0_4

a great folk singer - respect, hope, tolerance, anger and love


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Dec 12 - 03:54 PM

Since when were traditions static and unchanging anyway? One of the Bampton sides regularly dance to an Italian tune introduced to them within the past 30 years, because it fits perfectly. I think daddy Unthanks' song is splendid. I suspect the problem lies more with the fact that it's girls in frocks doing the introducing. The old traditional northeastern misogyny dance


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 28 Dec 12 - 06:26 AM

Guest. I don't know whether I've missed it, but has anyone on this thread actually said that traditions are static and unchanging? That is certainly not an opinion I hold, and it's not one that the evidence would support. EG. The first time I went to Worrall, I asked someone how many tunes they had for While Shepherds Watched. He said 11. I went back the following year (1972, I think), and the guy said "We've got 12 tunes for While Shepherds Watched now".

The twelfth? Well, Judy Collins had had a big hit with Amazing Grace earlier that year. The carollers liked it, realised it fitted the metre of While Shepherds and incorporated it into their repertoire. So far as I know, it's still there forty years later.

Regarding charges of misoginy, I most definitely plead not guilty, and have railed equally in the past at similar programmes which have been fronted by male celebrities. EG., some years ago, BBC radio got Billy Bragg to talk about the Padstow carols. (At any rate, I think it was Padstow. Apologies if I've got that bit wrong.) I don't want to be rude, but what the ******* does the Bard of Barking know about any carolling traditions? Answers on the back of a postage stamp please.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Folknacious
Date: 28 Dec 12 - 12:32 PM

what the ******* does the Bard of Barking know about any carolling traditions?

On another hand, what do you know about Billy Bragg or the Unthanks in order to preach so knowledgeably about their tastes and motivations? If they're asked by the BBC and they have an enthusiasm, why shouldn't they help spread it. The end result might even reach beyond a few self-appointed expert musicologists. Is this a bad thing?


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 28 Dec 12 - 01:44 PM

Folknacious. You can take it from me that Billy Bragg doesn't know the first thing about Padstow carols. That became blindingly obvious from the broadcast. Ditto for the Unthanks.

Interest? Enthusiasm? How is it we never see these people at traditional customs when there's no tv cameras about?

Just for the record, if that dig about 'self-appointed expert musicologists' was aimed at me then you're even further off beam than I thought. I am not a musicologist, self appointed, expert or otherwise. Folklorists certainly interest themselves in traditional customs. It's hard to imagine many musicologists doing the same.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: r.padgett
Date: 29 Dec 12 - 04:14 AM

Doc Rowe is the man!!

We [and I am a collector of songs] don't have time to visit all parts of England to see and experience Folk Customs all the year every year!

I have a grasp a bit better than average of the existence of certain Customs but have no intention of having a Tar Barrel on me head nor fighting for a mock Ladies Cap (Haxey Hood)

Frankly I found the video work and the research and the Unthanks delightful and I think we (folkies) should also be minded that it is and was aprogramme for everyone not just (us)

Ray


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: bradfordian
Date: 29 Dec 12 - 05:21 AM

For anyone who like me missed it first time round, it will be on tv again here: Mon 7 Jan 2013 23:30 BBC HD (and hopefully on iplayer for 7 days afterwards)

brad


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Allan Conn
Date: 29 Dec 12 - 07:52 AM

"Frankly I found the video work and the research and the Unthanks delightful" Likewise I don't get the earlier comments about them coming over as miserable types. Didn't come across that way to me at all.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 29 Dec 12 - 09:44 AM

Give me the Unthanks over grumpy old folkies any day.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,upnorth
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 05:25 AM

"How is it we never see these people at traditional customs when there's no tv cameras about?"

I almost didn't respond as this thread has degenerated into the kind of thing which gives mudcat a bad name. For the record, Rachel and Becky have been going to Greatham on boxing day, Ryton carols and Allendale at new year since they were born. Their dad, George, was one of the Redcar Sword dancers when they revived the Boxing day dance and play in 1967 and is still goes to Greatham every year 45 years later. All the family have been heavily involved in folk dance and song traditions for very many years.

I always think it is wise to be aware of the facts before making unsubstantiated claims on a public forum.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 06:49 AM

I thought it was a charming little telly programme. Someone nailed it below when commenting that TV programmes need to appeal to ALL viewers, from gran down to the kids, and not just specialists in specific fields. Scholarly writings and archive recordings are there for the latter. Telly is a medium for entertainment first and foremost and education second at best. I do appreciate some of the grumpings about the inevitable use of 'famous faces' being used to front a TV programme, but that's just how telly works. Me, I can't stand that Julia Boring Bradbury gazing blandly out at the landscape on every single programme made about walking and hiking...


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Stu
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 08:54 AM

Wow. Always the curmudgeonly and miserable, elitist old scrotes show up to piss on the chips.

This is one of several reasons why I don't bother with English folk music; you get the naysayers and haters everywhere when everyone should just be enjoying themselves. Who gives a damn if Billy Bragg doesn't know about the Padstow Carols? So what?

The Unthanks are great, the programme was very enjoyable, and for those of us without the means to travel all year round it gave us an insight into traditions we didn't know existed in our own country. Just like the people that watched Billy Bragg and the Padstow Carols. Oh no! Finding out about our traditions? Not the proles, please!


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Wheatman
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 09:41 AM

OH! here we go again a reasonable thread dragged into a slanging match, I do wonder how much of it is trolling. I saw most of the program and will try to see what I missed on the 7th. Yes is painted a picture with the girls in the fore front but it did provide an insight to the events, it was put out on national telly and it did not take the p**s as a lot of high profile TV presenters seem to want to do. You may not like how the subject matter was handled but that is surely down to personal taste. The programme may attract more visitors to these events or similar or perhaps want to understand the niceties of long sword.
I must admit I was disappointed that whittlesea straw bear did not get a mention but we have had our 5 minutes of fame. Molly dancing was well represented though. I do not subscribe to the notion that any publicity is good publicity, but in my view this was good publicity and the "folk" world in general needs good publicity and less embittered wrangling. Gan canny Brian


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Stu
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 10:23 AM

Gan canny

Wot's this mean then?


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 11:36 AM

"gan canny"

Geordie dialect meaning take care or proceed with caution.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Wheatman
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 11:49 AM

Also "proceed with care and trepidation" is a reasonable translation. As with all Geordie / Makum sayings, they quite often have more than one translation, a simple one is "cheers" Brian


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Semofolkie
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 11:53 AM

I might of missed it, but did anyone mention that Classic Tradition, "The Doctor Who Christmas specials?"


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 02:21 PM

Upnorth. Forgive me for I was generalising. I'm well aware that the Unthanks regularly attend several local festivals. However, taking customs generally, the ratio of celebrities to ordinary punters is far lower than media coverage would suggest.

Personally I'm getting fed up with people saying that they enjoyed the Unthanks without saying just what their presence was supposed to add to the event. Tell you what, the next time I'm at a traditional custom, I'll try and imagine how much my enjoyment would be enhanced if there were a couple of celebrities standing in the way and blocking my view. If it turns out that my interest or enjoyment or understanding would have been notched up by even the merest scintilla of a centimetre, I'll buy everyone on Mudcat a pint.

BTW. It's not just folkin' celebrities. I watched that programme about Joanna Lumley looking for Noah's Ark last night. Eek! Awful! Why couldn't they have cut the crap and got a proper archaeologist (no pun intended), or biblical scholar to front the thing instead?

I know, I know. Joanna Lumley's box office, and archaeologists very seldom are. All together now. "Yes, but look how enjoyable it was to watch Joanna Lumley instead of a dreary programme about musty old Nowhere's Ark."


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Rumncoke
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 04:34 PM

Having once been in the Bonfire procession at Lewes, and sung carols in the pub before midnight mass at Groombridge the experiences are long cherished memories.

I did chuckle to hear the reason given for pancakes being made. It seems that the fast during Lent is no longer common knowledge. If that is the level of knowledge about such an ordinary thing then information given about something, anything, more obscure should really be considered suspect.

It is interesting to see the various customs from a spectators point of view, as I don't often see things that way, having always been a joiner in. I don't travel around deliberately looking for something happening, but if there is something going on I generally end up involved.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Sugarfoot Jack in the electron cloud
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 04:40 PM

Thanks for the translations.

Fred - some of us have to watch this stuff on the telly because we can't afford to travel to the event itself. In our stead go presenters, who, as they cover a range ofevents centred around a theme, act as our proxies on the ground. We take their observations and comments and try to glean even a little of what the event is like, what it means to those involved and us as observers from afar. All this is bound together in a narrative that reveals, perhaps, some link between the events that is not immediately obvious to the ingested layman.

I would have thought all that was pretty obvious really.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 04:56 PM

Two questions are regularly asked in these threads -

1. Why is folk music not given a higher profile by the media

2. Why are folkclubs and events so short of young people

Comments expressed here show how little support some people on the folkscene are prepared to give when programmes are produced and seem to constantly find fault with a generation of young folkies who are prepared to get off their backsides and make things happen.

Is it sour grapes - I wonder? Are these individuals jealous of the success some young ones have achieved ?

These talented individuals have worked hard for the success they are achieving and should be encouraged rather than be constantly put down.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 07:56 PM

Thanks to Bradfordian for the tip about the re-run of the programme: I downloaded it to iPlayer, but as many of you will have found, there have been serious glitches lately with iPlayer, ever since the last update to Adobe Air. I believe the BBC's tech gurus are trying to sort it: advice given on their Help page and in various forums is beyond me, apart from uninstalling and re-installing BBC iPlayer desktop and Adobe Air.
Anyway I went to play the programme tonight and it just said "there has been an error with this download" after showing the initial screen, and the rest vanished, as also did Jools Holland.
One that I downloaded last night was OK, so hopefully the glitch has been fixed - Manran at the Hebridean Celtic Festival: nice young and very talented folk with a largely young audience!


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: r.padgett
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 04:57 AM

I add nothing to the folk Customs by my attendance at events?

Well if we the so called folkies don't attend such events would this detract or add to the popularity of such events?

I have been to Longsword events at Wakefield, Cleckheaton and Barnsley this Christmas and met lots of people (yes mainly folkies) that I dont see the rest of the year as well as the participants who I see probably once a year!

I simply add ONE to the crowd

Ray


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 06:09 AM

Sugarfoot Jack in the electron cloud. If you read my initial posting you will see that all I was asking for is that programmes like this one should be introduced less obtrusively and by someone rather more expert in whatever the subject matter happens to be.

BTW. Nobody else seems to have pointed it out, but the thread title is wrong. It should be "A Very English Winter". I seriously no-one formed the impression that mid-winter ceremonies stop at the Scots border.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Stu
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 08:07 AM

". . . I was asking for is that programmes like this one should be introduced less obtrusively and by someone rather more expert in whatever the subject matter happens to be."

The presenters are our proxies at the event. We see them there, watching or partaking and we imagine ourselves doing the same. It's an effective, tried and tested way of communicating information and storytelling. Your criticism could equally apply to David Attenborough picking up a pygmy chameleon in the rainforest, but we see his reverence and joy and he communicates some of that wonder and understanding to us, sat in our living room thousands of miles away. How far did Attenborough advance the cause of mountain gorillas by actually being there and interacting? Here's the rub - Attenborough isn't a primatologist; he's not even a got a postdoc but does that lessen his knowledge, understanding or ability to communicate? Of course not, but there are people "rather more expert" in terms of qualifications than he who can't hold a candle to the man when it comes to communicating (or even perhaps understanding in the wider context) the life and earth sciences.

The Unthanks are excellent artists and their love and delight in our seasonal customs was evident. They treated the traditions with respect and as locals to some of the events are certainly 'expert' enough to present on the subject.

P.S. With regards to the godawful (pun intended) Lumley Ark programme, no archaeologist would have touched that programme with a bargepole as it would be professional suicide, being based as it was on hearsay and local legend and eschewing science completely. A biblical scholar would have been more entertaining as they'd be in their element. As for Lumley, she didn't need to be an expert in anything, although she seemed worryingly gullible (perhaps she was being polite).


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 12:34 PM

Suggarfoot J. David Attenborough. I don't know that he ever gained a postgradute degree, which I presume is what you mean by postdoc. He did though study geology and zoology at Cambridge and graduated with a degree in natural sciences.

But, as you go on to say, it's all down to his knowledge, understanding and ability to communicate, rather than qualifications. And I would add to that list, enthusiasm, and sheer love of his subject matter. Ditto for Bert Lloyd, whom I mentioned in my first posting on this thread. Bert had even fewer formal qualifications than DA, but he combined a phenomenal knowledge of folklore, and quite a few other things besides, with all the qualities possessed by Attenborough. Could both Unthanks combined hold a candle to either one of them? Not on present showings.

Joanna Lumley. Worryingly gullible will do just fine. I thought she did an excellent job of securing citizenship rights for the Ghurkas though. Which probably just goes to highlight the old adage; stick to what you're good at. In the case of Lumley and the Unthanks, that seems not to include the presentation of interesting documentaries.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: r.padgett
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 12:39 PM

Fred, can you sign in to mudcat so that your comments may be traced

(Yea not my place to ask but tis polite and usual!)

Ray


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 01:42 PM

One would have thought these so-called 'Folk Customs' go hand in hand with Noah's Ark in terms of their general appeal to the Fortean / Antiquarian mind. Both are matters of custom, tradition and a more feral faith that goes places where science just can't. That requires imagination and a sense of wonder. I've had a life long fascination with both the Noah's Ark Drogue Stones (& related features) and the Allendale Tar Barrels since reading about them in maybe the same edition of Ripley's Believe it or Not when I was about 7.

That's the appeal. When the Customs become the reserve of Folkies, or Noah's Ark becomes a clarion call Fundamentalists I run a mile.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 02:08 PM

Ray, Why I don't sign onto Mudcat any more would take rather more time to explain than either you or I could manage. You can trace my postings by clicking on my name and then referring to the list which comes up. It works just as well for guests as for members.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 02:11 PM

David Attenborough does has enormous enthusiasm. And when it comes to to polar bears, I'd be happy to have him standing in the way blocking the view.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Howard Jones
Date: 01 Jan 13 - 05:38 AM

We have to remember this programme wasn't made for us. It is aimed at a general audience with no particular interest in these things, or in folk music and traditions in general. We might have preferred it to have been done differently, but it's unlikely that such a programme would be made in the first place

The Unthanks are hardly celebrities, but they are among the few folk performers to have come to wider attention whilst still retaining their roots in folk, so they are probably a good choice to present these programmes. They come across as pleasant and unassuming, and with a genuine interest and pleasure in what's going on.

Most importantly, by speaking to locals rather than "experts" they showed how these traditions are not just quaint oddities but of genuine significance to their local communities.


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very British Winter
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 01 Jan 13 - 07:41 AM

Well put Howard - I hope you are not wasting your breath

Les


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Subject: The Unthanks, 'A Very English Winter'
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 06:19 PM

A repeat of The Unthanks, 'A Very English Winter' is available on BBC iPlayer for the next two or three days. Well worth a watch.

A Very English Winter

Reminiscent of the fabulous1986 film, 'The Future of Things Past'.

Future of Things Past

Both very evocative and important in recognising and recording our traditions.

Tone


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks, 'A Very English Winter'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 06:33 PM

Thanks for that. :-)


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Subject: RE: The Unthanks-A Very English Winter-on BBC Player
From: Jim Martin
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 08:20 AM

Very good to see this on again this morning:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pdsvd


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