Cornwall Folk Festival Celebrates Charles Causley

Wadebridge Town Hall, Thursday 24th August

Charles Causley at work

Join us at a special bonus event to celebrate the life and works of Cornish poet Charles Causley, on his 100th birthday!

Causley, who lived most of his life in Launceston, was regarded by his fellow poets — including Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Roger McGough and Seamus Heaney — as the poet laureate we never had.

His words are stepped in Cornish imagery, but also include evocations of the UK and beyond, partly through his experiences in the Navy during World War II. He's written poems for adults, children, plays, short stories and opera librettos. Much of his work is now included in young people's educational books.

He was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1958, and made a bard of Gorsedh Kernow in 1955 and CBE in 1986 alongside many literary awards.

This event is organised in conjunction with the Causley Trust, which celebrates his life and work and promotes new literature activity in Cornwall.

There is a strong connection to Wadebridge and this festival. Causley has performed at the festival, had many friends in the town, and even opened our library.

For this event, we are joined by:

Causley on YouTube

A couple of examples of Charles Causley's poems, 'Eden Rock' and 'Timothy Winters', read by Tom Bedlam.


  • 5.00pm: local poets and introduction to the life of Charles Causley
  • 5.30pm: Cahal Dallat performs poems of Charles Causley set to his music, drawing upon folk, jazz, classical, and world music with Wadebridge School pupils and local singer Morwenna Gee
  • 6.30pm: Jim Causley performs Charles Causley poems to music
  • 7.25 pm: Thorn & Roses
  • 8.00pm: Mike O'Connor & Barbara Griggs with Carillyon
  • 8.50pm: Jim Causley returns and will launch his latest album
  • The concert should finish around 10pm.
  • Tickets Adults £10, under 16 free. This event is included in the full festival ticket as a bonus. Click here to purchase.
Jim Causley

Jim Causley

Causley Celebration, Wadebridge Town Hall, Thursday 24th August, 5pm-10pm

Five times BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominee Jim Causley is a singer/musician who is passionate about traditional song and particularly that of his native Westcountry. He became involved with traditional music from a young age via his family, the local folk scene and an historical tradition of wassailing in his home village of Whimple, East Devon. After studying Jazz & Popular Music at Exeter College he went on to study Traditional Music at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. During this time he became involved in the wider folk scene and gained interest as a solo performer in folk clubs and festivals throughout the country.

Jim will be launching his new album at this concert!Artist's Website
Thorn and Roses

Thorn and Roses

Causley Celebration, Wadebridge Town Hall, Thursday 24th August, 5pm-10pm
Hosting Session at The Ship, Friday 25th August 8-11pm
Fringe Tent, Sunday 27th August 11.30pm

Thorn and Roses are a three-part mixed voice unaccompanied close harmony folk group performing traditional and contemporary material.

Slick delivery, joyful harmonies, great professionalism, plus a good injection of fun, they are Rowena Metters, Sylvia Fletcher, and Jinks Jenkin, who joined voices a number of years ago inspired by their mutual love of unaccompanied close harmony singing.

They are all accomplished singers in their own right, but since forming Thorn and Roses they have developed a style and presentation that has gained them quite a following in this country, with much interest from the Cornish communities of North America.

This year Sylvia and Rowena, who have harmonised together since they were teenagers, celebrate 50 years as performers. Congratulations, you stars!Artist's Website
Mike O'Connor and Barbara Griggs

Mike O'Connor and Barbara Griggs

Causley Celebration, Wadebridge Town Hall, Thursday 24th August, 5pm-10pm

Mike and Barbara are two of the finest exponents of Cornish and Early Music. They play entrancing duets on various instruments -- principally violin and harp. Their instrumental skills are backed up by outstanding scholarship and Mike is also a skilled and very, funny storyteller as well -- so be prepared for a yarn or two?

Mike's music has recently been heard in the TV series Poldark.Artist's Website
Cahal Dallat

Cahal Dallat

Causley Celebration, Wadebridge Town Hall, Thursday 24th August, 5pm-10pm

Cahal Dallat is an Irish-born, London-based poet, criti and musician, and is currently the 'Causley 100' musician and poet-in-residence at Charles Causley’s house in Launceston.

He plays bandoneon, musette-accordion, flute, mando-fiddle, piano, clarinet, soprano-sax, and has been the resident musician at "Coffee-House Poetry at the Troubadour" for the past twenty years.

He writes on Irish fiction and drama for literary journals including Times Literary Supplement and Guardian, and has been a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4’s weekly arts magazine, Saturday Review.

His poetry awards include Keats-Shelley Prize, 2017 (see ‘Giant’, right) and Strokestown International Prize, and he teaches a creative-writing masterclasses and poetry seminars, lectures on literature/music/history, joint talk/music/poetry events with poet and wife Anne-Marie Fyfe.Artist's Website


Causley Celebration, Wadebridge Town Hall, Thursday 24th August, 5pm-10pm

Carillyon comprises Ali Rowe on vocals and John Forward on vocals and guitar, specialising in close harmony singing and performing a mix of traditional, contemporary and self-penned folk songs.

They played their first professional gig together in 1986, and have been at it ever since, apart from a little time out required to bring up two children and run a small farm.

They live in a remote corner of Devon, UK, and perform at folk clubs in the South-west when asked, and the beer is good.
Artist's Website
Morwenna Gee

Morwenna Gee

Causley Celebration, Wadebridge Town Hall, Thursday 24th August, 5pm-10pm

Morwenna grew up in Wadebridge, and completed BAHons in Dance with Drama and Threatre Studies, followed by a vocal course at the Central School for Speech and Dramatic Art.

She worked as a community dance artist with Surrey County Arts, then as an arts administrator for various dance festivals and with the Cholomondeleys.

During this time she set up a dance company and performed as part of Resolution! at The Place, and sang on the South West London acoustic music scene, working as backing singer and recording with songwriters and an accapella gospel choir.

She retuned to Cornwall to start a family, and to establish a practice as a vocal coach and local performer, and in 2010 founded Starmakers Youth Theatre for children from 7 to 16 years.

She is a member of several local musical groups, including The Sound Outfit, Songsmiths and Melange. Artist's Website

No guarantee can be given that any events will take place, or any artists will perform at a particular time, or at all. We will, however, make every effort to carry out the programme as advertised.

Sponsors of Cornwall Folk Festival 2017 included:

We also help artists and communities to develop their ideas. Charles Causley Trust

Brittany Ferries: Cross Channel Ferries to Spain and France Cornwall's award-winning garden centre and restuarant Sproull Solicitors: Established in Cornwall for over 100 years, with main offices in Bodmin, Camelford and Wadebridge, we offer a full range of legal services. Business, property, motor: Reg Hambly Insurance Brokers Wadebridge Town Council

Cooperative Group website design and services in Cornwall Haywood Farm Cider Wadebridge Bookshop is an independent friendly bookshop supporting the Cornwall Folk Festival Wadebridge Chamber of Commerce

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