These are details of a weekend event to be held on the 25th and 26th July 2009 to celebrate George Ewart Evans 100th birthday. At several venues in Blaxhall, Suffolk under the auspices of the Blaxhall Archive Group.

We are proposing a programme of talks, workshops, folk music and dancing, films, plays and exhibitions celebrating Suffolk local history. A mix of events, that we hope are, of interest to the serious scholar, the local history enthusiast and the general public.


The Blaxhall Ship


Evening : From 9.00 pm Folk music and singing


From noon onwards : Sing, Say or Pay with a MC Impromptu play Sudden Death in Blaxhall performed at any of the venues at anytime!

The Old School


AM & PM – Displays on George Ewart Evans and 50 years of recording the oral tradition in a Suffolk village as sound displays.

Blaxhall Village Hall


Formal launch to the two day event to an invited audience. A short play by Michael Weaver about George Ewart Evans called George – an appreciation plus the 1979 BBC documentary featuring GEE - A Writer’s Year’.


Programme for the One-day Seminar ‘George Ewart Evans & the Spoken Word’ Venue: Blaxhall Village Hall, Blaxhall, Suffolk IP12 2DQ Saturday 25 July, 2009 Coffee is being served from 9.00am Seminar starts 9.30am FREE PARKING IN THE ADJACENT VILLAGE PLAYING FIELD How To Book And Pay for a Ticket (£10) includes Buffet Lunch Contact Blaxhall Archive Group on or telephone 01728 688611 for further details

The day is divided into two sessions – the first three talks are dealing with George Ewart Evans the man and his legacy to oral history research and then the subject expands to cover individual studies and projects.

  • 9.30am Welcome announcement – Rodney West (Chairman, Blaxhall Archive Group)
  • 9.40am Memories of my father – Matthew Evans (Lord Evans of Temple Guiting)
  • 10.15am Ask The Fellows Who Cut the Coal; George Ewart Evans of Abercynon Professor Gareth Williams (University of Glamorgan)
  • 10.50am George Ewart Evans and his legacy to oral history Dr Rob Perks (Curator, Oral History, British Library)
  • 11.25am Coffee
  • 12.00am Gathering & disseminating stories from communities Professor Hamish Fyfe (Co-Director of the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling – University of Glamorgan)
  • 12.35am Lancashire cotton workers – Dr Elizabeth Roberts (Lancaster University)
  • 1.10pm Lunch- A cold buffet lunch will be served in the Village Hall
  • 2.00pm Change in East Anglian Village Communities: Wivenhoe on the Colne Professor Paul Thompson (University of Essex)
  • 2.35pm Where Next for Suffolk – Dr Harvey Osborne (University Campus Suffolk)
  • 3.10pm Suffolk Voices Restored Bridget Hanley (Collections Manager, Suffolk Record Office)
  • 3.45pm Afternoon coffee
  • 4.15pm Oral History on the stage: from documentary to verbatim Ivan Cutting (Artistic Director, Eastern Angles Theatre Company)
  • 4.50pm Learning Through Mistakes Pitfalls of using oral history in theatre, exhibitions, publications and websites Rib Davis (The Lightbox, Woking, Surrey)
  • 5.30pm – close of seminar

Still in the Village Hall 8.00 pm – Launch of Blaxhall Archive Group’s second book Blaxhall’s Creative Past Short talks by the authors Followed by a film – Let Dogs Delight Buffet and chat and a chance to buy a copy of the new publication


Village Hall Programme for the two film show sessions Venue: Blaxhall Village Hall, Blaxhall, Suffolk IP12 2DQ Sunday 26 July, 2009 FREE PARKING IN THE ADJACENT VILLAGE PLAYING FIELD

Admission is Free to the Film shows but it is advisable to book as there is limited seating How To Book a Ticket Contact Blaxhall Archive Group on or telephone 01728 688611 for further details

Sunday Morning start 11.30am

A Celebration of Midsummer (BBC 1966 24mins Black & White) Historical research by George Ewart Evans A film describing the ancient and modern rituals and events of Midsummer. Scenes from Whatfield, near Hadleigh; The Ship, Blaxhall with Step Dancing and Alf ‘Wicketts’ Richardson invites Sam Friend to sing. Scenes from the 127th Hadleigh Show include young people’s marching bands and the Pony Club.The film ends with a sequence where the narrator Hugh Barratt goes bat hunting at Great Glemham with the Earl of Cranbrook.

A Writer’s Suffolk (BBC 1979 29mins Colour) Written and narrated by George Ewart Evans George Ewart Evans walks around Blaxhall and explains some aspects of the social history of the village.


Let Dogs Delight (1986 20mins Colour) Based on the original story by George Ewart Evans A humorous tale about Welshman Wil Flagons who sees a wild greyhound on the hills. It is finer than any dog he has ever owned and he is determined to catch it - but does the greyhound want to be caught?

Here’s to the Health of the Barley Mow (1955 17mins Black & White) An evening of folk singing and step dancing in an English public house. The film opens with shots of Ipswich Docks and the approach to the pub. The rest of the film takes place inside The Ship Inn, Blaxhall. The film gives a good illustration of the interior of a rural public house in the mid 1950’s. A much loved and much seen film by the Blaxhall locals but offered here to those who might not have had the pleasure of seeing this superb little film.

Sunday Afternoon start 2.30pm.

The Cat Gang (1958 50mins. Black & White) Original story by George Ewart Evans Story of three children and their adventures while on the track of a gang of smugglers. With Francesca Annis, John Pike and Jeremy Bulloch.


Secret of the Forest (1955 60mins. Black & White) Original story by George Ewart Evans Two children dig up an old Viking treasure ship and become involved with crooks who have buried their loot on the site. Specially made for children. Some scenes of Secret of the Forest were filmed in Tunstall Forest.

Memory Marquee


Features The Blaxhall Family Database (come and find out if your family are related to other members of the village). Also local family members are here to talk to you about about times past and the photographic database is also available for you to peruse.


Marquee One


Displays by Suffolk Record Office
Suffolk Local History Council
Saxmundham & District Local History Society
South Elmham & District Local History Society
Friends of Orford Museum
Stowmarket Local History Society
Suffolk Institute of Archaeology & History
Kirton Local History Group
Campsea Ashe Heritage Project
Suffolk Family History Society
Butley Research Group
and others still booking

Marquee Two


Display by East Anglian Traditional Music Trust and intervals of live music - turn up and see what is happening.
Also displays by Ipswich Maritime Trust
Port of Lowestoft Research Society
Steel Quoits Association
Ipswich Building Society
and others still booking

The Playing Field


East Suffolk Morris Men


Steel Quoits League match

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