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Stony Broke- last chance call!

Posted by maymorning on October 9, 2018 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

We will be presenting our positively last ever performances of this World War 1 commemmoration in November 2018.  This marks the Centenary of the Armistice which brought the hostilities (though not the war) to a close, and it seems right to bring our show to a close too.  We have performed it many times, always to very appreciative audiences, since we first performed it for the Friends of the Bristol Museum (who commissione it) in November 2014, and we will rememer it with great fondness.  Musically and artistically it took us out of our comfort zones; we learned a huge amount about the complex social reality of the war, discovered some moving, and some funny, stories about local people, and found some wonderful contemporary songs and poems, some of which we think are unique to our presentation. We've also raised to date nearly £2000 for the British Red Cross, in recognition of their role in bringing some humanity and care to the horrors of the various fronts. Our final two presentations will be at Bishopston Library, Bristol, on November 2, and the Old Down Inn, Emborough, Somerset on November 9.   More details in the calendar.  If you've never seen it, take this opportunity- if you have, why not come along and remind yourself how wonderful it is!

Last Stony Broke for this year!

Posted by maymorning on October 24, 2017 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (2)

This Thursday, October 26, sees our last perormance of our World War 1 epic Stony Broke in No-Man's Land, for this year.  Don't miss this opportunity to see a show that has been warmly welcomed by all audiences to date.  We are appearing in the cyrpt at St.Cuthbert's Church, Sandy Lane Brislington, in Bristol, BS4 3PG , in a show hosted by the Brislington Conservation and Local History Group.  Admission £1, with a retiring collection for the British Red Cross, to whom all profits from this show have gone.

Our newest group members

Posted by maymorning on April 2, 2017 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (1)

We have been delighted to welcome Jacqui and Brian Ross as the latest members of the group.  Jacqui and Brian have a long pedigree on the local folk scene, and we have been suggesting they join us for some time!

Stony Broke in Portishead

Posted by maymorning on April 2, 2017 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

On Monday May 15 we will be presenting Stony Broke in No Man's Land at Clarence House, High St, Portishead  (BS20 6PY), at 7.30pm.  This event is being kindly hosted by the British Legion on behalf of the British Red Cross.  Entrance is free, and there will be a collection for the Red Cross.

Comng up in 2017

Posted by maymorning on February 13, 2017 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

We kicked off 2017 with a very pleasant gig as the "cabaret" for the Bristol Playgoers' Annual Dinner, in the very smart surroundings of the Palm Court Restaurant in the Marriott Hotel on College Green.  In March we are playing for the Wome's Insitute in Hewish, Somerset.  We have 3 open performances of "Stony Broke in No Man's Land" fixed, in May, July and October- see the Calendar for more details.  In December we have 2 performances of our Christmas Show fixed- both open to the public.  So hope to see you at one or more during the year- and there may be more bookings to come!

We wish you a Happy Christmas!

Posted by maymorning on December 7, 2016 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday we had a great time performing our Mendip Christmas show for our friends at Midsomer Norton  Library.  A very appreciative audience donated an excellent £168.50, which we will be passing on to Crisis at Christmas.  Our recent presentation of Stony Broke in No Man's Land has led to a number of enquiries about performances of this and other Howler shows next year, so watch this space!

Howlers' Christmas Show

Posted by maymorning on November 17, 2016 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

The Howlers are taking a break from the Great War to perform their Christmas Show, A Mendip Christmas, at Midsomer Norton Library on December 6th, at 7.30 pm.  The show is a multi-media presentation, with images, readings, songs and tunes charting Christmas, secular and religious, through the ages, especially in the Mendips. Lots of wonderful songs, and chances for chorus singing!  Free entry (with a collection) but space is limited so you should contact the library (01225 39 40 41) for tickets.  Howlers profits will go to Crisis at Christmas.

Armistice Day November 11 2016

Posted by maymorning on November 17, 2016 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The Howlers performed Stony Broke in No Man's Land at St Bathelomew's Church, St. Andrew's Bristol, to mark Armistice Day 2016, the centenary of the mid-point of the Great War, and the 2nd anniversary of our first performance.  We were joined by Mark Flower, SeniorCommunity Fundraiser for the British Red Cross, (and his family) and we were delighted to present him with a cheque for £1000, from earlier performances. (see photo)

We were also delighted to welcome out latest addition, Margie Fowler, to her first appearance with the Howlers.  Margie did stirling work to get her head round Stony Broke in just a few weeks.  We are also very grateful to Margie's family, who were unable to get to the show but made a generous donation.  You can see Margie in the background in the photo below

Stony Broke on Remembrance Day 2016

Posted by maymorning on October 19, 2016 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (2)

We will be performing our Great War presentation, Stony Broke in No-Man's Land, on November 11 at 7.30pm, at St.Bart's Church Hall, Maurice Road, Bristol BS6 5BZ.    This is to mark Remebrance Day, and also the centenary of the official end of the Battle of the Somme.  Admission is free, but we will be accepting donations to cover our costs, and for the British Red Cross.  Stony Broke has been very well received wherever we have played it - brillian, thought-provoking and informative are the owrds most often used! 

We will be dedicating this performance to the memory of our friend and colleague Olga Shotton.

Olga Shotton- singer and shepherdess

Posted by maymorning on October 17, 2016 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

The Hotwells Howlers have been deeply saddened to learn that Olga, one of our longest-standing members, died last week.   Despite being in her late 80s, Olga was still singing with us in the early part of this year, and was driving in to Bristol from Blagdon every Sunday for our 8pm rehearsal, until well into midsummer.  Olga seemed indomitable, and it is hard to believe she has gone.  

Olga had been a lively and enthusiastic part of the Bristol folk scene since the early days of the Revivial.  She could be seen carting a suitcase full of song books, badges and Morris bells around the clubs as an itinerant EFDSS Folk Shop, and visiting singarounds and folk weekends at Pennymoor and Whittlebury.  For a while she was drummer with the ceilidh band Kit and Boodle, helped run the Folk Tradition lamb or pig roasts at Fairlands, near Cheddar, and learned to play bones and spoons by practicing for ages (her words!) . She took on the management of the Folk Tradition Club, meeting at the Nova Scotia, and with the help of friends, kept it going until 2000.


A year or two later Olga joined the Hotwells Howlers.  She enjoyed "saucy" songs, and sang them with a twinkle in her eye.  She was always ready to take part in our various semi-dramatic productions, and has played, among other things, a number of landladies, a singer for Cecil Sharp, and a missionary to the navvies!  Olga had a great interest in researching history and worked with us in creating our current piece on the Great War, "Stony Broke in No-Man's Land".  In particular, she generously share with us some of ther father's writings about his experiences as a socialst Conscientious Objector in that conflict, a task which she found quite painful.


Beside the Howlers, she sang in her local church choir, and until fairly recently, "Bristol Harmony" and "Called To Be Saints" two West Gallery choirs.   Until a few years ago she also kept sheep, only giving up when she began to find chasing the runaways through Blagdon village beyond her!  

The Howlers will certainly not be the same without her.  Go in peace, Olga.