Obituary: Dave Benford of The Cambridge Crofters

Dave Benford — Musician, Entertainer, Artist in oils and pastels, Actor, Entrepreneur, Family man - husband, dad, grandad, great grandad - as well as the electronics day jobs and running his own business!

Dave, together with Andrew Kendon, formed the Crofters Folk Club - named after where Dave lived - The Croft - in 1964,  and by 1967 the Cambridge Crofters folk group had been started, first as a singing group, then as a ceilidh band. Dave’s energy, vision and organising ability were driving forces behind the group for over 50 years.

crofters2The Cambridge Crofters outside the Portland Arms, Cambridge: Left to Right: Andrew Kendon, Dave Benford, Richard Brading

Read more: Obituary: Dave Benford of The Cambridge Crofters

Morning Tide, Tony Hall, from Threescore

Making WavesWe have been sent a recording of the song Morning Tide which was written by Norfolk melodeon
maestro Tony Hall and recorded by the band Threescore on their most recent CD.

The song was written in the context of the Falklands War (1982) so is appropriate at this time of
annual remembrance.



                                Morning Tide - Tony Hall

Morning tide 2 

Two Bold Singermen

Two Bold Singermen and the English Folk Revival

The Lives, Song Traditions and Legacies of Sam Larner and Harry Cox,

by Bruce Lindsay, pubished Equinox

£25 from publisher 

Scan 2020 11 12 10.05.44  Scan 2020 11 12 10.05.44 1

I have been sent a review copy of this book and am currently reading it. A review will follow.  Simon Haines




Press release from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

MAGIC!! - Received this Press release from BBC Cambridgeshire - 21 July

BBC Press Release

Folk returns to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire with weekend of music

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s weekly folk show is set to return - and it will kick off with a special weekend of music as part of the Cambridge Folk Festival At Home.

Sue Marchant’s popular show has been off air for the past three months after the station moved to a simplified schedule to better report the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting August 9, Sue’s show will return to the airwaves every Sunday from 7 to 10pm.

And the weekend before (Thursday, July 30, to Sunday, August 2) the station will feature a series of special shows during what would have been the Cambridge Folk Festival.

Over nine hours of special programmes, Sue will chat to some of the country’s biggest folk acts, with exclusive pre-recorded sessions and interviews. Acts appearing at the Cambridge Folk Festival At Home, include Seth Lakeman, Le Vent du Nord, Brian McNeill, O’Hooley & Tidow, The Chair, Maddie Morris and many more.

Sue said: “Like everyone who has loved and attended this Cambridgeshire tradition over many years, I’m disappointed that we can’t all be together at Cherry Hinton Hall. I hope that this opportunity to enjoy the artists who were invited to appear live, will be a consolation for festival goers and those who just enjoy great music.

“I know loads of people have missed BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s weekly folk show and I can’t wait to get back presenting it!”

David Harvey, Editor at BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, said: “Folk is a huge part of Cambridgeshire’s heritage and music scene and I’m delighted that we’re now in a position to bring back the folk show on Sunday nights.

“And what better way to kick it off than with Cambridge Folk Festival At Home?”

Cllr Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities at Cambridge City Council, which organises the annual folk festival, added: “The Folk Festival has been a highlight of Cambridge’s summer calendar every year since 1965.

“It's certainly been a highlight of my summer for years. I know fellow folkies from Cambridge and much further afield will be missing the chance to be there in person at Cherry Hinton Hall. So I'm delighted the Cambridge Folk Festival at home and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire are planning to give us a weekend of great music, and I'm looking forward to hearing old favourites and discovering new ones.”

The special Cambridge Folk Festival At Home shows can be heard at 8 to 10pm on Thursday, July 30; 8 to 10pm on Friday, July 31; 4 to 6pm on Saturday, August 1, and 7 to 10pm on, Sunday, August 2. 

You can listen on online, on DAB, on the BBC Sounds app and on 95.7 to 96FM.




The Mardles Steering group sent the following email to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on July 20 (not including the photo of course)

BBC Cambs 

Dear David Harvey,

We understand that BBC Radio Cambridgeshire is planning to cut folk music from its programming from the end of this month. For many years now, your station and the excellent Sue Marchant and Nicky Stockman have supported folk music in East Anglia, a lone voice after the demise of folk shows on BBC Radio Essex and BBC Radio Suffolk. 

At the same time as this, live folk music has thrived in pubs, clubs and festivals throughout East Anglia. In recent years, the long-established and successful Cambridge Folk Festival has been joined by the wonderful Folk East Festival in Suffolk as well as a host of more modest events celebrating the especially rich traditional folk music, song, dance and customs found in East Anglia. To date your radio station's folk team has done a valuable community job in publicising many of these events. Sue Marchant herself has been involved with and given significant promotion to Ely Folk Festival, Cromer’s Folk On The Pier, Sheringham’s Potties Festival and the nascent Aylsham Festival.

In view of this, we would have hoped that the folk music content of local radio would have expanded rather than declined, especially in view of the gradual shrinking of the provision of folk music on BBC Radio 2. We recognize that folk music is a minority interest and that cutting it from your programming may enable you to play more popular mainstream music even though this genre is already well served by BBC and other national and local radio stations and online. In our experience a significant number of people of all ages still come across folk music for the first time on broadcast radio. Many can’t believe how varied our music is as  the variety of 21st century folk music extends well beyond the hackneyed stereotypes. is an organization which promotes folk music and dance across the counties of East Anglia. A visit to our website will show you a wide range of activities related to our music. In addition to promoting live events, we have consistently drawn attention to folk music on local and national radio. 

In view of the above, we would urge you to reconsider your decision to cut folk music from your station’s programming.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Evans. Brian Gaudet, Simon Haines, Val Haines, John Heaser, Sue Lawrence, Jill Parson, Mike Rudge, Peter Rushmer, Dawn Wakefield

The steering group