Stonesfield Folk Dance

Folk Dancing in Oxfordshire


47th Stonesfield Folk Dance Weekend 7th to 9th June 2019.

Andrew Swaine  is a well known caller and a regular at all the major Folk Dance Festivals. He has run a popular Playford Dance Weekend on three occasions at Halsway Manor and regularly calls at Playford Balls up and down the country. Over the years Andrew has done a great deal of research into Playford dances and he is also in demand as a contra caller.

Andrew will be presenting his workshops on the theme "The Progression of Progression". How country dance evolved onwatds from the 1651 edition of The English Dancing Master till the present day. More about Andrew can be found on

Daisy Black is well known as a Playford & Contra caller and has appeared at Sidmouth Folk Week. Daisy is also a celebrated storyteller who is preparing a new work especially for Stonesfield based on the story of William Kempe and his "Nine Days Wonder" this will performed interwoven with dances from the period for us to perform.

Alan Kimber-Nickelson is a well known local tenor and has been a key member of the Oxford choir "Rising Voices" . Alan has been a keen Morris Dancer and became a member of William Kimber's  team at Headington Quarry. Here he met his wife Julie who now runs a singing programme at Halsway Manor together with Alan. A CD comprising a number of the songs he will sing over the weekend will be made available to dancers booking for the weekend.

Provisional Programme.

Friday 7th June 8pm - 11pm. Mixed programme of dance & song. Andrew & daisy will be calling with The Night Before and Alan Kimber-Nickelson will lead an entertainment spot of singing.

Saturday 8th June 10am - 11.15am. Workshop. Andrew Swaine. "The Progression of Progression" how country dances evolved from 1651. Alan will sing a ballad to conclude session.

11.15am Coffee

11.45am - 1pm.Special Event part one. Daisy Black with a story based on William Kempe's Nine Days Wonder. This will be interwoven with dances from the period or thereabouts!

1.15pm - 2.15pm Lunch

2.15pm - 3.30pm. Special Event part two. Daisy continues with Will Kempe's journey from  London to Norwich and again Daisy will introduce some dances from the period and maybe a few songs from Alan.

3.30pm Tea

4pm - 5.15pm. Workshop. Andrew continues his "Progression" through the years into the 18th Century. Alan will conclude this session with a few Ballads.

5.45pm - 7.30pm Evening Meal

8pm - 11pm. Evening Dance. Andrew & Daisy will be calling for The Night Before and Alan will have an entertainment spot for some singing.

11.15am Coffee

Sunday 9th June 10am - 11.15am. Workshop. Andrew continues his "Progression" into the 19th Century and beyond. Alan will conclude with a few Ballads.

11.45am - 1pm. Final Workshop with Alan Swaine and Daisy Black "Up to Date" perhaps some new dances to bring Andrew's "Progression" right up to date!

1.15pm - 2.15pm Lunch

2.30pm - 4.30pm. Farewell Dance. Andrew & Daisy Calling with The Night Before and Alan to conclude his singing.

4.30pm Tea with a selection of cakes etc.


About   -   the 45th Stonesfield Folk Dance Weekend    9 - 11 June 2017.

our callers were MADELEINE SMITH & TED MORSE and the musicians for the weekend were KEEPING THYME , Julia & Shane DAY with Tina BROWN.

Over the weekend we celebrated the centennial of PAT SHAW and the bicentennial of Jane Austen. Guests of Honour for the weekend were Chris Turner & Elaine Norman and for the Sunday Marjorie Fennessey.

Madeleine Smith is a terrific caller of English country dancing who is always in demand at festivals and dance events all over the country. She's Dance Director at the annual Folk Week in Broadstairs in Kent. She is know for her love of traditional dances with appropriate stepping and was an accomplished clog dancer, often performing solo at events and festivals. Madeleine has called at all the festivals enhancing workshops with her wide knowledge of country dancing and its historical context. She always emphasises style & technique and is adept at slipping in an element of teaching under the radar! Everyone dances better after a session of her calling.

Ted Morse began dancing with Oxford Morris Men & Oxford City Folk Dance Club when he was 17, started calling & running barn dances at 19 and has barely paused since. Ted plays accordion, percussion & tuba and is an experienced band leader and has run for many years the successful Musicians for Dance Workshops for the Oxfordshire Folk Dance Association. Ted also teaches Morris, Sword & Country Dancing(and more) and is a regular tutor at Halsway Manor(almost resident!)  and regularly features jointly with Madeleine Smith. Ted has over the years appeared at all the major festivals and is much in demand all over the country.

Keeping Thyme . We were very fortunate to have Julia & Shane Day with Tina Brown for our weekend. Their pedigree goes back a long way see 'The Wild Thyme Legacy'. Three exceptional musicians who have appeared countless times at all major festivals and seldom does a week pass without them playing at a dance. They have given so much pleasure  to so many over the years and they demonstrated why at our 45th Folk Dance Weekend.

Pat Shaw. He was a man of many talents Choreographer, Musician, Dancer, Researcher, Singer and to find out more we refer you to for more about this remarkable man who tutored Madeleine Smith and was a close friend to Marjorie Fennessey our guest on the Sunday. Marjorie has done more than anyone to preserve the memory of Pat and see that his work is properly archived by the EFDSS. For this we will be eternally grateful.

We very much appreciated having the company of Chris Turner and Elaine Norman for the weekend. We shall always be indebted to them for all the work they put into Set & Turn Single, for all the fun times at Halsway Manor, for all the Festivals Chris called at. There can not be many Folk Dance Clubs that they have not visited. Many Thanks Chris & Elaine.

The weekend was well attended with over 60 booked for the weekend and with others joining us for the evening dances we had three good long ways sets and upwards of 80. The committee were praised for their hard work organising the weekend and the catering which was much appreciated. In fact it will be a difficult act to follow!

About   -   the 44th Stonesfield Folk Dance Weekend. 10 - 12 June 2016.

we leave this page in place for a little longer to show what an interesting programme we had in 2016 !

We are thrilled that Kathryn & David Wright are Calling this year's weekend.  Kathryn & David - ''The Wrights of Lichfield''  in the title of one of Gary Roodman's dances - have been calling as a duo for over 35 years and run a popular series of dance workshops in Lichfield. They have previously called at Chippenham, Eastbourne, Lichfield, Sidmouth and Whitby Festivals as well as the weekend AADS courses in Belgium. They have published some of their own researched and original dances in ''Wrights Humours'' and ''The Vesey Collection'' and their dance ''Freeford Gardens'' is popular in programmes around the world. Their tastes in social dance are wide, from Playford to New England squares and contras, old and new, simple and complex. They enjoy the challenge of making a difficult dance accessible and also like to encourage the integration of good dance technique with dancers' enjoyment paramount.


Purcells Polyphonic Party are the exciting trio of Vicki Swan, Jonny Dyer & John Dipper who are building a reputation for their interpretation of Early English Dance Music. This will be the first and best opportunity for you to experience their sublime music ahead of them appearing at Sidmouth and Broadstairs Festivals later in the year. In Autumn 2017 they brought out their CD - An Invitation to Dance  to much acclaim

If you would like to listen to some of the tracks before buying a copy see you will be amazed.

Vicki Swan (Scottish smallpipes, Swedish nyckelharpa, flute, English border pipes, Swedish Bagpipes, double bass) Vicki began music at age 5 and went onto study at The Royal College of Music, becoming the principal double bass and winning the solo double bass competition. Vicki has now returned to her Swedish roots with the addition of the Nyckelharpa and bagpipes. Vicki has run the Nyckelharpa Course at Halsway for last 3 years and also tutors abroad.

Jonny Dyer (Vocal, guitar, sazouki, accordion, cow horn, spinet,  low whistle & trumpet) Jonny has been singing choral music, soul, jazz and folk for as long as he can remember. Jonny's outstanding technical ability, coupled with a wide ranging musical taste has made him a tireless and forceful musical innovator. Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer perform as a duo. Once known mainly for their instrumental skills they are now in demand as much for their vocals. Their recent CD 'Red House' (you will know the dance!) includes tunes and songs they composed. Their albums have earned recent coverage on Radio 3. We are sure you will enjoy Vicki and Jonny breaking into song from time to time. Shire Folk say ' Swan & Dyer are brilliant, so I'm sure it will be an excellent weekend'. They are booked at Halsway for 'Swan & Dyer's Winter Warmer' in December.

John Dipper  (Viola,guitar,concertina) a respected, established performer, composer and teacher and instrument maker. John grew up steeped in the traditions of Southern England. His unique playing style, and his compositions convey a deep understanding and passion for indigenous culture. As an experienced workshop leader and teacher, his knowledge, experience and enthusiasm combine to make him a much sought after tutor in academic institutions, festivals and workshops. John has recorded on several film sound tracks including ''The Hobbit''. In addition to playing with Purcells Polyphonic Party he is a regular performer at Cecil Sharp House enjoying an EFDSS residency as a duo with Dave Malkin and they are also performing at Halsway in October. John works for the family firm 'S & R Dipper & Son' making musical instruments. John has made and designed guitars, violins and concertinas and John has restored many antique concertinas to their former glory.


John Graham & The Quarry Turners - are to play for the two special events we have planned for this year. Firstly, a celebration of the work of Stonesfields' own Ken Sheffield whose ''From Two Barns'' series proved very popular and are regularly danced here and abroad. Ken's new book ''The Century Collection'' is shortly to be published by CDSS and will hopefully be available at the weekend. John has been asked to play for this special event since he and Ken regularly play together.

Secondly, a celebration of the life of Oxford's William Kimber who inspired the work of Cecil Sharp, who led the revival in English Folk Dancing and music at the start of the 20thC. John Graham succeeded William Kimber in being the accordionist for Headington Quarry Morris and we look forward to welcoming members of the Team to dance at the event. William's Grand-daughter Julie Kimber-Nickelson will share some reminisces and her husband Alan Kimber-Nickelson will sing some of William's favourite numbers.

We are extremely grateful to Kathryn & David Wright for introducing these two very special events.


Fire Clog - Harriet Kempson & Maria Marshall will amaze us with their clog dancing at the Friday night Ceilidh. Fire Clog are frequently asked to dance at Folk Festivals and are popular regulars at Folk in Oxford and Banbury Folk Festival. We know they will have been practising hard for the Stonesfield Ceilidh and they will put on an unbelievable performance. 

Stonesfield Folk Dance Club 

With the club having been established 50years and in truth little of its history is recorded so we would like to hear from anyone who may be able to help. 

Should anyone wish to share their memories of Stonesfield in past times please contact us. 

We would love to hear from dancers who have been attending our Folk Dance Weekend for many years and also from musicians and callers.

From information received via Ann Wooby, who we thank we are able to start from 1985, so we still need information for earlier dates!

1985- John Chapman

1986- John Harris & The Falconers

1987- John & Dee Chapman

1988- John Harris & The Scarecrows

1989- John Chapman

1990- Ron Beeson & Weston Country Dance Band

1991- John Chapman & Cat's Whiskers

1992- Bill & Barbara Kinsman & The Falconers

1993- John Chapman & Weston Country Dance Band

1994- Bill & Barbara Kinsman & Wild Thyme

1995- John Chapman

1996- Bill & Barbara Kinsman

1997- Joe Hodgson

1998- Bill & Barbara Kinsman & Contradition

1999- Joe Hodgson & Alterations.

2000- Bill & Barbara Kinsman & Keeping Thyme

2001- Joe Hodgson & Jovial Crew

2002- Bill & Barbara Kinsman & Momentum

2003- John Turner & Jovial Crew

2004- Bill & Barbara Kinsman, Cis Hinkle & The Falconers

2005- John Turner,Gene Murrow & Jovial Crew

2006- Chris Turner,Trevor Monson & Folkus Pocus

2007- Pete & Marj Hendy, Graham Knight, Ken Sheffield & Folkus Pocus

2008- Hilary Herbert & Jovial Crew

2009- Kendal Green & Deo Volente

2010- Joe Hodgson, Laura Hodges, David Bradley & The Falconers

2011- Kendal Green & Deo Volente

2012- Pete & Marj Hendy,Colin Hume & Dampiers Round.

2013- Kendal Green & Deo Volente

2014- Sibby, Madeleine Smith & Jovial Crew

2015- Geoff Cubitt, Frances Richardson & Moonlighting.

2016- Kathryn & David Wright & Purcells Polyphonic Party.

2017- Madeleine Smith, Ted Morse & Keeping Thyme

2018- The National Youth Folk Troupe of England.

2019 - Andrew Swaine & Daisy Black with The Night Before.

2020 - Zoom Dances with Frances Richardson, Ivan Aitken  & Mic Spenceley. Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer.

2021 - Trevor Monson & Bernie Culkin with Stradivarious. 

2022 - Frances Richardson & Ivan Aitken with Keeping 



Stewart Nicholls -  email: 

Telephone/fax 01295 - 730271