A MUSIC society is set to be revived 30 years on in Whitchurch.

Whitchurch Folk Club will be launching its first meeting on Friday, October 13 with an appearance from Faustus plus a special guest.

The club’s resurgence is thanks to digital media consultant, Jon Wilks, and musician, Paul Sartin, who both live in the town.

Mr Wilks said: “We bumped into each other on a train and talked about folk music and then we thought we should do something using Paul’s contacts, my skills and both our experience and talents about bringing folk music back in to Whitchurch.

“The town has got this long history of music and folk songs that not many people know about so it seems an ideal place to start again.”

Folk collectors – people who worked to preserve musical traditions – travelled out to towns and rural areas to write down songs workers would sing while in the fields, workhouses or drinking in pubs.

Mr Wilks said Whitchurch is where the Victorian folk scholar George Gardiner collected 11 songs thought to be unique to the town.

Mr Gardiner came across Henry Lee, a Whitchurch labourer living with his daughters, who sang the songs they knew from living in the town.

Mr Wilks added: “I love the fact that Whitchurch has this almost hidden musical history – something that local music lovers can explore and bring back to life. Some of the songs are incredibly beautiful, too. Have a listen to If I Were a Blackbird – it’s such a gorgeous, heartbreaking melody.”

Paul Sartin has been in a number of bands, including Bellowhead, Faustus and Belshazzar’s Feast.

Mr Wilks runs Grizzle Folk, a website which explores traditional songs and folk bands are interviewed.

Visit grizzlyfolk.com/ whitchurch-folk-club/