Darren Hayman is back, with a second volume of songs resulting from his Thankful Villages project. The fourteenth village is Arkholme, Lancashire.
The vicar in Arkholme seemed a little over-protective. He said he didn’t think the villagers would want to talk to me.
I looked elsewhere and found a folk song about the death of eight men on the river Lune. It seemed to echo the story in Cromwell. Rivers are powerful beasts.
I meet Gerald Lees in the Bay Horse, we talk by a crackling fire. Gerry has written a book about the Lancashire Thankful Villages called ‘Thankful and not so Thankful.’ He is full of details about the wars and we find a connection between my folk song and two soldiers who lived in the Ferryman’s cottage. You can hear him at the end of this recording.
That evening I went to the village bonfire night. Despite the vicar’s reservations the villagers were warm and friendly. I filmed the community at play and made a short film for their website.
I thought about the warmth of home fires and the coldness of rivers and rain. A finished a song of two halves back in the B & B.
Arkholme started off cold but soon got warm.