"ELSIE`S" SING & PLAY EVENINGS. Now in its` 39th year.

"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".

FROM DAVID ON 01732 862862 OR JOHN ON 01732 762224.

E-mail john.hhills@btinternet.com

"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`S" Programme for 2014

Elsie Maynard is, at present, comfortably esconced in a care home in Speldhurst.

We are glad to announce "The Queens Arms" has been bought by Johnathon Hancock and he intends to keep the pub and it`s activities exactly the same other than providing Larkins beer as against Adnams. 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. We wish him every success and hope to be able to help him in his enterprise.

Feb. 8th "STOP PRESS _ STOP RESS" Due to unforeseen family circumstances the "Snapes" can not do the evening so Martyn Wyndham-Read has stepped in at short notice for the night, ably assisted by Iris Bishop.

Mar., 22nd. JOHN and DI CULLEN will be taking time out from their busy schedule
at "The Beacon Hotel" to sing for us this evening, their first time guesting at "Elsie`s" and it promises to be a night to look forward to. They will be assisted by our IRIS BISHOP if she can be prised away from "ELSIE`S BAND".

April 12th. ""COME ALL YE" with ELSIE`BAND. An open night for all singers and musicians. Come along with your songs and tunes to "ELSIE`S" and you`re sure to be invited to perform. We are maintaining continuity at "The Queens Arms" all the while we are able to. A free evening, free sausage rolls and the usual pork hind leg raffle. See you all there.
May 24th Cancelled for this month. Look out for any info for June.

June 28th "Come All Ye" with "Elsie`s Band". An open night for all singers and musicians. Come along with your songs and tunes to "Elsie`s" and you`re sure to be invited to perform. We are maintaining continuity at "The Queens Arms" all the while we are able to. A free evening, free sausage rolls, the usual pork hind leg raffle. See you all there.




Dec. 20th Christmas Frolics & Mumming Play


The year 2013 was another fine one for "Elsie`s". Apart from the varied
repertoire of songs and music from "Elsie`s Band" we have also had the
pleasure of the Centenary of the Maynard family at "The Queens Arms",
"Trio Threlfall", "The Twagger Band", Mike Nicholson, Sarah Grey and
Keiron Means, Will Noble and John Cocking, Jim Causley, "Silk Purse",
"Home Groan" Night, Martyn Wyndham-Read, Tim Laycock, Jim Mageean
and Graeme Knights and the "Christmas Capers and Mumming Night" with
The Cowden Mummers.


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 consists Tony Deane, 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, 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:_
Tony Deane, 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, "Nothing to Pay", give us a call on hills636@btinternet.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 thanks to Elsie, Dave, Mary , Jane, Gary 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. We are awaiting a move by the owners regarding the future of "The Queens Arms" but, all the same, everyone is welcome to come to our "Sing and Play" evenings, wherever we settle, to do their thing or just enjoy the evening. No pre-booking is necessary (did you ever?), just make yourself known to Tony and you will be on his play list.

We wish to thank all our friends in the folk clubs at LEWES, SEAFORD, TONBRIDGE, "THE BEACON", ORPINGTON, EASTBOURNE, BRIGHTON, EDENBRIDGE, OTFORD, GARY`S CLUB(Coolham), HORSHAM, BODLE STREET, 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:- Orpington(both clubs), Dartford, Tenterden, Faversham, Deal, Maidstone, Rainham, Gillingham, Rochester, "The Drum" at Hythe, and many more.

address: 49, Dynes road,rnKemsing,rnSevenoaks, rnKent
postcode: TN15 6RA
phone: 01732 762224
email: john.hhills@btinternet.com