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The Valley Folk - memories, details

GUEST,BlackAcornUK 24 Apr 24 - 04:53 AM
The Sandman 24 Apr 24 - 07:58 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 24 Apr 24 - 08:43 AM
The Sandman 24 Apr 24 - 11:46 AM
The Sandman 24 Apr 24 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,henryp 24 Apr 24 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 24 Apr 24 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 24 Apr 24 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,sortaottery 26 Apr 24 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,BlackAcornUK 26 Apr 24 - 02:45 PM
Reinhard 26 Apr 24 - 05:19 PM
Reinhard 27 Apr 24 - 03:43 AM
GUEST 27 Apr 24 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,BlackAcornUK 27 Apr 24 - 04:58 AM
Reinhard 27 Apr 24 - 05:30 AM
Herga Kitty 29 Apr 24 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,Mrs Casey aka steve heap 29 Apr 24 - 03:55 PM
GUEST 30 Apr 24 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Joyce Simmonds aka Khair-un-Nisa Simmonds 30 Apr 24 - 08:22 AM
Dave Sutherland 30 Apr 24 - 09:10 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 30 Apr 24 - 12:39 PM
The Sandman 30 Apr 24 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,BlackAcornUK 09 May 24 - 01:02 PM
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Subject: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: GUEST,BlackAcornUK
Date: 24 Apr 24 - 04:53 AM

Really interested in any info people may have on The Valley Folk, who recorded one LP for Topic, 1968's brilliantly austere 'All Bells in Paradise'.

With the subtitle 'Carols for All Seasons' and sleeve notes by A.L. Lloyd, it feels like a mysterious, elusive companion-piece to 'Frost Fire'.

The group consisted of Jean and Elaine Carruthers, John Dickinson and Stephen Heap - I believe they were formed in Bury, Greater Manchester but I don't know if that's where they all hailed from originally.

Are any of the members still active in the folk realm?

Did they ever record/release anything else as a group? Discogs only lists the one LP - someone once told me they released a further LP for Acorn, but I've never been able to find details of that, nor any compilation tracks etc. Did (or, do!) any of the members continue to perform or record solo or in other configurations?

Does anyone have any memories of their presence in the scene, back in the day?


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Apr 24 - 07:58 AM

I knew jean seymour when she ran Bury folk club . i dont think any of them reorded solo, steve heap was another member, and ran towersy village festival


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 24 Apr 24 - 08:43 AM

I see Jean and Alan regularly. Alan Seymore still sings very nicely. Jean does not sing for a number of reasons. The four letter word age being foremost, but for many years she was a bit fed up with how contemporary minded the folk world had become. I am glad to say things seem better now, but a lot of people felt the same in the 1980's and we were having a laugh about how the younger generation were 'Discovering' songs we had known for decades. Both Jean and Alan are still involved with the Bury Pace Eggers. Mally and I saw them a week or two ago.


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Apr 24 - 11:46 AM

Alan was a good singer ,but i dont think he was in ValleyFolk, jean seymour sister was also in the group?


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Apr 24 - 12:00 PM

her sister was i think called sheila


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 24 Apr 24 - 12:22 PM

Steve Heap was the director of Towersey Festival for 45 years up until 2019 when he retired. “I joined an acapella group called Folk Valley, singing mostly English folk music,” he says.

“We made a record, toured some clubs in the UK and across Europe and made another album when we came home. In the end, though, I found myself knowing more about organising events then playing at them and decided that was probably a better career path.”


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 24 Apr 24 - 05:45 PM

Originally, three Carruthers sisters were in Valley Folk, Jean, Elaine and Sheila.
Derek


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 24 Apr 24 - 06:01 PM

No I never intended to infer Alan was in the Valley Folk just that he is still performing as a singer and in the Pace Eggers.


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: GUEST,sortaottery
Date: 26 Apr 24 - 12:02 PM

Happy this has been asked.

Their LP was part of my parents' collection, plus some of the tracks appeared on a compilation cassette called The Seasons Round (which also featured material from the Watersons and Pete Bellamy).

Such a pity they just made the one record, but it was a very good one.


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: GUEST,BlackAcornUK
Date: 26 Apr 24 - 02:45 PM

This is so enigmatic - HenryP's quote by Steve Heap suggests a second record - as mentioned in my OP, I've heard (but have never been able to corroborate) that they released an LP for Acorn, too.


'All Bells in Paradise' is a solid gold favourite in this household - this is what I said about it in a Yuletide LPs reviewing project on Twitter, a couple of years back


https://twitter.com/JohnMcArts/status/1469440512360955910?t=SxZuZq4H_0uBJcwbscu88g&s=19


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: Reinhard
Date: 26 Apr 24 - 05:19 PM

I'm trying to transcribe The Valley Folk's The Two Brothers, but I don't understand a few phrases and probably have mis-heard others. Can somebody help? This is what I got so far:

THE TWO BROTHERS
The Valley Folk

There once was two brothers, two brothers there were,
And they was two brothers born.
The one was a shepherd, a shearer of sheep,
And the other a planter of corn.

God bid them sow fields and the treats for to plant
There is (...) from sturdy fine stock,
Where nothing once dwelt but the wild beasts of prey
Their fortune increased with their flock.

King David whose songs have so often been sung
At first wasn't noble and grand,
But only a shepherd boy when he was young
Though afterwards King of the land.

And then there's bold Samson in Judges you’ll find,
He delights in his darling so dear.
What a blockhead he was for to tell her his mind
For so quickly his strength she did shear.

Here’s April, here’s May, likewise June and July,
It’s a pleasure to see the corn grow.
In August we’ll moil it, shear low and reap high,
And we'll bind our (...) scythes for to mow.

And when we have gathered up every sheaf,
And scrapèd up every ear,
Let's have no more ado but to ploughing we'll go
To provide for the very next year.

So come all jolly ploughboys and help me to sing
I'll sing in the praise of the plough.
For if we don't labour how shall we get bread?
So do it my jolly boys now.


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: Reinhard
Date: 27 Apr 24 - 03:43 AM

First correction, verse 2: "trees for to plant"


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Apr 24 - 04:46 AM

I think line 2, verse 2 is 'Their race grew from sturdy fine stock', although it does sound like 'through'


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: GUEST,BlackAcornUK
Date: 27 Apr 24 - 04:58 AM

(Sorry that was me, above)

I'm pretty sure the last line of verse 5 is 'we'll bind up our scythes for to mow'

Whilst I've got you here Reinhardt, any idea of whether there was a second Valley Folk LP?

Also, humbly, I've noticed two corrections for other MainlyNorfolk transcriptions, related to place-names local to me -

Firstly, in Moses of the Mail, 'Hepton Bridge' should be 'Hebden Bridge'

Secondly, in Miles Weatherhill your transcript uses 'Toddmerton' multiple times - this historical murder was committed in Todmorden. I've been to the church!


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: Reinhard
Date: 27 Apr 24 - 05:30 AM

Thank you very much for your help and corrections! (And the Hebden Bridge and Todmorden misspelling have long been fixed in the respective Mudcat threads where I probably got the lyrics from. Bad luck that I didn't notice that before.)

And sorry, I don't have any information on other Velley Folk recordings.


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 29 Apr 24 - 03:31 PM

I first encountered the Valley Folk in the Beach Store at Sidmouth festival in the late 1960s round about the time that All Bells in Paradise was issued, and Steve Heap was the first person I heard singing Rawtenstall Annual Fair. In addition to running Towersey festival, founded by his one-time father-in-law, Dennis Manners, Steve also ran Sidmouth festival for quite a few years, until 2004. John Dickinson also moved to Oxfordshire (Marsh Gibbon) but is sadly no longer with us.
Kitty


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: GUEST,Mrs Casey aka steve heap
Date: 29 Apr 24 - 03:55 PM

Such a surprise. To discover people out there interested in my/our career
I’m nw to this platform so don’t know the rules so if any of you want more info on valley folk drop me an email sh@mrscasey.co.uk
Thanx for tip Derek


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 24 - 08:17 AM

I used to go regularly to see The Valley Folk at Bury Folk Club, starting before it moved to the Old Blue Bell (I can't remember exactly where it was before). I still have a vinyl copy of "All bells in Paradise" and I've also got it on iTunes.

I met Jean Seymour many years later at one of the National Folk Festival events and we had a good chat. She kindly sent me a booklet about the club, which I still have. Happy days.


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: GUEST,Joyce Simmonds aka Khair-un-Nisa Simmonds
Date: 30 Apr 24 - 08:22 AM

I didn't know I had to put my name in the box, just to add details to the above post which just shows as 'guest'.

Hi to Steve Heap, I remember you well. Lovely voice.


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 30 Apr 24 - 09:10 AM

I had my 76th birthday last Friday which,sort of, reminded me that I bought "All Bells in Paradise" with some of the money that I received for my 21st.


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 30 Apr 24 - 12:39 PM

Perhaps I should mention that Jean and Alan founded the "Larks of Dean Quire", a West Gallery music quire specialising in the music from the original "Larks o' Dean" manuscripts. Jean did a huge amount of research on the subject.

Robin


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Apr 24 - 01:04 PM

yes, they are good people


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Subject: RE: The Valley Folk - memories, details
From: GUEST,BlackAcornUK
Date: 09 May 24 - 01:02 PM

Steve, that's amazing to hear from you, many thanks for the reply above - I'll definitely email in the coming days!


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