January 2010 - Newsletter 93
There are those out there who still refer to us as 'The Boys', which is very flattering and affectionate of them but, perhaps, not very observant. I'm afraid the term no longer applies and hasn't done for some while unless you are talking about the 'Old Boys of the Village'.
Rumours of our demise/retirement/break up etc. have cropped up many times in the past and I suppose once people stop talking about you then you are old hat as well as being old boys. When Bob left at Christmas in 1979 the jungle telegraph worked overtime but in fact he had given us a years notice and we are still friends to this day. That's the way we do things in Dorset. So here's the goods, straight from the Yetties mouth.
We are planning a final weekend celebration in Sherborne at The Digby Hall on the 8th/9th and 10th of April 2011. There will be a Ceilidh on the Friday night, a Concert on the Saturday and on the Sunday afternoon a gathering to have a chat, a cup of tea, maybe a slice of Dorset Apple Cake and, if you wish a chance to buy a piece of Yetties memorabilia.
2010 will therefore be our last full year of touring and, I have a feeling, it will be a busy one once word gets around. I am already taking bookings for spring 2011
Although this will be the end of The Yetties as such I'm sure it won't be the end of our involvement in Music. Pete will carry on with his performances and teaching and I will carry on working for Halsway Manor and doing my concerts, talks etc.
In the spring of 2011 it will be approaching 45 years since we took that fateful step of attempting to make a living from our music. Kipping rough to start with and touring the country, before the motorways criss-crossed Britain, in beat up old Humbers. It's going to be a bit of heart wrenching year. Visiting towns and venues for the last time and performing to many friends who have been extremely loyal, some of them for decades.
In November we went to the village of Alderholt on the Dorset/Hampshire border to perform. To be absolutely honest neither Pete, Mac not I recalled playing there before but it turned out that we had previously visited the village in 1971. We discovered this when one, lady after the show, admitted she had come along out of curiosity. She was 37 years old and apparently her grandmother had kept on to her, when she was small, about this band, The Yetties, that that had come to Alderholt the year before she was born. We obviously made quite an impression on grandma and we must have done all right this time around as well because they haven't waited another 38 years to book us. We are going back this year.
After a show at the Dorchester Corn Exchange a few months ago a gentleman crept up to Pete & Mac and said, 'Do you realise that in 30 years time most of your audience will be dead.' At first I think they were a bit perplexed but then decided that we wouldn't be in any position to worry about it.
LPs to CD
Soon after I'd written the last Newsletter and announced that I had finished putting the last of the LPs onto the computer someone asked me for a copy of the double album Focus On The Yetties which I had completely forgotten. It's taken me a while but I have now got there and if you would like copies the price for the 2 CD set is £10. The tracks are as follows. CD1 Dorset is Beautiful; Gypsy Rover; Towersey Fair; Fiddlers Green; The Broadside Man; Granny's Old Armchair; The Three Billy Goats Gruff; (with Toni Arthur); Bread & Fishes; A Roving Take Your Time; The Peat Bog Soldiers; Jackie Tar/The Matelot; When The Piddletrenthide Jug Band Hit The Charts; Homeward Bound. CD2 Cigareetes & Whusky & Wild, Wild Women; The Dancers of Stanton Drew; I Touched Her on the Toe; The D Day Dodgers; Lord of the Dance; Beau Psaltery; Sweet Bells; The Sound of the Drum; Trelawney; Hornpipe Medley; Buttercup Joe; The Exmoor Hunt Song; Round Britain Medley; The Village Band.
A couple of the tracks only appeared in singles before Focus On was made. Decca used to pop them out occasionally to get us air play on Radio 2. Sometimes they wouldn't even tell us they were doing it!!
The other LPs available on CD are:
50 Stone of Loveliness 1969 Who's A'fear'd 1970 Keep A Runnin' 1970 Our Friends 1971 The World of Irish Dancing 1971 Dorset is Beautiful 1972 Mornin' All (backing Bob Arnold, Tom Forrest of the Archers) 1972 All at Sea 1973 Up in Arms (with Sherborne Town Band) 1974 The Yetties of Yetminster 1975 The World of The Yetties 1975 Let's Have a Party 1975 The Village Band (with Sherborne Town Band) 1976 Up Market 1977 Dorset Style 1978 In Concert 1979 A Little Bit of Dorset 1981 A Proper Job 1981 Cider & Song 1983 The Sound of Cricket (with John Arlott) 1984 The Yetties 1986
There's not room in the Newsletter to put every track for all these LPs but I do have lists I can e mail to you or post if you are interested. Tel. 01935 814611 or write to PO Box 3, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 3AL.
I don't keep the CDs in stock but give me a couple of days and I will make them for you. The cost is £6 per CD (including post & packing). Cheques to The Yetties please at the PO Box.
If you don't want to go the CD route or would like to collect the LPs as well then I have now, due to peoples' generosity, managed to gather together quite a selection again. I sell these to raise money for Halsway Manor Library. Cynthia and I have been able to virtually run the library on the funds accumulated by these sales. We have cleaned up and, when necessary, repaired over 4000 books and entered them on the database at the Manor. Then, of course, there are the 78s, cassettes, LPs, CDs, videos, DVDs etc. It's a job for life and your help is much appreciated. I have the following in stock:
Keep a Runnin' Our Friends The World of Irish Dancing Dorset Is Beautiful All At Sea The World of The Yetties Up In Arms The Village Band The Yetties of Yetminster Let's Have a Party Up Market In Concert Proper Job A Little Bit of Dorset The Yetties Dorset Style
We sell these for £6 each including post and packing. Cheques to Halsway Manor Society Ltd. via the PO Box
Along the River Piddle
Copies of this film have gone all over the place and the name, in foreign parts, causes a bit of stir. I think some people have purchased it just for the novelty value and then decided they liked it. One traveller from Australia actually took in the Piddle Valley during his holiday over here so that he could sup a pint of Piddle Beer. He then cajoled the landlord into giving him a quantity of beer mats to take back to Oz. He has now scattered them liberally in his local bar much to the delight of his drinking pals
Several people have already asked me for the date for Yetminsters big day. It is Saturday 10th of July. Best make a note in your diaries now.
This was first published back in 1973 when a lady called Peta Archer, with the help of Jim Lloyd, our manager at the time, decided to form a club entitled 'Friends of The Yetties' and provide a news sheet for all the members. The original publicity for the club reads like this:
Our aim in Friends of The Yetties is to keep in closer contact with the many friends we have made over the years, to keep each other informed as to what is going on, to supply members with Yetties 'goodies' at a reduced rate and, we hope, to organise events for members.
Membership is £1.50 per annumand for this you get 4 Yettiletters each year, a date sheet of concerts, a signed 10" x 8" picture of The Yetties, a membership card, badge and details of goodies. Family membership (with individual membership cards) is £2.
We were always good value for money!!!!!!
I remember we also had car stickers printed following the 'I've seen the Lions of Longleat' theme with 'I've seen the Yetties of Yetminster' on them. They must be very collectable but perhaps not as collectable as the cars they were stuck on.
Many thanks to the person who decked the stage with Ferraro Roche chocolates for me and grapes for Richard Helson at Sherborne. I'm not sure what Mac and Pete did to miss out but perhaps they had a quick kiss instead.