This is Mary and Anahata's fourth album, and their second devoted to songs from East Anglia. This one specifically features songs from the Fens. The first album, Fenlandia features East Anglian Songs of many genres.



Cold Fen is an anthology of songs from their researches into songs from the Fens. They live in Cambridgeshire and are actively involved in clubs and sessions in East Anglia. They have a mission to unearth local songs from archives and restore them to the repertoire. They perform at festivals, concert and folk clubs as a duo. They play in the ceilidh bands Fendragon, English Rebellion and Four Hand Band and also play for Pig Dyke Molly based in Peterborough. They give presentations and talks about their research into songs and run instrumental workshops using tunes they have arranged.

PERFORMERS
MARY HUMPHREYS : vocals, Wheatstone English concertinas
ANAHATA: Melodeons 2½ row Salterelle; 2 row Oakwood; 1-row Hohners in C & G; 1-row Castagnari in D; Jefferies Anglo concertina; cello; Goodacre Leicestershire smallpipes; chorus
DOUG BAILEY; guitar, chorus

THE SONGS - COLLECTORS AND SOURCES
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) was an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge from 1892-94. He was an inveterate cyclist, so was probably familiar with the villages that existed around the Fens. He brought his wife to Meldreth for a summer's holiday in 1906, returning again in 1907. During these visits he collected many songs from the locality and they can be found in his manuscripts which are housed in the British Library Rare Books and Music room. There is a microfilm of these in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House, Regent's Park, London for those who don't have a BL reader's ticket.
RVW and his wife leased The Warren for their sojourn in 1906. This is a large house situated on the outskirts of the village, within a short cycle ride of the railway station
Most of the places RVW visited on his collecting journeys are situated radially within a comfortable cycle-ride of Meldreth or had railway stations close by.
RVW was familiar with Lucy Broadwood's work in performance, publication and collection of folksong. She was the Honorary Secretary of the Folk Song Society from 1904 and became the editor of the Folk Song Journal at this time. Lucy Broadwood had corresponded with Ella Bull of Cottenham who sent her collection from Charlotte Dann (nee Few) and others with the intention of publication. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that Vaughan Williams' visit to collect songs from Charlotte at her home in Cottenham in August 1907 was precipitated by information passed on by Lucy Broadwood. It is likely that other songs were collected as a result of chance meetings in the public houses of the villages Vaughan Williams.Most of the contributors were farm labourers or in the labouring trades.
Hoppy Flack (from whom RVW collected the May Song recorded on Floating Verses) lived at the Black Horse pub in Fowlmere.
The Mallion brothers probably met at the Harvest Home pub situated next door to Llewellyn's home in Fen Ditton.Unfortunately neither of these pubs is still in business though the buildings are still there.
Most of the songs that are in the manuscripts are without words, though nearly all have titles. If anyone reading this has tried to simultaneously write words and music from someone's singing s/he will vouch for how nearly impossible it is. As RVW was a musician first and foremost it is unsurprising that he wrote the music in preference to the words. Many of the songs were already known by him in other variants so for publication he would use other texts for reconstructing the songs or re-visit the contributors to write down the words separately.
Fortunately for me, the detective work involved in finding the appropriate lyrics was made much easier by the existence of the Broadside Ballad collection on Oxford University's Bodleian website. In order to make the songs singable I adapted texts to a greater or lesser degree. There is no guarantee that my conjectural couplings of tunes plus lyrics are correct. Anyone hearing these songs is welcome to take them away and do their own sleuthing should they feel that I have put the wrong words to the tune.
Cecil Sharp (1859-1924)visited Cambridgeshire in September and October 1911.He collected from residents of Littleport, including pupils at the girls' school and residents of the city of Ely and its Union (the workhouse.)
Ida Huckell (b1891)was born in West Derby, Liverpool to a couple who were originally from Cottenham. She was orphaned before 1901 - possibly as a result of the flu epidemics that swept the country. The three daughters were taken back to Cambridge with their grandmother Ann Few, a farmer's widow and became acquainted with Ella Bull and her interest in folk song collecting. Ida, aged 15 years submitted a tonic sol-fa rendition of one song on a postcard to Lucy Broadwood in the hope that she might be interested.

THE TUNES - SOURCES
Several of the tunes on the CD come from the recently discovered manuscript book of William Clarke of Feltwell, Norfolk now in the possession of Peter and Lyn Law of Chester. They have been kind enough to give us free access to the book and all their research - a big “Thank you” to both Lyn & Peter from both of us!
Lyn & Peter say that it was offered for sale on e-Bay from a vendor in Michigan USA who could find out nothing about the provenance of the book. Even the “expert” on the Antiques Roadshow had the pedestrian suggestion that they get in touch with someone from the EFDSS to see if they could read the notation! Lynn writes:
There are over 270 tunes - hornpipes, reels, waltzes and quick steps - fitted into the 140 narrow pages of the Feltwell MS book. The lack of polkas may indicate a date before about 1840 and the book resembles those from about 1820. The name and address of William Clarke appear on several pages, together with the date 1858, in writing which looks similar to the musical notation which remains fairly uniform through the book. The true date of the book is therefore uncertain. Who was William Clarke? We assume he was the compiler. Someone stamped the name with an official-looking stamp beside the signatures and it would be intriguing if he could be proved to be the Wm Clarke who was Superintendent of the local workhouse. Unfortunately it is a common name and details of Clarke may remain a mystery.
The tunes never go below middle C and are written in the keys of C, D G and F in the main. Many of them have enormous numbers of ledger lines (some of the manuscript looks like a forest of telegraph poles) so we reckon that Mr Clarke was a flautist.

1 Lakes of Cold Fen 


The tune was collected by RVW in Bassingbourn from agricultural labourer John Harman (spelt Harmon in the MS) on 30th July 1907. The song is well-known throughout the UK and Ireland and the name of the lake varies with the locality. Our friend Jim Causley has recorded one from his home in Devon. I have put a standard set of words to the tune which is, I believe, unique to Cambridgeshire. 

2 Royals Quickstep & Kempshot Hunt 


The quickstep is the second tune found on page 1 of the William Clarke book. A similar tune is to be found as number 281 in the Rev Harrison's MS of 1815 originating in Temple Sowerby Cumbria. The Kempshot Hunt was introduced to us by Alex Schyzcowsky of Cheap Jack band.(Thanks Alex!) The tune is Number 9 in the John Clare MS . The poet John Clare (1793-1864) was also a song and tune collector. He was a native of Helpston, a village a few miles from Peterborough. 

3 Abroad as I was walking 


This was sung to RVW by Llewellyn Mallion (spelt Malyon in the MS) on August 22nd 1906. In the census of 1901 Mr Mallion was a 52 year-old labourer in the cement works at Fen Ditton, a village some 5 miles distant from Cambridge. In spite of the name there seems to be no Welsh connection. The MS just bears the title Abroad as I was walking with no further information, so the number of songs that were candidates for the text were enormous.The one I have selected fitted the words with hardly any need for amendation, so I suspect it is the right one. It is a fine example of folk poetry. There is another variant that has been collected in living memory from Walter Pardon of Knapton, Norfolk by Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie. 

4 There is an Alehouse 


The words for this song were sent to Lucy Broadwood in 1904 by Ella Bull who collected many songs in Cottenham from servants of the family.(See Fenlandia CD for some of them.) This text included as part of the Lucy Broadwood papers in the RVWML came from the singing of Charlotte Dann. Unfortunately the tune for this song was not present in the archives. It was marked as “missing”. Imagine the moment of pure joy when I saw in the RVW MS the title There is an alehouse on the page next to other songs contributed to RVW by Charlotte Dann. 

5 Brandon Waltz and Bury Waltz 


Two very pretty waltzes with local place-names from the William Clarke MS. We have added the harmony parts to them. The Brandon Waltz is number 70 and the Bury Waltz is number 50 in the the collection.(Bury is Bury St Edmunds - not the Lancashire one!) 



6 Georgie 


The tune Geordie was collected by RVW from Mr Wiltshire of Royston Union on 31st July 1907. Mr Wiltshire is listed in the 1901 census as a 75 year-old native of Fowlmere who had been a shoemaker. The text is from Mr Pamplin, a coprolite digger of Fen Ditton who sang Georgie to a different tune on 10th August 1907. I liked Mr Wiltshire's tune better so I have done a pick-and-mix of the two variants. 

7 The Trees They Do Grow High 


Sung to RVW by “Ginger” Clayton of Meldreth on 22nd July 1907. The words are also included (in very faint pencil markings) under the tune. I can find no record of Mr Clayton in the vicinity of Meldreth at this time. He may have not been a resident - Meldreth had a number of breweries and he may have been a carter living elsewhere or an itinerant worker who escaped the census. 

8 Northern Lass & Northern Frisk 


According to Chappell (Popular Music of The Olden Time) this tune from Apollo's Banquet was composed in 1669 during the reign of Charles II. It was arranged for violin from an older pipe tune and was set as an alternative tune for the song The Maid of Doncaster. We were inspired to learn it having heard the version played by Greg Stephens' band Crookfinger Jack. The second tune is one of the old 3/2 hornpipes in John Walsh' Third Book of the Most Celebrated Jigs, Lancashire Hornpipes, Scotch and highland lilts (etc) c1730. It is reprinted in John Offord's John of the Green The Cheshire Way. 

9 The Valiant Sailor 


Cecil Sharp visited Ely Union in September 1911 and collected a couple of verses of this song, along with the tune, from Charles Warner, a 71 year-old agricultural labourer who had been in and out of the workhouse many times. It is very doubtful if he ever had been to sea. Perhaps the song was wishful thinking on his part. I completed the text from a version collected by RVW from Robert Whitby, the sexton from the village of Tilney All Saints, King's Lynn. 

10 Young and Single Sailor 


Ida Huckell wrote this song out in sol-fa notation for Lucy Broadwood and sent it via the Bull family. I can find no record of Ida Huckell after the 1891 census. She was 15 in September 1906 when she sent the song to Miss Broadwood. Ida wrote that the song came from a great-aunt, though she does not name her. I do not believe that the song has ever been published. It has a very pretty tune and compares favourably with other versions. 

11 La Poole Quadrill and the Recruiting Officer 


The first tune is Number 162 in William Clarke's MS. It was originally written in the key of F - not a happy one for many melodeon players. We have transposed it to D. for ease of playing. We team it up with a tune we first heard from melodeon player Danny Gallagher of Essex.. The version we play comes from the Aird collection. 

12 Plains of Waterloo and Down with the French 


Another song collected by RVW from Fen Ditton, this time from agricultural labourer Harry Mallion, brother of Llewellyn and collected on August 27th 1906..Again only the tune was collected and the words are added from a broadside. We follow it with a jolly tune we like to play at sessions which probably sums up the feelings of the bereaved girl in the song. It can be found in the Winder family manuscripts dating from 1789. They were a farming family from Dolphinholme, Wyresdale, Lancashire who diversified into playing for dances locally. 

13 Rosemary Lane 


The final song is another from Fen Ditton's Llewellyn Mallion. RVW collected it on August 22nd 1906. Again it was the tune only which he wrote down. I have used a broadside for the words and have constructed a chorus to give audiences a chance for some vocal participation.
Lakes of Cold Fen
The tune was collected by RVW in Bassingbourn from agricultural labourer John Harman (spelt Harmon in the MS) on 30th July 1907. The song is well-known throughout the UK and Ireland and the name of the lake varies with the locality. Our friend Jim Causley has recorded one from his home in Devon. I have put a standard set of words to the tune which is
Royals Quickstep & Kempshot Hunt
The quickstep is the second tune found on page 1 of the William Clarke book. A similar tune is to be found as number 281 in the Rev Harrison's MS of 1815 originating in Temple Sowerby Cumbria. The Kempshot Hunt was introduced to us by Alex Schyzcowsky of Cheap Jack band.(Thanks Alex!) The tune is Number 9 in the John Clare MS . The poet John Clare (1793-1864) was also a song and tune collector. He was a native of Helpston
Abroad as I was walking
This was sung to RVW by Llewellyn Mallion (spelt Malyon in the MS) on August 22nd 1906. In the census of 1901 Mr Mallion was a 52 year-old labourer in the cement works at Fen Ditton
Sample not available
There is an Alehouse
The words for this song were sent to Lucy Broadwood in 1904 by Ella Bull who collected many songs in Cottenham from servants of the family.(See Fenlandia CD for some of them.) This text included as part of the Lucy Broadwood papers in the RVWML came from the singing of Charlotte Dann. Unfortunately the tune for this song was not present in the archives. It was marked as “missing”. Imagine the moment of pure joy when I saw in the RVW MS the title There is an alehouse on the page next to other songs contributed to RVW by Charlotte Dann.
Sample not available
Brandon Waltz and Bury Waltz
Two very pretty waltzes with local place-names from the William Clarke MS. We have added the harmony parts to them. The Brandon Waltz is number 70 and the Bury Waltz is number 50 in the the collection.(Bury is Bury St Edmunds - not the Lancashire one!) <br> <br>
Sample not available
Georgie
The tune Geordie was collected by RVW from Mr Wiltshire of Royston Union on 31st July 1907. Mr Wiltshire is listed in the 1901 census as a 75 year-old native of Fowlmere who had been a shoemaker. The text is from Mr Pamplin
The Trees They Do Grow High
Sung to RVW by “Ginger” Clayton of Meldreth on 22nd July 1907. The words are also included (in very faint pencil markings) under the tune. I can find no record of Mr Clayton in the vicinity of Meldreth at this time. He may have not been a resident - Meldreth had a number of breweries and he may have been a carter living elsewhere or an itinerant worker who escaped the census.
Sample not available
Northern Lass & Northern Frisk
According to Chappell (Popular Music of The Olden Time) this tune from Apollo's Banquet was composed in 1669 during the reign of Charles II. It was arranged for violin from an older pipe tune and was set as an alternative tune for the song The Maid of Doncaster. We were inspired to learn it having heard the version played by Greg Stephens' band Crookfinger Jack. The second tune is one of the old 3/2 hornpipes in John Walsh' Third Book of the Most Celebrated Jigs
Sample not available
The Valiant Sailor
Cecil Sharp visited Ely Union in September 1911 and collected a couple of verses of this song
Sample not available
Young and Single Sailor
Ida Huckell wrote this song out in sol-fa notation for Lucy Broadwood and sent it via the Bull family. I can find no record of Ida Huckell after the 1891 census. She was 15 in September 1906 when she sent the song to Miss Broadwood. Ida wrote that the song came from a great-aunt
Sample not available
La Poole Quadrill and the Recruiting Officer
The first tune is Number 162 in William Clarke's MS. It was originally written in the key of F - not a happy one for many melodeon players. We have transposed it to D. for ease of playing. We team it up with a tune we first heard from melodeon player Danny Gallagher of Essex.. The version we play comes from the Aird collection.
Plains of Waterloo and Down with the French
Another song collected by RVW from Fen Ditton
Sample not available
Rosemary Lane
The final song is another from Fen Ditton's Llewellyn Mallion. RVW collected it on August 22nd 1906. Again it was the tune only which he wrote down. I have used a broadside for the words and have constructed a chorus to give audiences a chance for some vocal participation.
Sample not available

Folk Radio UK

Alex Gallacher

Cold Fen is Mary Humphreys and Anahata's latest release on Wildgoose Records and is, in my opinion, their best release to date.

Those familiar with them will know that they hail from Cambridgeshire and have a mission to unearth local songs from archives and restore them to the repertoire. I greatly admire their conviction and the result is a great traditional english folk album. I had a great time listening to the album as I am sure listeners of Folk Radio UK will also!

A stunning album which sets a very high standard.

Folk North West

Derek Gifford

This is Mary and Anahata's fourth album and their second devoted to songs from East Anglia hence the title Cold Fen. There's nothing cold about this album though because it has a warm feel to it all the way through. Mary's singing is clear and melodic as always and their instrumental work is refined and very accomplished. Just as a reminder to the uninitiated, the instruments they play include English and Anglo concertinas, banjo, guitar (Doug Bailey's on this album!), melodeons, cello and smallpipes. All that talent and versatility is enough to make me envious!

They live in Cambridgeshire and are heavily involved in the club and sessions scene there when they're not out performing professionally. The songs and tunes have been researched from often from difficult to read original manuscripts from a variety of sources.

 

There are some interesting versions of songs that appear in other collections and, of these, I particularly liked the 'different' tunes to 'There is an Alehouse' and 'Valiant Sailor'. 'Young and Single Sailor' is a very different version of this interesting 'love token' song. Indeed, as Mary states in the sleeve notes, she believes that this version of the song has never been published. Mary sings it unaccompanied to great effect. Their version of 'Rosemary Lane' is particularly jolly with an added and very singable chorus and finishes things off nicely.

The tunes include 'Northern Lass' and 'Northern Frisk' which I particularly liked - after all they are from the north!  It was also good to hear the Leicestershire smallpipes on 'Kempshot Hunt'.

This is a valuable album for folk song and tune collectors in particular as well as being entertaining and pleasurable to listen to. Doug Bailey has the knack when it comes to recording these two and, as is usual with a Wild Goose album of this nature, the notes and background information on the material is erudite and comprehensive.

I wonder what they'll call the next one? They're running out of the 'fen' theme!

Mardles

Mike Everett

Come with me on a musical mystery tour. A new CD arrives in the post... ooh, Mary and Anahata ? this should be good. A quick look at the tracks to see where we're going. There seems to be a few recognisable names on the way and some new songs and tunes to visit. Then it's off with the cellophane wrapping and slide the CD into the player.

Our journey begins with a tune unique to Cambridgeshire and the song that provides the title for the album, The Lakes of Cold Fen, which many of you will recognise in variants from other places, including Nic

Jones' The Lakes of Shilin. in. We then head off to Norfolk and north Cambridgeshire for a couple of tunes before returning once more to follow in the footsteps or, more accurately, the bicycle tyre prints of Ralph Vaughan Williams as he reaches Fen Ditton for Abroad As I Was Walking. Cambridgeshire also provides us with There Is An Alehouse before reaching a couple of lovely waltzes with local Suffolk place names, the Brandon Waltz and the Bury Waltz. The rest of the song journey keeps us travelling around Cambridgeshire for another six songs, including remarkable variants of Geordie, The Trees They Do Grow High and Rosemary Lane. Although there is a brief excursion to Norfolk for some of the words for The Valiant Sailor, it is the tune sets that take us further afield and further back in time.

Throughout our trip we are accompanied by Mary's voice, as expressive and animated as always, that brings the songs to life and the impressive musical talents of Anahata and Mary Humphreys whether complementing the singing or simply enjoying themselves playing tunes.

Mary continues her search to unearth local songs and restore them to the couple's repertoire. Her hard work in following the song and tune collectors is well rewarded in another outstanding collection of musical gems on this album, which will keep us well satisfied with listening to over and over again in the months and years ahead. Perhaps some of these local variants will soon become folk 'standards'.

Buy the CD, sit back, listen and enjoy the journey.

fRoots

David Kidman

Effectively a sequel to their previous CD Fenlandia, this East?Anglian?themed disc from the established, felicitous partnership of Mary and Anahata bears all their usual hallmarks: sprightly playing, earthy and characterful singing, imaginative accompaniments, and a healthy ratio of songs to tune?medleys. The songs are in the main drawn from those collected by Vaughan Williams in Fens villages during 1906 and 1907 (the exception being Young And Single Sailor, which comes from the Lucy Broadwood papers). As Mary has discovered, however, the snag is that in many cases RVW only notated the music, and didn't always manage to return to his source to retrieve the words. She has therefore often had to resort to some creative detective work in order to unearth a suitable set of words from the archives, subsequently then either conjecturally matching that text to the collected tune or using a variant text to reconstruct the song itself (rather as RVW himself would likely have done).

This practice explains the presence on Cold Fen of many very familiar song titles, a cursory glance at which makes the tracklisting seem deceptively mundane, even unadventurous. But be reassured, for Mary's well developed skill in canny adaptation and sensitive reconstruction gives rise to some intriguing settings that make the proverbial fresh coat of paint seem an understatement (even Abroad As I Was Walking, which incorporates a considerable number of well?travelled phrases), while Rosemary Lane makes a particularly fetching finale. In some instances, the 'new' tunes adopted for familiar texts or variants may initially seem a trifle flat, or less immediately memorable, but repeated exposure yields considerable rewards.

Instrumental settings are well?judged and continually interesting, with cello supplanting or augmenting concertina or melodeon to distinctive effect. As for the purely instrumental tracks, these arguably embody an even greater sense of discovery than the songs and certainly prove a wholly accessible diversion for the song specialist whose interests are so well accommodated elsewhere on the disc. Just over half of the tunes come from the recently discovered mid19th?century manuscript book of the obscure William Clarke of Feltwell, Norfolk, and once again the duo's abundantly imaginative approach to scoring, mood and dynamics pays handsome dividends for the listener (Anahata has even added smallpipes to his armoury for the delightfully animated Kempshot Hunt).

Cold Fen gently captivates the listener at every turn, for Mary and Anahata audibly relish the discovery and the communication of these songs and tunes.

EDS

Elaine Bradtke

This is the duo's second album of songs and tunes from East Anglia. Mary Humphreys researched the songs, gathered from various manuscript sources, and attempted to compensate for Ralph Vaughan Williams' annoying habit of not taking down the words if they were commonly known or available on broadsides. On one happy occasion, she discovered the tune for 'There is an Alehouse' in RVW's manuscripts, and the text (from the same source singer) in Lucy Broadwood's papers. The result in other cases may not have been what was originally sung, but it's certainly singable.

Mary Humphrey's voice brings clarity and warmth to the songs and both performers are skilled instrumentalists. Some of the tunes were found in the manuscript book of William Clarke from Feltwell, Norfolk, including a lovely pair of waltzes on track five. They use a lot of overdubbing in order to take advantage of their multi-instrumental talents. 'Cello, concertina, guitar, banjo, melodeon, and even smallpipes, provide a rich and varied sound, without being overly fussy. That said, one of the most compelling tracks is the unaccompanied 'The Trees They Do Grow High' featuring a particularly beautiful melody.

The overall feel of the recording is subdued. Most of the songs are rather mournful, and even some of the tunes have a melancholy air. The mood is lightened with 'La Poole Quadrill' [sic], a delightfully bouncy melody, paired with 'The Recruiting Officer' both executed on various forms of button boxes. They finish off with a rollicking version of 'Rosemary Lane' with a rousing chorus, backed by the bright sound of a single-row melodeon. Cold Fen is a well-crafted recording with a flavour of the fenlands, and meant to be savoured.

Taplas

Mick Tems

THEIR fourth album and the second devoted to East Anglian songs and tunes, or rather material from these islands collected from East Anglian folklore. Lakes of Cold Fen is a delightful localisation of a ballad scattered between England and Ireland. What a lovely, gorgeous collection, absolutely bubbling over with memorable melodies and useful, vital information.

Mary may be of north Wales stock, but she and Anahata are thoroughly convincing in that they have taken East Anglian tradition by the horns and stamped it with their own pleasing style. Anahata's musicianship is scintillating, be it on melodeons, cello, anglo-concertina or smallpipes.    

Spiral Earth

As a lad I spent many hours sitting by drains (rivers to you) in the fens with a fishing rod. As the 20lb pike I dreamt of eluded me I had a lot of time to look across the starkly beautiful flatlands and absorb this unique landscape. Maybe you could have heard these tunes in alehouses around the fens in past centuries...

Mary and Anahata have an intense passion for unearthing material. They also have a good ear for invigorating arrangements and Mary is a great singer that imbues these songs and tunes with a vibrant energy

Unicorn

Theo

Mary Humphreys and Anahata's . 'mission' to recover some of East Anglia's lost songs continues on this album, their fourth. Focusing on songs collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams during holidays at Meldreth, near Royston, in the early 1900s.  

Mary has brought together lyrics and tunes that might have been, fitting songs together from records gleaned from the RVW Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House, Oxford's Bodleian Library and contemporary sources. This album features a selection of thus 're?created' songs, along with a mixture of tune sets from the unpublished manuscript of William Clark of Feltwell in Norfolk, and the John Clare manuscripts. Mary and Anahata are now well?known for their sympathetic and engaging arrangements of songs and tunes, and this collection will not disappoint enthusiasts.

Mary provides vocals, English Concertina, Banjo and Guitar, whilst Anahata contributes Cello, Anglo Concertina, Melodeons, Pipes and Chorus. As usual from Wild Goose, the recording quality is excellent, the album attractively packaged, and the sleeve notes extensive and informative. Do I have a favourite track? Difficult to say, as I enjoy all they do, though my personal bias is towards the tunes ? all well arranged, and played with lively gusto!

The Living Tradition

Roy Harris

Mary Humphreys and Anahata deserve the respected place they have earned in the current folk scene. They have abundant musical ability that they put at the service of their songs, and they constantly work to introduce fresh variants into their repertoire and thereby into the revival at large. This album gives full evidence of the worth of their efforts, being chock full of good tunes and words to match. The tunes come from the manuscripts of collectors such as Ralph Vaughan Williams and Cecil Sharp working in the spooky area of East Anglia known as The Fens, and from Fen resident Ella Bull who collected locally and sent the results on to Lucy Broadwood.

Added to these are a number of items from the manuscript book, dated 1858 and containing over 270 items, of one William Clarke of Feltwell, Norfolk. Mr Clarke's book is owned by Peter & Lynn Law of Chester who bought it from an e?Bay vendor in Michigan, USA! The Law's allowed the artists full access to the book and are quite properly thanked by them for the favour. We listeners should thank them too for

the items leap from the page and onto CD most happily. 'The Royals Quickstep' comes from there as do the 'Brandon Waltz' and the 'Bury Waltz', described as 'two pretty waltzes with local place names' Lancastrians should note that 'Bury' refers to Bury St Edmunds.

Of the songs, 'Lakes of Cold Fen' is the widely spread ballad perhaps best known as the Lakes of Cool Flynn'. 'Abroad as was Walking', 'The Trees They Do Grow High', 'Valiant Sailor', and 'Georgie' are familiar titles that spring up as fresh as daisies via the unusual tunes and well suited lyrics chosen to go with them. Add in the committed singing and musicianship that is this duo's trademark and we have an album that is informative and entertaining, another winner for the artists and Wildgoose records.