This event is now fully booked.
Please complete a booking enquiry if you would like to join the waiting list.
Bill and Meg are back for a fifth year to host a weekend of traditional song for experienced singers (non-singing partners welcome)! Join them, and friends old and new, for a weekend of singing, archive film and talks. This year Bill & Meg are joined by guests Bára Grímsdóttir and Chris Foster, and Arthur Knevett. Bring your voices, instruments and walking boots for an optional circuit of the ‘Halsway Loop’ to blow away the cobwebs! A weekend of sharing memories, songs, and having a wonderful time revisiting those good old days!
“It was a wonderful weekend. The house itself feels like a warm welcome. The staff are friendly and efficient. A relaxed weekend with others who share my interests is just the best.” 2017 Participant
Optional Sunday night survivors’ session, with supper B&B available, £35 per person.
Who’s it For?
Experienced singers of all ages (non-singing partners are welcome). Bring your songs and experiences to share, and have a wonderful time celebrating traditional song with like-minded people in the lovely setting of Halsway Manor.
Bill Crawford was in a folk club the night President Kennedy was assassinated – and on a great many more nights too. A founder member, resident singer and MC of the Jolly Porter folk club in Exeter in the sixties, Bill has run clubs and sessions in the home counties and across the south west. He is a regular MC and performer at Sidmouth, Chippenham and Dartmoor festivals. A fine singer with a broad repertoire, Bill was also a member of accapella group ‘The Claque’ until they disbanded in 2017.
Meg Rose is from a family of keen folk dancers, and grew up going to Bill Rutter’s Folk Camps and Sidmouth Festival in the early years. She even worked at Halsway Manor in school and college holidays! Discovering folk song in her teens, Meg attended regular events at Halsway, including the South West Folk Club Federation meetings as a member of Yeovil Folk Song Club, meeting one Bill Crawford along with many other fine singers! Since then, her interest and love of folk songs together with an enthusiasm for singing in company has never ceased.
Chris Foster grew up in Somerset where he first heard and started singing folk songs in the sixties. He was a founder member of Yeovil folk song club before moving to Suffolk where he became involved with source singers such as Jumbo Brightwell who regularly sang in the Eelsfoot pub in Leiston. Chris established a fine reputation and big following on the folk scene before moving to Iceland where he now lives.
“Chris Foster merits legend status, one of the very best in the second wave of the Brit folk revival, as important as Martin Carthy, Dick Gaughan and Nic Jones in the way he modernised and invested traditional songs with inventive guitar arrangements and potent vocal delivery.” Colin Irwin, fRoots
Bára Grímsdóttir is regarded as one of the best traditional singers in her native Iceland. She grew up surrounded by folk song, hearing her parents and grandparents singing on the family farm in the North of Iceland. She has a special interest in the traditional song styles of her homeland. She was a founder member of the group ‘Embla’.
Arthur Knevett came to singing traditional songs – via skiffle – in the thick of the 1960s English Folk Song revival, going on to run The Fighting Cocks club as a traditional song club with Drew Lees and Rod Stradling. A well respected and fine interpreter of traditional song, Arthur has maintained his presence with guest appearances at folk clubs, festivals and traditional song gatherings as well as engaging in academic research on traditional song. His recent CD ‘Simply Traditional’ – an eclectic mix of 13 of Arthur’s favourite songs and ballads – was long overdue and very welcome.