Didn't we have a lovely time, the day we went to Sidmouth?

It's that time of year again when the genteel seaside resort of Sidmouth opens its doors to folk fans and performers from around the world.

There's been a folk festival here in the first week of August every year since 1955. Tens of thousands of visitors flock to this part of Devon for it. 

The esplanade is full of morris dancers and solitary buskers. Girls are doing jigs and reels. The pubs are full of musicians just picking up their instruments and going with the flow. There are ceilidhs in halls and pub patios, workshops in community halls and vocalists in the gardens.

And much ale and cider is consumed.

And then there's the paid-for gigs all through the week, with artists on the multi-faceted bill including Show of Hands, Oysterband, Ralph McTell, Seth Lakeman and his father, Geoff (who I remember from the days when he was the Daily Mirror's man on the spot in the West Country). 

And much ale and cider is consumed.

Still, we're here for just the day, on a coach trip organised by Mr Grigg. Thirty-nine of us look at the gorgeous Dorset countryside before slipping into Devon and down to the red cliff coast.

For the next nine hours, we wander the streets (and pubs) of Sidmouth, stopping wherever anything takes our fancy. Comedy duos performing on the streets, bearded collies parading along the seafront - the wind whipping through the hair - a woman playing the penny whistle while her Mohican curls up in big rollers on top of her head. These are the sights we see.

And much ale and cider is consumed.







Back on the bus and we sing everything from traditional West Country folk songs to Abba and The Wurzels. For some reason, none of us can string two verses together, let alone carry a tune.

Didn't we have a lovely time, the day we went to Sidmouth?

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

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