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Is Halsway Manor relevant?

GUEST,Rafflesbear 03 Oct 13 - 04:54 AM
G-Force 03 Oct 13 - 05:24 AM
GUEST,FloraG 03 Oct 13 - 05:26 AM
Waddon Pete 03 Oct 13 - 06:11 AM
Paul Davenport 03 Oct 13 - 02:53 PM
selby 03 Oct 13 - 03:17 PM
GUEST 03 Oct 13 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 03 Oct 13 - 05:33 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 03 Oct 13 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 03 Oct 13 - 06:17 PM
SteveMansfield 04 Oct 13 - 01:55 AM
Rafflesbear 04 Oct 13 - 06:17 AM
GUEST,Square The Circle 04 Oct 13 - 06:55 AM
Mo the caller 04 Oct 13 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 04 Oct 13 - 07:35 AM
Brian Peters 04 Oct 13 - 07:43 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 Oct 13 - 07:43 AM
Brian Peters 04 Oct 13 - 07:59 AM
Marje 04 Oct 13 - 08:10 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 Oct 13 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 04 Oct 13 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,John Routledge 04 Oct 13 - 06:22 PM
doc.tom 05 Oct 13 - 04:51 AM
Eldergirl 05 Oct 13 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,John Routledge 05 Oct 13 - 07:13 AM
Rafflesbear 05 Oct 13 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,surreysinger sans cookie 06 Oct 13 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,surreysinger sans cookie 06 Oct 13 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,Peter 07 Oct 13 - 04:32 AM
GUEST,geoff woolfe 07 Oct 13 - 12:16 PM
doc.tom 07 Oct 13 - 02:25 PM
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Subject: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: GUEST,Rafflesbear
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 04:54 AM

Halsway Manor in Somerset is a charitable trust part funded by the Lottery and the Arts Council.

Its aims are
To
promote and support the practice of the traditional folk arts, especially as practised in England. This includes traditional dance, music, song, folklore, storytelling, arts and crafts.

conserve, maintain and develop the Halsway Manor as a hub for these activities.

improve skills, knowledge and understanding of the folk arts amongst people of all ages and abilities.

develop a wider pool of inspiring and competent course leaders.
further raise the profile of Halsway Manor as a centre of excellence for the folk arts that is accessible for all.

ensure that we have a sustainable business, aiming to balance the budget and reinvest surpluses in our charitable activities.

continue to be a well governed and transparent organisation.

Any opinions on its relevance to folk music in the UK?

Halsway Manor Website


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: G-Force
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 05:24 AM

Well, it's certainly a lovely old (in parts very old) building, and we've had good times there. But if it didn't exist any more, I don't suppose the folk scene would miss it much.


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 05:26 AM

I went on a course at Bensow music trust at Hitcham. It is run on the same lines but a wider range of music. Nice accomodation and food.
It was good to meet some people of a similar interest and be catered for for the course duration. For people who live in small towns its nice to have a venue like that.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 06:11 AM

History is littered with places that were closed through perceived lack of use/enthusiasm/will only to be re-opened by enterprising people who went on to make a great success of the enterprise!

Careful management is needed.....

Peter


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 02:53 PM

Its relevant because its run for and by enthusiasts for the music. It be otherwise it would have to be run by a business for people who didn't want it. I have some experience of the late, National Centre for Popular Music and so that's my yardstick. Halsway Manor? Fantastic idea (and I've never been there!)


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: selby
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 03:17 PM

Is it of National relevance no, is it locally relevant I would say emphatically yes as long as it sticks to its stated aims the hard bit is once its up and running is maintaining it financially so it should be supported.
Keith


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 03:20 PM

Peter Kennedy's archive of recordings is housed there.


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 05:33 PM

Lovely people, great courses and lovely (again!) ambience. The only thing we dislike is that it is too far from North Yorkshire.


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 05:43 PM

Peter Kennedy's archival recordings are not housed there, they are in the British Library sound archive. His books and perhaps his commercial discs collection are there.
Derek


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 06:17 PM

It seems to have a busy programme of folk-related activities. In what way isn't it relevant to folk music in the UK?


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 01:55 AM

Interesting that various questions have been raised about the motivation behind the original post, but answer comes there none.

I'm with Howard and others - in what way might it *not* be thought relevant, and to be honest what does the OP mean by 'relevant' anyway?

I have no vested interest in Halsway Manor, just curiosity as to what prompted the question.


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 06:17 AM

The question was prompted by the fact that I have quite recently moved to Somerset and now find this place nearby.
I came from SE England where there is a lively and well supported folk scene and in over 40 years there I cannot recall hearing of Halsway Manor and now that I am in Somerset I find a very different but equally lively folk scene around the local pubs.
Halsway Manor sets itself up as a National Centre of Excellence and as I said before receives funding from the Arts Council and the Lottery. The question is raised to see whether others think that Halsway Manor has had any effect on the folk music scene as they know it, indeed is a national centre of excellence relevant for this particular art form?


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: GUEST,Square The Circle
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 06:55 AM

I can only say I wish such an establishment existed in South Wales to promote and sustain the folk traditions of the British Isles not just the local ones.


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 07:14 AM

I don't know about song, story-telling, or other forms of dancing (e.g.display or celidh). I do know that even up here in the NW the Social dance community think a lot of it. Clubs organise holidays there.

As far as Centre of Excellence I can see that while in the normal pub / club scene you have what you get, the people who go to Halsway are probably more committed to improving, and because you are mixing with experts you learn a lot.
A little oasis away from 'real life', which you go back to inspired.

I've never been to Halsway (or to Burton Manor which also used to run weeks). But for me Whitby festival does the same thing.


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 07:35 AM

Halsway Manor has always promoted the social dance side of the folk scene, and was originally set up by such leading lights in the folk and EFDSS scene as Bill Rutter (who was responsible for the growth of Sidmouth through the 60s and 70s), Geoff and Bessie Rye, The Yetties and others. In recent years they have broadening their range of activity, under chief executive Paul James (Blowzabella), with weekends and residential courses for young folk musicians, song weekends, story telling weekends (with Taffy Thomas) as well as dance weekends (one featured Polkaworks so it's not all social dance as seen in folk dance clubs). The late July youth residential week has ended with showcase events at Sidmouth in the last year or so. In addition, it has to maintain the building and improve facilities for residents.
I am not involved with Halsway and surprisingly have never visited.
The folk scene is not a single entity - it has a range of activities of which pub sessions and Halsway Manor are just two. I suggest Rafflesbear goes and has a look - if it's not for him, then fine, stick to the pub sessions. Others may think differently.
Derek


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 07:43 AM

Under Paul James' directorship, Halsway is very clearly setting out to be a national resource. I have a slight vested interest, as I'm tutoring there in late November, with Martin and Shan Graebe, on a traditional song weekend. One of the areas Martin will cover is the exploration of the Kennedy archive, details of which you can find in this thread.

There seem to be a lot of very interesting courses booked there, and I'm told it's a lovely spot, so it seems to me it would be well worth travelling the distance.

Here's the weekend I'm involved with: Singing the folk tradition


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 07:43 AM

I see vultures gathering


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 07:59 AM

Vultures? Why on earth....?


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: Marje
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 08:10 AM

I'm booked to go on the course Brian mentioned, along with a friend of mine who sings with me. I can see no reason why it won't be "relevant" to the folk scene and to our participation in our local clubs and sessions. Festivals are great too, but a purposeful weekend with a defined programme, shared with others of similar interests, is something a bit different - and this one's in winter, which is outside the festival season. It will be my first visit to Halsway but if I enjoy it I may go again.

And I'm delighted to hear of Arts Council and Lottery money going in this direction - what's not to like?

Marje


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 10:00 AM

Sorry Brian, it's just that on many of these threads it is around this point where things get tricky and people sometimes say things that sound a bit confrontational.


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 03:03 PM

Rafflesbear, I'm just astonished that you could have spent 40 years on the folk scene without even hearing of Halsway Manor. It's been around for a long time. As Derek said, for a long time its emphasis was towards the social dance/EFDSS side, and there was quite a gulf between that world and other areas of the folk scene, but it was widely advertised (even in the south east) and, I thought, was very well known.

Any organisation which has been providing folk education for nearly 50 years cannot fail to have had a significant impact on the folk scene, even if that may perhaps not have been in the areas you are interested in.


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: GUEST,John Routledge
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 06:22 PM

Halsway Manor hosts a weekend course every year on Northumbrian Small Pipes and it usually sells out.This seems quite diverse for a venue in Somerset. I have been to three and confirm that they are excellent so they are certainly doing this right.


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: doc.tom
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 04:51 AM

And it aint all education, education, education either. Carolyn Robson, Tom & Barbara


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 05:28 AM

I'd never heard of it till earlier this year when my other half and I discovered we couldn't go to the Just Sing weekend as it clashes with a local event we've been part of for past 3 years, but Brian, Shan and Martin's course sounds worth a punt. Costs not too awful either!
Why would it not be relevant? Obviously it's been working away in its own corner for some time, so more power to it. Let's all improve ourselves. :-)


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: GUEST,John Routledge
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 07:13 AM

Following on from doc.tom on Saturday evening of the piping weekend a concert is held which is open to the public providing revenue and contact with the local community.


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 04:19 PM

Looks like the answer is "Yes".

My own thoughts were that it was relevant like the Olympics are relevant to football on the rec. Seems it's more than that.


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: GUEST,surreysinger sans cookie
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 10:06 AM

I've never been to Halsway Manor, but I've certainly been aware of its existence for over 40 years even living down here in the South East. For most of the time it wasn't relevant to me personally as the concentration on dance in early years didn't interest me at the time, but things change (both my interests and the programming at Halsway as well!) I too am somewhat astounded that Rafflesbear had never heard of it,although professing to have been involved in folk music for that length of time. I am also slightly mystified to hear the South East being described as having a lively and well supported folk music scene. In my experience that isn't a universal given! Perceptions may vary according to where one lives/lived - for instance the Lewes/Seaford area provides a certain little hotbed of activity on the coast.Distances between folk "nodes" though are often not insubstantial.(I am lucky enough to live in a town that certainly does have a fairly lively folk presence both on the song, music and dance sides, but support for it is something that always has to be fought for despite that.)


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: GUEST,surreysinger sans cookie
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 10:24 AM

Out of interest, having just revisited their website,I cannot find anywhere on the particular pages which I have perused any statement that Halsway Manor is claiming to be "a National Centre of Excellence".They do,however, state that their aims are to "further raise the profile of Halsway Manor as a centre of excellence for the folk arts that is accessible for all". That's a slightly different thing IMHO, and indicates that that is what they are striving for. All power to their joint elbows! And for anyone who hasn't seen details of what they get up to, it might perhaps be worth putting up this link to the Halsway Manor website


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 04:32 AM

Apart from changing a couple of place names Surreysinger has said exactly what I was thinking of posting.


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: GUEST,geoff woolfe
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 12:16 PM

Like many on like chat forums, this one includes a lot of comments based on prejudice, not knowledge....
I have an interest as a supporter and editor of the William Winter Quantocks tune book ( the original manuscript is in the HM library)
I have attended many events, both a mixture of song, music and dance as participant and performer.
As Derek S and others have said, since Paul James became CEO it has broadened its outlook ;there are ambitious plans for expansion.
Let's hope it goes from strength to strength
We need HM in the West Country!


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Subject: RE: Is Halsway Manor relevant?
From: doc.tom
Date: 07 Oct 13 - 02:25 PM

Oh dear! Half my post above disappeared.
What I was trying to say was: Give Voice! - Oct 18-20. Carolyn Robson, Tom & Barbara Brown, Bonnie & Cynthia Sartin and Bob Kenward will be having some great singing in the bar at Halsway - Carolyn will also be doing some finding your voice stuff, T&B will be listening to how traditional singers create their own versions, Bonnie & Cynthia will be helping people explore the library (including Peter Kennedy material), and Bob Kenward will be song writing stuff other people want to sing. Relevant? Well I've thought so for the last 40-odd years - anyway, we're all going to enjoy sharing some songs - all weekend - why not join us?
TomB


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