Traditional carols revived for Dales pub

Fellbeck pub the Half Moon Inn will resound to traditional Yorkshire Christmas carols.

By Janet Harrison
Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 2:54 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 9:31 am

A group of carollers from Pateley Bridge are hoping to establish a tradition in Nidderdale - all thanks to a remarkable coincidence.

The custom of singing carols in village pubs around Sheffield and North Derbyshire started around 200 years ago when singers and musicians were excluded from churches, and looked to their local hostelries to carry on singing their songs.

The tradition has become increasingly popular, with packed-out pubs in the Sheffield area reverberating with these robust and tuneful songs in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

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For the past five years Nevin Ward has been leading a carol group in Pateley Bridge to learn the ‘Sheffield Carol’ repertoire and perform at various concerts around the Dale.

In looking for a venue for a ‘pub sing’, he was amazed to find a remarkable coincidence.

“The landlady of the Half Moon at Fellbeck, Tracy Sidley, comes from a Sheffield carolling family, and her forebears played a vital role in the survival of these songs,” said Nevin.

“Tracy’s grandparents and great-grandparents transcribed music that would have been otherwise lost, and ensured the continuation of the tradition.

“Their involvement was one of the main reasons that this music has survived so well - I couldn’t be happier that we’ll be singing in Tracey’s pub on the 19th.”

Tracey said: “I remember hearing my grandfather playing these wonderful carols in Oughtibridge when I was a four-year-old little girl - I’m so looking forward to hearing them again!”

The carols will be sung from 3-5pm on Sunday December 19.

There will be a voluntary collection for The Harrogate Homeless Project.