Hearts of Oak

Home page.

Performing maritime and folk music in North Devon and beyond


Newsletter - April 2003

Happy Easter!

Once again into the breach dear friends.

Anyone know where this expression comes from? There might be one of our new CDs in it for the first correct answer, so put it on paper and we'll have a little raffle once our new CD has been completed and each one of you giving the correct answer will be given a special draw ticket. So, your name and address please. (on the back of a 50 note will do I think!)

Our first night back at 'The Mariners' after Christmas went well, and surprise, surprise, who should turn up but Tony Truscott !! - So we played a couple of his songs for him which met with his approval. He joined us in 'Mist over Lundy' and there were tears in his eyes when it ended.( I wonder why ?) On the same night even more surprises ! Rupert's daughter Gemma came along and sang for us and she played her flute as well. She was outstanding! - Please come again Gemma, we all enjoyed what you did for us. Yet another surprise ! - Hilary and Gerry Bix came along and sang a song together with Carol Henderson-Begg . I think what I'm really trying to say is that it really was a SUPER night.Check it out!

On the 21st February we had Mike Silver at 'The George Hotel' in South Molton, and judging by the queue for his CDs at the end of the evening, as well as the standing ovation from others I think we should consider it a resounding success, as was 1st March at 'The Mariners' with Eddie Walker. I heard several of our budding guitarists threaten to go home and smash their instruments ! - It has been thirteen and a half years since we saw Eddie the last time and that was at The Barnstaple Folk Club at The Rising Sun, Boutport Street. He really is an outstanding entertainer. His second set was supposed to last 45 minutes but it lasted almost one and a quarter hours! To me ( at least ) it seemed like a total of only 15 minutes! He was brilliant and I would hope to get him back here again before too long following his international bookings and a very full UK diary. One thing is for sure I would like to see him back a bit quicker that the 13 years since his last visit to North Devon.

We started recording our new CD on 26th February at Geoff Hocking's studios in Bideford.. It is our intention to go each Wednesday (or Thursday) until it's finished. Then, depending on the artwork and the production time we would hope to have it for sale by the end of April! That is probably a bit ambitious but there is no harm in that. All I will say is that it is NOT our intention to rush it. It has to be right and it has to be good and it has to be value for money as well.I'm trying hard to be patient.

Some of you will know already that we have been invited back to play at the Dartmoor Folk Festival again this year which is really unprecedented because they don't normally book the same guests on consecutive years. We have a lot of followers down there in the Dartmoor area.(Perhaps we don't charge enough)!

Talking about Dartmoor, here's one for your diaries. On 1st August we are going to have a go at raising 1,000 for the Childrens Hospice. This event will be held at Woolacombe village hall with Tony Beard (The Wag from Widecombe and Radio Devon.) He lives on Dartmoor of course, Plus The Yetties and ourselves the 'Hearts of Oak'. All of us will be doing our 'bits and pieces' trying to raise a target of 1,000. Posters and tickets will be available shortly from the Childrens Hospice at Fremington. So watch this space folks and all will be revealed! it promises to be a 'Cracking' night out.

Not only but also - Tony (Our hiking specialist) is doing a 100 mile sponsored walk over the Easter, and again it's for the Childrens Hospice South West. ( Good on ya Tony) I dare say that he will let you help to sponsor him if you ask him nicely !

Friday, 14th March saw us at 'The Commodore Hotel' Instow. raising money for 'The Appledore Maritime Museum' Gerry O'Leary has invited us for several of these evenings over the years held in support of our very important local heritage. We had a good audience with lots of good chorus singing from them as well. It always helps when we have an appreciative audience then we, as a group, seem to respond and enjoy the evenings much better, plus the fact we sold a good few CDs and tapes on this evening. - (This puts a smile on all our faces)

Gerry did give me a note of the cash that was raised on the night which I have misplaced !!! - I do have it somewhere so I think I'm right in saying that it was 300. I understand from a reliable source that The Commodore ballroom is being closed down at the end of this year and is being turned into apartments !

(Sad if true)

The Bideford Folk Club

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

ALL are welcome
Sing-around with occasional guests

Next, we were at 'The Burton Art Gallery' in Bideford on 19th March. perhaps this is a little closer to Ian's heart (being an artist himself) and once again I have to say that it's good to feel that we are doing our little bit towards helping local museums and art galleries and helping them to preserve our heritage, also to encourage support for these sort of local enterprises. Again, we sold a good number of CDs and tapes and this is always useful for our cash flow and to help us to pay for our new CD

The 'Salty Tales' evening at Braunton was in this same category. This was the second such evening that they have held this event. The first one held last year was a 'Sell-out' long before the event and many people just could not get tickets! The event was held in support of the Braunton Museum and Heritage centre which is always worth a visit if you find yourself in Braunton with time to spare. Rupert didn't make it until late because he had school business at Minehead which took longer than expected. Never mind is was still a good night for all of us who attended. (See the North Devon Journal 3rd April)



On Saturday 3rd May, at 'The Mariners' we have Joyce Moon as our guest, all the way from Calne in Wiltshire. The last thing she will want is to perform in any way shape or form, but I will tell you that Joyce is the lady that wrote the words to 'Hand of Fate' and on this occasion we will be singing this particular song, and another of her poems (tune by Rupert) that you will not have heard as yet. - This will be a 'first' for you, and it will also be on our new CD ! (WOW) It's called 'Faces on the stair' and we will explain what it's all about when we get to sing it for you on the 3rd May.

Many years ago Joyce lived in Braunton and she has been a dear friend of mine for many years now.. Please make her feel welcome and maybe with a bit of luck, she will come back to see us again soon.

We are awaiting several exciting events which will be announced shortly, one of which is that we have been invited to give a concert on the 'Kathleen and May' which will be nice for us as well as you I hope. I'm not sure when this will be but I do know that she will be out of the water at the beginning of May for her MOT ( or whatever)

You dear friends will be told about it as soon as we know ourselves.

One date you should most definitely NOT miss and that is our evening with Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman at 'The George Hotel' on 31st May

Don't forget forget - we can be found on our web site That's : www.heartsofoak.net

On the Publicity subject, Kathleen has produced some name and address sheets for people who would like information about us, so if you, or anyone you might know, would like to receive our details then add their names to this list. Or register online, by Email, and we'll let you know when the Gig List is updated, or the new newsletter is published. See the contacts page!

Just thinking about names for a moment. On behalf of all of us including our esteemed committee, I really would like to thank all of those lovely people who come regularly from Dorset, - Taunton, - Bristol, - Exeter and Cornwall. It's always good to see you especially on guest nights but in particular for your support on our own Music nights. Of course we must also thank our regular and locals supporters ( Our 'Backbone' ) for their continued support as well. WE NEED YOU ALL FOLKS.

I can't think of anywhere else I would rather be than with all of you on our very special music nights.

I would think that that many of you are reading this when JOE STEAD is with us at 'The George' Personally I am looking forward to this evening. Joe is a great singer, entertainer and banjo player of long standing and he has earned great respect from all who know him from all around the world, so give him a real North Devon welcome, and we hope thawelcome, and we hope that you enjoy your evening as we surely will. Joe tells me that he has been invited to Valpariso in December of this year!

Okay folks, that's another 'Wrap' so If there is anything or anyone special you would like then please let one of us know.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement,

Yours as always, That's Ian Hudson, Tony Piper, Rupert Kirby, Kathleen Davey, Alison Casey, Gladys Bosence and of course,

Yours Truly, - me.

John Parker

Shammick Music evenings


at 'The Top George' Pub
in Combe Martin.
Every 2nd Saturday in the month.
It's a great place to be whether you just want to listen or try out some new songs
so if you want to recite a poem, sing a song,
or play a tune then this is the place to be
Singers workshop with PETE COE
Saturday, 10th May - 15.00 with cold supper
Contact Tom or Barbara (01271) 882366
Last month's Newsletter