Newsletter, 4th February 2006

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Dear Friends,

Here we are once again, and we wish you all a Happy, Healthy, and a Prosperous New Year.

Christmas wasn't quite so hectic this time, we only dropped carol concerts at St Margaret's, Northam, and St Paul's, Filleigh, and Swimbridge church was cancelled. Fortunately, Appledore church, at short notice, took us on in their place and what a cracking night it was. - It was warm, comfortable, and acoustically pleasing, we also had a great audience considering the short notice of just one week. The church had to get themselves organised. We, on the other hand, were well prepared. Best of all the vicar had a barrel of beer set up at the back !!! - I've not seen that before, well, not in church anyway ! As far as I know we raised something like 1200 overall. Certainly it made our Christmas worthwhile. This last Christmas the North Devon Mummers raised 633 (give or take) so all in all the 'Folkies' in North Devon raised almost 2,000, collected and paid for by all you good folk that supported us. This figure also included collections after each event from all the well wishers that came along in support.

At The George on 3rd December everyone seemed to get a seat without too much trouble, we didn't have to raid the 'Cubby hole' for more chairs either. We had a great night, enjoyed by all of us.

Other than that we now look forward to 2006 and whatever fortune it may bring.

Tonight, (4th February) we have a big surprise. Tony Truscott is with us! For those of you good folk who don't know him, he is a great singer/song writer and an established member of the Cornish Songwriters. He wrote 'Kathleen and May' and 'Mist over Lundy' for us so we are looking forward to his performances tonight which will include new songs that Tony has written just recently. As a special request, I have asked him to sing 'Under swallows wing'. A lovely song and now sung by an ever increasing number of folk singers. Tony is a great friend of 'Hearts of Oak' ................

There will be NO 'Hearts of Oak' Music night in March ! .......... The March date was to be held on 11th instead of the 4th. when Tony was on one of his 'Walk-abouts' unfortunately, as it turned out neither Ian or Rupert were available for the 11th ! And the 11th would also have clashed with the 'Shammick' music night over in Combe Martin, so, there it is ! Sorry folks, we will be back however on 1st April (April fools day!)

NO COMMENT!!!

We have many good things to look forward to this year, starting with a concert on the 'Kathleen and May' on Friday, 17th March (St Patricks day) If you would like tickets, (and they are selling quickly) I would ask you to call either: David or Wendy Hall on (01271) 473862

This date may be followed by a concert on the day after at the Seagate Hotel in Appledore on the 18th March which should be fun. (Please refer to our latest programme)

We are off to Bromsgrove again this year on Saturday 25th March, once again raising money for a local midlands charity organized by Kevin Pearson. Kevin and his family are amongst our most devoted fans and they do a lot for charity up there in the middle of the country.

We supported Anne and Tony's Elizabeth on her South American trip, donating 250 plus the November door and raffle money to help her on her way to Peru on a charity 'Trek', raising money for the Great Ormond Street Childrens hospital. She has sent these photos of part of her trip, and those at the George on 4th Feb will have seen more on display at the back. Well done Elizabeth!

The second Exmoor Festival is being held on the 12th, 13th and 14th May but as yet I am unaware of any particular programme or commitment from them. All I know for certain is that we are booked at The George Hotel, South Molton on the evening of 13th May so whatever happens we will need to get back to South Molton before 7.30 pm !

At the beginning of June we have an excellent opportunity of getting the Marske Fishermans choir down here all the way from Teeside. There is rather a lot of them and I understand that possibly 12 of them at least plus their wives want to come down to help us celebrate our 25th anniversary. (That makes me feel old!) They are travelling from Redcar in North Yorkshire (or is it on Teeside?) and IF they come they will be here for two days. We can put them on at The George on 2nd June and possibly somewhere else in the afternoon. ( maybe on the Kathleen and May) Hearts of Oak went up there to help them celebrate their 25th anniversary a long time ago now, and I can promise you that they are really good. Apart from being a great crowd of people, they raise thousands of pounds for the RNLI which happens to be their favourite charity especially as all of them are either fishermen or ex-fishermen. We are having to find them accommodation for the two nights and we are trying to keep them all together if we possibly can. (ANY IDEAS??) DON'T MISS THEM. YOU WILL ENJOY THEM I PROMISE YOU......

Teignmouth Festival is on 23rd,24th,25th June, as yet we have not been invited but we should hear very soon now whether we are being booked or not. ( so watch this space)

Likewise we are still awaiting information on Pilton Festival which is held on Saturday 15th July, but again, we are waiting the invitation.

We have already been invited to appear at the Bideford Folk Festival again this year. Also booked are our old friends Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman. (WOW !!!)

The day following the K&M concert, on the 18th March, we are playing at The Seagate Hotel in Appledore. I'm not sure what it's all about but I'm sure that Ian can set you straight if you ask him.

Most of the things mentioned are in our new programme which Alison has prepared (thanks Alison) so make sure that you get your copy, or, instead, you can go online to : www.heartsofoak.net. or, you can call : Kathleen on: (01769) 574714 Alison on : (01271) 813352 or, John on : (01271) 374286

I hope to have more positive news about Teignmouth and Exmoor the next time I write, but please keep in touch with us we do value your support I assure you.

I think that will do for now, so it just remains for me to once again thank you all for your continued and very welcome support and to look forward to seeing (and hearing) from you all again.

So from Hearts of Oak, and from our committee, thank you once again.