Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=81012
26 messages

Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance

09 May 05 - 09:52 AM (#1480624)
Subject: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: shepherdlass

I'm doing some research about folk music in the north of England and have come across some less than familiar (at least to me, here in Durham) names of dance groups who appeared on the BBC radio and TV show Barn Dance during the 1960s.

Do any 'Catters remember the John Peel Dancers (who I gather came from somewhere near Shap) or the St Helen's Dance Band? Also the Greensleeves Dancers or Dance Band? Better still, were any of you members of these groups?


09 May 05 - 12:14 PM (#1480770)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: Mitch the Bass

There was (is?) a Greensleeves dance club, morris club and band based in North London. May not be the same one but I think the band made records for the EFDSS. Try the EFDSS at www.efdss.org

Mitch


09 May 05 - 01:46 PM (#1480885)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: Compton

Shepherdlass...I posted a thread, perhaps a year or so ago, as I appeared to be the only one who remembered the Barn Dances on BBC..(Before 1 and 2) and in Black and White!!. The Band I think was Jack Armstrond and the Cheviot Ranters Country Dance Band. Bill Cain was the Caller...and dispersed librally among the dances were songs by The Barry Sisters, Steve Bembow and Val Doonican. Presenter was Brian Redhead.. The bearded one from the Today programme on radio 4.
Halycon Days..but no, I don't remember the dance groups.


09 May 05 - 07:25 PM (#1481167)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

I think Jack Armstrong's band was usually the Barnstormers. The Cheviot Ranters was a separate band. Jack's Barn dance programme on the radio dates back to the 40s I think, and was outside the folk dance revival. It is certainly something worthy of further investigation. There was a strong folk dance club in St Helens, and there was a Greesleeves Band (separate from the morris team in london)


10 May 05 - 01:29 PM (#1481770)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: Compton

Bravo, Derek...the mind, certainly after 20+ years isn't what it was...The Barnstormer it was...but that makes three of us(at least) ...50 somethings if we can remember the show. A time when we were nice, innocent and enjoyed watching Folk (Barn) Dancing on the telly!


17 May 05 - 05:24 PM (#1486805)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: shepherdlass

Thanks folks - this has helped sort things out a bit!


18 May 05 - 07:28 AM (#1487154)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: greg stephens

I picked up a Jack Armstrong EP in a charity shop recently, a nice curiosiy to own. A strange sort of style. I think most folkies of my generation(the one after his) all made a point of trying to sound as little like that as possible!


18 May 05 - 08:50 AM (#1487193)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: GUEST,Liz the Squeak

You could try Cecil Sharp House - they often have archive material.

LTS


02 Dec 13 - 12:35 PM (#3580733)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: GUEST

Hello! My mum JOYCE WALKER (and her friend DOREEN HETHERINGTON were in the John Peel Dancers - most were from WIGTON - recorded at the Oxford Rd Studios in Manchester I think. My dad went to one recording and was seen with a pint glass even though he didn't drink! Val Doonican was the famous guest. Racey jumpers and a rocking chair! Things were wild in those days! My mum is still with us and remembers it very clearly!

email me for more info. on mrwalker@talk21.com


27 Oct 14 - 09:55 AM (#3672395)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: GUEST

the name was Billy Miller and the Cheviot Ranters. I know this because he was my father.


27 Oct 14 - 10:36 AM (#3672406)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: GUEST,Guest Kingsman

Good to see the mighty Jack Armstrong getting a mention! Not only fiddle player with the Barnstormers, but also piper to the Duke of Northumberland.


08 Apr 15 - 06:12 AM (#3700469)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: GUEST,Vic Smeltzer

I was leader of the St. Helens Band which did several broadcasts in the BBC "Barn Dance` series. Also made 8 records.


08 Apr 15 - 07:16 AM (#3700480)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: GUEST,CJB

Surprised no-one's mentioned the BBC's Genome database of RT listings. There's at least 680 references to "barn dance" - incl. mentioning the dance bands.

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/search/0/20?adv=0&q=barn+dance#search


08 Apr 15 - 07:43 AM (#3700484)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: Mo the caller

Hi Vic. Did the St Helens Band become The Poachers (which was active till recently)? They taught me a lot about calling for church groups etc.

I remember dancing round the kitchen to a radio Barn Dance in the late 60s / early 70s. That was Dick Witt's band, and the caller always said "thank you band" to start them.

Then in the or early 80's (when I'd persuaded Jim that he would enjoy it) we went to Manley dance club (nr Frodsham, Cheshire). A dance from there was broadcast on the radio Merseyside folk programme (Folkweave?)

In Oct 1993,there was a series on Radio 2, and they offered a free booklet with instructions for all dances the programmes. Just when I was thinking about calling for the general public I'd been calling at club for 4 years but beginners is quite different, very useful.
There were 2 Series each with the same bands, but new dances
Pete Coe & Hookes Law
Dave Townsend & the Mellstock Band
Sarah Vanstone 7 Dartmoor PixieBand
Hugh Rippon &High Level Ranters
Eddie Upton & Peeping Tom

Norma still calls The Rock and the Wee Pickle Toe at Manley, from prog 1 of that booklet, and Pete Coe's the Heartbreaker seems to be well established in the Cheshire repertoire.

Then in the late 90s there was an excellent series televised. Maybe for schools. It showed the same dance being danced by adults and children - cut from one to another, very lively. Made it seem like a fun, living tradition not just a PE lesson.


08 Apr 15 - 07:48 AM (#3700485)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: Mo the caller

Wel, Chris, that's because we never knew about it.Or thought you could search that far back.
Thank you.


08 Apr 15 - 10:59 AM (#3700537)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: Banjo-Flower

I've got both booklets from the 93/94 programmes

Gerry


08 Apr 15 - 01:50 PM (#3700586)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: GUEST,CJB

"band dance folkweave" lists nothing.

But there is

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/search/0/20?adv=0&q=barn+dance+folk&media=all&yf=1923&yt=2009&mf=1&mt=12&tf=00%3A00&tt=00%3A00


08 Apr 15 - 02:11 PM (#3700591)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: GUEST,Vic Smeltzer

In reply, NO the St. Helens Band did not become the "Poachers", but, though based in the same village, were very different. My band was made up of the Scottish-type 2 accordions, fiddle, bass, piano and drums.
We played at many dances up and down the country - often travelling long distances. We played for Scottish dances as well as for English Barn Dances. Those were the days ! But I have made a few dance music CDs which can be accessed via YouTube or typing in my name.


08 Apr 15 - 02:21 PM (#3700592)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: Mo the caller

No Folkweave may have been the name of the Radio Merseyside folk programme. The band at Manley used to be Foxes Bark they played on that recording with Doug Benyon calling I think, some years ago the remaining player amalgamated with the Acme Band and now Flaxmere band play for us (tonight, then May 6th then it's the summer break)

Chris link says -
"Folk on 2

Jim Lloyd introduces
Alex Campbell In concert, The Old Swan Band with caller, Dave Hunt , playing for a barn dance at the Maltings, Farnham. Sara Grey and Elite Ellis from Sldmouth Folk Festival. "
- something wrong there!!


29 Apr 17 - 06:28 PM (#3853051)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: GUEST,Bill

I was in the John Peel Dancers in 1963.Recorded two series of 6 programs as a 17 yr old. Think I was paid 10 per program. We left Carlisle at 3am on a Sunday morning,recorded 2 programs at the Dickinson Rd studios Manchester( a converted church) and got back into Carlisle at 3am Monday morning. It looks as though all tapes were destroyed, I have been trying to find copies in BBC archives without success. Frank Bough was another presenter and the Countrymen were another group who were on. Dancers were from Maryport Wigton, Carlisle,Shap Brampton (me plus 3). Bill Cain called at many of the dances in the area. Good times.


02 May 18 - 09:33 AM (#3921603)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: Sue Allan

Bill - I'm really interested in this as I have been researching BBC Northern Service radio programmes Barn Dance and Merry Neet (recorded in Cumberland) and the TV programmes which featured the John Peel Dancers. I have a few copies of the scripts, from the late Wesley Park who danced with the group as a boy in the early 1960s. Guests include people like Val Doonican, The Liverpool Spinners, Steve Benbow, Jaccqui & Bridie with presenters like Brian Redhead and Frank Bough! Do you have any more info on Bill Cain and his dancers, Brian?


02 May 18 - 09:39 AM (#3921606)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: Sue Allan

Oops *Bill, not Brian!! (end of previous)


02 May 18 - 02:00 PM (#3921675)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

I know a bit about Bill Cain.
Derek


02 May 18 - 05:33 PM (#3921700)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: Sue Allan

Ooh, do you Derek? Could you please email me?


03 May 18 - 12:31 PM (#3921871)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge

I remember 'Barn Dance' very well- in black & white with Jack Armstrong & band & the Barry Sisters & Five Smith Brothers among the guests- must have been the late 50s & early 60s?

There is a CD available of Jack Armstrong & the Barnstormers- it's available via the Northern Heritage website- it's a little rough at the edges, but I love it- the real thing.


03 May 18 - 03:27 PM (#3921922)
Subject: RE: Dance Groups from BBC Barn Dance
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

Yes, I have that CD as well Jim. Great!
Derek