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The Launch Party

I'm delighted to say that the launch was a huge success on many levels and a very big team effort. After months and months of planning, everything came together in one final push. The caravan has been named Roberta Boudica. Roberta after the make of caravan and Boudica after the Iceni warrior Queen.


Everyone at Cecil Sharp House couldn't have been more helpful and my sincere thanks go to Katy Spicer, Stewart Morgan and Sam Lee for all their help.

launch_02.jpgTim Burton, Helena Bonham Carter, Simon Costin, Siouxsie Sioux

The renowned catering company, Cellar Society, created a sumptuous menu which included delicious cheeses kindly donated by Neal's Yard Dairy. I would like to thank the lighting and sound companies for all their time and energy too, without Nick Knowles and Ralph Biddulph it would not have looked and sounded as good as it did. Mark Hubbard at Scena, the set construction company, with whom I've worked with for many years, did me proud once again by making the band backdrop and providing all the screening for the coat check etc. The main entrance way to the hall had a glorious, sweet smelling archway of flowers provided by Nikki Tibbles at Wild At Heart, who also made hundreds of beautiful garlands for the guests to wear, making everyone look thoroughly folkie.

launch_05.jpgHerne the Hunter (Marko Waschke), Wild At Heart Flower Arch

The gifts on the Tombola were kindly donated by Alexander McQueen, Hermes, Nokia, Comme des Garcons, Harvey Nichols, Jurlique and Illamasqua. Next came all the entertainment. At the start of the evening the magicians, Paul Kieve and Darren Langford entertained everyone with some wonderful close up magic. They were followed by a fantastic performance by Hunters Moon Morris, who stormed the main hall and did a rousing performance which guests are still asking me questions about. This was followed by a film, especially commissioned by the museum, entitled 'Britannica, Rites and Rituals'. Edited by Ruth Hogben from footage shot over the past 45 years by Doc Rowe, it is a wonderful introduction to our seasonal customs and includes many festivals from all over the UK. It will be available to be viewed on-line, in a compressed form, on this website very soon.

launch_03.jpgHunters Moon

launch_04.jpgDoc Rowe film

Next came the first of the evenings bands, Rachel Unthank and the Winterset followed by rising stars, Blue Roses. My thanks go to both bands and I very much hope to be able to catch up with them on my tour at some point.

launch_06.jpgRachel Unthank and The Blue Roses

launch_07.jpgStephen Jones, creator of the Folklore Hat, and Gareth Pugh

I never forget for one moment how lucky I am to have such a massively supportive group of friends and they were amazing too, mucking in with all the production, decorations, humping desks from the main hall, dressing as Herne the Hunter to solicit donations, manning the coat check and Tombola and even clearing glasses etc. Special thanks go to Stephen Jones for his magnificent hat, Jenna Rossi-Camus for my outfit and Gareth Pugh for the coat which will be coming with me on the tour. To them my humble thanks.

Lastly a heartfelt thank you to all the guests who bought a ticket to support the event and so help towards the tour.