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May 2003 - Newsletter 73

As you can see from the events list we are going to be extremely busy this summer. Business is OK and there is certainly enough work to keep us out of mischief. Another financial year has gone zapping past and it will soon be time for our annual giggle with the accountant. He is certainly a very jolly chap and we know the routine by now. Five minutes business and 55 minutes chatting and telling stories of the year gone by. I suspect we are the lighter end of his problems.

New Recording (Messing About on the River)
On the 17th of March we set off to Beehive Studios down on The Somerset Levels with Richard Helson (fiddle and mandolin) and Bob Barratt (Grasmere Music) to record the new CD. As commutes go it must be one of the best. 50 minutes or so of beautiful Somerset countryside, just right to gather the thoughts for the day ahead. Ollie, who owns and runs the studio, knows the routine by now and we were very quickly into recording mode. It all went very smoothly and at the end of the week we were very pleased with the results. In fact, having just heard the test CD, I can tell you without fear of contradiction that it 'aint all bad.

The tracks on the CD are: Messing About on the River; I'se The Bye; Leave Her, Johnny, Leave Her; Our Sarah; Westphalia Waltz Medley; Come by the Hills; Whip Jamboree; Sweet Thames Flow Softly; Let the Bulgine Run; The Primrose Polka; The Country Carrier; The Ladies Go Dancing at Whitsun; The Freeborn Man; The Prune Song; Sailing; John O' Dreams, Send Me a Postcard; Dil Pickle Rag; Leanin'; The Punch & Judy Man.

With cover photographs in mind, we were all for calling the CD 'Leanin'. After all you can lean anywhere and not do yourself an injury. In fact, we are pretty good at it. But Bob Barratt thought differently. Nothing but 'Messing About on the River' would do. This is why a couple of weekends ago you could spot us in a tiny rowing boat near Sturminster Newton on the River Stour looking somewhat pensive and doing our best to row in every decreasing circles. The boat had been out of the water all winter. This causes the wood to dry out and shrink and this in turn lets the water in. In the song 'Messing About on the River' there's a line which says 'The first thing you learn is the right way to bale'. Very appropriate!!! However, we always aim to entertain and there is no doubt that the dog walkers that Saturday morning were entertained.

The album should be ready for release at the end of June.

Old Yetties LPs
My stock of these turns over at a high rate of knots and Halsway Manor Library benefits from the cash raised. If you have any you wish to pass on to good homes or would like to purchase some please ring 01935 814611.

Pre-Yetminster Fair Gathering Friday, 11th July
I'm afraid we are working on the 11th but you will be welcome at The Weavers Club, Westbury, Sherborne. There will be music, club price booze and we will provide some nosebag just to get you in the mood for Yetminster Fair.

Yetminster Fair - Saturday, 12th of July
Get your information about camping facilities etc. and tickets for the evening concert from Derek Mott, Stonechat, High Street, Yetminster, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 6LF. Tel. 01935 872123. Another Tel. No. you might find useful is that of the Tourist Information Office in Sherborne. 01935 815341.

I have just thought of a great motto for the Fair. 'The sun always shines at Yetminster Fair even if sometimes it is above the clouds'.

New Bus
Did you hear the cheer a couple of months ago when our mechanically inept Mercedes went down the road? We are now the proud owners of a Ford Tourneo (a poshed up Transit) which is an absolute gem. No longer do I have to worry about the gear box not changing gear, a handbrake that doesn't work, headlights not good enough to lamp a rabbit etc. etc. Driving (apart from odd excursions round the M25) is a pleasure again. Yippee!!!!

'Memory Lane'
From The Yetties Accounts Book 1/5/1964 after a folk weekend at St. Audries Bay Holiday Camp.
Return of Beer Bottles: 7 shillings and 6 pence

It must be something to do with our age because people have been interviewing us recently to get information for books. We had a very convivial evening in The White Hart at Yetminster a couple of months ago to chat about Sidmouth Folk Festival with Bob Common, who left the group at the end of 1979, and Derek Schofield, who is writing the history of the Festival for the 50th in 2004. I have also given loads of photographs and information to Sheila Hill who is up-dating the history of Yetminster. There will be a chapter in it about the group. This will be published next year as well. Then blow me down three days ago Alan Chedzoy rang to say he was writing a book on Dorset Dialect and could he dedicate it to us. What a lovely thought. Thank you Alan.