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Rye Festival

The last festival of the 2009 tour was the Rye Arts Festival. I was invited by Jack Ash to come and give a talk about the museum project and to then show the caravan and contents over the weekend of the 26th & 27th September. The weather was glorious thankfully and we were in a delightful spot next to the Ypres Tower and museum. Priscilla Ryans very kindly allowed us to park on the area of lawn in front of her house and was the perfect hostess bringing out cakes and tea and asking all about the project. The tour ended as it began, surrounded by friends, family and well wishers. The tour has been amazing in many ways, I've met a fantastic range of people with well over 5000 people coming to see the caravan on her travels. It has been heartening to see how many people in the folk community have offered their support and I think seeing my brother and I at so many events has cemented in their minds my commitment to the project.

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One of the main things to have come out of the last six months has been the fact that this is just the start and I could be looking at two or three years before the museum can open it's doors to the public. An enormous amount of work lies ahead and I'm determined to put just as much effort into that as I have done the past year.

There are some very interesting developments for 2010. While the 5 year business plan and feasibility documents are being drawn up, a series of mini exhibitions will be mounted in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall. Each will deal with various aspects of regional folk practise pertaining to the area. I am being assisted by the multi-talanted, Kate Cornish, whom I first met at the Port Eliott Festival back in August. Kate has very kindly offered some time to help on several aspects of the museums development. I have been asked to curate a Folk Art exhibition for the Hexham Gathering Festival next year and news about that will be posted here when I know more details. The Henry Bourne portrait project will continue into the New Year and we are currently in conversation with various publishers regarding the production of the book.

Due to the huge success of Jonny Hannah's limited edition poster this year, we are having a series of museum T-shirts printed that will be for sale using Jonny's artwork. On Dec 11th this year, we are mounting a benefit concert in London to raise funds for the pop-up exhibitions. Details of who will be performing will be posted as soon as everyone has confirmed. Watch this space...





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