"ELSIE`S BAND" UPDATED 23/02/2015
"ELSIE`S" SING & PLAY EVENINGS. Now in its` 40th year.
It is, with a very heavy heart, that I must report the death of Tony
Deane, our long term friend, a founder member of "Elsie`s Band",
singer, songwriter, author and a thoroughly good fellow. We pass
our deepest condolences to his family, Simon, Juliet, Tamsin and
Kerensa, grandchildren and partners. It is all the more saddening
since Audrey, his wife , died a few weeks earlier. It goes without
saying, we shall miss them both very much. Tony died in his sleep
on the morning of Jan.,2nd, 2015 while on holiday in Padstow, a no
more fitting place since Tony`s association with and love of
Cornwall goes back to his childhood. Tony had not been in good
health for some long time but it did not prevent him from giving
his best at all our performances and he will be irreplaceable.
Tony has been remembered at two Memorial meetings in Reigate
and Padstow. Family members giving readings from apt tracts and
re-calling very fond memories as well as friends with anecdotes.
There were songs that were closely reminiscent of Tony and the
Band as well as songs and music by many who knew and held him
in high regard. The attendance at both venues was testament to
how much and how well Tony was regarded in our folk music
circle. Tony`s family have every reason to be proud and we offer
them our thanks giving us the chance to express our feelings on
" They sang the songs that all did know, the brewers then were Kelseys.
You can hear their spirits singing still on Saturday Nights at "Elsie`s".
AT LAST. iT`S HERE! OUR CD IS UP, RUNNING AND AVAILABLE. IT IS
A 17 TRACK ISSUE OF SONGS FROM OUR REPERTOIRE THAT ARE
FROM THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND. IT IS ENTITLED "CUTAWAY MIKE", ONE
OF THE TRACKS ON THE CD. AVAILABLE AT OUR GIGS OR OBTAINABLE
FROM DAVID ON 01732 862862 OR JOHN ON 01732 762224.
"ELSIE`S", "The Queens Arms", Cowden Pound, Kent, TN8 5NP
On the B2026, midway between Edenbridge and the A264, the
Tun. Wells to E.Grinstead road.
Contacts: David on 01732 862862
John on 01732 762224
Elsie Maynard is, at present, comfortably esconced in a care home in Speldhurst.
We are glad to announce "The Queens Arms" having been bought by Johnathon and Min Hancock is, as they intended, carrying on in the same fashion as before with events and activities exactly the same other than providing Larkins beer as against Adnams. Also there are new events such as a British Legion Quiz Night and extra musical nights and, of course, the traditional Morris Night. Johnathon is a local man with long term family ties to the district, has been a customer of the "The Queens Arms" for a long time and is anxious to maintain continuity and a successful public amenity. It is understood that a certain amount of necessary up-grading needs to be done but we wish them every success and hope to be able to help them in their enterprise.
"ELSIE`S" PROGRAMME FOR 2015
Jan 10th BOB KENWARD
Feb 7th THE TWAGGER BAND
Mar. 7th ANAHATA & MARY HUMPHRIES
April 18th TONY HALL
May 16th CLOUDSTREET
June 20th THE SNAPES
MEMOIR FOR 2014
The year 2014 was a difficult year with the retirement of Elsie and the future an unknown quantity but it proved to be a success. With the support from "Elsie`s Band" with their wide repertoire of songs we had the pleasure of Martyn Wyndham-Read, ably backed by Iris, John and Di Cullen, lately retired from "The Beacon Hotel", "Come All Ye`s" by "Elsie`s Band" when guests could not be arranged, Roger Sutcliffe with his "bottle necking" blues and songs,The irrepressible Jim Bainbridge, Steve Turner delighting us with concertina, songs and mandolin and an absolutely storming Christmas Mumming and Frolics Night.
We are a small, intimate venue and the house offers no restaurant
or bar meals but the free sausage rolls on offer are second to none. Its
LARKINS all the way(lager not sold here), a fine selection of wines and
a variety of chocolate bars and packet snacks. There is also ice available
but slices of lemon or lime are not.
ELSIE`S BAND is one of the most prominent folk music bands to be found in the south east, well known for appearances at folk clubs, folk music festivals and folk concerts. They have appeared in the festivals at Loughborough, Walton and a number of times at Wadebridge and are to be regularly seen in the Kent , Sussex and Essex folk club scene. The band now consists Iris Bishop, David Watts and John Hills and its beginnings go back to the nineteen seventies. The band gets its` name from the landlady of the pub where they have held Sing and Play nights for many years, The Queens Arms at Cowden, Kent. It is known familiarly as Elsie`s to one and all after the name of the landlady, Elsie Maynard, (now recently retired) hence the name of the band and there are few performers in the folk music world who are not familiar with this venue.
Each December we perform The Cowden Mummers play at Elsie`s with the our good friends Tony Gowan, Dave Andrews, Mac McNally and Will Duke. It is the traditional tale of good conquering evil with St.George, The Turkish Knight and a host of other characters as you would expect but our play has a significant difference. I doubt it has ever been performed the same way twice. Topicality and ad-lib are sometimes the order of the day but the underlying traditional basis is there to be seen and heard. Don`t miss it. See us each December. This little detail on mumming was inserted at the suggestion of a visitor to our site, Chris Little.
Elsie`s Band, THE CAST:_(Please see obit. notice above). Although Tony has gone he will still be with us in spirit, remembered as a singer, songwriter and folklorist is the composer of "Following The Old `Oss", (already recorded by Chris Wood and Tony Rose), "Orchids" (a highly regarded song about the demise of the gardens at Heligan, Cornwall) and many more.
Iris Bishop, superb musician with accordions and concertinas is highly regarded in her own right as a member of a number of bands and for her accompaniment with Martyn Wyndham-Read. Also known internationally for her knitting design expertise.
David Watts, singer of a broad selection of folk and country songs as well as a good repertoire of comic and music hall songs. He is also the best pyrotechnist to be heard on the pub music scene.
John Hills, singer, song writer and string musician. ("Young in Kent", "Loss of the Regiment", "Docklands", " The Poachers Year", etc.etc.) Many song available on cd, "Something Old, Something New", give us a call on email@example.com or 01732 762224.
Another year passed and "Elsie`s Band" has chalked up their umpteenth "Obby Oss Day" in Padstow in 2014 and what a great occasion it was. Our visit to "The Cornish Arms" in St.Merryn to enjoy the annual singing session to celebrate the birthday of the late Charlie Pittman took place and plenty of good singing was heard. We finished the evening with a session with the local choir in"The Golden Lion".
The weather for Mayday and the second of May was very comfortable, quite contrary to the forecast, and the number of visitors, it not being a Bank Holiday, was enough to keep the occasion comfortable with both "Osses" enjoying an enthusiastic following and both groups, once again, welcomed in the church. Good "crac" and singing occurred in both "The Golden Lion" and "The London Inn". The beautiful church of St.Petroc with its` vaulted aisles opened its` doors again for the "osses" and bands. The St. Just boys singing on the 2nd was a treat for all ears with their repertoire of songs, not only of Cornwall, but from other popular sources. They not only sung in "The Golden Lion" but also in the street entertaining the public and other regular spots in town.
Padstow deserves a debt of gratitude from Britain for the way they preserve their festival with dedication and enthusiasm, men and women, boys and girls and the children. We are also grateful to be invited to share and take part in certain of their festivities. For us it is also an annual renewal of acquaintance with so many members of the folk music community as well as all our good friends in Cornwall. There were some few friends notable by their absence but circumstances, sad or domestic, often occur.
Among the many met were irrepressible John Breeze supporting his leukemia charity, "Doc" Rowe, Robbie and Maureen Tatlow, Tim and Molly, Peter and Jill, Mike and Tina O`Connor", Chico and Lorraine, Martin and Sarah and all their staff in "The Golden Lion", Nigel, Cecil, Rex and Jane, Martin and Steph, Johnny Murt, Larry Mac Laughlin, Tom and Barbara, Pedro, Tony(Champers) Rogers and Barbara. We did not manage to make "The Ring -o Bells" sessions due to, probably, too much time being spent in the "The Golden Lion" and "The London". We gather they were well attended and as always are an annual reunion of friends, singers and musicians. For all those not mentioned I apologise but you can rest assured you all help to make our visits enjoyable. May it long continue."Oss Oss wee Oss".
We wish to offer our best wishes to Elsie and thanks to Jonathon, Min, Dave, Mary , Jane, Angus and others for their indulgence , patience and help throughout the years. We also like to say how grateful we are to all our regulars who, where possible, have supported the evenings as well as extending our thanks to many new faces seen here. It is only by your attendance can an enterprise like this continue and prosper and we hope we can count on your support in the future. Rest assured David is anxious to book guests from as wide a variety of music as possible for everyones enjoyment but he can only do it with confidence if we are assured of an audience. The future looks bright for "The Queens Arms" and, everyone is welcome to come to our "Sing and Play" evenings, to do their thing or just enjoy the evening. No pre-booking is necessary (did you ever?), just make yourself known to David or John and you will be on the play list.
We wish to thank all our friends in the folk clubs at LEWES, SEAFORD, TONBRIDGE, "THE BEACON", ORPINGTON, EASTBOURNE, BRIGHTON, CROYDON, EDENBRIDGE, OTFORD, GARY`S CLUB(Coolham), HORSHAM, BODLE STREET, LOUGHTON, the folk club sessions, The History Societies etc., for the enthusiastic receptions we have received. We look forward to seeing you again. Come on you clubs in Kent, give us a shot, ask around, live dangerously. You will not be dis-appointed. Some of the venues we would like to arrange are:-Dartford, Tenterden, Faversham, Deal, Maidstone, Rainham, Gillingham, Rochester, "The Drum" at Hythe, and many more.