Wiltshire Folk Arts
Wiltshire Folk Arts
19 Whistley Road, Potterne, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 5QY
email: info@wiltshirefolkarts .org.uk
Office: 01380 726597
Bob : 07714 550990
Wiltshire Folk Arts has sprung from Wiltshire Traditions, a small organisation based in Potterne, whose original idea was to concentrate on the collection of traditional songs, music, customs and traditions in Wiltshire. But after discussion it was decided that Wiltshire needed a much more comprehensive organisation in order to promote the music and traditions that we love so much.
There have been and still are some county organisations namely the now defunct district committee of the English Folk Dance and Song Society and after that the Wiltshire Folk Association. The wfa is still in existence and provides a lot of up to date information about folk in Wiltshire. However, we now feel that Wiltshire needs an organisation with a wider spectrum of folk related interests to encourage, empower and excite people about the thriving folk arts & traditions of the county and beyond.
This is where Wiltshire Folk Arts comes in.
Wiltshire is a county rich in ancient history with national monuments seemingly around every corner. Stonehenge, Avebury, the famous White Horses and more. Much of this bounteous heritage has been thoroughly documented and researched in many other places by all manner of people. These range from the budding amateur to the most eminent historians, archaeologists and folklorists.
However, what hasn't been widely documented is the one common link between all of the people of Wiltshire's past - their music. By music we mean their everyday music, predominantly rural and rustic in form, and generally sung or played by musicians with no formal knowledge of the art form as we know it today. This generally was a music that they learned at their parent’s knee, at the inn or even as a part of their everyday work.
The period that Wiltshire Folk Arts will draw it's ideas and projects from covers the period of the past 200 years. We hope that, through Wiltshire Folk Arts, we will extend and preserve that rural tradition throughout the whole county, and beyond, to let the whole world know about Wiltshire’s musical heritage.
We will link with other organisations that have similar aims, be a centrally recognisable body in the search for old songs and customs and act a valuable resource centre for the many interested parties looking for a link to their past through our county's traditional folk music.
The main thrust of Wiltshire Folk Arts comes from Bob & Gill Berry who have been living in Wiltshire, at various times for over 50 years. Since moving to central Wiltshire permanently in 1987, they have run a folk club in Potterne and Devizes. They have, since 1989, been part of the team of the internationally renowned Chippenham Folk Festival and have performed, as a duo and with their group Tinkers Bag, to audiences throughout the county and beyond.
(Photo Courtesy of Bob Naylor.
Working with other organisations and people is going to be an essential part of what we do. We hope to link up and work with other folk arts organisations throughout the country with similar aims, Festivals and promoters, County, District, Town and Parish Councils, Educational establishments, Schools and Colleges, Youth groups, the County Health Authorities, U3A, elderly clubs and societies, the many volunteer groups and organisations of Wiltshire.
Clearly, this is a big project, but one that we are enjoying doing. If you or anyone you know needs further information about what we do, or are going to do, we’d love to hear from you.
Please contact us with any suggestions, links, information, collections, old songs and interested people and organisations. We will make space for news items, what's ons, clubs, artists and anything at all to do with traditional music, dance and song.
Essentially, if you are interested in Wiltshire's rural musical heritage, then this is your site.
To preserve the rural music traditions ...
To promote and support folk activity throughout Wiltshire...
The main thrust of Wiltshire Folk Arts comes from Bob & Gill Berry ...
Working with other organisations and people ...
Clearly, this is going to be a big project ...