Singing, Talks and Lucy Broadwood
The home page for Irene Shettle

   Image based on a photograph
   taken by Doc Rowe at English Country Music Weekend ,Ampthill, 2009

I have been singing for pleasure as long as I can remember, and was a member of a number of choirs over the years from the age of 8, performing in varied venues in Guildford, London and elsewhere, and making a number of commercial recordings with Guildford Choral Society as part of their semi-chorus.From 1990, however,my principal passion from childhood, traditional folk song and music, began to take over.

Somewhere along the way I also began research into the life and work of the late Victorian/early Edwardian folksong collector and researcher, Lucy Broadwood . (This has inevitably spilled over into some research into other Broadwoods - Rev John Broadwood and Henry Fowler Broadwood and other collectors since she was very much the pivot around which much of the first folk revival revolved.). The role of public speaker has been added to my singing pursuits, and I am happy to spread knowledge about her life and work.

This site provides further information on my singing background and previous work, a few soundbites and a little more detail about Lucy Broadwood, together with my contact details should you wish to book me in either my singing or public speaking capacities.

Events in 2018 and 2019

In late 2017,  I was interviewed by Mike Norris (former chairman of the English Folk Dance and Song Society) for inclusion of an item about Lucy Broadwood, featuring some of the songs collected by her, in his weekly programme "Classic Folk" on The Wireless ,a local radio station run by Age UK. The programme is streamed on the internet, and also is broadcast as a podcast on the website of the EFDSS in the week of broadcast. It was eventually broadcast in spring 2018, and  is still available online as a podcast

In the summer of 2018 I gave a newly written talk on Lucy Broadwood and her influential talk to the Musical Association (now the Royal Musical Association) in London in March 1905.

Activities for the rest of the year were somewhat curtailed thanks to an accident resulting
in broken ribs, but in October I was delighted to be asked by Colin Thompson to provide a 5 minute spoken piece on Lucy Broadwood and her influence on the collecting and English classical music movements of the early 20th century as part of  a performance in Abbots Langley by The Collectors Group of music related to various composers such as Percy Grainger, Vaughan Williams and others associated with the Dorset area

This formed a rather good precursor to a talk that I gave to the Abbots Langley Local History group about Lucy, her life and work at the end of February 2019.

As a result of a chance contact I became involved with the recording of a BBC television programme, "Lucy Worsley's Christmas Carols" which will be broadcast in December 2019.

This has also given rise to a new talk ,
"The Carol, the Carter and the Collectors",which I gave in its first format at Bradfield Traditional Music Weekend in July 2019, featuring Henry Garman (carter and singer), Ralph Vaughan Williams and Rev John Broadwood (the collectors) and the Christmas carol "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem", tracing the journey of the carol from its initial performance in Philadelphia in the mid 19th century through to its appearance in England in 1906 in an arrangement by Vaughan Williams using a tune that he had collected from Garman, and specifically looking at the life of Henry himself. In a slightly revised format, with added slides, it received a second airing at the Surrey History Centre in Woking, Surrey on November 2nd 2019.

Looking forward to 2020.

Updated most recently on 28 March 2019
All content copyright to Irene Shettle