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September 2007 - Newsletter 86

40 Years Anniversary 4th/5th and 6th October
The celebration of our 40 years as professionals has expanded somewhat since the May Newsletter. The Friday Night Ceilidh and the Saturday Night Concert sold out very quickly so we have booked Yetminster Church Hall for the Thursday Night and there will be an additional Concert then. Two thirds of the tickets for this have already gone so if you are interested please do get in touch soon. They are £8 each and you can buy them via the web site or from PO Box 3, Sherborne Dorset, DT9 3AL. Cheques to 'The Yetties' please.

We have asked Bob Common. who left the band at the end of 1979, to join us on drums for the Friday Night and he has agreed to have a go. He still lives in Yetminster and, in fact his wife, Pam, organises the bookings for the Church Hall.

I still have some tickets left for the Saturday afternoon 'Meet The Yetties for a chat and a cup of tea' session. In fact Pam is making the tea. Profits from the teas will go to The Yetminster Irish Dance Team. The tickets for this are free by the way and we may just have some dignitaries from Dorset present.

It is amazing where people are coming from and I really do hope you all enjoy your stay in our little bit of Dorset. If you are coming from distant parts and need accommodation best ring Sherborne Tourist Information on 01935 815341. The team at the centre are always very helpful. You can tell 'em I said so.

Stop Press: We had arranged for a bar but just as I was going off to the printers I received a call from the organisers to the effect that they couldn't do it. The best way out of this predicament therefore is for you to bring your own liquid refreshment for the evening performances.

English Folk Dance and Song Society Gold Badges
These were presented to us at a special West Country Concert at Sidmouth Folk Festival. It was quite an honour for us 'youngsters' to receive these. Geoff Rye who did the actual presentation had to wait until he was nearly 90 before getting this reward for his many years of hard work within the folk music scene. Geoff is not in good shape but he did a wonderful job and his voice is as strong and commanding as ever. I don't think he has travelled more than two miles from Radstock, where he lives, for some years but with the help of Mark, his son and Esther, his daughter he managed to get to Sidmouth for the ceremony. It was a valiant effort and Mark said afterwards that Geoff was hinting that he wouldn't mind staying at the festival for a couple more days. That is definitely a score.

The concert was very enjoyable with other artists from the West Country filling the first half. The audience was great. You could feel the good will coming off them in waves and Roland Birchby, who originally sent the citation to the EFDSS, was there despite having an operation 5 days before. Thanks one and all.

New Tune Book
Years ago we produced a tune book based on the Hardy family collection of jigs, reels, waltzes etc. Unfortunately the publisher didn't reprint when it sold out but now we have a replacement in the form of the William Winter Tune Book . Geoff Rye, mentioned above, used to run the library at Halsway Manor before Cynthia took it over. In 1960 he purchased the notebook of William Winter a fiddle player from West Bagborough in Somerset. It is dated 1850 and in it there are over 400 melodies. Geoff Woolfe has meticulously edited these and in the new book you will find 377 of them. These are the old country tunes, very similar in content to the Hardy collection and just right for musicians whether experienced or just starting out.

The book comes with a CD of 31 of the tunes played by local musicians on fiddles, melodion and concertina. It costs £20 including postage. See Sales.

Yetties at Halsway Manor
We will be back at Halsway for our usual weekend bash from the 22nd to the 24th of February. You might just squeeze into the Manor itself but there are also bed & breakfast establishments in the vicinity if you want to join in the fun and games. Ring Halsway Manor on 01984 618274 or e mail

They have also asked us to repeat our summer break from 21st of July until the 25th. This is rather gentler than the weekend. There's plenty of time to wander the countryside or take in the local attractions. This year Cynthia and I even took our bikes and had a wamble on them. It really is a very beautiful part of England.

Old Yetties LPs
LPs in stock at the moment are: Keep A Runnin'; Our Friends The Yetties; Dorset Is Beautiful; The World of The Yetties; The Yetties of Yetminster; Let's Have a Party; The Village Band; Up Market; Dorset Style; In Concert; A Little Bit of Dorset; The Yetties, A Proper Job, The Sound of Cricket (with John Arlott) and Focus on The Yetties (double album). If you would like any of these to add to your collection please ring 01935 814611. They cost £5 each plus £1 P&P Cheques to Halsway Manor.

Yetties Christmas Singalong Concerts and New Year Party in Sherborne
Concert nights are Friday 14th and Saturday 15th of December. The New Year Party will, naturally enough, be on Monday 31st.

All three events start at 8p.m. and will be at The Digby Hall as usual. Tickets will be on sale from the middle of October and can be purchased from 'Rules' which is opposite Woolworths in Cheap Street, Sherborne. Alternatively you can buy them from our web shop, send for them via the PO Box or ring 01935 814611, 814667 or 813890. For the concerts they cost £7 for adults and £6 for children and senior citizens. New Year tickets are £12 each. Bring your own nosebag for New Year. Anything from the fatted calf to a bag of crisps, it's up to you but please don't bring your own booze there is a well stocked bar.

If you need a map to find the hall don't hesitate to ask.