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The Carol, the Carter and the Collectors – A Talk by Irene Shettle

November 30th @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

In 2008 Irene Shettle spoke to us about Lucy Broadwood and we are delighted to be welcoming her back to Newdigate.

Irene’s talk this time follows the journey of the Christmas carol “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” from its 19th century origins in Philadelphia to its publication in England nearly fifty years later with a new tune and arrangement in 1906. Her talk focuses on the life and music of Henry Garman, the elderly Surrey farm labourer who introduced two important local folksong collectors, the Rev John Broadwood and Ralph Vaughan Williams, to the ballad which was to form the basis of the well-loved tune that is now widely sung at Christmas every year.

Irene has had an interest in traditional folksong from an early age, She has been a resident singer at the Music Institute Folk Club in Guildford since it began in 2005,and in the last twenty years has also performed at folk festivals and clubs elsewhere in England. While continuing her singing, her research into the life and work of the Victorian folksong collector and researcher, Lucy Broadwood has led to the presentation of many talks and shows about Lucy and her fellow song collectors at festivals, clubs, arts venues and for local societies. She has been interviewed on radio and TV and her more recent interest in the life and singing of Henry Garman led to a short interview about him with Lucy Worsley on the BBC TV programme “Lucy Worsley’s Christmas Carol Odyssey”.


November 30th
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


Newdigate Village Hall
Newdigate, RH5 5DA United Kingdom
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