Houghton Weavers

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The Houghton Weavers are an English folk music band formed in 1975,[1] in Westhoughton, Bolton, Lancashire, England. The current band members are David Littler (acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin, banjo-ukulele, bouzouki, piano accordion and vocals), Steve Millington (bass guitar, keyboards, acoustic guitar, piano accordion and vocals) and Jim Berry (guitar, harmonica and vocals).

David Littler is a founder member of the band, Steve Millington joined in 1996, and Jim Berry joined in 2017. Jim's brother Tony Berry had been a founder member of the band but died in June 2019.[2]

Previous members were Norman Prince (1975 to 1999, acoustic guitar, banjo, 12 string guitar, bass guitar and vocals), David James Hughes (1974 to 1977) bass guitar, John Oliver (1975 to 1976 vocals), Denis Littler (1976 to 1984 bass guitar and vocals), Jeff Hill (1984 to 1996 and 1999 to 2007 bass guitar, acoustic guitar, 12 string guitar, electric guitar and vocals), and Tony Berry (1975 to 2019, vocals). Whilst never officially a member of the band, Alan Fawkes was a frequent guest - "he couldn't stand the drop in pay" (dates unknown: woodwind instruments).

They sing mainly English folk music, much of it in Lancashire dialect, as well as folk versions of easy listening hits. The group demonstrate an eclectic range of song subjects including "The Blackpool Belle", "Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls" and "The Lion of Vienna" in accolade of footballer Nat Lofthouse.

They are best known for their BBC TV show Sit Thi Deawn (Lancashire dialect for "have a seat", referring to the hospitality of Lancashire people). The programme ran for six series or seven years and was a mixture of easy listening music and comedy for a local audience.[3] The group also starred in six of their own series for BBC Radio 2.

History[edit]

In 2014, lead singer Berry was unable to perform due to throat cancer and attended as a sound mixer.[4] On 14 June 2019, it was reported that Tony Berry had died due to pancreatic cancer.[4]

Quotations[edit]

  • "Bolton’s culture brings together these world wide diversities into a microcosm. The aim of the Town should be to bring these various differences together to promote understanding and harmony which will in turn give the future town its own unique culture! The Houghton Weavers will continue to promote the musical culture of this area world wide". – The Houghton Weavers[citation needed]
  • "With 'folk' you either think of something like the Houghton Weavers, or proper folk." – Andy Kershaw[5]

Selected discography[edit]

  • Howfen Wakes, 1976
  • Gone are the Days, 1977
  • Sit Thi Deawn, 1978
  • Clatter o' Clogs', 1979
  • In Concert, 1979
  • Up Your Way, 1980
  • Alive and Kicking, 1981
  • In the Rare Ould Times, 1983
  • Keep Folk Smiling, 1985
  • It’s Good to See You, 1986
  • Lancashire Lads, 1988
  • When Granny Sang Me Songs, 1990
  • Christmas Collection, 1991
  • The Keeper, 1992
  • Work of the Weavers, 1993
  • Live at the City Varieties, Leeds, 1995
  • The Best of Houghton Weavers, 1995
  • What a Wonderful World, 1996
  • Lancashire Folk, 1997
  • Glory of Love, 1998
  • On the Road, 1999
  • Houghton Weavers: Collection Vol. 1, 2000
  • Blackpool Belle: Collection Vol. 2, 2000
  • Come Landlord: Collection Vol. 3, 2001
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas, 2002
  • 30th Anniversary Collection, 2004
  • Howfen Wakes (Remastered), 2005
  • Gone are the Days (Remastered), 2005
  • Sit Thi Deawn (Remastered), 2005
  • Made in Howfen (DVD), 2005
  • 20 Folk Classics, 2007
  • Ae Fond Kiss, 2009
  • At Home with The Weavers (DVD), 2010
  • Lancashire Leads the Way, 2010
  • Songs of Conflict, 2012
  • In Session at the Carnegie Hall (DVD), 2012
  • By Request, 2014
  • Christmas in Lancashire, 2016
  • Some of the Best, 2017

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Us". Houghtonweavers.com. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Tony Berry". Houghtonweavers.com. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  3. ^ "SIT THI DEAWN (1979)". BFI Film & TV Database. British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 8 November 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2007.
  4. ^ a b Kelly, Angela (14 June 2019). "Houghton Weavers star Tony Berry dies aged 69". The Bolton News. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  5. ^ "HMHB News Archive July – December 2002". 30 September 2002. Retrieved 6 March 2007.

External links[edit]