Hearts of Oak

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Performing maritime and folk music in North Devon and beyond

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Newsletter - February 2004

Hiya Folks.

Dear friends,

A new year is now with us and no doubt lots of good days, and 'evenings out' will follow for all of us I'm sure, so may we wish you Good luck, Good health and Prosperity for the year ahead, and THANK YOU in advance for your continuing and unfailing support which always surprises us.

We are happy to report that our Carol concerts in December went very well and these alone raised over 1,000 for the four churches involved. Add to that the 1091 raised by the North Devon Mumming team for the Macmillan Cancer Research and that would seem to be a reasonable result for our Festive activities.

We saw many of our local friends and supporters at these events, plus those of you that came from Exeter, Taunton, Yeovil and Bristol, as well as some good folk that we haven't seen for a while. So a Big'Thank you' to all who supported 'Hearts of Oak' and the North Devon Mummers over the Festive Season 2003/2004.

Did you see The Mummers on BBC Spotlight ? And did you read the write-up that Chris Machin gave our new CD in the ND Journal on 31st December ? The latter was due to Albert Beer our local farming reporter who passed on his copy of 'Down the Road' for Chris Machin to do a review for us. - Not wishing to play this down in any way I wonder why we still don't get much support from our local paper or Radio Devon ! After all we do write and telephone them but to no avail. Perhaps we need 'People power' and that can only mean YOU ! Radio Devon do have our CDs so perhaps a request to Radio Devon and a note to ND Journal may help the cause? In fairness Tony Beard has always been there for us and helps whenever he can but he's the only one really. Thank goodness we have people like Doug Parish from the Tiverton Gazette who can usually be relied on for his support.

Our last visit to The Mariners just prior to Christmas went well. This is always a 'special' night for us Perhaps everyone gets full of the Christmas spirit which makes us all a little happier than perhaps we would normally be ? - I don't know.

We had our AGM on Thursday 29th January, and you will ( hopefully) be pleased to learn that it's all systems 'Go' for yet another year. Ian will now be booking our guests for us and helping to look after them as well. Rupert will carry on with his great works on the web site, and Tony will be setting out our various programmes and organizing rehearsals. I will still be doing posters, newsletters and looking after and keeping a check on CDs etc.

That means it's my responsibilty to ensure that we don't run out !

Each of the group will be taking turns to compere events from now on, certainly for our 'Hearts of Oak' Music nights at 'The Mariners'

The Bideford Folk Club

Meet every Thursday
'The Joiners Arms'
(Behind the Pannier Market)
A 'Sing-around' club with Occasional guests

As you are probably reading this on our 'First Saturday' Thorn and Roses are with us. We heard them at Dartmoor last year and I for one was suitably impressed by what I heard, so much so that we invited them up here to enable you to judge for yourselves. Their first issue of their first CD has sold out but I understand that they will have a new stock for our night at 'The Mariners' ( mine is on order !)

For those of you who remember the old Barnstaple Folk Club in the Rising Sun Boutport Street they may recall a very talented and attractive young lady called Sarah Deere-Jones ? A lovely lady with a beautiful voice who played the Irish harp exquisitely. Well, she is to appear at 'The Plough' Torrington on Thursday, 4th March. Tickets 5, she will also be appearing at Luxborough vilage hall on Thursday 19th March for the same price. Dear friends, this is an experience not to be missed. I certainly intend going to see her (Probably at The Plough) I have been trying unsuccessfully for many years to find her again following her visit to us all those years ago. The last time I saw her she was 'wizzing' back to Cerne Abbas with her harp strapped to her roof rack.

For more information and to buy tickets contact The Plough direct on (01805) 624624. Perhaps one day we shall be able to get her to come to 'The Mariners' ???.

The way things are set up at the moment we will only be having three guest evenings this year (See programme) This could change of course when you, dear friends, will be advised if and when this does happen.

As always, your input is most welcome and if you have any bright ideas concerning guests then tell Ian, and any special requests for special songs, items, or singers from within (or without) the group then we will always try to oblige you.

We will be away at Bromsgrove again this year, also at weekend festival at Padstow and a Shanty weekend at Cardiff (See programme)

As you will appreciate due to our activities over the festive season I don't have a lot to 'write home' about at this time so I'll put in a few interesting lines which you might appreciate............

Some observations: AGE

  • 1. " I started out with nothing and I still have most of it ! "
  • 2. " My Wild Oats have turned into All Bran! "
  • 3. " I've finally got my head together now my body is falling apart ! "
  • 4. " Funny, I don't remember being absentminded ! "
  • 5. " If God had wanted me to touch my toes He would have put them on my knees ! "

Last year (When there wasn't much to write about ) I gave you some silly English sayings and expressions. Several of you asked me to do something similar again, so here are a few more to confuse our friends from foreign parts... especially when they are trying to learn English! -

Confusing English language.

  • 1. He could lead if he would 'get the lead out '
  • 2. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  • 3. I had to subject the subject to various tests.
  • 4. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  • 5. Up on seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

Some crazy English terms....

  • 1.Why is there no egg in an egg plant or ham in a hamburger ?
  • 2.If the plural of tooth is teeth, why is the plural of booth not beeth ?
  • 3.If vegetarians eat vegetables what do humanitarians eat ?
  • 4.How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same ?
  • 5.Why do we have noses that run and feet that smell ?

Okay that will do for now, Back to more serious matters ...........

At our AGM Gladys advised us that we had a bit of spare cash ! 1K to be exact, and as we like to support local charities we are going to give away 250 to each of the following :- The North Devon Hospice, The Childrens Hospice South West, The Kathleen & May and the Devon Air Ambulance This amount is taken from profits from the cash we have accumalated over the past year.

On the CD subject, We now have CDs on sale at The Captains Cabin which is on The Quay at Ilfracombe ! - Of course they have other CDs as well provided by many local groups which is especially good when the summer visitors start to come down here to buy them!

Did you know that North Devon now rivals Torbay for summer popularity ? - NO ? Well that's what I heard on Radio Devon this week.

Barbara and Francis Verdigi have asked me to mention the West Down Pantomime which is being held at West Down Parish Hall on 18/19/20/21 of Feb. Admission is 4, and it's called Mother Goose. and starts at 7.30 pm each evening. Proceeds will be for Village charities.


So, here we are folks with fewer guests this year compared with last year so it seems to us that we will have to learn lots more songs to sing to you ! At least we'll try.....

Shammick Music

The second Saturday in every month
'The Top George' Combe Martin
All are welcome
If you say,play, or just listen - You will enjoy the company
For further details contact Tom or Barbara on (01271) 882366

I'm sure that some of you know that our dear friend and loyal supporter Roy Plester from the Midlands has been poorly lately. He fell ill a week or so ago when he was in Sussex and at this time is in Chichester Hospital. His wife Jean is there with him and the latest information is that Roy seems to be improving. - Thank goodness...

I have sent him a card from all of us wishing him a speedy recovery together with our earnest wish that both him and Jean will be back with us later on this year fiit and healthy. It was Roy that helped us set up the Bernard Wrigley concert last August at Woolacombe village hall in aid of The Childrens Hospice South West, and before that he was involved in the concert for Irene Brook and her sponsored trek across the Andies raising money for 'Scope'

There are several date changes in the future so please make sure that you read all future programmes

Thank you one and all for your continued support and encouragement. We do appreciate it I assure you. Well, that would seem to 'wrap it up' for this time around so, keep singing, keep busy, keep happy, and be lucky. See ya,

John Parker,

for Ian Hudson. Tony Piper, Rupert Kirby, Kathleen Davey, Gladys Bosence and Alison Casey.