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

Tribute to the late Chris Morley from Tony Hall

Firstly, I’d like to pass on my sympathies to Karen, Chris’ partner, for her sad loss, and I feel I must write a tribute to Chris for his contribution to traditional music in the East. Chris, to my mind, was an unsung hero of the above, for various reasons. Going back in time - and I’m a bit vague about dates - and mainly in the late ‘60s, I was a regular at the King’s Head folk club in Islington, a wonderful trad. club run by Rod and Danny Stradling. This club was a magnet for folkies, and it was there I met Chris and his then wife Jenny.

Read more: Tribute to the late Chris Morley from Tony Hall

On-Line Folk Concerts and Virtual Sessions

Due to the on-going Corona virus situation,  a huge number of Folk Concerts and Festivals have unfortunately had to be cancelled resulting in a huge loss of income for musicians and performers. Many are finding innovative ways of taking their music on-line. Some of these are ticketed, some are free and some invite donations.


**  A new table in Whats On Special Events now lists online Events  **  All future online events will be listed there **


Here are some of them:-

Doug Eunson and Sarah Matthews Duo Friday 29th May

Kitchen Ceilidh with Caller Martyn Harvey Hosted by Folk Weekend Oxford. Details HERE


Miranda Sykes Saturday 23rd May

FaceBook live Concert details HERE


Jackie Oates Friday 22nd May 8.00pm

Hosted by Downend Folk Club. Details HERE


Richard Digance Sunday 17th May 8pm

Richard Digance Sunday Funday Concert live show on his Facebook page  HERE  Free (donations invited for local charity)

Royal Albert Hall: Sunday 10th May 7.30pm

Legendary British singer-songwriter Richard Thompson will deliver an exclusive set from his home as part of the Royal Albert Home sessions.

Free broadcast, details HERE. Donations invited to support the Royal Albert Hall


The Waveney Valley Folk Collective 

See their FaceBook page HERE for Lockdown sessions.

Thursday 7th May 8.15pm with Ralph Barnett, Elsi, Bernie Baines, Daniel Nestlerode


Folk Off The Pier:  8th May 14.30 to 10th May 21.30

The Folk Off The Pier Fringe Festival. A weekends worth of live watch parties. videos & links of musicians past , present and future.

See their FaceBook page HERE for details


The CCC Festival: Sat 9th - Sun 10th May

Blair Dunlop * Calan-ish * Dan Walsh * David Delarre * Edgelarks * Edwina Hayes * Ellie Gowers * Findlay Napier *  Graham MacKenzie * Harry Endersby * Honey & The Bear * Jamie Francis * The Jellyman's Daughter * Jenn Butterworth * Jon Doran * Josh Wunderlich * Josie Duncan * Katherine Priddy * Katie MacFarlane & Pablo Lafuente * Lucas Drinkwater * Luka Jackson * Maz O'Connor * Minnie Birch * Paul McKenna

Watch live on FaceBook (@ciaranalgarmusic) or YouTube (search Ciaran Algar) 

Tickets / Donations to Eventbrite HERE  - All proceeds split between the Artists


An Evening with Faustus: Friday 15th May 20.00 - 21.30pm

Join Benji, Paul and Saul live from ther homes, hosted by Jon Wilks. Live performances from each band member, interviews, chat, audience Q & A and more. The event will be accessible for all via the Good Honest Music FaceBook page. See their page HERE. 


Folk on Foot Front Room Festival  - Easter Bank Holiday Monday 13th April from 2pm for over six hours of unique music. 
Donations welcomed

"Half the money we raise will go to the charity Help Musicians UK – which supports  musicians undergoing financial hardship – and the other half will be divided equally between the artists who take part in the Festival. Music is hugely important in lifting our spirits and salving our souls in these troubling
times, so please make a donation to support the talented people who make it."

Folks at Home 

25 Acts - 100 musicians
27 hours of film footage plus market stalls, guitar workshop, merchandise and interviews
The gates are now open in case you haven't yet checked in
Buy your ticket now for just £25 and it's all there for you. Watch as many times as you like.
Enjoy our music and keep safe and well


Folk Weekend Oxford 17th-19th April

Ticketed events via Zoom (priced much less than a normal concert)
Free events via Facebook
Virtual sessions


John Spiers is doing "Isolation Pub Sessions" in his shed


Simon Care - Simon Care's Musical Jukebox.

"I've had a lot of people messaging asking where they can donate etc ... I am incredibly touched by your offers of generosity. I have decided that i am going to try to do 2 live shows a week on Sunday and Wednesday evenings at 6.30 -7.30pm, and I am going to introduce a tip jar for those kind souls that wish to donate. However, as i have already stated, luckily i am in a fortunate position financially at the moment, so at the end of each month I will donate what ever I collect to someone less fortunate than myself. I will continue this for as long as possible, or until i become that less fortunate person. I hope that is ok. See you on wednesday night. Please keep sending your requests of Morris/English ceilidh tunes. Stay safe."

Keep an eye on his FaceBook page HERE  Donations can be made HERE 


Please keep an eye on Mardles Facebook page as some Artistes are putting details of virtual events direct on there

If you can manage it, please consider buying a CD direct from your favourite artistes website. This will help to support them through this difficult time. Buying direct results in more going to the artiste as streaming websites pay a very small amount per play. 


Finally, If you know of any virtual events that could be listed here, please send details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Dave Cooper 1939 – 2020

Received from Peter Twitchett

The passing of Dave Cooper marked the end of an era in the world of Folk Music, I first knew him in 1967 when he was running the “Phoebus Awakes” Folk Club in Catford, South London.  There are many stories, some of which he shared himself, that can be told about Dave.  He travelled the world in his early days, ran radio stations and encouraged folk music wherever he found it from the Albert Hall to the village pub. Below is a YouTubeof Dave singing at the Steamboat Folk Festival 2011



I wrote this song for him as a birthday present on a notable birthday.  It says it all really!


As I was a-walking down Thetford one day,
I spied young Dave Cooper all on the highway.
He said, “Come to a folk club.” I said, “Righty-Ho!”
And off to the Brewers we boldly did go.

     Sing it here, sing it there
     Of his love of folk music we’ve all had a share!

In South London, in Catford, I’ll tell you the truth,
In his folk club the choruses lifted the roof.
He booked world famous guests, but you all know the tale.
So over Paul Simon we’ll draw a quiet veil.

Then in fair Nottinghamshire Dave ran a new club.
It was a success for the olde worlde pub,
Though the floor was a little insecure, so it’s said;
And you mustn’t sit under the old moose’s head!

The tales of his cars are varied and true.
It would take far too long to recount them to you!
But we all remember the one we like best!
Don’t borrow his car if you’re passing your test!

In his youth our brave hero he travelled the world.
His love of folk music to all he’d unfurl.
From East Europe and Italy tales he can tell
And stories from other strange places as well.

And now in East Anglia his songs they ring out.
From Cromer to Colchester and all round about.
With the sessions, the radio and Gallery Quire,
This is the Dave Cooper we love and admire!

     Sing it here, sing it there
    Of his love of folk music we’ve all had a share!

Set to the tune of Vilikins & his Dinah