Shirley Collins’ 80th Birthday

The EFDSS are celebrating Shirley Collins’ 80th on Saturday 31 October at Cecil Sharp House

The grand dame of folk music, Shirley Collins celebrates her 80th birthday and the launch of her new book at Cecil Sharp House.

The event will feature exclusive readings from Shirley’s forthcoming book By the Lines of his Hand, as well as world-premiere previews of The Ballad of Shirley Collins, a forthcoming documentary partly inspired by her 2005 book, America Over the Water.

President of EFDSS since 2008, Shirley first became involved in the folk music scene in the early 1950s meeting the likes of Bob Copper, Ewan McColl and Bert Lloyd.

Collaborating with a variety of artists including her sister Dolly and Davy Graham, Shirley released a number of albums through the 1960s and 1970s including Anthems in Eden(1969) with Dolly and Early English musician David Munrow, which is considered by many to be her seminal album. During the 1970s she was a member of The Albion Band and the Etchingham Steam Band before retiring from singing.

4-6pm Shirley presents extracts from her new book, By the Lines of his Hand
7.30pm Concert and film extracts
Artists include
  • Shirley Collins
  • Billy Bragg
  • Martin Wyndham Read
  • Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker
  • The Askew Sisters
  • Jackie Oates

You can get more information from Cecil Sharp House.

The Askew Sisters win Best Traditional Album Award


The Askew Sisters have just won The Best Traditional Album Award  from Spiral Earth for their latest album ‘In The Air Or The Earth’

Spiral Earth say “These are the albums and artists that have stood out to us over the previous year. Awards can be tricky things to get right, we just boil it down to the albums we would grab if the house was on fire, the gigs that really blew us away and the artists that excited us about the music in new ways. The winners are all decided by public votes”

Needless to say, Emily and Hazel are delighted to win this prestigious award, and we are really looking forward to seeing them at the festival in July.

Belshazzar’s Feast coming to Arnside


Here at Arnside Highlights, we are looking to welcoming Paul Sartin and Paul Hutchinson as Belshazzar’s Feast on the 17th May.

Arnside Educational Institute, Church Hill, Arnside, LA5 0DF on Sunday 17th May. Doors at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

Belshazzar’s Feast start with traditional folk music, add a touch of classical and jazz, throw in a bit of pop and music hall, and top it off with wry humour for a unique live experience.

Paul Sartin, singer, oboist, violinist, composer and arranger, performs and records extensively with Bellowhead, Belshazzar’s Feast and Faustus.

Paul Hutchinson is well known from his work with Hoover the Dog, Karen Tweed and the Playford Liberation Front. He is a superlative accordion player with a unique style.

Together “they can do things with a squeeze-box and an oboe that can break your heart.” Independent on Sunday

Amidst the jesting and hilarity, they sit as fine an example of traditional English folk music as you’re likely to hear.’

Bright Young Folk, April 2014

Harmonious live hilarity and  serious musicianship, communicated with enthusiasm and wicked intelligence.’
Froots, May 2014

Duo known for their sense of humour as well their impressive musicianship


Tickets: £13 (payable in advance for this show please – cash or cheque payable to “Arnside Highlights”) from Sue Hayward (  or Sue/John Gibbs Tel: 01524 762460.

Dance sides coming to this year’s festival

boggarts breakfast

Boggart’s Breakfast are a mixed border morris team based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.


Belfagan is a morris side for women based in the western Lake District. They dance in the north-west clog tradition with traditional dances from around the north-west of England and some new dances created by the side. Many onlookers comment favourably on the dresses. They are based on an updated version of a mill-girl’s dress style from the 18th century. The dances have historical links to this era and workplace.


Legs Levens are an Appalachian clog dancing team based in Levens. They are accompanied by the Limestone Cowboys.

thieving magpie 1

Thieving Magpie are a mixed border morris side who like dancing, waving big sticks about and yelling. They sing as well. They were formed in 2006 and their motto is “No hankies or flowers. Leave nowt but blood, wood and feathers.”

Furness Morris

Furness Morris our local morris side. They are Cumbria’s longest established side. They dance a wide variety of Cotswold Morris traditions, some Border Morris, Longsword, and their very own Ulverston North-West Morris dance.