Lockdown can be a time to re-acquaint and make new contacts.

I don’t have the time!  We do have now:-) Here are two musical contributions from an old friend, Steve Foster of Robin Hood’s Bay (known as the Singing Vicar) and Phil Smith of Sleights who is a new contact for Graham!

Both guys responded to a call for music for the Shed Happens Frome Radio broadcast over the internet to Shedders (or anyone) [Wednesdays 10am – noon]

Here is Steve’s Story behind a piece he wrote in 2009 about the Coast to Coast Walk.

Here you go me signing Doing the Coast to Coast which I wrote in September 2009 for a sponsored Coast  to Coast walk organised by the Countryside Charity CPRE.
The CPRE had contacted Jim Foster who was the editor of Bayfair Magazine and ran the Folk Club to tell him about the walk and that the walkers were being set off from St Bees Head by a Brass band. They asked if Jim could organise something similar at Robin Hood’s Bay.
Well we don’t have a Brass Band but Jim contacted me as I sing a bit and play the Banjo (which is almost as loud as a brass band!)
I agreed and decided that I should write a song about Alfred Wainwrights’ Coast to Coast walk.
I had already been planning this and although I’d never done the walk I knew a few folks who had and I had read some books on the subject so the research was in place but the song not written.  The walk was due to finish later that week so it was a rushed job but by the time arrived for the walk to finish the song and tune was sorted.
I was contacted by a member of CPRE and given the estimated time of arrival and was outside Wainwright’s Bar, the bottom bar of the Bay Hotel, in good time and the young lady met me and said that they were about ten minutes away.  I got set uo with banjo and a copy of the words and waited..  “Here they come” the young lady said and I looked up New Road, expecting to see a great crowd of walkers but all I could see were three elderly walkers slowly coming down into the Dock.  I asked the young lady if they were the vanguard and she replied “No that’s it, there were four but one dropped out.”
Undaunted I started singing and playing but the three chaps didn’t seem that interested, all they wanted was a pint and to chuck the pebbles that they’d picked up at St Bee’s Head into Robin Hood’s Bay.
Eventually one of them did have a word with me so I told him I was the Bay equivalent of St Bees’ Brass Band.
He looked at me somewhat perplexed “Brass Band, no lad it were just one chap playing the trumpet!”
Anyway the song always goes down well in Bay Folk Club on Friday nights at Ye Dolphin were often there are Coast to Coaster’s celebrating their 192-mile trek across the North of England.
I accompanied this recording with a Banjo I made last year in my workshop to an experimental design made using 30 segments of ash and 3 paduak rings built to make up the banjo body, the neck is a traditional laminate form using a laminated block of sycamore with paduak and a paduak fingerboard.
Hope this fits the bill.

Doing the Coast to Coast


Let’s go down to Wainright’s Bar
Share a meal and a welcome jar
To celebrate that we’ve come so far
Doing the Coast to Coast

One hundred and ninety four  miles they say
From St Bee’s Head to Robin Hood’s Bay
Carrying a pebble all the way
Doing the Coast to Coast

When Alfred Wainwright was a lad
You know that he lived with a drunken Dad
And his mother had religion bad
In industrial Lancashire
They lived in an old  two up two down
With tall mill chimneys all around
But at every chance he could be found
By the lakes of Westmorland

So he swapped the shadow of the cotton mill
For the shadow of a cloud passing over a hill
For a move to Kendal was such a thrill
As the Borough Treasurer
And as he walked his plans and schemes
Were realised from all those dreams
So far away from Blackburn’s Mills
As Alfred roamed the lakes


Old Alfred Wainwright had a plan
You know he was that sort of man
Meticulous notes Written out by hand
of his walks round the Lakeland Fells
West to East was the way he’d go
With the weather behind through rain and blow
With the sun in your face in the morning glow
From the Lakes to Yorkshires strand

And so you set off from St Bees Head
192 miles ahead
Although your mind with is filled with dread
You set off with a will
The first three days are through the Lakes
Your legs will throb and your backs will ache
But you know that there is a lot at stake
You’re doing the Coast to Coast


So off you set and there’s no remorse
And your baggage follows with the Old Pack Horse
But you might use Sherpa Van of course
Between each overnight stay
Bed and Breakfast or YHA
It doesn’t matter where you stay
The main thing is you’re on your way
You’re doing the Coast to Coast

Coast to Coasters close by Littlebeck Shed

When you get to Keld you’ve reached half way
Through the Yorkshire Dales for the next 3 days
But the finish still seems far away
When you’re doing the Coast to Coast
The North York Moors with legs like lead
And it seems like years since St. Bees Head
But the sight of the sea gives you courage instead
And you’ll finish the Coast to Coast


Final Chorus

Working outside at Robin Hood’s Bay Shed at the end of the C2C!

And so you go down to Wainwright’s Bar
You have that meal and the welcome jar
You celebrate that you’ve come so far
Doing the Coast to Coast

One last thing to do today
Is chuck that pebble into the Bay
And give three cheers for Wainwright’s way
You’ve finished the Coast to Coast!

Steve Foster 2009


Here is Phil Smith’s spirited rendition about Whitby and its Sheds. Specially written folk number (a 1 minute short to suit the Frome Radio programme next week). Recorded and mixed by Phil Smith in his Sleights Recording Studio.  https://soundcloud.com/philtunes


Really catchy sing-along number. The words are below to sing along to!  Raise your glasses and your voices!!


Now there is a town,
Yorkshire Fishermen’s town.
A town where James Cook once called home,
He sailed out to sea from the Port of Whitby
To Australia he did roam.
Good Lasses and Lads
Raise you glasses and cheer,
Whitby, Staithes, Littlebeck hand in hand.
We are Shedders together,
We are Shedders forever
From the Moor and the Coast here we stand.
Cutting the cloth,
Turning the lathe,
Spinning the Potters wheel,
We are Shedders together,
We are Shedders forever,
Like a ship with an even keel.
Good lasses and Lads
Raise your glasses and cheer,
Companions we work hand in hand,
We are Shedders together,
We are Shedders forever,
From the Moor and the dale here we stand
Cutting the cloth,
Turning the lathe,
Spinning the potter’s wheel,
We are Shedders together,
We are Shedders forever,
Like a ship with an even keel.

Phil Smith

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