Letters from Walter

A news item from Les Ray, our Cambridgeshire correspondent.

Letters from Walter is a song by Cambridge-based folk/blues band Red Velvet about a young man’s personal experience of WW1. It was written by Les Ray based on the letters sent by Walter Mabbutt of Titchmarsh, Northants to his sister Edith, Les’ grandmother, between June and late September 1918. Walter was a soldier in the Norfolk Regiment who was killed in the Battle of the Selle in Picardy, France on 22nd October 1918, aged just 19. This CD single is being released on the centenary of Walter’s death.

The proceeds from sales of the CD (£5 per CD) will go to support the valuable work of the Riders Branch, Royal British Legion. You can buy the CD for £6.10 including P&P through the website of Red Velvet’s label Clunk and Rattle: http://www.clunkandrattle.com/ Vocals, guitar, banjo - Les Ray Harmonica - George Harper Letter from Lance Corporal W.L. Mandeville read by - Deirdre Murphy Recorded, mixed mastered and produced by Dan Wilde, Gladeside Recordings, Bar Hill, Cambs. Design Bob Whitebeard Luck www.whitebeardarts.co.uk  www.redvelvetfolk.co.uk



Phil Beer at The Canopy Theatre Beccles

Folk Legend Phil Beer is coming to north Suffolk

Phil Beer will be bringing his acclaimed solo show to the Canopy Theatre
in Hungate Church Beccles on 8th February 2019


Read more: Phil Beer at The Canopy Theatre Beccles

Earache - 2018 November


Earache - for those with their finger on the pulse

It's been some time since we last broke radio silence so will have to just skip over some of the events that we have attended.

•  A newcomer on the scene  - or should we say an old favourite returned -  in Suffolk is the Thursday afternoon fortnightly session at the Low House at Laxfield. Still the same layout with ancient furniture. Contact Brian Cohen for details This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and while you are at it you could ask him about the regular Monday sessions at Blaxhall Ship. It's all good fun with Stanley playing the melodeon. Sometimes he's like a horse that has bolted and you can't stop him.

•  We were at the Crab and Winkle in Framlingham last Saturday where besides Andrew and David's Singing Postman renditions, Lily Stannard and her daughter Victoria played the piano. When they teamed up with Philippa Dent on the whistle they really came out of their shells. Victoria plays a pretty mean flute, throw in Zena on the piano accordion and Gerry blasting away on his saxophone and you've almost got a complete orchestra. (Last Saturday of the month about 7.30 corner of Brick Lane Framlingham. No guitars)

•  It's not often that a C.E.O. Of a company plans their succession but that is what Roger and Patsy are doing at Wolferton. Recently they have instituted a rotating roster of m.c.'s Not that they've given up, Oh No they'll take their turn and it's amazing how incognito Roger is without his cap, but put it on and that familiar basilisk stare appears at the same time. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. will give you the details and get you on the mailing list.

•  There is also the small matter of their monthly session at the social club at Flitcham. On these occasions the artists get the chance to do about 20 minutes. The trick is to produce a rounded programme so if you think you're made of the right stuff get in touch with Roger. Roger Gamble was on the roster last time and went down a storm. No surprise there, but if you want to shoot for the stars go for it.

•  There is a similar event at the Fisher theatre at Bungay once a month in the cellar. Elizabeth and Steve are the main cogs in the wheel, and there is relaxed attitude as to what may be played. A small p.a. Is available If required. Again it's one of those moments when you get the opportunity to stretch your talents. At the moment they're running on the third Wednesdays but buzz the theatre for details.

•  The Flying Folk – The last session at the Lurcher at Colton was a stonker, you could see the landlord's eyes whirring over like a fruit machine. A truly amazing attendance and quality of singers. Rob and Julie from Dereham, Gemma from Cromer, The Griffiths from Winterton. Add to that Poacher , the Webbers, old uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all. All hail Geoffrey!! Here's the next one:- Frettenham Rose and Crown, NR12 7NJ  17th November

•  We've picked the bones out of Adrian Tebbutt's list below and hopefully we will see you all at the Gin Trap next Tuesday
The usual session and gig list follows (e&oe), but if you have any gigs for your bands to add in future let me know (preferably before this goes out!)

Sessions and clubs
•  The Kings Head, North Elmham - (1st Sunday)
•  The King’s Arms, Shouldham 7.30pm (Third Sunday)
•  Weybourne Folk Club, The Maltings, Weybourne - (3rd Sunday, 3.00pm – 6.00pm)
•  Blakeney Harbour Rooms Folk Club (2nd Sunday, 3-6) Blakeney Folk Club, Harbour Rooms, Blakeney - (last Sunday 7.30)
•  The Gin Trap, Ringstead (First Tuesday) 7.45 but not August and September)
•  Hempton Bell, Hempton, Fakenham - 8.00pm (second Tuesday) The White Hart, Foulden 7.45pm (second Tuesday)
•  The Red Cat, North Wootton 7.45pm (fourth Tuesday)
•  The Angel Swanton Morley 8.30 (Good Sandwiches ) (1st Wednesday)
•  The Red Cat, North Wootton - 8.00pm tunes session (3rd Wednesday)
•  Sheringham Folk Club, Tyneside Club near Railway Stn (second Wednesday)
•  The Old Bookshop, Downham Market - (third Wednesday) Concerts organised by Nico Dobben. Don’t have the current list available.
•  The Kings Head, North Lopham (second Thursday)
•  The Wildfowler, King’s Lynn Open Mic night - don’t know much about this one....but seems to be starting Thursday 6th July. Wolf Folk Club, Wolferton - every two weeks..... check the
    Folkspot listings below
•  Songwriters and Poets in the Stable Bar at The Crown, Downham Market, - (last Friday)
•  The Limes, Fakenham (EVERY Wednesday) Singaround session

•  West Norfolk Radio has two live shows a month nowadays in order to be able play all the great


All we have time for at the moment but we are back in the groove so will be updating shortly.      Pip Pip

Mardles Reviews and Reviewers

Just a quick note to thank three people who have recently agreed to review CDs, books, events etc. for the website: George Monger, Bill Johnston, Colin Hynson.  They join Mary Humphreys, Mike Rudge and Les Ray. We do not have hundreds of items to review, so the burden will never be too onerous.

I have been asked about house styles and our policies regarding reviews. Here are some guidelines:

•  There is no specific house style.

•  There are no deadlines: unlike print publications, we do not have to meet certain dates

•  There is no minimum or maximum review. We are not space-limited. Current reviews are very varied in length.

•  All reviews should be positive or neutral - never negative. Reviewers may of course refuse to review something they think is awful.

•  The editor has the right to edit reviews that are submitted, but only the language not the meaning.

Simon Haines

40th Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival January 2019

Information from Brian Kell

This internationally acclaimed event begins on Thursday 17 January 2019 with presentations  in all schools within our Town. Public events are as follows:-

Friday 18 January
Concert in the Ivy Leaf Club featuring Jack Rutter, Ursula Holden Gill and Keith Donnelly. Tickets are 10-00.

Saturday 19 January
Procession around town featuring lots of dance teams and of course the Straw Bear himself. In order to help us celebrate our 40th year, the 4 local primary schools, namely Alderman Jacobs, Coates, Park lane and New Road will be joining us in the morning procession from the Manor Leisure Centre to the Library. Each school will choose 5 pupils (selection process will be devised by the teachers) then, following our historic decorated plough, each pupil will carry 2 small hand made straw bears  made by Peter Williams with year plates representing the 40 years 1980 to 2019. (Parents and teachers, cameras at the ready) Following the festival, the schools will be taking their little bears back with them to put on display for the other school children. The local photographer Chris Brudenell has kindly agreed to donate his services to produce a framed photographic record of all the children together. Following production, these will be presented to each school later in the year.  Our thanks go to Chris for this kind offer. We all look forward to seeing this unique procession and we encourage all spectators to give the children a big cheer as they pass. The festival will also feature free presentations in Methodist/ United Reformed Church, Queen Street, Story Telling with Carl Merry and in the Town Hall,  Market Street, Poets United and acoustic songs by Gregg Russell.
The now traditional Barn Dance at Sir Harry Smith Community College will feature Simon Care’s band Banter. (Tickets £12-00).

Sunday 20 January
The Grand Finale is again at Sir Harry Smith Community College, 12 till 2-30. Another free event.

For further information visit www.strawbear.org.uk box office 07857 357 970 (answer phone).