‘It feels as if there is a wonderful renewed energy for the singing of these carols this year, with workshops being held in Penzance, St Ives and Redruth to teach the carols as well as many other places such as Falmouth, Padstow and Troon continuing with their traditions. I’m delighted to say that the Red River Singers have also recorded a CD of these carols too called Arise & Sing!’
Authors, singers and researchers, Sally Burley and Hilary Coleman have for many years been actively involved in this carolling tradition, and during 2016 they travelled around Cornwall, recording stories, memories and local versions of carols. ‘Hark! The Glad Sound of Cornish Carols’ was published in November 2017 and immediately sold extremely well virtually selling out within a month! The good news is that a reprint has been done for this carolling season. In 2018 it was universally acclaimed as the winner of the Federation of Old Cornwall Society’s Holyer an Gof Cup and gained national recognition when the Folklore Society of Great Britain placed it third in their Katharine Briggs Award.
Partly funded by the Cornish Heritage Trust, The Federation of Old Cornwall Societies and the Red River Singers, the book is accompanied by 2 CDs of recordings and contains 32 carols with associated history and photos.
“We hope the book will continue to raise awareness of our wonderful carols and will preserve this heritage as well as increasing knowledge of Cornish history through the background of the carols and the local stories” said Sally Burley.
Hilary and Sally were delighted when they received the following message from Bert Biscoe after he had read a copy of Hark and shared it with others: ‘due to your book, my mother-in- law has been wandering in her mind around Towednack seventy five years ago singing with the band; Peggy Gill, who is organist at Leekseed, is remembering carolling in Delabole and St Teath; and so on – you have not simply published a book, you have ignited a joyous recollection and renewal! When grandmothers enthuse their grandchildren to sing carols from their villages then you know you’ve created something special’.
Copies of the book are available at Waterstones’ in Truro, The Cornish Store in Falmouth, Trevada in Camborne and Edge of the World Bookshop in Penzance. Or you can order online at www.francisboutle.co.uk
This year watch out for the Red River Singers and also the Redruth Carol Choir at the following events
Sunday 1st December & Sunday 5th January– 8pm Countryman Inn, Piece, TR16 6SG
Saturday 7th – 12 – 2pm.Carols, Godolphin House, TR13 9RE
Sunday 8th – 4.30pm. Carol singing, Albany Road/Victoria Park, Redruth TR15 2JB
Wednesday 11th – 7.30. Perranzabuloe OCS. Perranporth War Memorial Hall, TR6 0EY.
Thursday 12th – 7.30pm. Merritt Carol Concert. St Agnes Methodist Church, TR5 0UA.
Saturday 14th – 7.30pm. Camborne Carol Concert, Liberal Hall, TR15 8AS
Sunday 15th – 4.30pm. Carol Singing, Plain an Gwarry area, Redruth TR15 1HU
Friday 20th – 6.30pm. Carol Concert. Trevenson Church, Pool, TR15 3PT.
Saturday 21st – 7pm. Diaspora Carol concert. St Just Miners’ Chapel TR19 7LT.
Sunday 22nd – 4.30pm. West End/Trewirgie area, Redruth, TR15 3AD.
Sunday 29th – 3pm. A service of nine lessons in Kernewek (Cornish), St Euny Church, Redruth, TR15 3BT.