the former radio station for Dorset County Hospital

‘Going The Rounds’ with the New Hardy Players

Discover the old Dorset Christmas tradition of ‘Going The Rounds’ in Thomas Hardy’s day immortilised in Under the Greenwood Tree. This 2 hour long presentation features carols and readings performed by the New Hardy Players, Ridgeway Choir and Band, led by Tim Laycock and Phil Humphries. Ridgeway Radio’s Andy Worth describes the scene and superbly captures the spirit of the occasion in this recording with contributions from many of the participants. He joins around 130 folk at Hardy’s Cottage, Higher Bockhampton, and the new Hardy Visitor Centre in Thorcombe Wood before moving on to Kingston Maurward, with the event concluding at St Michael’s Church, Stinsford.

Andy writes:

“A local version of Going the Rounds was devised 29 years ago by Furse Swann and acted out bi-yearly by the Hampshire based Madding Crowd until 2013. This year, 2015, Tim Laycock was invited to take on on the organisation of a new approach to the event, which adds theatrical and musical elements to the traditional proceedings. With the help of the New Hardy Players, the Ridgeway Singers and Band (Conductor: Alastair Simpson), the Frome Valley Mummers, plus some members of the Madding Crowd; Tim Laycock, Phil Humphries, and Furse Swann, all created an exciting promenade performance based on Hardy’s ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’, that took an enthusiatic audience on a two and a half hour journey around locations in Higher and Lower Bockhampton, through the grounds of Kingston Maurward, finishing with West Gallery singing, readings, and a Mummers play in St Michael’s church at Stinsford.”

Click the play button to listen to the recording. It is also featured on our Worldwide page under Special Features.

Going The Rounds