A Barnes Supper

  • Stalbridge Village Hall
  • February 23
  • 19:00 - 22:00
Event Website

Dialect poet William Barnes relished the country dances, folksongs and carols of Dorset, and often wrote about community celebrations, where music was a key part of the proceedings. This February the Ridgeway Singers and Band, led by Tim Laycock and Phil Humphries, invite you to join them and celebrate the rich dialect of Dorset through music, song and poetry, alongside a feast of local fayre.

William Barnes was undoubtedly the greatest of the English dialect poets, but he was also, as Thomas Hardy wrote ‘probably the most interesting link between present and past forms of rural life that England possessed’. Born in Bagber, in the Blackmore Vale, on February 22nd 1801, William Barnes attended school in Sturminster Newton. In later life he was an innovative schoolmaster, with a knowledge of over seventy languages, the author of over thirty books in prose, an artist, engraver, musician, folklorist, inventor and parish priest.

Many of Barnes contemporaries regarded him as hopelessly old fashioned, with his love of old ways, old words, and old customs; but now we have cause to be thankful that he captured the sound of the Dorset speech in such an artistic and imaginative way.

Alongside a feast of local fayre, The Ridgeway Singers and Band led by Tim Laycock and Phil Humphries will celebrate the sounds, songs and stories of old Dorset, perform traditional songs collected across the county, play dance tunes from the repertoire of Blackmore Vale fiddler Benjamin Rose, and recite some of the poems that keep alive the rich dialect of Dorset.

Now a popular annual fixture in the Artsreach calendar, this years Barnes Supper celebration takes place at Stalbridge Village Hall on Saturday 23 February, and we are delighted that two local businesses, Dike & Son and Thyme After Time, are supporting the Stalbridge volunteers who are arranging a feast of local fayre. Tickets £18 to include a light supper from 01963 362355, Williams Florist in Stalbridge or online at www.artsreach.co.uk