The Summer 2015 issue of English Dance & Song magazine celebrates two 50th anniversaries.
Halsway Manor, set on the edge of the beautiful Quantock Hills in Somerset, became a residential folk arts centre in 1965. With considerable help from EFDSS members in the West Country, especially the area organiser, Bill Rutter, the historic Halsway Manor was established as a folk centre. Over the years, thousands of folk music and dance enthusiasts have taken part in activities. In recent times, thanks largely to the recently-departed chief executive, Paul James, Halsway Manor has taken on a new lease of life, with activities under the ‘Hothouse’ banner attracting a new generation of young folk musicians and singers. Former member of The Yetties, Bonny Sartin, writes affectionately about Halsway Manor.
The other anniversary is Broadstairs Folk Week in Kent; their 50th festival takes place in August. Originally started as a week-long Folk Show for the general public, the event gradually grew, becoming a full-scale folk festival in the mid-1970s. Using a wide range of venues, especially the town’s schools, there is a wide variety of concerts, dances and workshops. The article is written by former festival director, Pam Wells (formerly Porritt), and current director, Jo Tuffs.