January 2020

posted 16 Jan 2020, 01:35 by Vivienne Hayes

A new year and a new line-up at Folk North West! Norman Bearon stepped back from playing, to lead the dancing as thirty-plus dancers were put through their paces in an afternoon of interesting and challenging dance. New, too, was the combination of Denise accompanied by her grand-daughter, a talented young recorder player adding an extra dimension to Denise’s excellent music; all in all a superb combination that we hope will return next season.


Our next meeting is Sunday 09 February 2020 when Denise will be re-joined by Norman to provide the music for a programme of dance presented by Trevor Monson; come along and enjoy!

There are a couple of new photos on the Photo Page - might be more to follow from Bill.

New Years Day

posted 2 Jan 2020, 05:12 by Vivienne Hayes

Happy 2020! A couple of dozen dancers and callers gathered at Samlesbury to spend the afternoon welcoming the New Year.  Half a dozen of us exercised our calling skills providing a collection of dances ranging from old-English traditional to some modern Scottish and quite a few stops in-between.


Our thanks to Roy Smith and Hoghton FDC for the use of their sound equipment.


Our next meeting is Sunday 12 January 2020 when Norman Bearon will be leading the session with music provided by Denise and Naomi; come along and enjoy the dancing.

December 2019 Dance

posted 16 Dec 2019, 02:13 by Vivienne Hayes

Forty-eight dancers chose to ignore the horrible weather and come and enjoy a challenging, mixed programme of dance provided by Hilary Herbert, drawing on her extensive collection of dances and CDs. Added to that we had something of a festive atmosphere as we also enjoyed a ‘bring and share’ buffet mid-afternoon. Thank you, Hilary, for making this afternoon fun and enjoyable, in the run up to Christmas!

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 1st January 2020, yes – New Year’s Day. Called our “New Year Start-up” it’s a chance for everyone to come along with their own CDs and call a dance or two – a mixed programme that can give less experienced callers a chance to call dances with experienced dancers to help them.

So come along and enjoy the experience, Wednesday 1st January, 2.30 till 5.30.  

November 2019 Dance

posted 11 Nov 2019, 03:20 by Vivienne Hayes

This was our second dance of the season and was well supported with 41 people attending and we had an enjoyable afternoon dancing to the music of Kendal Green - Ian and Margaret Jones with Ian calling for us as well. We had a nice variety of dances, some of them exercising our brains a lot which I am sure is good for us and some not quite as difficult.

Bob worked hard supplying a drink and biscuits to everyone before the dance started and at the interval.

Hilary Herbert will be calling at our next dance on the 8th December using CDs and so it will be good if you can bring some food along for the Jacob's Join.

October 2019 Dance

posted 1 Nov 2019, 03:13 by Vivienne Hayes

More than forty dancers welcomed Andrew Shaw to lead an excellent first session of our new season on 13 October with dances researched and presented in a style that only Andrew can do. The music for this session was provided by Denise and Norman, today with their grand-daughter Naomi making her first appearance as a FNW musician – she is a welcome addition!

Our next session is on Sunday 10 November when Ian Jones will be leading the session and, with Margaret, providing the music too. Come along, take part and enjoy!

AGM - April 2019

posted 15 Apr 2019, 04:00 by Vivienne Hayes

Our last meeting of the season saw a score of dancers helping callers, who in the main are less experienced, gain a little more practice of calling, but with dancers who are both patient and knowledgeable; half a dozen members accepted the opportunity – with a little expert help from Hilary completing the line-up. Over tea, we sat down to discuss the affairs and running of the group at our Annual General Meeting, learning that overall our membership and attendances are up and with help from Lancashire Folk our finances are, for the time being, stable. Next year’s programme is now available to see on the website and we are looking forward to another season of interesting and challenging dances. There’s just the little matter of Summer. . . .

We meet again on 13 October when Andrew Shaw will be leading our session with Denise and Norman providing the music.

March Dance

posted 28 Mar 2019, 09:26 by Vivienne Hayes

On Sunday 10 March, Jan Dale took us a walk down memory lane, reflecting on the many, many dances she’s called over the years and not only just at Folk North West. She reminded us of some of the dances she’s written, used today by callers far and wide. She reminded us of calling to 78s, then 45s, then LPs before more modern digital technology took over. She reminded us of the musicians she had called with over the years – today it was Denise and Norman Bearon providing an excellent accompaniment to her calls.  This was Jan’s last Sunday calling at Folk North West and as she celebrates her Diamond Anniversary with John and looks forward to a quieter life.

Sue Stapledon

On a far more sombre note, we are saddened to hear of the death of Sue Stapledon.

In the days of the Folk North West display team Sue, as part of the West Kirby Band, was an important part of the set-up and always reliable - as well as being a very fine fiddle and concertina player. As Folk North West morphed into the Sunday afternoon practice club we now know, Sue was THE musician, with help from a variety of others.

She had been ill for some years and had been in hospital since well before Christmas. She was discharged a few weeks ago into a nursing home but deteriorated during that time and had to be rushed back into hospital where she died in the early hours of March 27; she was aged just 58.

Our sincere condolences go to her whole family at this sad time.

February Dance

posted 12 Feb 2019, 02:11 by Vivienne Hayes

Just what is a Dolphin Loop? And Pothooks aren’t that common either! Trevor Monson used both these unusual moves in his Folk North West workshop yesterday afternoon, to the delight of over forty dancers. With excellent (but very patient) music from Ian and Margaret Jones we had three hours of challenging but thoroughly enjoyable dancing. Some of the dances were little known, old but rarely seeing the light of day; at least one was on its first time out – newly written and needing testing! This is what Folk North West is about – workshops for the improvement of dancing, dancers and callers, and that’s what we saw yesterday.

Next month we welcome Jan Dale to our workshop with music provided by Norman and Denise Bearon; sadly this will be Jan’s last time calling for us so come along, welcome her and give her a happy retirement send off! Sunday 10 March 2019 at 2.30pm at Samlesbury Memorial Hall.

January Dance

posted 16 Jan 2019, 01:40 by Vivienne Hayes

What better way to spend a cold and wet Sunday afternoon than dance away the winter blues? Nearly forty of us decided to do just that at the Folk North West January meeting. Ian and Margaret Jones (Kendal Green) provided the music and Ian called a variety of interesting and, at times, quite challenging dances. What inspires a dance? Flowers, famous buildings, even the journey to work through the Cheshire countryside – we had them all this afternoon and we now look forward to next month when Trevor Monson will be calling and Ian and Margaret will again provide the music. Come and join us!

November Dance

posted 4 Dec 2018, 06:31 by Vivienne Hayes

Thirty or so dancers braved the bitter cold to come to Samlesbury to enjoy a challenging afternoon of dance lead by Hilary Herbert. As well as some of her own dances, Hilary used dances old and new from elsewhere, to give us a varied programme full of fun but also full of thought – some dances are not at all easy and Ian and Margaret Jones, who provided the excellent music, at times needed the patience of Job! Hilary returns next month to call at our pre-Christmas get together, this time drawing on her collection of CDs to provide the music. We’re having a Jacob’s Join party, as well as more challenging dancing. Come along and enjoy!

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