June 2015 sees the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. The battle was the subject of several broadsides and traditional songs and one of them is featured in the regular Singer, Song and Source series. The song ‘The Eighteenth Day of June’ first appeared as a broadside, and was recorded from oral tradition; it is now sung by The Wilsons from Teesside – five brothers who have been singing together for many decades and have recently been accompanying pop singer Sting. The extended ‘Source’ feature, by Peter Wood, examines a variety of songs about the battle.
Three further anniversaries are the subject of features in this issue: Halsway Manor in the Quantocks, Somerset, celebrates its 50th anniversary as a residential folk arts centre; August’s Broadstairs Folk Week in Kent reaches its 50th festival; and Monkseaton Morrismen and Folk Dance Club from north-east England celebrates its 60th anniversary this summer.
A recently-published book brings a Derbyshire manuscript tune book to a greater audience. Thomas Watts was a publican and farmer in the village of Sparrowpit at the end of the 18th century – he was also a musician who compiled a tune book. Jenny Coxon writes about the tune book and how it came to be discovered and, now, published.
There are also features on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards; the latest Soundpost weekend in Sheffield – focussed on The Full English online digital archive; Royal Traditions folk club; and a new CD/book publication on American singer Lead Belly.
The life of folk music researcher and author, Roy Palmer, is remembered in a special feature.
Plus the regular features: EFDSS Matters, Reviews, News, Festive Round-Up, future dance events and Lives Remembered.
There were two errors in the Lives Remembered section. Sharon was Jasper's wife, rather than his partner, and they had no children. Jasper was a devoted stepdad to Sharon's daughter Rani. I apologise for any distress that these mistakes have caused.
Derek Schofield, Editor