Belper & District

U3A Short Course - English Folk Songs

Pete Castle


Led by Pete Castle

At Strutts Centre


Wednesdays - January 15th, 22nd, 29th and 5th Feb 2020

This will be an adapted version of the course Pete ran two years ago. Then it was over-subscribed, so if you missed it this is your chance. It will probably be sufficiently different to come again if you came then and fancy another burst.

It is an opportunity to learn a bit more about a form of music which is quite often taken for granted or misunderstood. Many of us think we know what 'folk music' is, but do we? Pete suggests that it is as important a part of our cultural heritage as, say, a Shakespeare play, a Keat's poem, a Chippendale chair or an Adam ceiling but whereas other countries honour their music and musicians we tend to ridicule ours!

Over four sessions Pete will explore the background and history to the music through discussion and listening to songs played live and to recordings.

NOTE: it will not be a choir or a jam session. You will not be expected to make music but you will be encouraged to discuss and offer your knowledge and opinions.

It will be suitable for everyone: those who know a bit about it, those who know nothing, or those who went to folk clubs when they were young and free but haven't since!

Topics covered will include:

  • What do we mean by folk songs?
  • Are English folk songs different to and separate from Scottish, Welsh or Irish folk songs?
  • The history of folk music in England - What do they sing about? Subject matter, types of song.
  • The history of folk music in England - Regional differences.
  • How do folk songs fit in with folk dancing/morris dancing?

Pete Castle has been a professional folk singer/storyteller for over 40 years. He's worked all over the UK and occasionally abroad. He now considers himself semi-retired although he continues to do any work he is offered and which he fancies. He has recorded many albums and written several books of folk tales.
See Pete's web site:

If you are interested please contact Pete direct to reserve a place.
Phone: 01773-822829
Email: or click on the mail envelope at the right of this page