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January 2001 - Newsletter 66

2000 Review (well, everyone else seems to do it)
It weren't all bad. In fact, on reflection, It was actually very positive from our point of view. We released 2 very different recordings on CD and cassette, 'Folk N Brass' and 'Musical Allsorts' They are both slightly off The Yetties beaten track but there is nothing truer than the saying 'variety is the spice of life' and 'Musical Allsorts' has been particularly well received. We also made good progress on the video front as well. 'It's A Fine Thing To Sing' was released in the summer. This is the film of the recording of 'Wild Mountain Thyme' in The Digby Hall, Sherborne. There is a mix of songs that actually went on the album and some that didn't. This is the first of our videos to be all-digital. I'm not sure how this works but I think we are all reduced to numbers [this is something I have worked hard to avoid in the past] and then brought back to life again through a computer. The results are great, no more twitching across the screen and when you make copies the quality does not diminish at all. The other video was the 2nd part of 'Along The River Stour'. I hate to think how many hours of work went into the making of this but many customers have told me that it was worth it. It has all been a steep learning curve for me. Not only have I had a crash course in filming and editing but I really enjoy the research, I've met so many interesting people and I've learnt a tremendous amount about the south-eastern part of Dorset.

Just before Christmas we treated ourselves to a new vehicle and sold our old one to Mike and Sylvia Rodbourne who live up in Suffolk. If you see a blue Talbot minibus with Yetties logos on it in that area it's not us it's them but give them a wave anyway because they are very good friends and I think they would like that. The Mercedes we have purchased is a little smaller than the Talbots which we have been driving for donkeys years so packing it is a bit of a problem. Give me a couple of years though and I'll crack it.

The Music Club
The Music Club (1st Wednesday of the month except January) has been going extremely well. We haven't had a duff night all year. Whether we book a guest or not there always seems to be a fine array of talent on hand to entertain the audience and I always enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and having the chance to listen to other performers.

The Halsway Manor
The Halsway weekend in February was another notable event. It was completely knackering (I lost my voice from too much singing) but the enlarged Yetties family have a rare old time. The staff at the Manor are great to us and reckon it's by far the liveliest weekend during the year. We have music, dance, song, stories, daft competitions, good food and a little lubrication but not much sleep.

Well, it started in good style down at The Digby Hall, Sherborne with our usual Knees Up. We seem to have a natural competition starting between tables as to who can provide the best spread of grub and the most extravagant candelabra. This year there was one, made of plumbing pipes, which had enough candles to illuminate the hall. You could have roasted your own turkey with it.

The bookings are rolling in. One of the first jobs is to sort out next Christmas. There are only so many weekends to go round and we have some long-standing traditional concerts to fix first. The record is of course Northampton which has been running for 26 or 27 years (no one is sure exactly how long) then there is Christchurch (app. 12 years) and our own events in Sherborne. There are also one or two new ones we hope to build in to the calendar. Didcot is already booked and the Weymouth and Langton Matravers were great and, of course, not too far from home.

We will be at a couple of Folk Festivals this year as well. Cleethorpes at the end of May (contact Mrs. M. White, 01507 462045) and Wadebridge at the end of August (contact Mr. A. Rose, 01822 833874).

Yetminster Fair is on Saturday 7th July. Contact Mrs. L. Foster, Tel. 01935 872751 (evenings and weekends).

The Weymouth Summer Season is on again at The Ocean Room starting on the 3rd of July and running every Tuesday until the end of September. You don't need to book this one, just come along and join in.

There is also a new CD/cassette in the pipeline for Grasmere Music. This will be similar in format to 'Folk Music of England' which has proved a good seller all over the world. We record in early May. We will know the release date come Newsletter 67.

John Dodge
For many years John and Jean Dodge have looked after the door at our events in Sherborne. The Music Club, Christmas Concerts, New Years Eve and any other things that cropped up. Sad to say John died just before Christmas and he will be sorely missed in the town. Not only did he help us but he must have collected thousands of pounds for Sherborne Town band and he was also the leading light behind the Castletown Water Wheel project. Jean promised John that she would carry on working with us and she bravely turned out to take the tickets etc. at New Year. That was definitely beyond the call of duty and I hope you will all spare a thought for her in the coming months.

Yetties Web Site
The amount of information on this has grown considerably over the last few months courtesy of Julian Mullins who looks after it. There are now 9 different sections you can select once you find the site. My knowledge of what goes on is very limited but it is certainly widening The Yetties catchment area. I have recently had 2 E-mails from The States, one from New York and another from San Bernadino in California with requests for the 'All At Sea' album. Apparently the two gentlemen borrowed copies from their libraries back in 1986 and have been looking to buy it ever since. E-mail address:

Classic Video Productions
Phil and Jenny Biggs who run Classic Video have become firm friends since we worked on the 'Journey Thro' The Purbecks' Video. They have produced quite a variety of films over the years with a definite leaning towards old forms of transport. We thought you might be interested in some of their non-Yetties products.