Friday, 29 September 2017

Forthcoming performances October 2017

4th October. Tuneful Stories at Max Gate, Alington Avenue, Dorchester 1pm-4pm. Normal National trust admission applies.

6th-8th October. 25th Tenterden Folk Festival, Kent

13th October. Folk concert with Colin Thompson at Long bredy Village Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets £8 adults, U18 £4. all proceeds to village charities.

17th October. The New Hardy Players present 'The Withered Arm' by Thomas Hardy, adapted by Sue Worth.
This performance is in Dorset County Museum for the third Dorchester Literary Festival, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets via the Literary Festival website.

Friday 20th and Saturday 21st October. Tim and Colin Thompson perform songs, stories, tunes and poems to celebrate Trafalgar night at Hardy's Cottage. Tickets from the National Trust website or at Thorncombe Woods Visitor Centre. performances commence at 7pm.

Thursday 26th and Friday 27th October at 7.30pm. The New Hardy Players present 'The Withered Arm' by Thomas Hardy, adapted by Sue Worth. These performances are followed by a barn dance to the music of Tatterdemalion, caller Angela Laycock. Ashton Farm Barn is a superb old tithe barn with a great acoustic, and it's warm!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Forthcoming gigs and plays May 2017

Thursday 18th May at 4pm. TEA WITH MR HARDY at Max gate. The guests are TE Lawrence and Siegfried Sassoon, and the entertainment is a mummers play. Written and directed by Andrew Munro, and performed by members of THE NEW HARDY PLAYERS.

Monday 29th May at noon, 2pm and 4pm. THE NEW HARDY PLAYERS present ' Scenes from A Few Crusted Characters' by Thomas Hardy. Adapted and directed by Penny Levick. Normal National Trust admission applies.

Friday 2nd June. TUNEFUL STORIES at Hardy's Cottage, Bockhampton, Dorchester 1pm-4pm. Tim telling Dorset folktales and singing songs associated with Thomas Hardy's novels and poems. Normal National trust admission applies.

Saturday 3rd June. 'Mr Penny's Workshop'. THE NEW HARDY PLAYERS perform a scene from Under the Greenwood Tree outside County Hall, Top o' Town, Dorchester at approx 5pm as part of the celebrations to mark Thomas Hardy's birthday. Free.

Thursday 8th June. CERNE ABBAS MUSIC FESTIVAL. Election night special!! Tim and Colin Thompson perform a late night folk concert with the Gaudier Ensemble. traditional songs and dances that inspired English composers, from Ralph Vaughan Williams, George Butterworth and Percy Grainger to Benjamin Britten.
Folk songs collected from traditional singers in the early years of the twentieth century have provided some of our best-loved melodies, which seem to represent the very essence of the English countryside. Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson perform a selection of these inspirational songs and dance tunes, and talk about the singers, song collectors and composers, and the search for ' the music of the people'.

St Mary's Church, Cerne Abbas Dorset. 10pm-11pm. Tickets from The Festival Office, 7, Barton Farm, Cerne Abbas, Dorset DT2 7LF tel 07527 528673. Nave seats £14, U18 £7; Aisle and chancel seats £12/ U18 £6.

Friday 9th June. TUNEFUL STORIES at Max Gate, Alington Avenue, Dorchester. 1pm to 4pm.

Saturday 10th June. Tim performing a solo club gig at Elsie's folk club, The Queens Arms, Cowden Pound, Kent TN85NP. 8pm start.

Wednesday 21st June. New Hardy Players present an hour of poetry by Thomas Hardy and some of the writers that he admired. 3pm-4pm. Normal National Trust admission applies.

Friday 23rd June. the Hambledon Hopstep Band [caller Angela Laycock] , Steps in Time, White Horse Morris at the Filly Loo, Ashmnore, near Shaftesbury, Dorset from 7.30pm until dark. The perfect way to celebrate midsummer.

Saturday 1st July. A barn dance as part of the open day at Bellamont House, Long Bredy. House open 1pm to 5pm. Barn dance 3pm to 4.30pm. Caller Angela Laycock, band Tim Laycock and friends [ including members of Tatterdemalion]. Country dancing in a spectacular and unique rural setting.

Thursday 6th July. The New Hardy Players present HIGH TEA WITH MR HARDY at Max Gate. The guests on this occasion are Sir James Barrie and his secretary Lady Cynthia Asquith. The tea is set in 1921, and the entertainment is scenes from Barrie's play peter Pan, performed by children from the National school in Bell street. Delicious cakes, music, drama and crocodiles! written and directed by Tim Laycock. The performance commences at 5pm. Normal National Trust admission applies.

Saturday 15th July at 7.30pm. The Ridgeway singers at St Lawrence's Church, Upwey, Dorset. A programme of folksongs and West Gallery songs, dance tunes and local readings form the Ridgeway singers and Band, directed by Phil Humphries and Tim LAycock. conductor Phil Humphries. This concert will feature a few of the folksngs collected in Upwey from Marina Russell in 1906/7.

Saturday 5th August. the Ridgeway Singers at the Poundbury Food Fair, Queen Mother Square, Poundbury, Dorchester, Dorset. The Singers and Band will be performing two sets of soings and dance tunes during the afternoon; times tbc.

Saturday, 30 July 2016


NEW CD!Any Little Old song Will Do

Tim and fiddler Colin Thompson have a new CD available, recorded live in the parlour at Hardy's Cottage, Bockhampton. the recording features songs and tunes played by Thomas Hardy's family on their fiddles, plus poems and some musical settings by Tim of Hardy verses.

The Cd is called Any Little Old Song Will Do, after the Hardy poem of the same name.

There are 16 tracks, including The Night of Trafalgar, the Banks of Allan water, the Red Petticoat Hornpipe and The Sun From the East. The recording also features a stunning duet on two fiddles by Colin and Ruth Thompson, and vocal harmonies from members of the Upper Longpuddle Glee club. £11.00 including p and p. email Tim on to order a copy.

Any little old song
Will do for me
Tell it of joys gone long,
Or joys to be,
Or friendly faces best
Loved to see.

Newest themes I want not
On subtle strings,
And for thrillings pant not
That new song brings:
I only need to homeliest
Of heartstirrings.

Any Little Old Song by Thomas Hardy

Thursday, 26 July 2012

New Book- Dorset Folk Tales!


The History Press have just published a new book of traditional tales, legends, songs and recitations from Dorset. The book is based on stories I have collected from Dorset folk over the last 35 years, and also includes unusual and little- known tales from written sources. The pages are graced with superb illustrations by Michelle Tilly.

Dorset Folk Tales will shortly be available in bookshops at £10.00.

There are 4 local events where I will be telling stories from the book and signing copies. It wuld be lovely to see you at one of them.

Tuesday 14th August from 6.30pm. Winstone's, 8, Cheap St, Sherborne. tickets from the shop at 32, redeemable against purchase of Dorset Folk Tales.

Friday 17th August. I am doing 2 storytelling performances for the Sting in the Tale festival of Storytelling at allendale House, Hanham rd, Wimborne BH 21 1As, tel 01202 888992. Performances at 3pm [children's show] and 7.30pm.

Saturday 25th August. Waterstones, South St Dorchester, 10.30am- 12.30pm.

Thursday 11th October. Bridport Library, South St, Bridport tel 01305 762403

I will also have copies at all my performances.

Alternatively, I can post a copy to you. Please send a cheque for £11.50 to me at
Brocksbank, Bradford Peverell, Dorchester DT2 9SG

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Benjamin's Book now available!

A complete facsimile copy of the book is now available. Benjamin Rose was a farmer, Alehouse keeper and fiddle player in the tiny North dorset hamlet of Belchalwell. In 1820 he wrote out by hand 134 country dance tunes. This facsimile contains the entire book, plus a detailed introduction giving the musical and social context of the book. The book also contains an MP3 Cd of all the tunes, for players who prefer to learn by ear.

The cost is £21.30 including post and packing in the UK, and £25.50 including post and packing world wide. Please contact Colin Thompson on
or write, including a cheque made out to C Thompson, to
Colin Thompson,
42, Harvey's Close,
Maiden Newton,
Dorset DT2 0BN