Workshops and Words on the Westwood

Beverley Folk Festival



Workshops and Words on the Westwood


Every year, the festival offers various workshops that people can take part in.

Ranging from:  Singing, dance, guitar techniques, songwriting, poetry, creative writing, spoken word and open mic sessions.

It also offers talks and readings events which all form part of our exciting ‘Words on the Westwood’ programme.

Come and meet new people, learn something different, whether it be singing, dancing or playing an instrument – we have a top team ready to welcome you.

The 2017 programme includes:

Dan Walsh (Banjo workshop)
What better way to brush up on your Banjo playing skills than with BBC Folk Award nominee Dan Walsh. Touted as one of the finest banjo players in the UK, this is an unique opportunity to learn be learn from one of the best.

Reg Meuross (Songwriting workshop)
The rightfully acclaimed Reg Meuross will give a master class workshop in the art song writing. Hailed by Martin Carthy as “a mighty songwriter and en equally fine singer”, Reg is truly one of the great song-writers – this workshop is a must for anyone with a passion for telling stories and painting pictures through the power of songs.

Sue Murray (Choir workshop)
Sue is an experienced vocal leader, who has worked with choirs and community groups throughout the region, including the very popular Beverley Community Choir, where she is currently Musical Director. Her workshops are accessible, uplifting, and fun.


Cassandra Parkin and Tracy Scott-Townsend
Two writers share their influences on their work, from Yorkshire, the sea and even fairytales.
Cassandra Parkin is a Yorkshire-based writer with Cornish roots and a passion for fairy-tales. She writes modern fiction with a dark heart and a strong magical flavour, and is endlessly inspired by the sea and the landscapes that surround it.
Tracey Scott-Townsend writes uncompromising and often uncomfortable fiction based around family and relationships. Sense of place is equally important, with Yorkshire and the Sea playing a powerful role in her novels. She’s a mother of four and enjoys travelling in a converted van with her husband and dogs

Dan Grubb
Dan Grubb is CEO of East Yorkshire based publishing company, Fantastic Books Publishing which he runs with his wife Gabi, a professional photographer. His growing fiction list comprises mainly science fiction, fantasy and crime but he has diverse genres on his list which grows year by year. He’s always interested in meeting local authors and also runs the annual FantastiCon event in Hull which this year will be at the Guildhall the weekend of 2nd and 3rd of September and will feature some cutting edge mind-controlled technology as well as an army of full-sized Daleks, a legion of storm troopers and much more besides.

John Fewings
Talking about his novels, he may even read from one… or from one of his poems. A member of the Argy Bargy Poets and a festival volunteer of several years.

Penny Grubb
Penny Grubb is a scientist and academic. She has written fiction since the age of 4, and won a prestigious Crime Writers’ Dagger for her novel The Doll Makers in 2004. In a varied career that has taken her round the world, she has been based in academia, healthcare and the world of writers’ rights. She was awarded her doctorate in 1992. For six years she was Chair of the world’s largest writers’ organisation, the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society. Now semi-retired she concentrates on her crime writing. Her novels are a contemporary mix of private investigator and police procedural. She also writes fantasy adventure novels for children under a pseudonym.

Toni Bunnell
Toni Bunnell is a wildlife biologist, broadcaster, musician and a hedgehog rehabilitator with a PhD in polecat behaviour. She lectured in a university for sixteen years, during which time her self-published book on music therapy was picked up by a mainstream publisher. She has written and self-published twelve books, eight as paperbacks, and is happy to share her experiences of self-publishing.

The Watersons
A special screening of the first family of folk’s acclaimed concert “The Watersons Live Hull Truck Theatre”. Originally from Hull, the Watersons are widely recognised as one of the most important influences in folk for over fifty years and it will be treat for fans to see the recording of this legendary concert.


Alan Johnson
Veteran political and former MP for Hull West and Hessle, Alan Johnson will be speaking not about his time in Westminster, but about his acclaimed and award-winning autobiographies, which tell of his tough childhood and formative years. With 2017 being Hull’s year as City of Culture and both Mr Johnson and Beverley Folk Festival’s links to the city, it’s great to have him with us as part of our literary offer.


COMEDY NIGHT – Cottingham Comedy Club at Beverley Folk Festival


Cottingham Comedy Club is a monthly comedy night held at The Railway pub and presenting for the first time at Beverley Folk Festival a selection of the best local comedians from Hull and East Yorkshire.
Featuring the comedic talents of Steve Rimmer, the world’s only bomb disposal engineer comedian (as far as we know), with the “infectious and highly entertaining” (but mainly infectious) Rich Austin.
Also starring the “uncomfortably funny” Andy Woolston, with Kelli! Taylor “no ordinary psychic hairdresser to the stars” and Dave Smith with his ordinary name and extraordinary take on life.
All hosted by self-styled “local celebrity” Jed Salisbury
Follow us on Facebook @cottinghamcomedyclub

Dave Mahoney
According to his own brother, the man behind The Dave Mahoney Poetry Experience is a “gobby, spiteful, loud mouth idiot”, but don’t let that put you off.

Dave Mahoney began writing poetry three years ago when becoming a father for the first time made him start speaking in rhyme, and since then he has performed everywhere from his adopted hometown of Hull
to Halifax. He is a former winner of the Say Owt Slam in York, but in the summer of last year a disastrous performance in which he forgot his words saw him become paranoid he had been ostracized from the poetry community. He decided to start performing in disguise as ‘The Dave Mahoney Poetry Experience’ so no one would know it was him.
The Dave Mahoney Poetry Experience is a one man troupe bringing styles, ideas and general nonsense together as one poetic whole. Sometimes their performances will make you laugh, sometimes cry. But that’s just their excuse for when they aren’t very funny.

The Argy Bargy Poets
The “Argy-Bargy Poets” (Catherine Scott, Clint Wastling & John Fewings) are so named because their first gig together was on the Syntan barge moored in Beverley Beck. When a member of the audience asked whether they had thought of “going somewhere else” they took that to mean that they should spread their collective wings – and now delight audiences in and around Beverley and the East Riding. They specialise in performing poetry for people who don’t really like poetry.

Daniel Piper
Daniel Piper is a comedian, writer and national poetry slam champion. Originally from Beverley, he now scrapes by in London. He has performed across the UK and at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and many more. He has also been in four gangs, and he’s going to tell you about them.

From Beverley to Leamington Spa, DANIEL PIPER IS IN FOUR GANGS is a globe-trotting action-adventure which tells the story of Daniel’s dark, explosive past. It was first performed in a sell-out run at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Photo Credit: Derek Schultz –



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