banner photo 01

3rd February 1924 to 23rd July 2018

Jean Perree 1Jean Perree 2Jean Perree 3

I really only got to know Jean Perree after she moved to Middle Barton in Oxfordshire.  I had of course seen her at West Country Concertina Player weekends navigating her way from one workshop to another but we seemed to choose different workshops so contact at first was limited.  When I drove to Kilve I went across the Cotswolds to the M5 so it only took a small change of route to go via Middle Barton and collect her and her concertina.  We had a two hour journey together and talked of many things including music and rock climbing and mountaineering. She came across as being very knowledgeable on all sorts of subjects and someone who was very adventurous and had a very independent spirit ready to have a go at anything.  The subject of mountaineering though took me quite by surprise as when Jean first started climbing girls were generally not seen out on the hills. Later when she moved to Sheffield it took only a short diversion off the M1 to collect her at a McDonalds to go to the Swaledale Squeeze weekends.

Jean Margery Bainton was born the middle of three daughters to Gertrude née Siebert and Percy Bainton. Her education started at the local Sefton Park School and after winning a scholarship she attended  Redmaids School in Bristol as a boarder.  Redmaids must have meant a great deal to her as she went to “Old Girls” reunions right up to the final year of her life.

After Redmaids she won a Carnegie Scholarship to Edinburgh University to study Social Work. It was whilst at the University that she joined the Mountaineering Club and was one of its first female members. She notably made, along with others, the first winter ascent of the Steall waterfall climb, no mean feat even by today’s standards.   In 1947 she clandestinely went to the Isle of Rhum (then privately owned with no public access).  The group were ferried over to the island by a local fisherman. She was the only girl amongst seven men, one of whom she became engaged to but never married. She stayed on for a further year at the university to train as a youth leader before returning to Bristol to work for the YWCA.

In 1949 she met and married Frank Perree a divorcee with five children.  Together they had three children Margery, Jeanette and Tim but the marriage did not last.  She brought up her children single handedly whilst still working and furthering her education.  She gained a Certificate of Education at Bristol University and finally became deputy head mistress at a large comprehensive school.

Jean was a talented artist, craftswomen, and cook.  She played cricket, swam, was a keen cyclist and went to the gym into her 80s.

Her early love of folk music acquired at Redmaids and Edinburgh University led her to learn to play the English concertina at the age of 60.  She became a musician for the Sidmouth Steppers Clog Morris and joined the West Country Concertina Players going to many of the weekend events at Kilve. She joined the ICA in 1989.

Jean was a keen youth hosteller, became a life member, and was the 10th person to join. She later helped to establish the Over 50s YHA group.

Jean loved driving and became an observer for the Advanced Institute of Motorists.  She drove nearly all her life even taking her very young children all the way to Scotland from her Somerset home for holidays and on arrival found somewhere to pitch her tent. 

Jean had a very full and active life much of it helping other people. She was loved by many and will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege to know her.

The funeral was held at the Grenoside Crematorium near Sheffield.   The Civil Celebrant read out Jean’s life story and tributes were made by her three children. Two of her grandchildren each read a poem.  After the funeral refreshments were on hand at the Norfolk Arms – a lovely pub overlooking the Derbyshire moors.  Amongst the various displays depicting Jean’s life and hobby interests was her concertina.  I had the privilege of playing it to accompany her friend on melodeon playing Da Slockit Light, a tune composed by Tom Anderson, a Shetland fiddler.

Martin Henshaw

The club donated a bell, installed at Swaledale, in memory of Jean.

Jeans bell 1Jeans bell 2Jeans bell 3Jeans bell 5Jeans bell 4

An important message about the W.C.C.P. Play Day in September.
This event date has been changed.  It is now confirmed that it will be held on the first Sunday as usual. 
Please ignore any previously reported date. It will be on 
Sunday 2nd Sept.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Best wishes
"The Ruishton Team"
Kate, Tony & Beryl

The WCCP will be running a try-out workshop at the Wessex Folk Festival from 2.00pm till 4.00pm on Sunday 3rd June 2018. If any members would like to call in or help they would be very welcome. Both Anglo and English concertinas will be catered for. Contacts: Mike Selley or Kate Stokes via the WCCP.

The ICA are holding their AGM at Ruishton on Saturday 5th May and some of them will be coming along to our Ruishton Play Day on Sunday 6th.
The ICA will be holding a concert on the Saturday evening and are offering W.C.C.P. members entry at a reduced rate.    To reciprocate, we will offer visitors a 1/2 price play-day fee on Sunday.
For more details Ruishton Playing

Please note that the AGM planned for 9th September has moved to 4th November


Rollo WoodsIt is with great sadness that the death of Rollo Geoffrey Woods, who died on 29th January 2018 at the age of 92 was announced.  A thanksgiving service was held in Swanage URC on 9th February and a further celebratory event on 7th April 2018.

Much of his life was devoted to the folk arts.  His grandparents were keen revivalist folk singers and his mother introduced him to English Country Dancing in 1937.  He was Squire of the Cambridge Morris Men and played with William Kimber, Scan Tester, Stephen Baldwin and Bob Cann.  He also contributed much of the music for Lionel Bacon's seminal "Handbook of Morris Dancing", known to all as the Black Book.  He played for ceilidhs for over 60 years. He founded the first ceilidh band in Hampshire, the Black Glove Band, ran the Greenwood Tree in Swanage for 20 years and his last band, Maiden Oak, is still going today.

Rollo started researching West Gallery Music in 1972 after a chance discovery of manuscripts in Widdicombe in the Moor in Devon and it gradually became a consuming passion.  He founded the Madding Crowd in 1975, The Purbeck Village Quire in 1989 and was a founder member of the West Gallery Music Association in 1990.  He published several books on the subject.  In 2015 he was awarded the gold badge of the English Folk Dance and Song Society for a lifetime of work promoting the folk arts.

Many members of WCCP would remember Rollo from his attendance at the Kilve Residential Weekends, where he was an active member for many years.

(Extract from Obituary by Owen Woods published in ICA Concertina World - March 2018)

Many of those reading this will remember Hilda, who died recently at the age of 87.
Hilda portative organShe had shown great artistic promise at a young age and went to theSlade School of Art where she met the love of her life, Hughie Gibson. Neither family would agree to the match so they eloped to Dartingtonand married there. In the late 1950s, they lived in a caravan in Chertsey and Hilda was a glamorous model, sculptor, artist andmusician.  They were members of the Thames Valley Morris Men (Hughie became the Fool), and Hilda led the Pyrford Folk Band.  She was aregular ca mper with the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry where she playedand sang.  She had a wide repertoire of songs - many of an earthy nature!
Hilda's work was sought after making bronze models large and small,and she designed the original nodding dog (seen in the back windows ofcars) and the first jiffy lemon.
They moved to Somerset in 1975, where Hilda was a care assitant for 25 years at Sandhill Park Hospital, dearly loved by those in her care.
 Hilda selfportrait 1960
As a musician she played Anglo and English concertina, as well as accordian, and could switch easily from one to the other, and she tutored the Anglo for WCCP.  She had known Scan Tester well and played in a similar style.
Some of you may remember the portative organ (see picture) made out of pieces of wood from the beach which Hughie cut to shape adding extra notes as the wood became available.
Members of Thames Valley Morris danced Shepherds' Hey at the funeral, as they had done for Hughie 2004.
We all have our memories of this wonderful, talented, joyous and perhaps eccentric lady, who on camping weekends took her pet cockerel in the back of the van rather than leave it at home.  Hilda never stopped singing, playing painting and sculpting to the end.
Andrew Stevens (22-Mar-2018)

Our new Membership Secretary is Di Cooper   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The residential weekend at Kilve Court was held Friday 16th – Sunday 18th March.

A lovely playing weekend with tutors Rob Habron English Concertinas, Gavin Atkin Duets, Harry Scurfield Anglos, Claire Wren Concertina Band and Dave Elliott Concertina Maintenance.

For the first time remembered, the weekend was interrupted by SNOW!  Quite a lot of it.  Unfortunately, there was only about a third of the attendees and a quarter of the tutors who made it through to the Showcase on the Sunday afternoon.  Those that remained performed and clearly demonstrated that the weekend had again been a wonderful playing success. 

The Kilve staff kindly made sure that those that had not braved the snow (yet) did not starve, first with the cream team and later an evening meal, afterwhich there was a session at the Hood (which opened up specially) and which was a real eveing of fun and joy.

Pictures on logo facebook

Here is a report from one of our younger memebrswho attended the residential weekend at Kilve in October 2017 :-
My name is Steph, I am 13 years old and have been to West Country Concertina Players October Weekend at Kilve in Somerset twice with the help of a Bursary from the club. 
I play the English concertina. The first time I went to Kilve I was the only young person and I was an absolute beginner and was loaned an instrument by the club, but I felt very welcomed and learnt lots and even came away with my own instrument! 
This year, I went into the English Concertina ensemble group. Our tutor Sally taught us several tunes in different parts which we played to everyone at the showcase session on Sunday afternoon when each group demonstrates what they have learnt. Everyone is so kind, helpful and supportive. The weekend is amazing and filled with lots of laughs as well as learning and I would recommend it to anyone of any age who is interested. 
There must be more young people who would like a chance to learn to play the Concertina if they knew about the opportunity. It would be great to have a group of young people playing concertinas together and learning some good tunes from the Oldies!