Background

In 2015 Halsway Manor Society celebrated 50 years of being The National Centre for Folk Arts. A major oral history project to uncover its unique story as part of their Golden Jubilee celebrations was supported by a grant of £41,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Telling Tales project was managed by Gavin Davenport and much of the work on the project was carried out by some of Halsway’s committed volunteers.

Halsway Manor Society has played a significant role in the folk revival since the 1960s; several generations of people – from the region and from all over the country – had their first experiences of participating in folk music, dance and song at Halsway Manor, including many well known folk musicians and singers.

Telling Tales focuses on the people involved in the Society since its inception in 1965, collecting stories, recollections and memorabilia from the early days to the present through a team of volunteers. The oral history interviews and research materials will be archived and accessible through West Somerset Heritage Trust and will also inform a new online resource which will include information about the history of Halsway Manor and its people as well as music, video, pictures and interactive features. The new website will be available in summer 2016.

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