Bernard Hall, Cuddington
St Mary's Centre
By John Heydon - 1st February 2013 2:00pm
For February Photographs — CLICK HERE
Why Ceiidhs? — Why Haddenham?
John Heydon moved to Haddenham in 1971, discovered Haddenham Village Hall and thought WOW — what a venue for ceilidhs! He then started a series of monthly ceilidhs in December 1972. They have continued ever since.
A little history
John previously lived in Harrow and organised the Herga Folk Club. The Club diversified, formed a morris dance side and started to run ceilidhs on the first Friday of the month in Pinner. John continued running the Pinner Ceilidhs to 1974 and the Herga Folk Club to 1989.
So what is a ceilidh? (pronounced kay-lee)
Well, it is a lot more than just a barn dance. It has that something extra! Dance displays, music sessions and singers contribute to give all round family entertainment. Top quality bands, callers and concert artists are used and for you, the customer, no previous dance experience is needed. It's fun.
We aim for good lively bands that play good tunes, well phrased and with lift and body. Some are loud, some not so loud. We book bands that are there as a dance bands playing for those dancing, and not those who play primarily to satisfy their own egos.
We have never been afraid to experiment with bands; e.g. the Bushwackers & Bullockies Bush Band, the Oyster Ceilidh Band, the Albion Band, Brass Monkey and the High Level Ranters have all played at Haddenham.
We like floor spots. Not every ceilidh organiser does They are an essential traditional element of "the ceilidh". They break things up, prevent the general dancing from becoming too intense, give people a breather and introduce people to the wide range of possibilities in the folk world. You can even rest from dancing and go into our acoustic concert venue (in the Walter Rose Room) should you so choose.
Why do they continue month after month, year after year?
We believe our mixture is right. We cater for new people and regular attendees, both young and old. Continuity of dates and venue all assist in ensuring a successful event. We start on time! The atmosphere is informal, but with a gentle touch of formality. It is genuine and so many people play a role in this: the door staff, those serving drinks and refreshments and the m.c.
We hope the Haddenham Ceilidhs comes over as a complete event: bar, refreshments, cd sales, floor spots, songs, music, dances, publicity of other events, introductions for people who want to move on to related specialist activities like dance clubs, morris and song clubs and of course, everlasting social relationships.
Everyone welcome. The more the merrier!