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Songs, Threads & Yarns

Monday 27 Jun 4pm — Friday 1 Jul 10am, 2022

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

Course Enquiry

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

Threads & Yarns 2

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

  • £380– single ensuite room
  • £350– sharing an ensuite room
  • £350– single non-ensuite room
  • £315 – sharing non-ensuite room

Camping per person (tuition, activities, all meals):

  • £230

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

  • £216

Grant help may be available: The Sarah Morgan Foundation is offering Grants of £500 for the promotion of English / Traditional Song. More info...

Hosted by Meg Rose with guest Jackie Oates, a summer break at Halsway in which to share crafting skills, songs and stories.

The week presents a unique opportunity to develop your own textile projects in a supportive and convivial atmosphere, working with threads and yarns to stitch, weave, knot and knit whilst exploring related aspects of folk music, song and story telling. This is not an instructional course as such; presentations on various topics of interest and techniques are programmed throughout the week but the emphasis will be on learning from each other by show and tell.

Jackie will be with us for the week both as a performing artist and an enthusiastic crafter. She will give an informal evening concert for course participants and a day-time presentation of her Radio Ballad: ‘The Lacemakers; The Lost Art of Telling’.

There will be free time to walk and relax with evening sessions of music, singing and story telling. We appreciate that not everyone may wish to sing solo but will hopefully feel encouraged to join in the choruses.

Who’s it For?

The week is aimed at textile crafters and artists of any level of experience – complete beginners, happy hobbyists, dedicated professional and anyone in between – who would like a few days in a lovely setting to develop their craft project, share their skills and learn from others.

You do not have to be a singer, musician or storyteller, but if you are please bring your instruments, songs and stories to share – anything craft-related especially well received!

We would also like to make it absolutely clear that, while many of these crafts are associated with women and women’s work, ALL are welcome!

The Team

Jackie Oates  Jackie Oates is a mainstay of English traditional music. Regarded as one of the country’s best loved folk performers, Jackie’s current focus is on collaborating with a diverse array of artists and commissions.

Following the death of her much-loved dad five days after the birth of her first child, Jackie’s 2018 album The Joy Of Living reached beyond the past lives in folk song to the lived experience of all of us. The Guardian called it “utterly gorgeous… moving, depth-filled.” Since then, Jackie has released classic covers with Scritti Politti’s Rhodri Marsden, researched pagan Bath for the mavericks at Lush cosmetics, been Artist In Residence at the Twitter-famous Museum of English Rural Life, lent her voice and musicianship to CBeebies’ Nick Cope’s Popcast, and begun an ongoing mixed media work about the history of lace telling. Jackie Oates continues to bring elements of the English folk tradition to new people and places; in turn bringing a much needed calm and joy to those who hear it.

Following Jackie’s 18-month residency at the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading, in association with EFDSS, Jackie has honed her interest in English women’s working songs.

“I have long been aware of the absence of songs documenting life from a woman’s perspective, giving insight into their daily lives and prerogatives. The discovery of the existence of ’tells’ alongside spinning and knitting songs, has enabled me to begin to piece together how and where to find such songs”.

In the museum’s library she researched the seldom explored area of English waulking songs (a tradition of singing to accompany women’s textile work usually associated with Scotland.) This research has led to Jackie’s development of ‘The Lacemakers; The Lost Art of Telling’, released in August last year. ‘The Lacemakers…’ is a radio ballad written by Jackie, exploring the lives of the lace makers of Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire and their long lost tradition of lace telling – songs sung by the lace making girls to both learn the intricacies of the task and as an outlet for the tribulations of the time. It features the songs and music of Jackie together with regular collaborator John Spiers, joined by Mike Cosgrave, and narrated by Molly Pipe, Nick Cope and Jackie.

Meg Rose has taught mixed crafts for many years and also has a long association with Halsway Manor including hosting many singing courses.