News items of interest to TSF members 

Women’s Revolutions Per Minute

Hilary Friend has written to tell us about her work with WRPM.

Dear Friends

I thought you would like to  know that Women’s Revolutions Per Minute (WRPM) was featured in Music Matters,  a magazine programme on BBC Radio 3,  on Saturday October 28th at 12.15pm.

’40 years of WRPM, a unique collection of music performed, composed and produced by women’.   [BBC Radio 3 Schedule].

The BBC Radio 3 production schedule moves at a hectic pace. The feature was proposed  first only two weeks ago by Edwina Wolstencroft  Radio 3 Editor and Diversity Lead. She has responsibility for Radio 3 International Women’s Day and related programming. I met her at the recent international conference at Bangor University on Women’s Work in Music Presenter Tom Service and researcher Nancy Bennie visited the WRPM Collection and Archive at Goldsmiths and there have been some follow up interviews. It is be a short segment made up of different voices and music. It is 40 years since WRPM began in December 1977, the hook for the programme! Caroline Hutton and I deposited the WRPM Collection and Archive at Goldsmiths Library Special Collections in 2012 and I’m a Visiting Research Fellow there.  There are over 1500 recordings plus the archive of papers, correspondence and ephemera newly catalogued. It is much used by students and open to the public.   Also 2001-05 is archived on the site. Do let me know if you get the chance to listen and I’ll keep you posted with any further plans. If you have ideas about what next please send them! Do visit WRPM . Contact numbers on the Goldsmiths website or  contact me: or
           All best wishes

                       Hilary Friend

24 October 2017


You can listen to the programme here – the WRPM segment is at 37 minutes



Traditional Song Forum members have been busy publishing new books, so here is a round-up.

Faber has published Steve Roud’s mammoth (764 page) Folk Song in England – go to the Faber website for details. Best deal is at the Book Depository (an Amazon subsidiary) where you can get free postage to anywhere in the World. 

While the ink on that was still drying, Steve Roud, in partnership with David Atkinson, has also had another book published by Cambridge ScholarsStreet Literature of the Long Nineteenth Century. This is rather more expensive at £64.99 (and is the same on Amazon). However you can get a 20% discount on the publisher’s website if you use the code ‘street20’.

Steve Roud also provided a Foreword for my own book As I Walked Out, Sabine Baring-Gould and the search for the Folk Songs of Devon and Cornwall and Julia Bishop provided an authoritative appendix on the music of Baring-Gould’s collection. The book is published by Signal Books and you can get this from the Book Depository for £14.67 (including postage to anywhere in the world). I can’t compete with the postage elsewhere, but if you write to me [martin.graebe(at)] I can send you a copy for £14.60.

Finally, Peter Wood’s book Johnny Handle, Life and Soul is now available from him – go to his website where you can buy the book for £14.50 (including postage in the UK).


TSF Meeting, Sheffield 16 September 2017

The TSF meeting held in Sheffield was enjoyed by all and a report on the meeting will be circulated shortly and a copy placed here. We had a preview of the latest version of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Digital Archive which will be going live in the next few weeks. This is a major revision of the current website, which takes into account feedback from users over the last few years. For the first time the archive will include sound files from the Ken Stubbs and James Madison Carpenter collections as well as their manuscript material. Congratulations to all involved and we will look forward to the relaunch, which will take place shortly. Also at the meeting, Ian Russell delivered the second Roy Palmer Lecture. His topic was Why Study Traditional Song/Singing? A Personal Quest for Meaning and it proved to be a fascinating description of the journey that Ian has made, following traditional songs and singers and included many interesting anecdotes about the people he met along the way. 

And there was cake – to celebrate 20 years of the Traditional Song Forum (thank you, Shan). The afternoon finished with some short presentations, each designed to help us form our plans for the next twenty years of TSF.


Future Meetings

The next TSF meeting will be a special meeting Songs in Tradition and Print, to be held in Sheffield, on 25 November 2017. For more details and to book tickets go to Songs in Tradition and Print


Booking for meetings

TSF members will, in future, be requested to sign up for meetings through the Eventbrite system. This will make it much easier for the people organising meetings to estimate how many will be attending and plan accordingly. There will be no charge for ‘normal’ TSF meetings, but special events such as ‘Songs in Tradition and Print’ will have a cost of admission.



TSF Meeting in Lewes, 25 March 2017

With apologies for their lateness, here are the notes of the meeting in Lewes held in March. 


TSF Membership Secretary

At the Liverpool meeting it was agreed that we would appoint Shan Graebe as the TSF Membership Secretary. She has now started work and any queries about membership or changes of details should be directed to her – shan, She will be writing to you in the near future. (Added 2-05-17)


TSF in Liverpool 19 November 2016

Notes from the Liverpool meeting can be seen here (Corrected 17-08-17)


Whalsay’s Heritage of Songs

A wonderful website that has been put together by Peter Cooke. Whalsay is a small island, lying a few miles East of the Shetland mainland and has a distinct culture. There songs from a number of singers with both texts and recordings and photos and details of the singers. A very enjoyable site to browse – go here. (Added 3-4-16)


Song Resources on the Web – fully revised

We issued the first list of Internet resources back in 2002 and it has now been fully checked and reissued – you can see it here. Some sites have disappeared. Some new ones have emerged. Some have improved. Some (including some from organisations that ought to know better) have actually got worse. Have a browse – you will, I hope find something new to delight you.    (Added 14-1-16)


News Archive

Previous news items of longer term interest have been archived – click to view the News Archive


Updated 16 October 2017