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Folk music in community/day centres

15 May 18 - 05:45 AM (#3924593)
Subject: Folk music in community/day centres
From: GUEST,George Frampton

Thanks to a chance conversation I had with a friend who was a warden at a Blyth care home, I'm trying to find out as much as I can about the role folk/traditional music has/had in Day Centres, Care Homes, and/or the 'community'.
I recall one technique of the late Dave Williams in the New Forest was to engage conversation by taking a penknife and stick and whittling down the wood, whilst talking.
The Millen Family from the Weald of Kent, also did 15 years around the National Farmers' Union/Young Farmers functions as 'The Cider Sippers' before I became aware of them. I'm sure the late Paul Matrsh also tole me about something like that in Hampshire. Then there's Kelly's Quarry Blasters from Dartmoor - about which I need to make further enquiries.
The song under discussion was 'Herring's Heid' (The Herring is the King of the Sea) which was sung by a group called either The Coastguards or The Watchers (perhaps both!). They were active on the North-east coast in Tyneside and Northumberland care homes and community centres, and work exploring that is in progress.

Can any other 'catter tell me of other people/groups active in this field? I feel this is an unexplored area of traditional song research which may bear fruit - unless we leave it too late!

15 May 18 - 11:34 AM (#3924679)
Subject: RE: Folk music in community/day centres
From: Tattie Bogle

Plenty of it going on up here in Scotland: we get regular requests to go and play Day Centres, Dementia groups, Senior Citizens clubs and Care Homes and the like. Repertoire usually includes mainly, but not exclusively, Scottish tunes and songs: the latter may not all strictly be "folk" or traditional but the songs the participants will hopefully know: Skye Boat Song, Westering Home, from Burns, Matt McGinn, Corries' back-catalogue, Adam McNaughtan and numerous others.

15 May 18 - 01:16 PM (#3924702)
Subject: RE: Folk music in community/day centres
From: Steve Gardham

Bit confused here, George. Are you asking for who has performed in such places or who has been there recording their songs? I have done both over the past 50 years or so.

15 May 18 - 04:51 PM (#3924757)
Subject: RE: Folk music in community/day centres
From: Tattie Bogle

Well I did wonder that too, so maybe I didn't give the answer that George was looking for. The groups we go to don't usually volunteer to sing, but are happy to sing along with what we start off
However, I do remember one elderly gentleman with Alzheimer's doing a word-perfect and very beautiful rendition of "Kathleen Mavourneen". It is quite something to see that spark of distant memories re-ignite in people whose short-term memories are sadly deteriorating.

18 May 18 - 03:18 PM (#3925553)
Subject: RE: Folk music in community/day centres
From: GUEST,George Frampton

My apologies for confusion.

I'm trying to identify 'who' firstly, then 'what' secondarily, The quest being what songs might be discovered not previously thought to be 'traditional' (!!!) or obscure, or variants on known songs.

As I've said, my current interest is in identify a mysterious group The Watchers from 25 years ago. I'm finding new leads all the time.
Then I'll be comparing my findings with other people's, and Brian Kell has already I try Johnny Handle who, so I gather, is another visitor in the past to the Blyth care home which prompted this enquiry,