The photos on this page have been obtained from various sources, but mainly from a scrap book maintained by Moira, from
Allison, and from me (Hugh).

In 1972, the Brewery Arts Centre opened in Kendal and the following year the Sunday night folk club started with Bob
Marston, Richard (Dickie) Hannant, Howard Elliot, Dave Neve, and Hugh Taylor soon forming a committee. Bob did
the booking of guests, followed by Hugh after Bob moved down to Norwich. Howard did the MC'ing, Dickie looked after the
door and the money, and Dave along with Monica his wife ran the record counter.

Out of the folk club sprang Kendal Morris Men, with Roy Eccles as musician on accordion. Hugh and Dave started singing
and playing together, and were soon joined by the vocals of Bob and the playing of Roy. The four started performing as
Westmorland Packet, and in 1976 played two tracks on a vinyl record - The Best of BBC Radio Carlisle's Folk Workshop.
Recorded by Paul Adams, he later moved on to form Fellside Recording Studios. As we were the only group to play
instrumentals as well as singing, we were asked to play some border music and so we opted for 'My Love She's But a
Lassie Yet
' to open the LP, and 'Nancy and Jamie Allen' to close it. On the LP Roy played piano accordion, Dave banjo
and fiddle, and Hugh guitar.
Steve Tomlinson soon joined us after moving up from Blackpool in 1976: quite a culture shock after performing in Diamond
Lill's Saloon! Also playing occasionally at the time with Westmorland Packet, as his work at sea allowed, was Pete
Rigg on English concertina.

In circa 1976, Roy left his job as a factory manger in Kendal and bought the Crown Inn at High Newton, where he quickly
started a weekly informal folk night: probably the very first of what became known later as 'a session'. Starting in the
downstairs bar, the session moved into the upstairs lounge after Roy and Audrey had fitted it out. It very soon became a
place for local and visiting singers and musicians to drop into, and to this day people still remember some of us from those
times.

In this shot taken around 1980, Hugh is at the rear
playing one row melodeon. Moving clockwise, Dave
Neve is playing fiddle, Geoff Dixon playing guitar,
Audrey getting ready to sing, Bob Bradbury of West
Somerset Morris Men playing melodeon (and making
a visit to John Jackson of Furness MM and sat
behind Dave), Roy playing his accordeon, and
Steve singing and playing guitar.
Here is Bob Bradbury again on the same evening doing
some Dartmoor stepping. Of interest in the photo besides Roy
and Steve are Mik Mead playing guitar (he is still performing in
the South Lakes) and 'Lewis' in the back ground with a red top
on. We never did know his surname or much about him, but
he always seemed to 'be around' and was last heard of in
Australia.
Besides playing each Thursday night at the session,
Roy roped us in on other occasions. We're not sure
when this is or what the occasion was, but Hugh is on
the left, then Steve, Roy, and Dave on the right.
Check trousers were obviously 'in' that year!

 

Another dance group that started in the 70's was the Westmorland Step and Garland Dancers, with some members being
wives of the Kendal Morris men. Based at the Brewery in Kendal, both Hugh and Dave were associated with the side. When
they wanted a ceilidh in 1981, it seemed a good idea to try and form a band from the musicians at the folk club and
based around Westmorland Packet. The faded photo below was taken by Helen Birket (now Whitaker) at the dance and
shows Dave Rochell as caller, with musicians behind from right to left - Neil Parkinson on fiddle, Dave Neve also on fiddle,
Pete Rigg on English concertina, Brian Birket on banjo, Steve Tomlinson on melodeon, with Steve Black behind on guitar.
Presumably Hugh is off to the left somewhere.


Soon after that ceilidh, a fine musician called Pete Waller and his wife joined the Step Dancers, and that was the spur for
some of the musicians at the above ceilidh to form their own band, eventually coming up with the name Tumbling Tom
which someone said was Westmorland dialect for a hayrake or pitch fork, or something. And so TT started performing, with
the line up of Pete Waller on button accordeon and melodeon, Steve on melodeon, Hugh on bass guitar, and Dave on
fiddle, mandolin, and banjo, with Dave Rochell as their regular caller, with Sheila Mason and Martyn Harvey helping out on
occasions.

In 1984, Roy paid for Westmorland Packet to record a tape at Linden Studios near Shap. The tape has recently been
re-mastered, and the tracks are shown below. Just click on a track to listen. All are trad. unless stated.

- The Blacksmith
- Broom of the Cowdenknowes
- Polka set - Twas within a Mile/The Quaker
- Beltane Fires (wrote by Steve)
- Greenland Whale
- Congleton Bear (wrote by Pete Coe)
- Napoleans Dream
- Jig Set - Dingle Regatta/Merrily Kiss the Quaker/Tripping Upstairs
- The Old Miner/Dan Lenos Boat
- Curious Times

The line up on those tracks was -
- Roy on piano accordion and whistles
- Steve on vocals, melodeon, guitar and bouzouki
- Dave on fiddle, mandolin, banjo, and whistles
- Hugh on vocals, guitar, melodeon, and percussion

Pete Waller soon left the area, and Roy depped when the pub work allowed, but in 1986 he too left the area for Cambridge.
Fortunately another fine box player moved into the area - Andrew Service - and he quickly filled a slot in the band, adding
button accordeon and synth. At that time, Andrew was also playing with a ceilidh band based around Clitheroe called
Blackthorn Band with caller Gwyndon Boardman, and so Gwyndon started to become our caller of choice when the gig was
down Lancashire way.
This photo was take in Hornby school in 1987, and shows
from left to right: Dave Rochell, Hugh, Andrew, Steve, and
Dave Neve.
When we arrived at this event, the school told us that they
were expecting a singing group, not a ceilidh band. After that
hiccup, the band started sending out a contract to ensure that
both parties know exactly what to expect.
Around this time, we also added Les Ord to our lineup on drums, and so became a five piece band. When Les couldn't
make it Iain Hunter would dep for him, a situation that continues to this day.
We played for a few years at Fell End Caravan Park
near Beetham, and this one was 1990..

This photo is labeled 'Leyland' so it could be one of -
1989 for the Royal Lancashire Morris Men 
1989 for Leyland PTA
1990 at the RAOB club

 

Playing at PTA's was a staple for most bands in
those days (whatever happened to PTA ceilidh's?)
and this one was at the Queen Katherine School in
either 1989 or 1990, with Martyn Harvey calling

We played at Kendal Town Hall quite regularly, so the two below were taken in one of -
1989 or 1990-May for Westmorland Step and Garland Dancers day of dance
1989 - October (Martyn's day of folk activities?)
 
In 1989, Martyn succeeded in getting us on the bill at Redcar
Folk Festival for the Friday night ceilidh, and so the
organisers needed a publicity photo. This and the one below
were two of the many attempts we made at creating something,
but which we ended up using we're not sure. The gig
was memorable in many ways, one of which was that four of us
were squashed into one small bedroom. Andrew was married
to Moira at the time and so had the luxury of a double room
to themselves.

We played again at the festival the following year, and had
the nearest thing to a band tour as the Friday night was at
Redcar, and Saturday night at Kirkby Stephen on the way home.
 
.

We think the two below were taken at the Redcar Festival
   
Having Morris Men within the band in those days (Hugh and
Les danced with Furness Morris) they had close relationships
with other dance sides in the area. This photo was taken in 1990
at High Hesket village hall when we played for the Carlisle
Sword teams day of dance.
Gwyndon (who danced with and ran Clitheroe Morris) is calling,
and Georgia Shorrock can be seen dancing in the right
foreground wearing a flowery dress

We also played for Throstles Nest womens side in 1988

The venue of this is unknown but is thought to be in
1990
We played at Beckside Village Hall near Kirkby-in-Furness a
total of nine times between 1989 and 1994. Sometimes this
was a community social organised by Peter Fitzpatrick, and sometimes for the local tennis club where the Fuegler family always semed to sweep the board.
A wedding at Windermere in 1990?
One of the most difficult places we have played in was the
Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park, Lancaster for a wedding
in 1990, with Dave Rochell calling. The acoustics for a band
like ours were terrible, and we eventually played with almost no
PA. Never again!

The band always retained a close connection to the Westmorland Step and Garland Dancers, and often played at
their days and |weekends of dance. In 1990 the Cloggies established a friendship with a Peruvian band called Chan
Chan, and they appeared at the Cloggies day of dance ceilidh as an entertainment spot.
   
In August 1990 , the band were asked by Alan Bell to play at Fylde Folk Festival, and we took Steve Parkinson along to mix our sound. This poor quality photo is taken during our sound check in the Drill Hall.
Also in August 1990 (we played 4 gigs in August that
year) is this photo taken in the courtyard at Dallam
Tower near Milnthorpe, where we were playing
for Milnthorpe Tennis Club. Our caller was Sheila
Mason, and she can be seen sitting down
between Steve Parkinson (depping for Steve) and
Andrew.

The Cumbria University campus in Ambleside is still known by older people by its former name of Charlotte Mason College,
and the band have played there many times (and continue to do
so to the present day). The occasions have included Freshers Week, Christmas Ball, Ambleside Adventure Group, Rag Week, Psychologists convention, and for Brathay Hall

This one was in August 1990, with Martyn calling


One of the venues we used to enjoy playing at was the Malt Room in the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal. In the 90's,
Martyn used to organise monthly ceilidh's and invited different local bands to play. They were later styled as a Family
ceilidhs, and our last such evening was in 2005 when the cost involved with room hire became prohibitive.

The two photos below were taken at the same event: a Valentines night ceilidh with Martyn calling in 1991

   
The occasion here is a harvest supper in Kirkby
Lonsdale school with Gwyndon is calling. November
1990
Again the venue is unknown, but the standout feature are Hugh's trousers!
A regular venue for many years was the
Netherwood Hotel in Grange-over-Sands,
usually playing for weddings. This was taken in 1991
and shows an unusual arrangement of the band
as we would normally set up in the fireplace.
Steve looks to be doing a Shadows walk!

The Lancashire Wallopers were formed in 1981 by students of
the legendary clog dancer and music hall entertainer Sam
Sherry, and they continue to perform traditional clog routines
based on the steps of Sam Sherry and other famous clog
dancers from the north of England. Each year they hold a day
of dance, and in 1990 and 1991 Martyn managed to get us
onto the bill to play for their evening ceilidh with himself calling.
Harry Cowgill, one of the Wallopers, can be seen dancing
centre left

1991 was also the year that the band changed their speakers
from HH on stands to 3-way Peavey EN325 which needed to sit
on the floor, and these can be seen on this and subsequent
photos.

Les our drummer developed into a fine caller in his
own right, and is now in demand from other bands in
the northwest. From time to time the band went out
with Les calling and drumming, and here he is calling
with the band at the Central Plaza Hotel in Carlisle in 1992
   
By this time, Hugh had taken over from Steve as the
main melodeon player in the band sharing the melody with
Andrew on his keyboard or button accordion, and leaving Steve
to concentrate on rhythm and lead guitar. At the start of 1993,
Hugh upgraded his melodeon from the black Hohner Erica that
he had been playing in the band to the Castagnari Tommy that
he still plays, and here it is in July 1993 playing at the
Parklands Country Club in the Burnside Hotel for the
Windermere Festival
Over the past hundred years or so, the English seem
to have had problems identifying with their own culture,
and often tend to look to the USA for association.
The bain of most English folk dance bands is to have
the dance advertised with cowboy associations as
this poster from 1994 illustrates.
The band have also had problems with their name over the
years, as this poster from a Burns Supper in Lancaster in 1993 illustrates!

 

By 1995, Fiona Loynes (now Rigg) was starting to call occasionally with us, and Tony Farren depping on bass when
Andrew couldn't make it. Also coming out with us on occasions at that time were Pete Saunders calling, and Mark Robinson
on bass who taught at Ambleside Primary School alongside Fiona.

.

Whoop Hall in 1996 for the wedding of David Leeman
and Jo Hayhurst. In 2015 we played again for them,
this time for Jo's birthday

On this photo, Iain Hunter is depping for Les

In 1997 Andrew moved down to Guildford with his work, and the band again reorganised itself, bringing in Fiona full time on
keyboards and calling, and Tony Farren full time on bass and mouth harp. We were now a band with five musicians and two
callers, a unique arrangement.

When we played gigs up in the Carlisle area, we would often call in Georgia Shorrock as a caller, and when in 1999 the
band were asked to make a CD of dance music for Holiday Fellowship we asked Georgia to feature her trombone and sax
on two tracks. The tracks on that CD are shown below -

- Lewis James Quadrille/Le Fleur de Bruyerre
- Marmalade Polka/Brass Nuts
- Bit Between the Teeth/Scampi Tales/Fiery Clockface
- Dorsetshire Hornpipe/Stybarrow Crag
- Bear Dance
- Woodland Flowers/Seven Stars
- Astleys Ride/Lichfield Tattoo
- Three Round Three
- My Love She's But a Lassie Yet/Jamie Allen/Davy Knick Knack
- Tower Farm/The Knott
- Double Lead Through/La Bastringue
- Banish Misfortune/HF48
- Johnny Todd/Durham Rangers
- Perfect Cure/Uncles Jig
- Sir Roger de Coverley/New Long Room at Scarborough

There have been no more major changes in the bands lineup since that time, though we occasionally play with deps when
the full band isn't available. Over the years, these have included -
- Guitar - Norman Bell, Tony Kelly, Steve Parkinson
- Bass - Mark Robinson, Paddy Garrigan, Neil Brook
- Drums - Iain Hunter, John Whittaker, Chris Malkin

We think this was taken in 2007 in the grounds of the
Netherwood Hotel.
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Band Blog - The early days