the former radio station for Dorset County Hospital

Featured Programme: The Ridgeway Singers & Band Christmas Concert 2017

The Ridgeway Singers & Band, led by Phil Humphries and Tim Laycock, performed this wonderful Christmas Concert to an enthusiastic audience in the Dorset County Museum on 22nd December 2017. Titled “To Keep Wold Christmas Up” the concert features carols and other traditional tunes from Dorset villages such as Hinton St Mary, Belchalwell, Winterbourne Monkton to name a few. Also songs by contemporary composers Anna Eveleigh-Morse and Tim Laycock, plus readings from the works of Thomas Hardy and William Barnes.

Full programme and list of singers and musicians

“To Keep Wold Christmas Up”
Dorset County Museum
Friday 22nd December 2017


Tune: Enrico
Hark Hark! From the Hinton St Mary manuscripts
Poem: Christmas Invitation by William Barnes
Shepherds Arise. From Dorset Carols collected by Rev. Pickard-Cambridge
In Praise of Dorset Apples by Anna Eveleigh-Morse
The Melbury Wassail. Words collected by Thomas Hardy, music by Tim Laycock, arranged by Phil Humphries
The Green Man Song. From Dorothy Lawrence, tune by Tim Laycock, arranged by Phil Humphries
Tunes: The Speaking Figure / Harlequin Gardener/The Ferryboat. Three superb jigs from Benjamin Rose of Belchalwell in the Blackmore Vale
Grammer’s Shoes by William Barnes
Away Dark Thoughts. Prom Winterborne Monkton, arranged by Dave Townsend
One Night as I lay on my Bed. Collected by Henry and Robert Hammond from Marina Russell of Upwey, arranged by Phil Humphries
Poem: Keepen’ up o’ Christmas by William Barnes
Tunes: Lady Elizabeth’s Hompipe / The Mariner’s Hornpipe
The Ridgeway Carol (One Bright Star) by Tim Laycock, arranged by Phil Humphries. Join in the Chorus!_East to West and West to East, ship to shore and shore to sea, And one bright, one bright star, Shining there for me.
Hark the Herald Angels Sing. From Durweston
Four and Twenty Fiddlers. From Mosterton
Hail Happy Morn!


Peter Allison, Liz Askew, Will Best, Philip Bowell, Lizzie Bryant, Hilary Charlesworth, Debbie Coombes, Gina Dobbins, Peter Dobbins, Rod Drew, Anna Eveleigh-Morse, Derek Farwell, Philip Gamble, Martin Graham, Jan Griffiths, Roger Harrell, Alice Harrell, Joy Joliffe, Perilla Kinchin, Mike Lofthonse, Sue Lofthonse, Lizzie Lucas, Pat March, Jacqueline Mitchell, Joy Parsons, Paul Pinnock, Lyn Pullen, Jo Shackleton, Paul Simpson, Jane Soole, Rose Swann, Furse Swann, Mayling Thirlaway, Felicia Webb, Margaret Whiting


Bridget Bowen, John Dike, Margaret Dike, Bec Freiesleben, Carol Graham, Anita Law, Angela Laycock, Chris Pullen, William Whiting, Roberta Winmill

More information about the Ridgeway Singers

The Ridgeway Singers were formed several years ago as part of a wider Heritage-Lottery-funded project to explore the landscape, literature, music and folk traditions of the South Dorset Ridgeway. Artsreach asked local singer and folklorist Tim Laycock, and well- known trombone player and Mellstock Band member Phil Humphries to research traditional folk songs, carols and instrumental music from the villages around the Ridgeway, and residents were invited to a series of workshops to learn songs and carols. In particular the group looked at the old West Gallery tradition of singing Christmas carols in four part harmony, accompanied by fiddles, flutes, cellos and even the serpent! The first concerts took place in December 2013, and were a great success; people were genuinely excited and delighted to sing and hear local songs and carols performed in churches along the Ridgeway.

A few years later, the Ridgeway Singers have developed their repertoire to include folk songs collected in Dorset by Henry and Robert Hammond, and newly-composed songs inspired by the landscape of the South Dorset Ridgeway. Their performances are characterised by a great sense of energy and enjoyment, and truly recreate the celebratory sound of an old Dorset Christmas.

Click the Play button to listen (also available on our Listen page)

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Ridgeway Singers & Band Christmas Concert 2017