English Folk Dance And Song Society serves up ‘The Full English Extra’

English Folk Dance And Song Society serves up ‘The Full English Extra’New project will digitise three more archive collections and deliver a learning programme in partnership with three national museums 

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) is to add to several important collections to its online archive and partner three national museums in a new initiative to preserve and promote the folk arts.

The Full English Extra will see the collections of Mary Neal, suffragette, radical arts practitioner and founder of the Esperance Girls Club, and folk dance educator Daisy Caroline Daking added to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library online archive, alongside its collection of 19th century broadside ballads and songsters.

EFDSS will work with three national museums – the Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading, the National Coal Mining Museum for England near Wakefield in Yorkshire and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London – combining folk arts and museum education to provide powerful new learning experiences for schools.

The Full English Extra, builds on the success of EFDSS’ flagship project The Full English, which created the world’s largest digital archive of folk songs, dances, tunes and customs, and a nationwide learning programme that reached more than 15,500 people.

Katy Spicer, Chief Executive of EFDSS, said:

“The Full English Extra will allow us to expose these important dance and broadside collections to a wider audience. The launch of The Full English archive was a landmark in digital archives and we know from its continuing popularity that people are keen to learn more about folk culture.

“We are very pleased to be working with the museums to develop individual programmes that will allow us to inspire a new generation about traditional folk music and dance.”

The Full English Extra, which is supported by National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund, will run from September 2015 to March 2016.

About The Full English Extra 

The Full English Extra project will extend the society’s Vaughan Williams Memorial Library digital archive by adding a further three collections. These include the scrapbooks and personal papers of two highly inspiring women, Mary Neal and Daisy Caroline Daking, who were instrumental in the proliferation, preservation and promotion of traditional English Morris and sword dances in the early 20th century.

Mary Neal, a social reformer and champion of working class women and a folk revivalist, founded the Esperance Girls Club to provide assistance to girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, and went on to form the Esperance Morris Club, which taught its members traditional dances and songs. Many of its members became teachers of dance themselves, and the club aided Cecil Sharp in the writing of his first morris book.

Daisy Caroline Daking was also a dance teacher. During the First World War she travelled to France and helped to rehabilitate injured soldiers by sharing her enthusiasm for traditional sword and morris dance with them.

As well as these two important dance-related collections, the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) collection of 19th century broadside ballads and songsters will be digitised for online access.

The learning programme will be delivered in partnership with:

Museum of English Rural Life at Reading University – this programme will work with one or more local secondary schools and focus on rural and agricultural themes drawing from the museum’s collection and redevelopment of its galleries.

National Coal Mining Museum for England, Yorkshire  – this project will involve music projects with local schools in Wakefield during the autumn and spring terms, working in collaboration with Wakefield Music Education Hub.

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London – EFDSS will work with the museum’s formal learning team focussing on themes in the Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery and developing these through work with a local primary school during the autumn term.

The learning programme will create new material for EFDSS’ Resource Bank (www.efdss.org/resourcebank) that provides freely accessible folk arts learning materials. It will provide three folk arts education traineeships across the project – one attached to the work with each museum – and CPD events for teachers and educators from the museum and cultural sectors.

FAY HIELD & The Hurricane Party


Fay Hield is a singer who seems to have been born knowing how to carry a tune but with the rarer gift of knowing how to go straight to the heart of a song. A good example of this is Orfeo (the last FAY HIELD & The Hurricane Party album release) which features 11 superbly arranged traditional songs, including lead track, ‘Sir Orfeo’, based on a 13th Century retelling of the epic supernatural Greek fable, Orpheus and Eurydice. Fay’s gift for unearthing rare and interesting material is well represented throughout, including the obscure but beguiling nursery rhyme.

Many will know that Fay picked up 2 awards at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014 on Wednesday night with the Full English. They received the award for Best Group, and also the public vote for Best Album.

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Artist’s website: www.fayhield.com


BBC Radio 2 has announced the recipients of this year’s Lifetime Achievement awards.







The two prestigious accolades will be presented to Clannad and Martin Carthy at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014 in a ceremony being held at the Royal Albert Hall on February 19. The Radio 2 Folk Awards celebrate an important milestone this year – marking their 15th anniversary.

Legendary Celtic band Clannad, who will also be performing at the awards, comprises siblings Moya, Ciaran and Pol Brennan, and their twin uncles Noel and Padraig Duggan. Their music mixes the traditional and the modern, the past and the future. The band’s record sales exceed fifteen million since release of their eponymous debut in 1973. Towards the end of the seventies they recruited their younger sister on piano and harmony vocals. She worked on two albums and embarked on several tours with them before going on to establish her own highly successful solo career as Enya.

Clannad said:

“We are absolutely honoured to be recognised in this way by the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. The BBC have been such great supporters of us since we first broke through in the UK with Theme From Harry’s Game. We are really looking forward to being part of the big night at the Royal Albert Hall.”

English folk singer Martin Carthy has remained one of the most influential figures in British traditional music. For more than 50 years he has been one of folk music’s greatest innovators, and has recorded more than 40 albums, with only 10 of these being solo records. He has recorded with legendary bands including Steeleye Span, Brass Monkey and Imagined Village to name but a few.

Martin Carthy said:

“I’ve just been lucky enough to follow my heart and pretty much do what I want over the past 50 years or so. If, along the way, I’ve been able to play a part, however small, in keeping the traditional music of these islands alive, then I consider myself a fortunate man.”

Bob Shennan, Controller BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music, said:

“The Radio 2 Folk Awards exist to celebrate the very best in folk music. Clannad and Martin Carthy have made magnificent contributions to Folk music over the years and are thoroughly deserving of these prestigious accolades. Many congratulations to them.”

In addition to the Lifetime Achievement Awards, Radio 2 has also announced that the Cambridge Folk Festival, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is being awarded the Good Tradition Award. This award is given to a person, group or organisation for their contribution to the preservation, dissemination and continuance/ progression of traditional music over a number of years.

Radio 2 has also confirmed that Martin Simpson, Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer and The Full English are set to perform on the night.

The awards ceremony at The Royal Albert Hall will see some of the biggest names in folk music come together under one roof to celebrate the UK’s thriving folk music scene.

The event will welcome a host of star guests, with Bellowhead, Suzanne Vega and The Fisherman’s Friends set to perform live on the night.

This year’s awards will see the addition of a new element – the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame will recognise the special contribution of an individual to the world of folk music; someone whose impact and influence has had a lasting impression.

The first entrant to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is Cecil Sharp – widely regarded as being a key figure in having helped lay the foundations for the modern folk revival in the early 20th century.

The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards will be broadcast live on Radio 2 from 8pm, and in vision via the Red Button and online at bbc.co.uk/radio2, with video highlights to follow the next day. The audience can also follow the event and get involved via the Radio 2 website.

The full list of nominees in this year’s Radio 2 Folk Awards are:

Folk Singer of the Year

  • Bella Hardy
  • Fay Hield
  • Lisa Knapp
  • Lucy Ward

Best Duo

  • Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson
  • Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
  • Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita
  • Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin

Best Group

  • Breabach
  • The Full English
  • Lau
  • Melrose Quartet

Best Album

  • Child Ballads – Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer
  • The Full English – The Full English
  • Hidden Seam – Lisa Knapp
  • Vagrant Stanzas – Martin Simpson
  • Won’t Be Long Now – Linda Thompson

Horizon Award

  • Olivia Chaney
  • Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
  • Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar
  • Georgia Ruth

Musician of the Year

  • Aidan O’Rourke
  • Will Pound
  • Martin Simpson
  • Sam Sweeney

Best Original Song

  • Love’s For Babies and Fools – Linda Thompson
  • None the Wiser – Chris Wood
  • Swimming in the Longest River – Olivia Chaney
  • Two Ravens – Lisa Knapp

Best Traditional Track

  • Codi Angor – Georgia Ruth
  • Les Bras de Mer – Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita
  • Mary Macdonald’s – Rant
  • Willie of Winsbury – Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer

BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award

  • Hattie Briggs
  • Gentlemen of Few
  • Granny’s Attic
  • The Mischa Macpherson Trio