Conservation group boosts Sidmouth FolkWeek

Organisers of Sidmouth Folk Festival visited Sidmouth Primary School where they receive a donation f

Organisers of Sidmouth Folk Festival visited Sidmouth Primary School where they receive a donation from the Keith Owen Fund. Organisers John Braithwaite and John Heydon with Rev Handel Bennett and children who have been learning to play the melodeon. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 4376-25-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders - Credit: Archant

The Sid Vale Association’s Keith Owen Fund pledged £8,000 to Sidmouth FolkWeek so the town’s cultural traditions can live on in the next generation.

Sidmouth Primary School classes are benefiting from music workshops and art classes to encourage the youngsters to get involved in the festival. The donation was made as part of the civic society’s commitment to preserving the town’s heritage.

The Reverend Handel Bennett, the chairman of the Keith Owen grants committee, said: “As a conservation society we are very pleased to see folk traditions maintained and preserved in Sidmouth. This year we are backing their efforts to produce some great ideas with youngsters from Sidmouth Primary School, who are learning and performing traditional folk arts.”

Receiving the cheque was festival director John Braithwaite, who said: “We are bringing opportunities to the children of Sidmouth – it wouldn’t have happened without the Keith Owen Fund.”

Bev and Ray Langton, who produce the Children’s Festival, visited the primary school on Monday to give them a taste of what to expect during the festival.

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They took six classes through the day, teaching the youngsters to play the melodeon.

“We taught them to play ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ - and they have all been little stars,” Bev said.

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As well as music workshops, the youngsters will be designing flags to represent life in a seaside town that will be flown in future FolkWeeks.

Children will also have the chance to try traditional arts, crafts and dancing, and there will be special family performances across the week.

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