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“Raise the Roof” – Restoration Appeal Weekend

Friday 28 Jul 4pm — Sunday 30 Jul 4:30pm, 2017

To make a booking enquiry please complete the form below. We will contact you to confirm availability and complete your booking.

Event Enquiry

  • Halsway Manor will not share your details with any third parties.


Full board per person (all meals, accommodation, activities):

  • £225– single ensuite room
  • £200– sharing an ensuite room
  • £200– single non-ensuite room
  • £155 – sharing non-ensuite room

Camping per person (all meals, and activities):

  • £145

Non Resident (all meals except breakfast, and activities:)

  • £135

Join us to “Raise the Roof” at Halsway!

Host: Gareth Kiddier
Callers: Bob Morgan, Mike Courthold, Ivan Aitken.
Musicians: Mollie Koenigsberger, Ali Messer, Thomas Bending, Gareth Kiddier, Paul Hutchinson.
Plus: Songleader Matt Norman, and walk leaders Nan Ward & Roger Phipps.

Raise the Roof is a fundraising weekend with proceeds going to the Halsway Manor Restoration Appeal. Gareth Kiddier (English Contra Dance Band, PolkaWorks) hosts a fantastic weekend of folk dance and more – with a great team of artists who are ALL giving their time for free to support our cause.

We hope you can join us!

The Restoration Appeal

After fifty years of heavy use there is essential work needed to preserve the buildings and library collection at Halsway to ensure it remains available for use by all for years to come.

We have recently received £80,000 from Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and £57,500 from the Country Houses Foundation. We will receive another £367,000 from HLF next year if all goes to plan. However Heritage Lottery will not pay 100% of the renovation costs; we need to raise a proportion of the money to show our commitment and that our customers value Halsway Manor.

We need to raise £250,000 ourselves by December this year. Through the kind donations of members & supporters we have currently raised over £68,000 so are well on our way but still need your help to reach this target.

Who’s it For?

Everyone who would like to support our Restoration Appeal! The weekend combines dance workshops and evening dances in a variety of styles, with community singing and options to go walking in the Quantocks. All levels of experience are welcome.

Rooms are offered on a first-come, first-served basis at our usual weekend rates, but if you would like to donate more, please do!

The Programme

4pm Arrivals & Tea
5.45pm Sherry Reception
6pm Singing in the Great Hall: Led by Matt Norman
6.30pm Dinner
7.45-10pm Dance: English dances with Mike Courthold, and musicians Mollie
Koenigsberger, Ali Messer and Thomas Bending
10pm-close Singing/music in the bar
8.30am Breakfast
9.45-11am Workshop: American Dance with Mike Courthold
11am Tea & Coffee
11.30am -12.45pm Workshop: “Another Look at Playford” – the work of Pat Shaw with Ivan Aitken
1pm Lunch
2-4pm Walking with Nan Ward & Roger Phipps
2-4pm Workshop: “English Songs in Harmony”with Matt Norman
4pm Tea & Coffee
6pm Singing in the Great Hall: Led by Matt Norman
6.30pm Dinner
7.45-10pm Dance: American dances with Ivan, and musicians Mollie, Ali & Gareth
10pm-close Singing/music in the bar
8.30am Breakfast
9.45-11.45am Workshop: Zesty Playford with Bob Morgan, Paul Hutchinson & more
12 noon Lunch
1.30-4pm Dance: With Bob Morgan, Paul Hutchinson & more
4pm Cream tea and farewells!

The Team

Host: Gareth Kiddier
Bob Morgan, Mike Courthold, Ivan Aitken.
Musicians: Mollie Koenigsberger, Ali Messer, Thomas Bending, Gareth Kiddier, Paul Hutchinson.
Plus: Songleader Matt Norman, and walk leaders Nan Ward & Roger Phipps.

Gareth Kiddier has been playing on the folk dance scene for in excess of 15 years and is a passionate dancer, as well as a respected dance musician. He is much in demand as one-half of the English Contra Dance Band (with Linda Game) and also performs with PolkaWorks, The Watch and other occasional line-ups.

Bob Morgan is a popular young caller who has been making a name for himself at festivals and events across the UK. He is passionate about all aspects of social dance, and aims to make all aspects of his calling accessible, fun and interesting. Having begun his training with the Sheffield CeilidhSoc, Bob’s expertise spreads into other styles including Contra and Playford; he recently led the Halsway Playford Weekend with Boldwood.

Mike Courthold has been calling a wide spectrum of dances and events for 30+ years. From energetic English Ceilidhs and American Contras, to barn dances and more, Mike has entertained at Sidmouth, Chippenham, Lichfield, Eastbourne, IVDVF and Broadstairs to name but a few.  In 2004 he became the Dance Director at Chippenham Folk Festival.

Ivan Aitken is a dancer and caller from Reading in Berkshire. He is a regular caller at local clubs, and also calls for dances and workshops at clubs and festivals throughout the country including Sidmouth, Chippenham, Broadstairs and Bromyard festivals, at Halsway Manor and other dance weekends. Ivan likes to call a mixture of English, American and Scottish dances and is always on the lookout for new and interesting dances to add to his repertoire.

Ali Messer, piano accordion. “I aim to play simple danceable music: basic trad stuff that is just really good for dancing. Every note improvised: inspired by musical friends and the tradition.”

Thomas Bending plays recorder, piano and banjo for English and American dancing, and is also a champion rapper sword musician. He enjoys dancing, calling and singing, and runs the EFDSS Monday Musicians sessions.

Mollie Koenigsberger plays the violin.

Paul Hutchinson (Belshazzar’s Feast, Pagoda Project, Hoover the Dog and many more) is much in demand as a teacher and player of the piano accordion. He has an extraordinary talent for playing for dancing, and will be joining us to play for Bob Morgan’s workshop/dance on Sunday.

Matt Norman is a Choir Leader, arranger and folk musician. This weekend he will be sharing English Folk Songs that he has arranged in robust traditional harmonies.

Nan Ward & Roger Phipps live locally within the Quantock Hills AONB and know the area like the ‘back of their hands’. They lead regular walking weeks and events at Halsway Manor, sharing their love for this beautiful landscape, it’s wildlife and heritage. They are experienced in tailoring walks for all abilities.