Ballad and Song in the History of North West England

Saturday 15 May 2021, 2:00pm to 3:30pm


Online RHC event/live Q&A session, Lancaster, United Kingdom, LA1 4YT

Open to

All Lancaster University (non-partner) students, Alumni, External Organisations


Cost to attend - booking required

Registration Info

Tickets can be purchased through Lancaster University's Online Store. To book, please visit

Ticket Price

£18 Standard Ticket, £16.20 RHC Friends and Patrons

Event Details

This online Study Event features video presentations as well as a live Q&A session on Saturday 15 May 2021 from 1400-1530. The video presentations will be available to view in advance. Details of how to access both the presentations and the live session will be provided to everyone who registers.

For centuries, ballad and song have been not just a means of entertainment, but an important narrative tradition, telling the stories of the good and the great, the doomed and the notorious. Often thought to demonstrate routes into a pre-literate society, ballads and songs were sometimes (but not always) passed down orally and tended to use the dialect of ordinary people. With many distinctive regional variations, North West England is rich in examples. Topics covered in this study event range from a rediscovered seventeenth-century Lancashire ‘jig’ and the development of ‘folk song’ in both urban and rural settings, to a fascinating comparison of contemporary workers’ songs in Bangladesh – especially from garment factories – and their near-equivalents from our more local industrial heritage. We have filmed our four expert speakers - Dr Sue Allan, Dr Jenni Hyde, Dr Martin Purdy and Dr Jennifer Reid - in the university's beautiful new space at Lancaster Castle. Each of them is an accomplished performer, and we are treated to singing, both accompanied and unaccompanied, in the course of each of their presentations, and even a bit of clog dancing!

You can watch these videos at a time of your own choosing, on our dedicated online space, in the days leading up to the live element onSaturday 15 May. That afternoon will be a chance to discuss themes and ask questions of our speakers in our live Q&A element, held online from 1400-1530.Nearer the date we will be sending out full information on how to access the videos (which will remain available for some time after the event) as well as how to join the Q&A session to everyone who registers.

Presentations include:

· Dr Sue Allan, independent scholar – Folk Song in Cumbria - a distinctive regional repertoire?

· Dr Jenni Hyde (Lancaster University History Department – John Balshaw’s Jig: Revelry and Royalism in Restoration Lancashire

· Dr Martin Purdy, independent scholar - Industrial Bias and North West Song from the Victorians to the Modern Age

· Dr Jennifer Reid, independent scholar - Songs of Work in Manchester and Bangladesh


Contact Details

Name Ann Marie Michel