18th January 2021
This feature first appeared in issue 20 of The Southern Rag (the original title of fRoots) in April 1984 FAMILY BUSINESS Issue 20 of "Southern Rag" (April - June 1984) A quick potted history. The Copper family have worked in and around Rottingdean, Sussex, for centuries. In 1897, Mrs Kate Lee collected the songs from James “Brasser” Copper and his younger brother Tom that would inspire the formation of the English Folk Song Society. In 1936,Brasser’s son Jim wrote the words of the family songs into a book. In 1950, Jim heard one of their songs sung on the radio. Persuaded by his [read more]
14th November 2020
Emily Agnes Stears. A letter from Ian Anderson tells us more about an informant of Ralph Vaughan Williams who we only knew by the name 'E. A. Stears. Read this at https://sussextraditions.org/singer/emily-agnes-stears/
24th September 2020
Gordon Hall at the Ram, Firle in 1990Photo - Vic Smith Sometime around 1990, the late Gordon Hall set himself the task of recording himself a great mass of his songs on five tapes and he gave them the title "Warts & Hall". 89 of these have now been made available on the Sussex Traditions database. The songs are: - 01 Sweet Primeroses 02 It's Of A Pretty Wench 03 Jolly Waggoner04 Drummer And Cook 05 Boney Was A Warrior 06 Maid Of Rye07 Some Say 08 The Spinning Wheel 09 Bonny Labouring Boy10 County Cavan 11 The Seeds Of Love 12 Jan [read more]
24th September 2020
Bob Lewis singing at the Lewes Saturday Folk Club Photo - Vic Smith When Bob Lewis recorded his fine album. "The Painful Plough" in 2003, seventeen songs were chosen, but there were many other examples of Bob's fine singing that Peter Collins recorded but were not included on the CD. Bob and Peter have given their permission for these 22 tracks to be included here. The songs are:-01 Capital Ship 02 The Cobbler 03 Come All Ye Worthy Christians04 The Crocodile 05 Jim The Carter's Lad 06 Noble Lord 07 Poor Old Horse 08 The Shooting Gallery 09 Three Jolly Huntsmen 10 [read more]
24th September 2020
Andy Barratt, Tom Copper, Mark Barratt, Sean Barratt, Lucy Copper, Ben Copper. Photo - Vic Smith The Young Coppers are the six grandchildren of Bob Copper. They are Ben, Lucy and Tom who are John Copper's children and Mark, Andy and Sean who are the sons of Jill Copper. The 16 songs that have been added were recorded at the folk club at the Royal Oak in Lewes on 5th July 2007. The songs are:-1] Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy 2] Banks of Sweet Primeroses 3] Brisk and Bonny Lad 4] By The Green Grove 5] Charming Molly 6] Claudy Banks 7] [read more]
7th December 2018
This conference took place on 10th & 11th November at Cecil Sharp House in London. It was jointly organised by The English Folk Dance & Song Society and The Traditional Song Forum. One of twenty-three presentations was by Sean Goddard and concerned the song collecting in Sussex by Tony Wales; a project which was the Foundation Project for Sussex Traditions. Sean has adapted this presentation for inclusion on this website and you can read it at https://sussextraditions.org/project/the-tony-wales-collection/more-about-the-collection/
8th May 2018
Performers, collectors and scholars of folk song, folk dance, and folklore came from all around the world to attend a conference celebrating the role of women in cultural traditions.
8th February 2018
Sussex Tradition’s new project. Sussex Traditions will build on what was achieved in its Foundation Project by populating all the Sussex Topics --cultural heritage in Sports and Games, Food and Drink, Crafts, etc. -- expanding the database and providing an informative 'calendar view' of The Sussex Year. A series of education events and networking activities will be based around this. Seasonal presentations will draw upon the archive and invite fresh interpretations - you, your friends, your class at school, your family members, can contribute and help us ensure featured subjects are attractive, lively and relevant. The aim is to build and strengthen the charity’s [read more]
7th December 2017
Sussex Traditions is delighted to announce a very important appointment to our board of advisers. As the work and compass of Sussex Traditions grows, so too does its requirement for specialist knowledge; no more so than in the aquisition, preservation and display of archive film. We are fortunate therefore to secure the professional advice of Paul Cotgrove who has agreed to act as both a mentor and technical and artistic guide to the team at Sussex Traditions. Paul promotes two major international film festivals in his home town of Southend on Sea and is well known in the British Film [read more]
31st March 2017
On Saturday 25th March 2017 Sussex Traditions hosted the Traditional Song Forum: 'A national organisation dedicated to the promotion, performance and publication of Traditional Song in the UK.' An enthusiastic gathering filled the wonderful Lewes Linklater Pavilion, a purpose-built community space by the river in the Railway Lands conservation area. Vic and Tina Smith presented a recorded interview with the charismatic traditional singer Gordon Hall. This was followed by a moving presentation from Elizabeth Bennett on the life of Dorothy Marshall - a forgotten treasure in the history of folk song collecting in Sussex. Reg Hall concluded with his memories of the old [read more]
3rd March 2017
Sussex Traditions Education visited North Lancing School recently to deliver a full day of workshops leading to a performance for families and friends. There were songs, dances, games and a mummers play, all brought together to tell stories of local history, myths and legends. While researching threads connected to the Swing Riots, our traditional arts animateurs, Gail Duff and Bing Lyle, discovered a song called 'The Farmers of Old England', in the Sussex Traditions database (asset number SXT2806). According to records, the song was collected by Francis Collinson from a Mr. Booker, at Warnham in May 1950. The children at North [read more]
2nd March 2017
Sat 25 March 2017 09:30 – 22:30 Linklater Pavilion Railway Lane Lewes BN7 2FG To register for FREE ticket please visit Eventbrite. The day is hosted by Sussex Traditions on behalf of The Traditional Song Forum (TSF).
19th December 2016
We don’t need any deep reason to be interested in the past - it is fascinating in its own right - but many people think...
23rd October 2016
Sussex Traditions, its supporters and friends, gathered together in Alfriston at Much Ado Bookshop and The Smugglers Inn on Sunday 23rd October for a progress report and preview...
2nd October 2016
Dancing in the rain may have been a more appropriate name for the annual 'Dancing in the Old' event at Harvey's Brewery...
3rd January 2016
Every year, for the past 40 years The Rottingdean Mummers resurrect the traditional Christmas play the text of which is unique to the village. Last year some Â£XXX was collected and presented to Sussex Traditions. This year The Mummers will once again raise money for the charity.
3rd December 2015
Local traditional singer, Martyn Wyndham-Read donated a substantial part of the fee he received from a local performance to Sussex Traditions after hearing of its inception...
3rd August 2015
In the summer of 2015, a concert was held in St.Margaret’s Parish Church Rottingdean to celebrate the centenary of the life and work of Bob Copper...
19th June 2015
The successful "Folk At The Oak" folk club at the Royal Oak in Lewes closed at the end of 2013. The long-term organisers, Vic & Tina Smith, announced at the beginning of that year that they were seeking others to take over the running of the club but no successor emerged. By careful management, the club had built up a bank account of over just over Â£2000. They were looking for a suitable cause that would promote an interest in folk song and music in Sussex and when SUSSEX TRADITIONS emerged they agreed that this was the right cause and [read more]