Cleveland Branch Gallery 2015

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     Cleveland Branch Gallery 2015






NGS Open Garden Event - Lizards Farm, Lanchester, County Durham - Sun 27 Sep 2015




Players: Tim Jones, Jo Jones and Brian Fisher.




This was a new and very interesting venue for us. Set in a plantation and nursery for trees with an extensive range of unusual species inc. many maples, acers, elm and ash. Glorious autumn colours. Also saplings to full size trees for sale. The site has lakes, extended walks and an area dedicated to a fascinating range of chicken breeds. All newly planted and laid out. It's a fascinating location with great views that can only get better and better as it matures.


We set up in the refreshment area located in a very cosy barn and we played many sets from the Cleveland Branch repetoire. We also took the opportunity to air many of our new tunes from our now extensive reptoire of duets we have been practicing over the year. This was a surprise to Jo who had never heard any of them before, but she did an amazing job accompanying us. The acoustics in the barn was well suited to the pipes. We were told we could be heard all over the farm and we received lots of attention and great comments from people coming to investigate. Hopefully to the benefit of the refreshment stall. We were well looked after by our hosts and we certainly benefitted from being so close to those refreshments. We had a brilliant aternoon, perfect for piping (and guitaring). Another great new venue.


NGS St Margaret's Allotments - Margery Lane, Durham - Sun 12 Jul 2015




Players: Margaret Moyes, Jo Jones, Bill Kay, Tim Jones, Dave Cook and Brian Fisher




This was a new venue for us and was quite different from any garden we have played at before. 5 acres of 82 allotments against the spectacular backdrop of Durham Cathedral. We discovered the site has been cultivated since the Middle Ages, and was saved from development 20yrs ago, allowing a number of enthusiastic gardeners to develop plots which display a great variety of fruit, vegetables and flowers. We arrived with trepidation, parking being the biggest worry. However we needn't have worried because we all found free parking (being Sunday) fairly close by. It did cost Brian £1 to find that out (I know......but don't ask). We received a great welcome by our hosts and we were led to a small area where a Gazebo had been set out for us. We started playing just before 2pm. We realised the huge size of the site so we moved around to various plots every 15 minutes or so, so that we could be heard by both the visitors and the many gardeners working there. It also gave us the chance to see many of the different plots and see what was being grown there. Amazingly, we ended up outside the tearoom for 3pm where we were refreshed by delicious tea and cakes. We received a great deal of interest and praise as we moved around the allotments. Many people asked for 1 Entry into scarecrow competitioncontact details so hopefuly we will gain some more bookings and get other interesting places to play. We finished off the last 20 minutes back at the gazebo where a small audience quickly gathered to sit and listen to us play. We finished at 4pm having got through most of our repetoire. This turned out to be one of the most interesting places we have played at. We were amazed at the variety of plants that was grown and the amount of enthusiasm and effort all the gardeners put in to care for this site. We had a brilliant, interesting afternoon and we really loved this venue.


NHS Strawberry Tea - St Hilda's Church, Headland, Hartlepool - Thu 09 Jul 2015



Players: Tim Jones and Brian Fisher.

(Photos to be updated)



This event was organised by St Hilda's Church, an afternoon strawberry tea in aid of the NHS Retirement Fellowship. Tim and myself (Brian) were invited to provided background music during the event. We played a large selection of duets from our own repetoire and further tunes from the Cleveland Branch repetoire. The pipes were well in tune and sounded really nice in the church, especially with the duet harmonies. We were kept well oiled with hot tea and fuelled with a very fine selection of cakes and strawberries. We received some really nice praise at the end. St Hilda's is our own personal favourite place to play the pipes and it was a pleasure to be able to contribute to the succes of this event. A great afternoon.



NGS Sedgefield Gardens - Sedgefield, County Durham - Sun 05 July 2015
NGS Sedgefield Gardens
Players Attending:  Margaret Moyes, Ann Catchpole, Tim Jones,
Dave Cook and Jo Jones (guitar).
This event is run jointly by the National Gardens Scheme and Sedgefield in Bloom who provide the refreshments. Several village gardens are open to the public and tea and cakes are served in Ceddesfeld Hall. We feel we should show our support as this is our "home territory". We played on the village green near the ticket and plant stall. It was a warm, sunny afternoon which suited both the players and the pipes! Several people stopped to say how much they enjoyed our music, including some who had recently heard us at Browside and were delighted to listen to us again. A most enjoyable afternoon.



Parkmade Live! - Preston Park, Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees - Sun 05 Jul 2015




Me (Brian Fisher) demonstrating Northumbrian Smallpipe reed making at parkmade Live!



In its third or fourth year now, this is a craft fair that is held two or three times a year in the 'Street' at Preston Park Hall for local crafts people to show what they do. Along with myself, there was a potter, leather worker, basket weaver, wool spinner, Wood turner, blacksmith and many more. Two excellent musicians wandered around playing traditional english music. This turned out to be a very busy day for me. From 10 am it was non-stop right up to 4pm when the event ended. The weather was excellent, sunny but not too hot. It was a perfect day to be outdoors. I received a great deal of interest from the visitors and along with reed making, I demonstrated the pipes using my own pipes and also got a lot of people having a go using a couple of keyless sets I took along. I was able to explain about the Cleveland Branch, what we do  and that we provide lessons. So hopefully we might generate some much needed beginners. Didn't get many reeds made (a few partially made ones that should turn into some good ones with a bit of homework), far too busy with people. Didn't get any time to have a look at all the other stalls either, which I like to do. Thoroughly enjoyed the day and got home exhausted.


NGS The Forge - Ravensworth, Richmond - Sun 21 Jun 2015



 Players Attending: (L-R) Dave Cook, Ann Catchpole, Tim Jones and Brian Fisher




We have played at this venue a couple of times now. The Blacksmith's Secret Garden - the garden being hidden from view behind The Forge House, Cottage and the working Blacksmith's Forge. It has small wildlife ponds. There is a variety of trees, shrubs and mixed borders leading to a meadow. The weather threatened most of the afternoon to be cold and wet. However we were provided with excellent shelter by our hosts that protected us brilliantly from the wind. With the sun showing its face on several occassions, it was a very delightful afternoon that allowed us to get our full repetoire in. Visitor numbers were quite good and we got lots of interest from them. We were well pampered by our hosts who kept us supplied with delicious tea and cakes. The garden was stunning and well worth a visit. An amazing day.



Sedgefield Community Association Day - Sedgefield, County Durham - Sat 20 Jun 2015



The sedgefield Community Association is a brilliant organisation that do a lot of hard work keeping Sedgefield a very busy and active place to be. Community Association Day is a chance for all the many groups who use the facilities in sedgefield to show the public what they do and have the opportunity to drum up business for their groups. The Cleveland Branch was supplied with a stall in the hall grounds and Brian Fisher set up the display in the morning with some keyless pipes to try and encourage people to have a go. We were also asked to play for half an hour in the grounds in the afternoon. Unfortunatly, this year,  the heavens opened up early on and heavy rain set in for the day. Although Brian was nice and dry under the excellent gazebo, the visitors were not. So interest was limited for most of the morning. After lunch Brian was joined by Margaret Moyes for the afternoons playing. The music events had been transferred to the main hall, entertaining the public who came in to buy refreshments from tea stall there.  We were  last on and started our session just as the tea stall was re-supplied with a fresh batch of food and drinks.The audience swelled up with people who came in out of the cold to benefit from the fresh food supplies. We were kept busy for over an hour and we recieved lots of interest and nice comments from the visitors. After our performance and encouragement from us, some got up to try the pipes. A very wet day but we had some really good moments.



 NGS Ravensford Farm, Hamsterly, County Durham - Sun 14 Jun 2015




Players attending (L-R) Margaret Moyes, Tim Jones. Ann Catchpole, Brian Fisher and Jo Jones (taking the photograph)


We have played for many events at this venue for well over 10 years now and we are always made welcome by our hosts Caroline and John Peacock. This was a really cold day for us. The garden however was looking really beautiful. All the plants in this garden have to be very hardy for this location but they have all been well chosen, making this a fantastic garden. Well worth a visit. A gazebo provided some shelter for us and lots of tea (along with some nice cakes) helped lessen the cold. We got a good couple of hours piping in, playing our full repetoire. Public attendance was very good considering the weather and we recieved lots of attention from the visitors. The pipes managed to stay nicely in tune all afternoon and we also managed a smile for this photo. Amazing!!


Afternoon Tea at St Hilda's Church - Headlands, Hartlepool - Fri 12 Jun 2015



 Players attending: Dave Cook, Brian Fisher, Ann Catchpole, Bill Kay, Tim Jones and Jo Jones. Jo Jones was behind the camera taking the photos.



This was a ticketed event in aid of the Army Benevolent Fund Soldiers' Charity, an event we were really looking forward to playing at. Organised by volunteers from St Hilda's church as an afternoon tea. It was very well attended and the church was quite full. Our job was to entertain during lunch. Brian impressed the other pipers when he opened his pipe case to find an empty box. A quick dash home to get his pipes, he arrived back some 40 minutes later just after the Colonel had finished his opening speech and sneaked in for the second set. We played for about an hour and a half and Tim and Brian had the opportunity to play a couple of their duet sets. It was a very successful afternoon and we received lots of attention after our performance. St Hilda's is a brilliant place to play the pipes, the pipes sounded good and really nice when it is for such a worthy cause.



NGS Hurworth Gardens - Hurworth Village, Darlington - Sat 06 Jun 2015



Players attending: Dave Cook, Margaret Moyes, Brian Fisher and Jo Jones.

Photograph by Jo Jones


This was a new and very interesting venue for us. Many different houses around the green in Hurworh opened up their gardens for The National Garden Scheme. We started playing on the green but we quickly became hampered by the high winds that were forecast for the day. It was quite a challenge playing the pipes in 20 -30mph winds. Avoiding the sudden dust clouds blowing across the green bbecame too often. With a bit of forethought however, and as the photo shows, we found a nice little sheltered alcove in front of one of the larger houses where we could manage with the winds much easier. As luck would have it, it just so happened that it was next to the tea and cakes stall. We were able to entertain the visitors while they were partaking in their refreshments. We were well looked after by the NGS ladies from the stall and as always with the NGS, comforted with lots of tea and delicious cakes. We managed to get through our full repetoire despite the odd challenge from the wind. The pipes mostly stayed in tune and many of the visitors took a great deal of interest in us and came accross to talk to us about the pipes. Despite the weather we had a fairly good afternoon. The gardens were varied and very intersting. All set in a beautiful village. Well worth a visit.



Preston Park Folk Festival - Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees - Mon 25 May 2015















NGS Hall Farm Nurseries - Harperly, Stanley, Durham - Sun 03 May 2014





Players attending (L-R) Bill Kay, Margaret Moyes, Tim Jones, Brian Fisher and Jo Jones.



This was a brand new venue for us. It turned out to be a pretty wet afternoon. Fortunately it wasn't too cold so we found this sheltered spot and were able to perform most of our repetoire. Visitor numbers were not high because of the weather but the pipes were appreciated by our hosts and visitors. Sadly, having to remain under cover for the afternoon, we weren't able to see and appreciate the gardens. We are not so hardy these days. Hopefully a future visit will correct that. A full afternoons playing nevertheless, which was good and hopefully enjoyed by all.


Trefoil Guild - St Mary's Church Hall, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough - Fri 24 Apr 2015





 Players (L-R) Jo Jones, Bill Kay, Margaret Moyes, Brian Fisher and Tim Jones.




We were asked if we could play at the retirement celebrations of the comissioner for the North East Trefoil Guild, as she has always enjoyed Northumbrian music. The hall was full and we played to quite a large audience. We gave a half hour performance of tunes from our repertoire, finishing with our Geordie set, Billy Boy, Bobby Shaftoe and the Keel Row. Tim and Brian gave the first airing of their re-arranged duet, Forster Charlton's Coquetdale Waltz. Following that we were very well looked after by our hosts and provided with a great selection 'nibbles' and drinks. We received lots of great comments and  Margaret later received a very complimentary letter thanking us for our contribution. We really enjoyed this event and it was a privilege to take part. We were very happy to help with our contribution to a successful evening.


NGS Open Garden Event - The Old Vicarage, Hutton Magna, North Yorkshire - Sun 12 Apr 2015



Players attending (L-R) Dave Cook, Jo Jones, Peter French, Brian Fisher and Bill Kay.




The First event of the season and first time at this venue for the Cleveland Branch Playing Group. A delightful garden specialising in early spring flowers with rose and herbaceous borders featuring hellebores in profusion, with tulips and primulas. The exposed location meant it was pretty cold for the players. We were given shelter in a cosy gazebo which worked great. We leapt out into the open garden to do some sets whenever the sun showed it's face and dived for cover again when we got cold. We manged to give out a wide selection of our tunes from our repetoire and keep our pipes nicely in tune. We put in a good two and a half hours playing. We were well looked after by our hosts and we were helped greatly with a supply of some excellent tea and cakes. Visitor numbers were low because of the weather but we got some great comments from our hosts and many of the hardy souls visiting the garden. We had a great day in an impressive location.