Hearts of Oak

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Performing maritime and folk music in North Devon and beyond

Newsletter - February 2003

And a Happy New Year to One and All!

Dear Friends,

Here we are once again and into a new year with lots of good times and good singing ahead of us. Many of you came to see us at our Carol concerts and our taking part in 'The North Devon Mummers'.

As a point of interest I understand that we raised somewhere in the region of 1,400 for the four churches where we held carol concerts and almost another 500 from 'The Mummers' for the North Devon Hospice. I personally think (and I'm sure that you do as well ) that this was a wonderful effort and our grateful thanks go out to all who helped us to raise such a goodly sum. Many of the contributions came from people other than those amongst our good friends and followers, so we'll see if we can get our local press to publish the results for all to see. I am sure that it is enough for you to know that we have all once again done our bit for local charities during the Christmas of 2002.

Personally I was totally 'Shattered' once it was all over although it was certainly well worth the effort.

What a 'Cracking' night we had at 'The Mariners' on 7th December. Lots of singers, and a good audience as well. I believe that everyone who came along enjoyed themselves and I sincerely hope that 2003 will give us even more enjoyment.

We will continue to charge 1.00 entrance on non-guest nights. You will however be pleased to know that because of this small charge introduced last summer we are now covering costs with a little to spare. This is your money and the group still take nothing out for themselves. Any left overs from the 1 entrance money used for expences goes towards making up any shortfall when we pay for our special guests.

Talking about guests, Isla St Clare (who was in the Barnstaple Pantomime this year) came out with us to 'The Bell' at Chittlehampton on Christmas eve with her two sons and it would seem that they enjoyed the evening and also joined in with the singing as well.

Since our last newsletter we all met at 'The Mariners' together with 'The Yetties' where Barry and Helen Coleman organised the evening to raise money for The RNLI. I haven't been told how much was raised though, so perhaps I can tell you next time around.

Then on 29th November we had Kathryn Roberts and Sean Wakeman at 'The George' South Molton. They received a standing ovation from the audience. For sure Kathryn possesses a beautiful voice apart from her subtle use of flute and clarinet. Sean Wakeman also showed his prowess on the guitar. An attractive couple with great talent.

After our success at the Dartmoor Festival last August we got invited back to play at 'The Kings Arms' in South Zeal. Apart from the smoke we enjoyed ourselves as did the audience. The landlord wants us back there in the Spring !!

So, what of the immediate future ???

We have several excellent guests coming up and I would direct you to our web site to learn more about them but for those of you who do not have this facility I will briefly mention that next month on Friday 21st February we have Mike Silver at 'The George Hotel' I can say that I don't know that much about him but Ian sings his praises and that's good enough for me and I'm sure that we will have a great evening.

Then on the 1st March we have Eddie Walker ( Mr Guitar himself !! ) We haven't had Eddie down here since the very early days at 'The Rising Sun' (I think?) He is a real character and an impressario with the guitar. DON'T miss this one folks.

I'll just mention one more for your diaries and I would think this one is the best (in my humble opinion) on 5th April we have the mighty Joe Stead I was very lucky to get him. He sings and plays banjo giving the very best of all the Maritime 'stuff' and he is also a mine of information from his travels all over the world. IF you don't believe me then check out his website using the link on the guests page, then request his monthly newsletter 'Ramblings of an Old Codger'.

'A Season of Folk'

at Chittlehampton (in the church)

Frid, 7th Feb 'The Sprat Jacket' Tim Laycock

Frid, 7th Mar 'The Great North Road Show' Pauline Cato/Tom McConville Terry Docherty

Frid, 21st Mar Balshazaar's Feast. Paul Hutchinson & Paul Satin

Tickets all events 5.00 (Concessions 4.00)
For tickets contact Shirley Wood (01769) 540887

I will repeat what I have said previously about our programmes.

If you have Internet facilities then visit our web site www.heartsofoak.net and receive all 'up to date' information on the group as well as current programmes. If you do not have Internet then please ask either Kathleen or Alison for copies of our programmes. It could well be that you have provided stamped addressed envelopes and of course you can continue to do that if that suits you.

Our mailing list has now been deleted because it was getting out of hand with friends that we haven't seen for years so we are thinking of putting out some 'fliers' that you can fill in and we can still send details to you from those addresses supplied. I will work something out during the next few weeks and then put them out at out various 'Gigs'.


At the 'Top George' Combe Martin.
All are welcome so,
Come and listen or sing, say or play
Saturday 8th February.
Saturday 8th March

Some more good news....We have started work on our next CD.! - On it we will be recording such tracks as :- 'Fair maid of Youghal' - Barnstaple Fayre' - 'Smuggler' The Bell ringing song' 'Bideford Quayside' to name but five. On the same CD we hope to record 'Down the road' and Rupert has already suggested that we title the CD 'Down the Road' !!!! - What do YOU think ???? Email us on feedback@heartsofoak.net

Once we get the next summer season out of the way we intend (note - "Intend") to make a new Christmas CD using some of the Exmoor Carols plus some new ones as well. With luck it will be out for the Christmas Season which will be good. It will seem strange rehearsing carols in the Summer but Tony has already been down that road with Jim Sanders with 'Christmas Seasoning' when he went to Jim's farm eating strawberries and drinking whisky during a hot Summers day. (Well someone had to do it didn't they ???)

I don't think that I have much more to say at this time but please tell us if there is something or someone that YOU would like us to do or 'acquire' and we will always try to oblige you.

Once again our grateful thanks for all your help and support. Keep it up because we need you.

Our number of friends still seems to be growing and we even have fans coming up from Sherborne, Taunton, Exeter and Cornwall now so I must give our grateful thanks to them in particular.

The Bideford Folk Club

Meet every Thursday at The Joiners Arms, Bideford
(Behind the Pannier Market)

ALL are welcome
Sing-around with occasional guests

Reasons why the English language is hard to learn :-

  • 1. The bandage is wound around the wound.
  • 2.The farm was used to produce produce.
  • 3.The dump was so full of rubbish that I had to refuse more refuse.
  • 4 .We must polish the Polish furniture.
  • 5. He could lead if he got the lead out.
  • 6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  • 7. I did not object to the object.
  • 8. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  • 9. They were too close to the door to close it.
  • 10.The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  • 11.Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
  • 12.I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

See you all next time,

John Parker, for Hearts of Oak

That's Rupert, Ian, Tony and me. Not forgetting Kathleen Gladys and Alison. Last month's Newsletter