Lancashire Garland


In 2002, Sid Calderbank asked me if I could assist him with a project he was undertaking for that year's Four Fools Folk Festival which involved a talk about Lancashire dialect writing and singing focussing on the writers from the 17th to the 20th century


from Tim Bobbin to Ted Edwards


Sid did the narration, readings, and a couple of songs and I did another four songs.


This was such a success that we did a similar project at the 2003 festival and recently enlisted Cock Robin Music to record the performance which included a clog dance by Sid's daughter Liz.


For the 2004 festival, Sid had seen a poster of an evening's entertainment at Ilkley College by the renowned Rochdale poet, Edwin Waugh, and though it would be a good idea to see if we could recreate that concert. The readings were given on the poster and whilst Sid had most of the works to hand in his collection, there were a couple that eluded him, but the local library came up trumps.

The songs were all down as "Comic Song" and with just this remit to work with we came up with four songs that we considered "comic" from Waugh's works.

Sid and myself in front of the poster that inspired Lancashire Garland 2004


For the 2005 performance of Lancashire Garland - now an annual event at the festival, I suggested to Sid that we undertake the telling of the Lancashire Cotton Famine from 1861 to 1865 - an period that left Lancashire virtually starving to death.

We knew this was going to be a big project and this time we called on the services of Mike Bartram and Norman Wilson aka "Back In Business" and also Mary, Norman's wife, to assist with the readings. Mike and Norman had previously expressed an interest in the subject and were more than willing to help out with with songs from the American Civil war - the cause of the Famine in the first place.

Whilst I had recorded the previous presentations for posterity, we decided that we should call the professionals in for this and so we asked Chris Harvey of Cock Robin Music if he could do the honours for us.

The result of this is a double CD of the event lasting over 100 minutes


Both CDs are now available to buy for 10 each inclusive of p+p*

Buy both for 15 inc p+p*

Please contact:

Mark Dowding

28, New Acres


Nr Wigan




Please make cheques payable to "Mark Dowding"


Payment by "Paypal" is available.

Please email for more information


*Overseas enquiries - please email for postage costs.



The Lancashire Garland presentation for 2006 at Four Fools Folk Festival features Sid celebrating 200 years of the song "Jone o' Grinfilt"