Hearts of Oak

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Performing maritime and folk music in North Devon and beyond

Hiya Folks.

October 2002. Yes, - I know that I am one month early with this issue of the newsletter ! - There is so much to say that I had left it for one more month then it would be 4 pages long. Okay, lets get on with it then....

Firstly, I will mention that Rupert has been hard 'at it' during the school holidays producing a rather splendid web site for us. In future if you would like to know what's going on, and always supposing you have access to the internet? then just punch in www.heartsofoak.net and all will be revealed. Well done Rupert and thank you very much. Many people today have got themselves a computer and quite frankly I couldn't do without mine. It's like a TV - where we all have one but most of us don't really need one!

As you all know the group have had a very busy Summer what with Dartmoor, Liverpool and Barrow festivals as well as our normal bookings for other more local events. This year was the 25th anniversary of the Dartmoor Folk Festival and we were very privileged to have been invited to take part in the celebrations. We had a wonderful time not just doing what we were booked to do but also the impromptu bits which I think we would perhaps prefer, that means getting into the pubs with visitors and fellow guests and having a good old sing with instrumental sessions. It was also good to see a number of you good folk down there as well. The festival is big enough to be friendly without being overpowering. In fact it has a great family feel about it. Their policy is not to book the same people for consecutive years. I think I might just go down for one day next year anyway just for the 'crack'. We were well 'on form' during our 'official' sets and very 'tight' ( I don't mean drunk either ! ) and our final stage set on the Sunday night with our dear friend Tony Beard (The wag from Widdecombe) from Radio Devon felt really good to us.

Our trip up to the Northern territories of Liverpool and Barrow was wonderful especially as we had sponsorship for the transport provided so generously by 'Devonshire Motors' on the Pottington. So, a big, big 'Thank you' to them. We arrived at Tony Davis's house (The Spinners) and discussed our evenings programme for 'Perch Rock' New Brighton where we learned that only 6 tickets had been sold for the evenings concert !!! - We went for a 'Fish'n'Chip' supper a little concerned about what we had let ourselves in for, but when we returned to 'check in' for the evening, there was a long queue even before the doors opened ! - It would seem that a number of people had remembered us from the Maritime Festivals some years ago and they were pleased to see us once again - And we've been invited back next year as well !!!?

The Bideford Folk Club

Meets every Thursday at

The Joiner's Arms

in Bideford.
Everyone welcome, especially singers, instrumentalists and most important, listeners.
Occasional Guest Artists too!
Our last seasonal booking at 'The Bridge Inn' went well, Fortunately there were many of our good friends there to help us along which was just as well really. There was some noise from the bar area but Hey! so what ? WE all had a good night, and those holiday makers ( I nearly said "Grockles" then ! ) who stayed seemed to enjoy our company. They were made welcome by all of us which is good.

So, what have we for the future??? Next week we have a concert at 'The Mariners' for the North Devon Journal's 'New wing appeal' for the 'Childrens Hospice South West'. That is on Saturday, 14th September Please try to come along or if that is not going to be possible then please spread the word. It is so very important that we do all we can to help raise funds for this particular charity.

Then we have a couple of weeks gap (Hooray! I hear you say (?)) following which we have the commencement of our next exciting period.

The 2nd October will once more see us at Sherborne when we make our annual visit to entertain 'The Yetties' and their followers. (A lot of them are our followers as well now !) It would seem that the coach seats are becoming scarce. This year we will be getting a contingent from Minehead who want to come with us ! - So PLEASE let Kath know if YOU want to come as well. - LIKE 'NOW'

On Friday 22nd November 'The Yetties' will be here with us at 'The Mariners' The evening is being organized by Barry and Helen Coleman raising money for charity. I think that this will be for one of the cancer charities but Barry or Helen can tell you that for sure if you telephone (01598) 753458 - They can also supply tickets. We are NOT involved in that side of it although if we can help then please ask.

On the 3rd October we have Tony Truscott with us at 'The George Hotel' South Molton. We cannot have The Mariners on that particular day. BUT the week after, on 10th October we have one of my 'all time favourites' Isla St Clare' There is a great interest in her visit from far and wide this year so if you want a seat then get there early. From what you have told me Isla is probably the best guest we had all last year ! - I would concur with that.

We were up and away quite early on the Saturday morning to 'weather' the holiday traffic and to battle our way up the M6 and then overland on the edge of the Lake District to Barrow-in-Furness and the 1st Maritime Festival to be held there. Apart from a 'stint' in a huge warehouse where ongoing sea songs and shanties were going on all day, we were invited to do a one hour set for BBC Radio Cumbria and the BBC presenter was most impressed with us. He also told us that if we were ever up that neck of the woods again he would like to do some more recording with us! As I understand it there is another Maritime Festival next year but this time it will be at Workington which is then getting really close to the Scottish border. It's a long way up country so any decision will have to be a group one made a bit nearer the time.

We met up with more old friends from North Devon and made new friends as well. In particular Martin Hugill who is the son of the late, great Stan the late, and internationally famous Stan Hugill. Many years ago Stan told me that his parents were buried at Winkleigh Church. He always said that he would like to visit their grave but he never did. Martin looks as if he might be paying us a visit for the same purpose. If and when he does I'm going to try to get him to do something for us somewhere locally. He has his fathers vast repertoire of shanties and sea songs to draw on and he plays a 'mean' mandolin as well, as Rupert will tell you !

So, dear friends, all in all we have had a successful and rewarding Summer season and now we will have to come down to earth with a 'bump' - That is all except Tony for the time being anyway - He got married to Anne on 31st August and we did a few bits and pieces for them at their wedding celebrations at Lynton Church and after at the Lynton Town Hall. I'm sure I can speak for all of us in wishing Anne and Tony all the very best for the future. He will be missing from 'The Mariners' on 7th September but should be back and fighting fit (I hope) for our Children’s Hospice concert on 14th September, but more of that later......

On 31st October we will be at the Instow Yacht Club following Ian's exhibition where we hope to raise a 'couple of bob' for the RNLI - another worthy cause. (See our programme for details.)

On Friday 29th November Ian has booked Katheryn Roberts and Sean Wakeman to appear at 'The George Hotel' South Molton. I can't say that I know them but Ian was suitably impressed so I am certainly looking forward to that evening. All this then is in addition to our regular spots at 'The Mariners'

You would think that was the lot wouldn't you ??? NO it isn't, because then we are into December and Christmas carol concerts and North Devon Mummers. ( No rest for the wicked ) At the moment I can direct you to our programme for the Carol Concert dates and most Mummers dates. Look them up on our Programme These are still being finalized. I'm not ever sure who will actually be in the cast this year, but if you have not witnessed the play before then you really must go along and witness it once at least on one of the dates given. - It's good fun !

At this juncture I ought to mention that in the last issue of the newsletter I made a 'Faux Pas'( If that's how it's spelt ??) I prefer the phrase "C--- up" myself, or "I Dropped a Gooley" but I'm sure you know what I mean ?? Poor Kath isn't getting any email because I quoted the wrong email address !! My fault, - Sorry Kath.

What it SHOULD be is :-

That's all for now, but why not surf around the site to see what's coming up in Dates and Venues, or check up on some of the many guests lined up for the coming months. Please feel free to send us your opinions via the contacts page. Rupert is always glad to receive constructive suggestions.