What started out as a pretty mundane task (picking up a cast iron drainage grille for the new patio!!!) turned into a nice little drive around Hertfordshire today. I noticed that on the road to the factory in Bedfordshire, Ickleford and Holwell were a short distance away on either side of the route, so I decided to drop by to see the scenes of the song for myself.
When I was trying to find my own 'voice' as a composer, I studied Hertfordshire folksong to see if it could be part of my musical language. One of the things I found in the local library was a vinyl EP which was a couple singing The Hertfordhire Mayers' Song and John Rand. The former is a folksong and I think that John Rand is too, although I have never found any reference to it since. I found it very inspiring, partly because of the quaver-crotchet rhythm in 6/8 time which is normally a Scottish thing. It has an unusual structure in that it has a verse and chorus and also a short declamatory section. This is what's making me think that it might have been an original song by the performers on the record, rather than a folksong. Anyway, if anyone knows where I can find a copy, please let me know, as I'd love to hear it again. I'm writing an arrangement for string quartet of it which is an ongoing project.
Ickleford is a very pleasant village with lots of timber framed buildings and two pubs literally within staggering distance of each other.
I then drove over to Holwell where the sympathetic villagers gave John Rand a decent burial...
...he could have been put through that very hedge there!!! There there are lots of references to the man himself...
Here's a .pdf giving the full story of John Rand and the Ickleford website is at www.icklefordpc.com (it's got FIVE pubs!!!)...Here is Holwell's site www.holwellvillage.co.uk
I then drove back through the very pleasant villages and towns of Baldock, Cottred and Puckeridge. It's amazing how wet everywhere is, with standing water in many fields...Hopefully we'll have dry weather for a bit.
TX dates...Highland Emergency is on C5, 5HD and 5* most weekends at lunchtime and evenings.
Engineering Ancient Egypt is on Discovery and Discovery HD on Thursday 22nd Nov at 9pm and again on Discovery +1 at 10pm.
It's on again on Friday 23rd at 12am (1am on +1) and 3am (4am on +1), Sunday 25th at 6pm (7pm on +1) and Monday 24th at 1pm and 5pm (plus +1 on both).