Folk fans gather to remember Sam Larner

SamFest supporters gather at Sam Larner's gravestone

SamFest supporters gather at Sam Larner's gravestone - Credit: Archant

Folk fans flocked to Winterton once again to remember the village's famous singing fisherman Sam Larner.

The event ran from Thursday, September 17 - September 20 and included concerts, sing-a-rounds, a pub music and dance session, talks and archive films relating to Mr Larner attracting a good mix of folk fans and locals to the festival. Around 40 people, including some of Mr Larner's relations, also attended a Sunday evening gathering at his grave side in the village churchyard. One of the highlights for many were the folk concerts held in the church on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon which raised around £500 for church funds.

Children from Winterton Primary School, taught by teacher Mel Bramwell, started off the first concert by playing tunes connected to Mr Larner on the church's set of carillon bells. International folk singer Peggy Seeger, who recorded Mr Larner in his Bulmer Lane cottage in 1958-60, returned to Winterton on the Saturday to talk with author Peter Cox about Mr Larner and his involvement in the prize-winning BBC Radio Ballad 'Singing the Fishing' in 1960.

A 1972 BBC TV version of the documentary, called 'Shoals of Herring' and archive TV interviews with Mr Larner and traditional singer Harry Cox of Catfield were also shown in the village hall over the weekend.

The Hermanus holiday centre proved a popular venue for more informal concerts and sing-a-rounds, and the village pub, The Fisherman's Return, where Mr Larner used to regularly sing and step dance, hosted a successful East Anglian music and dance session on Saturday afternoon.

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Festival organiser Brian Gaudet said after the event: 'It was great weekend which saw the Winterton community giving a very warm welcome to us folkies.

'We are all very proud of Sam Larner's great contribution to British folk song and it was a great privilege to remember him 50 years after his death'.

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The festival gave cash boosts for both the parish church and the village group seeking to provide a home for the former Winterton lifeboat the Edward Birkbeck, with raffle tickets sold before and during the festival making more than £1,100 for the village lifeboat restoration group.

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