Thursday 21 February 2013

Bradford's own Stephanie Hladowski shortlisted for music award

Bradford's own Stephanie Hladowski has been shortlisted for

The Spiral Awards 2013 - Best Female Singer music award


The Spiral Awards 2013 - Best Debut Album

The Wild Wild Berry
Stephanie Hladowski & C. Joynes

Go to those web sites, and VOTE...

Stephanie's beautiful and accurate voice will be familiar to Bradford's folk music world, and to followers of world music on BBC Radio 3

'In an exclusive Late Junction session, English folk songs are explored by the exquisite young folk singer Stephanie Hladowski and experimental finger-picking guitarist C Joynes...'

See also

'Terrific album of traditional English folksong - 11 pieces specially sourced from the archive at Cecil Sharp House, to be precise - interpreted by singer Stephanie Hladowski and multi-instrumentalist C Joynes. Whether you're a fully switched-on folk beard or a relatively inexperienced adventurer in Electric Eden, this is a fascinating journey through the landscape, magick and jerry-built mythology of our fair island - try listening to a tune like 'Lord Bateman', driven by Joynes' by turns courtly, ornate and droning, raga-like guitar, and tell us it doesn't speak to something ancient in you and the world around you. 'Flash Company' is a stunning acapella that highlights Hladowski's pristine, characterful vocal talent, but the guitar treatments - at once jazzy, bluesy, medievalist, Arabesque, betraying the influence of John Renbourn, Davey Graham and Bert Jansch - cast every bit as strong a spell, perhaps even stronger. A superb and timeless record, one that we can see ourselves listening to again and again, recommended to fans not only of the aforementioned but also Current 93, Pentangle, Shirley Collins, Fairport Convention and Andrew King.'

Friday 15 February 2013

EXTRACTS, President Michael D. Higgins, Reflecting on Irish Migrations

EXTRACTS, President Michael D. Higgins, Reflecting on Irish Migrations

Reflecting on Irish Migrations: Some issues for the Social Sciences

Michael D. Higgins, Uachtarán na hÉireann, President of Ireland at NYU Glucksman Ireland House, Thursday, 3rd May 2012

I am delighted to be in Glucksman Ireland House in New York University, one of the highest ranking academic Irish Studies Centres in the U.S. Those of us who value the importance of Irish Studies and in particular, the importance of its accessibility in the wider Irish Diaspora, owe a deep debt of gratitude to the late Lew Glucksman and Loretta Brennan Glucksman. I am especially, pleased that Loretta is with us today...

... I am very much a supporter of the view put forward by Patrick O’Sullivan that Irish migration studies has to be an interdisciplinary exercise and I applaud his every efforts to give meaning to this through his six volume edited series – The Irish World Wide History, Heritage, Identity which of course has been succeeded by further scholarship and this had led to revisions which he has acknowledged. Nevertheless, his views on how the Irish migrations might best be studied were important and his delivery on these with the six volumes in the 1990s was a real contribution.

The rewards of a multi-disciplinary approach to Irish migration are, I repeat, rich. Yet as Patrick O’Sullivan has pointed out this has been difficult to achieve. His paper Developing Irish Diaspora Studies: A Personal View in New Hibernian Review in 2003 spelled that out:

“No one academic discipline is going to tell us everything we want to know about the Irish Diaspora. The study of migration, emigration, immigration, population movements, flight scattering, networks, transnational communities, diaspora – this study demands an interdisciplinary approach.”

Patrick O’Sullivan made his significant contribution at a time when migration theory and migration studies were being contracted back to individual disciplines or allowed an eclectic existence within what was regarded as core subjects which, it was often asserted by their leading practitioners did not need the discomfort, or the challenge of interdisciplinarity.

... I believe that an inclusive scholarship would have benefitted from such an interdisciplinary approach that while reflecting a respect for the different tools of analysis in different disciplines at the same time was able to draw on the benefit of transcending boundaries. This argument has been well made by Patrick O’Sullivan in his state of the field article on Irish Diaspora Studies to which I earlier referred.

It may be that what has to be overcome by scholars is the fear that by a particular approach to migration we are seeking to colonise it at the expense of other approaches, or that by failures to regard such a study of migration all the more valuable because, as Edward Said would put it, it exists in the interstices, we allow it to be relegated to an exotic or eclectic existence as an afterthought in a department that travels under a different and more grandiose title. Patrick O’Sullivan is very complimentary to the scholarship of NYU Glucksman Ireland House as exceptional in avoiding such pitfalls...

...Patrick O’Sullivan noted in the general introduction to his series the fact that Everett S. Lee’s theory of migration had had little influence on Irish migration studies. I agree with Patrick O’Sullivan that the general scheme in Lee’s work might have enabled us to conceptualise Irish migration within a larger and more general framework of migrant theory. I was aware of this in Manchester and felt it was a quite valuable approach in correcting some of the over-determined features of the Push-Pull model.


Wednesday 6 February 2013

Gargrave Autoharp Festival - Accomodation

Gargrave Autoharp Festival
Weekend of Friday May 31, Saturday June 1, Sunday June 2, 2013

Gargrave is a pretty  village, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, not far from the market town Skipton.  The main road through the village is the A65.  The Pennine Way, long distance footpath, comes down to the village, before climbing to Malham.  The Leeds & Liverpool Canal, one of the 3 trans-Pennine canals, goes through the village.

Gargrave has its own railway station, on the Leeds-Morecambe line - which also connects with the Settle-Carlisle line.  The local large and busy station is Skipton, ten minutes drive away.  If you travel by train and you let us know your time of arrival, we can meet you with a car.

Remember that the Gargrave Village Hall is the main venue, and the Masons Arms, Gargrave, is our main pub. 

See the simple map on

The Masons Arms does not seem to want an apostrophe...


A:  Gargrave

Masons Arms - pub and B&B

John Baker, the landlord, is very helpful and supportive.

Tel: 01756 749 304

River Cottage B&B
Kath and Keith Bradley, very helpful and supportive.

Contact Information
Tel: 01756 749541

The Old Swan Inn - pub and B&B
The future of this pub is not really clear - various refurbishments are planned, and the position might be clearer before May 2013.
Check the state of play by phoning Tel.  01756 749232

Premier Inn

The Premier Inn, run by Leanne Richardson, is on the western edge of Gargrave, where the A65 crosses the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.  It shares a site with the Anchor Inn, a Brewers Fayre pub restaurant.  There is a safe walk to the centre of the village, along the towpath.

B:  Camp and Caravan

Generally caravan and camper van people have their own contacts and lists.  But, briefly, Eshton Road Caravan Park is quite small, on the eastern edge of Gargrave, next to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.  There is an easy walk into the village, along the canal towpath.

Eshton Road Caravan Park
Eshton Road
North Yorkshire
BD23 3PN
Contact Details
Tel: 01756 749229
Fax: 01756 748060

There are many other Camp and Caravan sites nearby, in Skipton and in the Yorkshire Dales generally.

C:  Further Afield

Skipton is nearby, and has very many hotels and B&Bs, of every standard...  See

...and many other web sites. 

Gargrave is about 10 minutes drive from the centre of Skipton.  There is a Travelodge on the Gargrave edge of Skipton, on the Skipton by-pass - so 5 minutes drive.  The Travelodge is a bit isolated.  On the bypass.

If you do book accommodation in Skipton make sure that the parking problem is solved.  The more established hotels, like the Heriot and the Rendezvous, have their own car parks.  Otherwise, parking in Skipton is annoying and/or expensive.

Near to Gargrave, but NOT walking distance, are other possibilities - depending on budgets.  For example

The Coniston Hotel

Newton Grange

All of the villages and towns around Gargrave, especially within the Yorkshire Dales, have hotels, B&Bs, camp and caravan sites.  There are also many holiday cottages, but they are usually let through agencies/web sites, and usually by the week.  Weekends are sometimes available - I am trying to talk directly to the holiday cottage owners through our local contacts, but cannot promise anything.

For those in an extravagant or adventurous mood it is possible to hire a canal boat in Skipton, or nearby, bring the boat up the locks and moor in Gargrave.  But canal boat hire is not cheap.

For those who want to experience the most beautiful stretch of canal in England...  I will be bringing my boat down from Barnoldswick (pronounced Barlick) to Gargrave a few days before the Gargrave Autoharp Festival, and we can take about 8 passengers.  The journey takes a whole day by boat, 20 minutes by car.

Patrick O'Sullivan