Thursday, 22 May, 2014 - 20:00 to Saturday, 24 May, 2014 - 23:45

The Big Whistle Weekend At Bury Met

The Met
Market St
United Kingdom
Saturday, 24 May, 2014 - 11:00 to 13:00

An Entry Level Tin Whistle Folk Workshop At Bury Met With Nicola Beazley

This is an entry level tin whistle workshop with, Nicola Beazley: introducing you to the key skills needed to play traditional music.

Suitable for Beginners. High D Whistle required.

Some of us did a folk workshop with Nicola last year, and it was fantastic.  Oh, and everyone at that workshop did a little set at a very wet Ramsbottom festival.

This is part of the Big Whistle weekend at The Met and only costs £5 or £1 if you have a Big Whistle weekend ticket.

You can book on via this link.

The Met
Market St
United Kingdom

We have Been Working On Some Designs For Littleborough Rushbearing 2014

We've been gathering pace with getting folks onboard with Littleborough Rushbearing, which we're hoping takes over our Village for the 18th, 19th and 20th of July.  Ian Jackson has kindly done us some preliminary designs for signage, badges and team colours.  I think they're great, but please get in touch and let us know whta you think.

Clever Clogger and The Morris Hour And What Is Our Name?

As you may, or may not, be aware, we are starting a new clog dancing and Morris group in Littleborough.  It's all been a kind of confluence of people, ideas, and necessity.  This happy accident has come at the right time.  So now we can get up and clogging with a home team for the Rushbearing Festival in July.   Littleborough Rushbearing was traditionally lead by Rochdale Morris, but unfortunately due to a number of factors, Rochdale Morris disbanded a couple of years ago.  However, last year the very kind Thieving Magpies from Marsden, stepped up and took the weight of the festival on their shoulders.  This was a much appreciated favour, but obviously, we don't want to put on our generous neighbours, whereas it feels like a chore to them: they are a very busy group, and Marsden is at an epicentre for creative and traditional culture, with an envious calendar of events.  So, to put on the Magpies to come over the hill and take the burden of weight for our event, would seem presumptuous and unfair.  Moreover, we should have a home team, and a community of traditional culture flourishing in this beautiful pennine township.

At our initial planning meeting we had a great deal of enthusiasm, and we've got a team of cloggers, about 12 strong for now, with quite a bit of interest from some younger stompers, and Helen, who is the clog and Morris meister in these here parts  Hopefully, if we can get the word out that we need volunteers at all levels to help Rushbearing, not just run smoothly, but grow and improve.  Then, we would have an event worthy of any summer event calendar, which we have now, but I think it could be spread out all over the village, and encompass more stalls, performers, musical events and sideshows.

We've set up a Twitter account, and last night I was on in the #MorrisHour, and I have never been made to feel more welcome in any group in my life.  There wasn't a granule of sarcasm, covetousness, or dissuasion from any body, just oodles of positive encouragement, and a genuine feeling of camaraderie.  I would encourage everyone or anyone interested in Morris, Clog, or Rapper to follow the hash #MorrisHour between 7:00pm and 8:00pm on a Wednesday night.

If we could encourage that camaraderie locally, and via this website, we could not only have an even better Rushbearing festival, but also, all year round activities encompassing Folk Music, Clog and Morris Dancing, and create a vibrant community of traditional performing arts.

Finally, we are in the process of finding a name for our new team, which needs reflect the mix of generation and gender involved.  Please feel free to send any suggestions via the contact form.  Finally finally, if you've got an event, club, or regular meetup, please feel free to add it to our calendar.....

Finally finally finally, if you want to dance here, have a stall, perform, or attend, please also let us know.....

Notes from our first meeting about the Rushbearing (4th Feb)

We had a great turn out tonight and loads of enthusiasm.  Thanks everyone; it warmed the cockles of my heart to hear you all talk about how important this is to you... smiley  

Many of us are interested in getting involved creatively as musicians and / or dancers and the remainder are up for getting involved in the planning / preparation and communication about rushbearing.

We've got lots of experience and talent to build from, from communications and IT experts and experienced event planners to musicians, singers and dancers.

We've already got a group of young dancers from Wardle Academy who have choreographed a Morris Dance to the tune of the Floral Dance.  


To get started, we're going to:

- have a dance group at Littleborough Conservative Club; 7-8pm each Tuesday night - everyone welcome!  We're going to start with some clog dancing and take it from there.

- have a music session on the first Tuesday of the month (possibly extending that to weekly if there's interest.  That will start at 7pm if musicians want to play for the dancers or 8pm just for the music.

Paul will send details of the Cloggin' website and twitter round to everyone - we'll link that up with Littleborough Local and make sure we have a clear line of communication.

Helen will:

- Get cracking with the event planning process - Temporary Event Notice and Road Closure planning.  

- Make contacts with local primary schools to make sure we've got a steady supply of small dancers


We need:

- 32 cart pullers... Anyone who knows anyone who is interested in dressing up, pulling a cart and generally drinking, pass contact details on to Helen

- Stewards and support for the festival - anyone who knows anyone who would be willing to help out, let Helen know (no experience necessary; full event training will be provided)

- To agree a name for our dance side.  Steve has already come up with a corker, and we'll get a forum / poll going on the website so we can make a decision.... get your thinking caps on!



Well, Is Clog Dancing Making A Comeback?

Just over three years ago, the BBC ran a feature, and TV progarmme, asking, 'Is clog dancing making a comeback?'  Well, what do you think?  I remeber searching for my daughters: for a clog dancing club/ group/ school, and coming up with one or two, but they were just that bit too far to get to for us.  I do think there does seem to be a definate growth in the number of groups, and cloggers around the country.  More importantly, there's one starting up on our doorstep in Littleborough.  My girls are really excited, and to be honest I'm feeling a strong yearning to clunkety click my feet on the floor to the sound of a squeeze box, fiidle or whistle.  

So in my life, yea it's making a comeback.

You often hear of Morris dancing talked about with tongue in cheek, sardonic tones, on television, and in general conversation.  However, it's still here, and going strong.  Me personally, I'm not a Morris man, but I am a fanboy of this gentle celebration of the seasons: through the medium if dance.  That jingle of the Morris, a warm sunny day, and a nice pint, or five, outside a good pub, is the one of the most idyllic images of English summer life.  

It might not have the machismo of the Haka, or Capoeira, but, to me that's the point: "it doesn't matter, I'm not trying to prove anything, I'm just having a carefree good time".  It seems to encourage a happy go lucky outlook.  I think the England Rugby team should do Morris dance, or at the very least a pace egg play, in response to the All Blacks Haka at the start of a rugby match.  Morris dancing's history of a few hundred years, puts it at an age when this country led the way in colonial atrocities.  Which, thinking about, puts a different angle on the need to let your hair down, gather and dance: coping with reevers, press gangs, rough justice, poverty, disease, human trafficking and living a tough life, by doing something gentle and nice like Morris dancing.  

I also look on quite enviously at some of the Morris groups that seem to go around the country, from village to village, ale house to ale house, doing the odd gentle dance and generally having a good time.

So, in summary, Morris dancers don't need to prove anything, and we need to start a campaign to get the England rugby team to do a full Morris dance at the begriming of every rugby match, and Summer is much better with bells and beer and festivity...



Sam Sweeney plays "The Sportsman's Hornpipe" on violin, while Hannah performs this dance. Hannah explained its history can be traced to Bert Bowden, she summarised it as "a really cheeky little routine, with a daft bit at the end".

I like watching Rapper, and find it fascinating.  The music is always slightly eastern.  I'm imagining it's got something to do with Barbary Pirates, so much else does.  I'm not offering an explanation, I'm asking for someone in the know to comment below about this

Rochdale Music Service are doing some excellent work with music of all genres, however obviously, I have quite a leaning to folk, and traditional, music.  It would be great if we could get a group like That's All Folk to be involved with Littleborough Rushbearing.  Not only as the big fantastic Folk group that they are, but also in smaller ensembles, like fiddle, whistle and clog, or melodeon and fiddle.  The level of talent in that young group could entertain for hours in small performance pockets....  I'm sure there are other folk and traditional performers that would love to be involved in such an event.  

The video is from the Visitors Centre at Hollingworth Lake, where they took part in an event of Folk, Clog and Literature, which was in aid of raising food, money and awareness for the much needed Food Bank serrvice.

I love listening to them wherever they are.......