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January 2004 - Newsletter 75

At the time of writing I still have Christmas Carols ringing in my ears. We have had some wonderful concerts. The singing from our audiences has a touch of ‘Last Night of the Proms’ about it. Absolutely brilliant. The two nights in Sherborne were both sell-outs and our guest, Fred Wedlock, got well and truly stuck in to the proceedings. If you wish to see his outrageous performance as ‘The King of Egypt’s Daughter’ in our Mummers Play then you need to get tickets for Winterbourne Arts Centre on the 5th of February.

On-Line Shop
This has proved a very successful venture. It appears there are a lot of people out there browsing the web who thought The Yetties went to that Singaround in the sky many years ago and then they trip over our shop packed with CDs etc. It’s certainly a very easy way to purchase your goods if you have the technology. There’s no messing about with cheques, postage etc. Tis all done in the blink of an eye. I’ve absolutely no idea how it works, but work it does.

On a somewhat similar theme as the last piece, people wondering if we still exist etc. Carlton TV came to Sherborne and filmed a song and an interview in December for a programme called ‘Where Are They Now’. I must admit that when they first rang up and mentioned the title I was a little put out but TV is TV and I must say, when it came to the event, the crew was very easy to work with. We had even done a programme with one of them about 30 years ago back in the days of Westward in Plymouth. The series starts on the afternoon of Monday 26th January. When our piece goes out I have no idea at the moment. It’s a case of looking in the Radio Times, but I will, of course, put the information on the web site as soon as I get the details.

A Bit of a Bumble
This delightful 96 page book is for those who wish learn to speak Dorset English, which of course, is English as it should be spoken. The author, Alan Chedzoy, has done us the honour of dedicating the book to The Yetties. Alan has also written a very enjoyable and informative biography of William Barnes and is a superb performer of his poems, so he knows what he’s talking about. If you get the chance to see one of his poetry readings you should grab it. A Bit of a Bumble also has some great cartoons by Richard Scollins. They take a look at British History through the eyes of Dorset folk. Lady Godiva, The Battle of Hastings etc. taken from a slightly different angle. I have some in stock for £7.95 including post and packing

50th Sidmouth Folk Festival
I’m not sure which year we first attended Sidmouth Festival, it must have been around 1960 when we were The Yetminster & Ryme Intrinseca Junior Folk Dance Display Team. From then on, for a period of 18 years, we managed, by hook or by crook, to go as singers, dancers or musicians or all three. We used to run the song spots, sell books, records etc. and do whatever tasks Bill Rutter, the organiser, put before us. I can even remember one year cleaning the loos. We would stagger homewards after a week of celebrations and very little sleep and then go to work on the Monday for a rest. It is now the largest event of it’s kind in the UK. Teams of dancers come from all over the world to perform and it does make a wonderful spectacle. We have been booked for a Monday afternoon West Country Concert in the Arena. That’s the 2nd of August.

Yetminster Fair
Yes, we will be there again in the sunshine on Yetminster’s day of days. For information or tickets contact Derek Mott, Stonechat, High Street, Yetminster, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 6LF. Tel. 01935 872123

Old Yetties LPs
My stock of these turns over at a high rate of knots and Halsway Manor Library benefits from the cash raised. If you have any you wish to pass on to good homes or would like to purchase some please ring 01935 814611. At this moment in time I have copies of Up In Arms, Focus On The Yetties (double album), Dorset is Beautiful, The Yetties of Yetminster, The World of The Yetties and Our Friends The Yetties

Song Books
There’s been some development on this front. There were some copies of Book II left but these were nicked, although to be honest I don’t think it was the books the thieves were after, it was the van they were in. If you do come across a batch of them in a hedge somewhere in Yorkshire perhaps you would be kind enough to send them to me. I will refund the postage. Meanwhile Mallinson Music, the publisher that now has the rights to both books, is busy reformulating them with a view to launching them again in late Spring.

Halsway Manor Weekend
As usual the residential places for this all singing, all dancing weekend have gone long ago but you can join us for the Saturday evening concert. Tickets from Halsway on 01984 618274.

Memory Lane
During one of our tours of the Far East in 1984 we had a frightfully jolly flight from Kathmandu to Delhi. The air con was a bit dodgy and the plane soon began to heat up. This didn’t help some young German hikers who had been walking the Himalayan foothills and had obviously had rather too much Kathmandu vindaloo. They, one by one, began to turn green and in the end one of them made dash for the toilet. Unfortunately he didn’t make it and left a stream of rather nasty stomach churnings down the isle. The cabin staff weren’t inclined to do anything about it but in the end they covered the offending sludge with a line of tissues. This didn’t help too much and, in fact, just made it a little more slippery for the next poor devil who tried to make a run for it. On board ship you can at least go up on deck for some fresh air but at 34,000 feet this is not advisable so we had to suffer silently while the isle filled up. I don’t recall any lasting effects from the flight but I did have a short-term revulsion for curry puffs which we were regularly given for breakfast.