lambton worm herbert cole

The Bishoprick Garland


Sir Cuthbert Sharp was an antiquarian and historian born in Hartlepool. In 1834 he published The Bishoprick Garland, a miscellany of songs, stories, historic ballads and legends drawn from all over County Durham (which at the time included Hartlepool). From beasties like the Lambton Worm to ghosts and hobs, through to local characters like Elsie Marley and songs including the Keel Row, the Collier’s Rant and Sair Fail’d Hinney, Sharp painted a picture of the county’s unique character – he even collected a sword dance, with its calling-on song and play, 80 years before that other, more famous Mr Sharp began his research!

In this unique show commissioned for Hartlepool Folk Festival, we’ll explore the rich treasure trove of The Bishoprick Garland through stories, songs, music and dance, with a superb cast of performers including Kathryn Tickell, Jim Moray, the Wilsons, Julie Murphy, Alistair Anderson, Benny Graham, Johnny Handle, Harri Endersby, the Redcar Sword Dancers, and storyteller Ursula Holden Gill.


“Eyes Down” Cabaret


Eyes down for a full house! This year's No-folk Cabaret transports you to the heady world of the northern Working Men's Club. While you're waiting for the bingo, a range of folk star turns will give you their best non-folk performances, and try not to incur the wrath of The Committee. The ale will be flowing, the games will be plentiful, and of course there's a pie and pea supper. Our own Club Chairman will keep the evening ticking along, and make sure that the many rules are observed. Quiet while the turns are on! Non-members cannot win the bingo! No trousers above the knee (that's the Wilsons barred, then)! Have you paid in?

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