2017 - October
With the holiday and festival period slowing down, the band were back in action for the 40th birthday of Chris, a member of Furness Morris, at the Ulverston Sports Club. A good evening with three floor spots including Furness Morris and two singers. Happy birthday Chris.
 
2017 - July
The Furness Tradition Festival based in Ulverston is close to the bands hearts (Les is one of the organisers) and we always support it in whatever way we can. Having played the Saturday evening ceilidh last year, we were pleased to be asked again for this year, and decided to bring out the Tumbling Tom Big Band. A great sound playing some new arrangements, the evening was a cracker.
See here for a camera shot video on the night of a schottische written by our drummer Les and danced to a tune written and arranged by the band.
The evenings dancing is interpsersed with concert spots on the two stages to the front and side of the main stage.
   
Two weeks later, the band drove over to Broughton-in-Furness to play for corporate event held by CGP, a major publishing house. A short but energetic set went down well with the employees, and afterwards Emma said Thank you for coming!  It was a brilliant ceilidh and it was great to see so many people getting involved.
   
2017 - April
After an enforced layoff, the band started again with a visit to Allthwaite Community centre to help Raymond and Liz celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Always a privelege to help people enjoy a party, the evening went very well with an excellent 'Jacobs Join' buffet.
 

December -
For the past seven or eight years, December has been an exciting time for the band as its when we play for the Kendal Christmas Ceilidh organised by Crook Morris. In all those years we've aimed to create a Tumbling Tom Big Band by having a brass section within the band. This year we were joined by Rose on trumpet and Debbie on tenor sax as per last year, plus Claire on alto sax. Lots of time spent arranging the material and rehearsing it paid off in spades with a brilliant evening in Kendal Town Hall.
Thanks to Rose, Debbie, and Claire for some great playing and helping to make it a special evening.
Thanks also to Ben Farmer for doing a great job mixing the sound for us.
And thanks to Jen Wilson, and Rose & Mick Gallop for their photos.

Crook Morris said afterwards - After last year's Christmas Ceilidh being cancelled because of Storm Desmond and its resulting floods, it was a great relief to be back in full swing this year. Tumbling Tom were magnificent, with Les and Fiona calling, plus the addition of the wonderful brass section in the second half. Sound engineer, Ben Farmer did a great job with his magical new technological wizardry and entertainment came from Crook dancing and Kendal Revellers singing some seasonal songs. The dance floor was packed all evening with some very energetic dancers and everyone went home tired but (hopefully) very happy.


The evening was a virtual sellout, with a floor full of dancers all evening.

We started the evening with a rapper sword type 'calling on' song (words below) specially written by Les to reflect the 35 years that Crook Morris have been dancing, before segueing into playing Deck the Halls as a free form polka to start the evenings dancing.

Good friends, now I pray, give attention
We’ve called here to see you by chance
We’re musicians all, blithe and bonny
Intending to play for your dance
South Lakes is the place that we hail from
Tumbling Tom is the name we do tell
There’s no finer band in this county
And none call the dances so well

It’s 35 years since Crook started
With odd socks of maroon and green
Each Squires led the side in their own way
And are oft in the bar to be seen
With day jobs too numerous to mention
They’re lively, good looking and lish
So let’s have a fine celebration
Here’s our Anniversary wish

Been a hundred or more lively dancers
At the many events they take part in
Whether Ireland, or France, or Old England
They’ve not managed yet to lose Martyn
With instruments many and varied
The music is rhythmic and driven
At Festivals they’ve been a favourite
And many the compliments given

So here’s to the next 35 years
Whatever that future may bring
Be it Cotswold, or Rapper or Border
Or wassailing out with the King
We’ll dance and we’ll sing all together
Make merry with wine and good beer
So let us get on with the party
Here’s wishing a Happy New Year


The floor full of people dancing Rozsa, that most satisfying of waltz dances.

The excellent Revellers entertained with two spots of seasonal songs

Crook Morris demonstrated their command of the genre with a dance display mid-way through the evening.
 
We finished off the year with a return to the Ambleside Parish Centre. For the past few of years we have played a ceilidh for the students of Cumbria University at Ambleside (what was Charlotte Mason College) and this year we were back again. As previous, the hall was full of lively and boisterous young people enjoying our music: great fun for all. Thanks to Kathryn for booking us again.
Kathryn emailed us after the ceilidh saying - Thank you for the lovely evening and the Band did a outstanding job! I am happy to say we raised approximately £200 for charity donations within the event and will potentially be donating to the local mountain rescue services in 2017. Very kind wishes and for the future
 
The final event of the year was the Furness Tradition 'Winter Gathering' which is an evenings celebration of local folk arts in the district. All the Tumbling Tom members attended and some performed. Here is Hugh playing his Mory diatonic accordeon, with Gill Redmond on cello and Peter Cockhill on fiddle.
 
November -
Just two ceilidhs this month, with both managing to dodge the snow.

Playing in schools for PTA's and the like used to be staple fayre in the 80's and 90's, but less so nowadays, so we were delighted to be asked to travel up to Hackthorpe north of Shap to play for Lowther Primary School. A lovely evening with enthusiastic parents and children. And we even managed to travel there and back without being stuck in snow! Thanks to Nicola and her team for a lovely evening and looking after us so well.
Nicola said afterwards - Thank you very much, we all thought you were just perfect. We all had a fantastic night which we hope to repeat in about 18 months. .

Walking through the Heel and Toe Polka
 
At the end of the month, we travelled over to Crosthwaite Village Hall for a great village get together. With a large turn out and the dance floor full all the time, the evening was a cracker. An added bonus was the performances by some of Crook Morris from Kendal. Starting with a rapper sword dance, they followed up with some songs. A splendid peformance by such talented people. Thanks to Roger and his team for asking us to play.
The rhythm section - Les, Steve, and Mark
Getting underway with the Double Gloucester dance.
Rapper dancing
The spectacular double somersault movement by Dan and Sam in the rapper dance.
The singing spot
 
October -
Another month with three ceilidhs, all of them crackers.
The first was a surprise birthday party at the Longlands Hotel near Carnforth. A small group but prepared to dance all night: what a great crowd. Nayna said afterwards - Was a really good night. Thank you for the great music.
   
The band!

 

The evening following that was a very special event. Its 40 years since the Westmorland Step and Garland Dancers formed in Kendal, and they held a ceilidh at the IBIS Club to mark the event. As Tumbling Tom was formed out of some of the musicians who played for a WSGD ceilidh in 1981 (see here), it seemed only proper to play again for them now. Happy birthday the Cloggies!
Thanks to Jen Wilson for the photos below

Dancing Rose Garland to the tunes Dutch Polka (collected from a Dutch side at a dance festival in France) and the Radowa Polka
The dancers with their musicians behind
The band
   
The last ceilidh of the month was at the castle Street Centre in Kendal helping Kerry and Bruce celebrate their engagement . A lovely evening with enthusiastic dancers. Best wishes for the future to Kerry and Bruce, and thanks for asking us to share in your party..
Here is Les introducing a dance, with Kerry and Bruce just beyond Les.
 
September -
The first of three ceilidhs in the month saw the band in the Ambleside Parish Centre as part of Ambleside's Festival of the Fells. It was also a party to celebrate 10 years of the centre, so very much a combined affair. Many thanks to Helen and her team, and here's to another successful 10 years of the centre serving the community.
Helen said afterwards - Thank you for a fabulous evening
Dancers enjoying Wring out the Dish Rag, a dance that always goes down well.

Then over to Greenodd Village Hall to help Tina and Jane help celebrate their 60th birthdays. A great atmosphere with lots of entertainment . Happy birthdays Tina and Jane.
Tina with some of her friends getting ready for the dance.
The band starting a dance with Les calling prior to drumming

The third ceilidh in the month was in Staveley Village Hall, an old favourite of the bands, to help Cathy and Peter celebrate their silver wedding. The band were joined on this special occasion by our brass section of Rose, Debbie, and Connie. Thanks to them for some great playing.
Les on drums, Steve on guitar, and Tony on bass, joined by Rose on trumpet, Debbie on tenor sax, and Connie on alto sax.
Dancing the Circle Schottische
Cathy thanking the brass section
The brass section receiving flowers from Peter
   
August -
In between visiting festivals, we managed to fit in a wedding for Chris and Ellie at The Villa near Levens. A lovely venue , the evening started with Chris and Ellie dancing to a family band, and then the ceilidh part of the celebrations got underway. A great night with lots of enthusiastic dancers. They said afterwards - We had an absolutely wonderful evening, & all the guests loved the ceilidh - so many people who never normally dance were up on the floor exercising their new twinkle toes & it was such a barrel of fun.
Ellie and Chris dancing to the family band
July -
Each year, Les is involved with Furness Tradition in putting on a festival in Ulverston of music, song, dance, and other related folk arts This year they asked Tumbling Tom to play for the Saturday evening ceilidh, and what a great night it was, with the Coronation Hall packed with dancers.
Dancing Tumbling Toms Tonic, a stephop written by Les.

 

April -
Halton Community Centre on the east side of Lancaster was a new venue for us, and not too easy to find with all the road works going on to build the Heysham link road. We arrived safely however and helped Jane celebrate her 60th birthday. Happy birthday Jane!

Here are some of the guests enjoying a basket in the Cumberland Square Eight.


Then back to the village hall in Warton where we've played a number of times over the years. This occasion was for a special birthday for Hilary. A great group of people and a lovely special atmosphere made for a very enjoyable evening. Happy birthday Hilary!
After the event one of the guests sent us a short mobile phone video featuring part of the circle schottische, and it can be viewed here.
Guests relaxing after the meal listening to a speech by husband Kevin.
The dancing underway with Les calling
Enjoying a four handed turn down the set.

 

 

Our final ceilidh of the month was at the Low Wood Hotel on the shores of Windermere, a familiar venue for the band over many years. This occasion was for a conference of dentists, and they danced the night away with great enthusiasm. Thanks to Eric for the invite.

 

March -
The Netherwood has been a regular venue for the band over many years, and this latest visit was to help Roy and Sonya celebrate their wedding. A small and enthusiastic group of dancers made for an excellent evening.
Sonya said afterwards - We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We were happy with the percentage of dancers we managed to coax onto the floor. We even converted some "not ceilidhed" before. It was a good atmosphere with lots of laughter. Thank you

Getting the dancing underway
Stripping the Willow, with the band in the background in the fireplace.
The month ended with the sad news of the death of a past member of the band - Roy Eccles. His music sessions at the Crown in High Newton in the 70's and 80's are remembered with affection by many people. See Early Days for more on Roy
February -
Having been forced to cancel the annual Christmas ceilidh in Kendal Parish Hall last December because of the floods, Crook Morris changed the venue to Kendal Town Hall, substituted cakes and biscuits for the usual mince pies and re-launched the event as a Valentine Ceilidh. In their words "it was a roaring success". As in previous years, we augmented our usual five piece line up with some brass players, so thanks to Rose, Connie, and Debbie for some fine playing. Thanks also to Ben Farmer for doing a fine job mixing the sound for us.
Here we are in full flow, from left to right: Connie on alto sax, Debbie on tenor sax, Rose on trumpet, Fiona, Hugh, Les, Steve, and Tony.

The town hall was a great space to dance in, and the 100 or so dancers filled the floor all evening.

During the first and third intervals, the Revellers did some fine singing.
Here they are singing Shepherds Rejoice

During the second interval, Crook Morris changed from dancing clothes to mumming clothes to perform an hilarious mumming play with a St Valentines day flavour.
 
January -
The year started with a special birthday party for Hugh, the bands melodeon player. Held in the Arnside WI Hall, 65 people turned up to help Hugh celebrate. Thanks to all who braved the snowy conditions.
He doesn't look a day older!
Dancing well under way


The month continued with a trip up the M6 to the North Lakes Hotel in Penrith for the special birthday of Jackie. A great night and a pleasure to share a real family and friends evening. Happy birthday Jackie!
Jackie with her husband and some of her children
All ages enjoying the dance floor


Poynton monthly ceildhs have been running for many years now, and the band were last asked to play in 2012. It was great to be asked back again, and though a long drive for us its good fun to play for lots of experienced dancers. Thanks to Steve and his team
Steve said afterwards - I thought the music was great and also enjoyed dancing, and thought the dances were pitched at the right level.
Ranting to the dance composed by one of our callers Fiona for Hughs birthday.
Dancing Tumbling Tom's Tonic, composed by our other caller Les Ord some years ago.
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tumbling Tom Band 'the ceilidh roots dance band for people out there'

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Band Blog - 2016