Newsletter, 4th November 2006

Last Newsletter

Dear Friends,

So here it is folks, our last evening at the George. ( certainly for the forseeable future) It isn't all bad news though because the 'Exmoor Carolers' consisting of Rupert, Tony, and myself plus Martyn Babb, Geoff Hocking, Anne Piper, Alison Casey, Hilary Bix, Jan Robertson, and Cherie Barnett will 'Hit the road' as from 1st December this year. We have bookings at :-

  • Stoke Rivers church on 1st December,
  • St Calixtus church, West Down on the 8th December,
  • Halsway Manor at Crowcombe, on 10th December
  • St Margarets, Northam on 15th December.
Hopefully each venue will start at around 7.30 (ish) you will need to book though the following contacts:
  • Stoke Rivers will be Gill Barriball, (01598) 710445
  • St Calixtus will be June Devlin on (01271) 863258 or Ann Lewis on (01271) 865405
  • St Margarets will be Gillian Anstis on (01237) 475585

We have been rehearsing hard and reviving some very old Christmas carols that have quite possibly, not not been sung for many years. There are far too many to learn all at once but we are making really good headway with six or seven of them with Rupert as our brilliant musical director !

On Thursday 26th October, we played at the Instow Yacht club following the annual art exhibition which was was not terribly well supported apparently. However, the concert was a sell out well before the actual event which proved worthwhile for both the R.N.L.I. and ourselves. Each group member was also presented with a letter written, signed, and framed, by their Fundraising and Communications Director, Mr David Brann thanking us for the many years we have been giving our services free in helping to raise funds for the lifeboat.

We also gave a concert at Berry Narbour's Manor Hall last month raising cash to help in make a disabled access to the hall and to the public toilets inside the building itself. A copy of their latest magazine was kindly sent to me thanking us for our efforts and advising their readers that the "new access facility had been completed". I have to say that the event was very well supported and the accoustics were excellent even without a P.A..

Our annual visit to 'The Yetties' club went well although we did have space left on the coach. It was a very late night though, and we eventually arrived back at Fair View car park at 2.00 am !

It always amazes me that we have so many fans down there especially when I consider the wonderful talent displayed by Pete, Mac and Bonny. It was because of our regular visits to Sherborne that we were fortunate enough to have met our dear friends from the Yeovil and Taunton areas and they have been among our most loyal followers.

Bideford Folk Club

meet at The joiners Arms, Bideford
(behind the Pannier Market)
Every Thursday evening starting at 8.00pm
A Sing-a-round club with occasional guests,

I received a pleasant surprise in the post last week; Albert Beer (Who wrote the article in the Exmoor magazine back in the summer) sent me a couple of poems from his new home in Cardiff where he has recently moved. One of them was a poem written by Horace Bosence which must have been written many years ago for a local poetry competition. I'll leave it up to you to decide on it's merits but personally I was very pleased to receive it :

Pilton Parish
(probably written early 90s but Gladys may know)

A beautiful parish is Pilton ,
The place where I reside.
With it's Parish church well built
with stone and beautiful carvings inside.
If you haven't heard the church bells ring
on a lovely summers morn,
or smelt the hay as it's being turned
across at Tutshill Farm.
If you haven't heard the babbling brook
as it trips through Mannings pit,
or the cooing of the doves
as from tree to tree they flit.
If you've never been to Bradiford House
when they're holding a garden fete,
Then pull up your roots, and join us here,
'cause you're not living mate !

It was good to see and hear Viv Legg last month at the George. what a lovely voice that young lady has. It was great to hear her sing once again after more than a year.

She only started singing solo a few years ago at the Dartmoor festival when we were having a bit of a 'Session' up at The Kings Head in South Zeal.

She was sat on a window ledge right beside me singing all the choruses. I asked her to sing for us ! She was quite shy but eventually succumbed delighting all that heard her.

Our final big charity concert was held on Saturday 28th October in aid of North Devon Hospice. Tony, Anne, and Tony's mate Charlie as well as Alison Casey, did an incredible job organizing it all. It was the first time in 25 years that I had little or nothing to do with setting it all up and the final result was fantastic with approx 220 people there. (Everyone paid to get in (including the band!)

I believe that most of you, ( our fans and our followers ) were at the Roundswell Centre, and you will therefore know as much about the evening as I do ! - !t would have been great to get around to speak to everyone individually but that seemed to be impossible. There were so many of you all crammed in together, to enable any one of us to move amongst you to chat even though it would have been good. However, I can still thank you all here in this letter for your excellent support, not only for the concert last Saturday, but for the past years since we've been in existence. It's all because of YOU. and as I have said many times before "If it wasn't for YOU then it would'nt happen".

Our old friend Tony Beard came along to entertain us with his clever wit and repartee. What a great entertainer he is. We've known him for a good many years now and we have always appreciated his great talent for entertaining others, and for his support and contribution on BBC Radio Devon, and for all the support given to us over the years. He even waived his fee in favour of the hospice which meant that that evening was all profit! ( Did he pay to get in though??? ) Only joking!!!

As you know last Saturday evening was held to raise funds for the North Devon Hospice, and I can tell you that we raised 1,850 (approx) on the night which we then made up to 2,000 from our remaining 'Group coffers' which all of you have helped to swell over the past quarter of a century.

Thank you all XXXX XXXX

Apart from the thanks previously mentioned, I must thank all our helpers who were behind the scenes; the ladies in the kitchen who worked hard in presenting the refreshments in such a wonderful way as well as for arranging the flowers for the tables, Also to Gerry Bix for the lighting and Andrew Casey for the P.A., Plus our friends who 'manned' the doors and organized the raffle for us.

I would have much preferred naming everyone involved by name but I can guarantee that I will offend someone by missing them out so let me just say that "On behalf of The North Devon Hospice, Hearts of Oak, and everyone that supported us on that evening by paying out good money to attend this our last charity concert. "THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH" You are the real 'Stars'......

Shammick Acoustic.
If you can sing, play or say
or just listen
Come and join us every second Saturday in the month
The Top George, Combe Martin
Call Tom or Barbara Brown on
(01271) 882366 for more details

As promised in the last Newsletter I am including a list of Mummers dates for the Christmas season.

  • Thurs 14th Dec The Reform Inn Pilton.
  • Sat 16th Dec The Staghunters, Brendon
  • Mon 18th Dec The Top George, Combe Martin.
  • Wed 20th Dec The Poltimore Arms, Yarde Down.
  • Sat 23rd Dec Ring 'O'Bells, Landkey.
  • Wed 27th Dec The New Inn, Goodleigh.
  • Fri 29th Dec The Hunters Inn, Heddon's mouth.
  • Sat 30th Dec The Crown, West Down.
  • Wed 3rd Jan The old Courthouse, Chumleigh.
  • Fri 5th Jan The Grampus Lee.

Try and get to at least one Mummers performance and enjoy a bit of a sing at the same time.

So here we are, our last night at The George ! - I received a call from Tony Truscott to tell me that he would be coming up for our last evening. He does understand that this particular night will not include floor singers (Sad really!) but then, I have invited him to come down the front and join with us in singing 'Mist over Lundy' and 'Kathleen and May' (both written by him) that's if he would like to. We'll have a session at half time for any musicians I'm sure.

It will be a special audience request evening as far as we possibly can, and as it's the last night we will not be charging you for admission ! - WOW!

So dear friends, 'That's it'

No doubt we will be seeing you again, somewhere, sometime in the near future. Don't write us off yet, There will be times when some, (If not all) of us will get together. The web site will still be operating for a long time to come yet, and I am always on the end of the telephone should you need to talk.

Our very best wishes to you all.

That's John Parker, Tony Piper, Rupert Kirby, Ian Hudson and Gladys Bosence, Kathleen Davey, Alison Casey and Anne Piper.

Hearts of Oak Albums can now be purchased and downloaded from the Internet! The proceeds from this will go to support the work of the RNLI, and the Kathleen and May Trust

GO toWoven Wheat Whispers

A legal folk download site