Folk Association of South Hants




The current situation with respect to coronavirus Covid-19 has led to vitually all folk clubs and folk dance clubs closing, at least for the time being. Based on how we see the present situation on 'distancing' changing, coupled with how quickly we anticipate people returning to public events when this does ease, we have decided to cancel the dance workshop on October 11th. A decision on the workshops in November and December will be made later in the year.



There have been major changes in the government recommendations to reduce the spread of coronavirus Covid-19 since this page was last updated. In light of the announcements on 16th March, most, if not all, folk clubs and folk dance clubs have reviewed their policies and decided to close, at least until June and probably for longer. Several, we have not yet heard whether or not all, of the Morris and other local display teams are no longer practising and it seems likely that few danceouts at pubs will take place early in what is often referred to as the "Morris Season" when it begins in May. (Update July 14 - at present we cannot see any dancing taking place until the end of September at the earliest. Until 'distancing' requirements are lifted, virtually no 'team' dancing, Morris or Folk in general, is really possible.)

However, this is the age of electronic communication, and several organisations are working to keep folk music going in the present situation of physical isolation/separation. (I do query the choice of the term "social" isolation/distancing; in this age of vitually instantaneous communication, it is quite difficult to become truly socially isolated. Most of us can keep in contact with friends via e-mail, the many messaging applications such as FaceBook and Whatsapp, even the telephone if you do not use a computers or smartphone.)

So... for a "virtual folk festival", check out this site Charlie Murray of The Yellow Cafe wrote "On behalf of our patrons Maddy Prior MBE and Ashley Hutchings MBE we would like to introduce you to 'Folks At Home', the world's first online folk festival featuring exclusive video footage of 25 of Britain's top folk acts plus workshops, tutorials, interviews, merchandise and market stalls.
Our headliners are Steeleye Span, Fotheringay, Ashley Hutchings Morris On and Feast of Fiddles."

People are becoming more imaginative and coming up with more and more ways to share folk music, even to the point of barn dances/ceilidhs. Check out our Facebook page to see what clubs and individuals are doing to keep our music alive and well. We were sent This Link, which while including a stop motion of Lego men dancing 'Balance the Straw', showed how 8 Morris men and their musician effectively performed 'Shepherd's Hey' on May Day morning while observing plenty of 'social distancing'. You can find a longer video, including music and song clips, of one of our local sides, Wickham Morris, dancing (individually but together) at dawn on 1st May, the whole compilation put together, I believe, by FASH's membership secretary. Have a look at their Facebook page to see what can be done with a little preparation.

Focsle Music are getting together via 'virtual meetings' using the program Zoom. Their website expains how to link into it but you will need to e-mail Paul Clarke for a password well before the next meeting.

Forest Folk are holding 'virtual singarounds' using YouTube videos that members are sending in. See their website and their facebook page for links to these videos.

Woolston and Bursledon Folk club are now meeting regularly on Sundays via Zoom, contact Sam and Sandy if you would like to join in. See their website for more details.

Other clubs may be looking at similar ways of getting together, but I have not yet heard about them. Check your local club's website to see what they might be doing. Also have a look at the 'FASH Chat' of the June "issue" of 'Solent Waves' where you will find more details of on-line activities.


Maypole dancing never used to be something you only saw children doing, and anyone living within striking distance of Alton now has a chance to try it themselves. Poppy Bastin is starting a group in Alton to explore the patterns that can be generated on the Maypole, and looking at suitable music, perhaps even expanding a bit on the traditional skip step. Have a look at her website at or give her a call on 07749 973310. The first session will be Thursday 27th February at Wooteys Junior School, Wooteys Way, Alton, GU34 2JA. No partner needed, just come along! Check the website to see when the club will reopen.


Please note that from 16th January, the Wimborne Folk Club will be meeting in the Cafe@Allendale Centre, Wimborne, BH21 1AS.

Before the move was announced, Peter Green wrote, "In the folk world Wimborne is best known for its three day Folk Festival every June, but there is a mini folk festival every Thursday at the Horns Inn at Colehill, just outside the town. This free event attracts many local, and not so local, performers to an evening of an eclectic mix of folk and acoustic music. Over this last summer over seventy different acts have performed from the point of the L-shaped room. These include well known performers like The Polly Morris Band, Paul Openshaw, The Warwick Slade Collective, John Meriton and No Direction, to name but a few.
The Wimborne Folk Club has been running weekly since 1978, and still includes founder members, so it must be doing something right. Why not come along to see for yourselves but come early if you want to have a spot, or even a meal before hand. Every one is welcome. They even admit banjos." (But not at the moment. Check their website for news on when they will reopen).


Please note FOCSLE Music will run weekly from January 8th , except for first Wednesdays (when Sam's Session happens in the same place). If these weekly sessions are well supported, they will continue, otherwise, the club will return to its twice monthly program. Focsle music has cancelled all sessions and concerts until further notice.


There is a huge range of events taking place at Halsway Manor, near Crowcombe, Somerset. For more information, visit Their 'What's on' page allows you to search for particular dates and also select specific types of event. There are many different and flexible possibilities regarding accommodation, so their website is well worth a visit. Not surprisingly, Halsway Manor is also closed; they anticipate re-opening the office on September 1st, and hope to resume courses and events as soon as possible after that.


The English Folk Dance and Song Society, EFDSS, has its full programme on-line now. Many song and dance workshops are included. See and go to their 'What's on' page, or use this link to find out what is taking place in the coming months and to book tickets.


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