SELFS TALK: THURSDAY OCTOBER 13TH: A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO FOLKLORE: PAUL COWDELL

14433123_10153780530197073_1122825533560219093_n170 years ago a letter appeared in the Athenaeum. It was signed ‘Ambrose Merton’, a pseudonym for literary antiquarian William John Thoms, and it proposed a neologism: ‘folklore’. This provides a good origin story for the study of folklore – it’s the first time folklorists identify themselves as such – but while Thoms may have invented the word he didn’t invent the subject. This talk will be a brief introduction to how we’ve come to think about folklore. Amongst other things it’ll discuss what William Thoms meant by the word and how he arrived at that meaning, and where we’ve taken folklore since. Folklore: we’re all interested in it, we all do it, let’s think about it.

Paul Cowdell is a Committee member of the Folklore Society. He’s been described charitably as ‘interested in morbid eschatology’, after a PhD on ghost belief and articles on cannibalism at sea. He’s written on tongue twisters and lore about rats, and is interested in lots of lurid things. He likes folklore a lot.

The talk is in the upstairs room of the Old King’s Head, in King’s Head Yard off Borough High Street & costs £3/£1.50 concs. email cunningfolkmusic@gmail.com to book a place or roll up on the night & chance your arm.

SELFS TALK:THURSDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER: HUMAN CARGO STORIES & SONGS OF EMIGRATION, SLAVERY & TRANSPORTATION

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Matthew Crampton explores the experiences of people who were trafficked or transported in the 18th and 19th centuries – linking their stories to those of migrants and slaves today. In tonight’s talk, Matthew will tell some of those stories, drawing on accounts from people actually on the slave boats, emigration ships or transportation vessels. He’ll also sing some folk songs from the period – for, as he explains, folk songs give anonymous but accurate voice to those who were otherwise unrecorded by history.

Matthew Crampton is a writer, storyteller and folk singer. His book, Human Cargo, was published by Muddler Books in April 2016. He has performed a show based on Human Cargo at several major festivals this summer.

You can find out more information about Human Cargo at http://humancargo.co.uk/index.html

This talk will be held in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head at 8pm

Entrance is £3/1.50 concessions

to guarantee a seat you may wish to email georgehoylefolkmusic@gmail.com or you can chance your arm & roll up on the night

SELFS TALK: THURSDAY AUGUST 11TH: ROSEMARY FOR REMEMBRANCE: A SHAKESPEARE HERBAL

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One of the features of Shakespeare’s writing which has been frequently mentioned during this 400th anniversary year is his many references to herbs. This talk will look at how herbalists and apothecaries used the plants he mentions, and also the plant-lore and folklore of these herbs. Coming into the present day, one of the lines in The Winter’s Tale is prophetic of the cutting-edge of plant medicine today.

Julie Wakefield is a museum curator and medical historian specialising in historic herbalism and folk medicine. She gives talks at the Old Operating Theatre & Herb Garret and in Southwark Cathedral’s new herb garden, the design of which reflects historical advice she provided.

The talk is in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head & commences at 8pm.

£3/1.50concs

email georgehoylefolkmusic@gmail.com to book a place or chance your arm & roll up on the night

SELFS Talk: Thursday July 14th: Wicca

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The past century has borne witness to a growing interest in the belief systems of ancient Europe, with an array of contemporary Pagan groups claiming to revive these old ways for the needs of the modern world. By far the largest and best known of these Paganisms has been Wicca, a new religious movement that can now count hundreds of thousands of adherents worldwide. In this talk, Ethan Doyle White will provide a historical outline of this faith, in doing so examining its beliefs, practices, and the community of practitioners that has developed around it.

Ethan Doyle White is a PhD researcher at University College London (UCL) and is the author of Wicca: History, Belief, and Community in Modern Pagan Witchcraft (Sussex Academic Press, 2016) as well as various other publications on the subjects of modern Paganism and related forms of occultism, and the religious beliefs and practices of early medieval England.

The talk is in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head & commences at 8pm.

£3/1.50concs

email georgehoylefolkmusic@gmail.com to book a place or chance your arm & roll up on the night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SELFS TALK: Thursday 9th June: The Confused Origins Of Freemasonry

Beneath all the many mysteries about Freemasonry there are two questions which no one seems able to answer. First, where did it spring from? Many say it originated in the Knights Templar or Rosicrucians or mediaeval stonemasons – but could any of these be true? Second, why did it suddenly become organised in London almost 300 years ago?

Dr David V Barrett, author of A Brief History of Secret Societies, explores these questions and comes up with some intriguing possibilities.

The talk is in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head & commences at 8pm.

£3/1.50concs

email georgehoylefolkmusic@gmail.com to book a place or chance your arm & roll up on the night

SELFS Talk: May 12th: Execution Sites Of London

London was once known as the “City of the Gallows” for the frequency of its public executions. Since the 10th Century over two hundred thousand people are believed to have been beheaded, burned at the stake or hanged, for crimes ranging from counterfeiting to witchcraft. Public executions were once keenly anticipated events, attended by passionate and partisan crowds often numbering tens of thousands and London’s execution sites, including Tower Hill, Tyburn, Smithfield and Charing Cross became popular destinations for visitors. Public executions were finally outlawed in Britain in 1867. Historian, folklorist and gravestone expert ROBERT STEPHENSON will recount some of the more grisly episodes from this once popular spectator sport.

The talk will be in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head, off Borough High Street, & will commence at 8pm

It costs £3/£1.50 concessions

Walk ups are welcome. To guarantee a seat email georgehoylefolkmusic@gmail.com

APR14 SELFS TALK: Thursday April 14th: The Greenland Whale Fishery.The history of & in a song.

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The Greenland Whale Fishery ( Roud 347), described by A.L. Lloyd as “the oldest – and many think the best – of our surviving songs of the whaling trade” gives a fascinating insight into the dangers and disasters of the 18th and 19th century whaling industry. Tracing the song from broadside sheets, via the late Victorian collectors, through the 50s and 60s folk revival to the present day illuminates the life of the song, as well as the history of the British whaling fleet. The journey takes us from London’s Greenland Dock, to Orkney and Shetland and on to Spitzbergen and Greenland, following the voyages of Scoresby and Conan Doyle.
There will be singing.

Sarah Lloyd is currently completing an M.A. in The Traditional Music of the British Isles at the University of Sheffield. She sings and plays in the folk band, Gentlefolk, performs solo and with others at The Goose is Out and is a member of Dulwich Folk Choir, where she first learned this song.

Talk starts at 8pm in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head.
Walk ups are very welcome, however you may wish to book in advance to guarantee a seat

email George at nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com

Admission is £3/1.50concs

SELFS TALK: Thursday March 10th: A Beginner’s Guide to Aleister Crowley

“Mr Crowley: what went on in your head? Mr Crowley: did you talk to the dead”. The lyrics from Ozzy Osborne’s song from his debut solo album, Blizzard of Oz, seem as good a  way as any to introduce us to one of the more notorious magical figures of the 20th Century. Occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist or mountaineer: who was Aleister Crowley? This presentation will cover the basics, no prior initiation required.

Talk starts at 8pm in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head.
Walk ups are very welcome, however you may wish to book in advance to guarantee a seat

email George at nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com

Admission is £3/1.50concs

11 FEB SELFS TALK THURSDAY 11TH FEB: A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO JOHN DEE

John Dee was one of Tudor England’s more extraordinary characters. Courtier, historian, astronomer, cryptographer & mathematician. He was also an alchemist & obsessed with talking with angels. Obviously he deserves a talk all to himself at the South East London Folklore Society. Look into your black mirror & see if you are free on the second Thursday of February at 8pm for an enlightening talk from George Hoyle.
Talk starts at 8pm in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head.
Walk ups are very welcome, however you may wish to book in advance to guarantee a seat nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com

Admission is £3/1.50concs

SELFS TALK THURSDAY 14TH JANUARY 2016: UNPREPARED TO DIE

The South East London Folklore Society are delighted to start 2016 with a bang with a talk from Paul Slade on murder ballads.

Cheerfully vulgar and revelling in gore, murder ballads are tabloid newspapers set to music, carrying word of the latest ‘orrible murders to an insatiable public. Victims are bludgeoned, stabbed or shot in every verse and killers often hanged, but the songs themselves never die. Instead, they mutate –
morphing to suit local place names as they criss cross the Atlantic (often beginning life in Britain) and continue to fascinate each generation’s biggest musical stars. Journalist Paul Slade traces this fascinating genre’s history via its greatest songs

Slade investigates real-life murders which inspired well-known
ballads and uncovers many startling new facts about them.

This talk will appeal to fans of folklore, music and true crime & will cover subjects from the critically acclaimed book of the same title published in November 2015

“Compulsive stuff.” – Ian Anderson, fRoots
“Fantastic” Dave Henderson, Mojo

Naturally the book will be on sale at the talk.

The talk is in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head, off Borough High Street. Entrance is an extremely civilized £3/1.50concs

Walk ups are very welcome, however you may wish to book in advance to guarantee a seat by emailing nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com