Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The Museum of British Folklore in Rye

Simon Costin's Grand Tour of the Folk Festivals of The British Isles has come to a close with a guest appearance of the caravan at this weekend's Rye Festival. Adjacently pitched by the Ypres Tower Museum, and with the iconic church of St Mary's as a backdrop, 'Roberta' received many visitors through her painted portal. The tour itself has been a great success, but not without its down-sides, notably a disaster in the Scottish Isles when the towbar of the four by four sheared from its moorings, and Costin was forced to abandon the caravan and her contents by a loch until help could be given by a local garage (see photo above). Despite providing a dramatic photo-opportunity, sadly, the festival in question was missed, but thankfully, there have been many compensations elsewhere. The caravan was well-received at festivals in Yorkshire, Devon, Kent and Dorset, and welcomed many visitors and fans along the way. Plans for a permanent site for the Museum continue, and there seems to be a very favourable response to the project the length and breadth of the UK, with well-wishers and supporters wherever 'Roberta' and her contents have appeared. I joined the caravan for her appearance during Broadstairs Folk Week, and also this weekend in Rye, and the weather was glorious in both locations. A book of photographs by Henry Bourne, working in collaboration with Simon himself, is in preparation, with images of participants at the various regional festivals that the tour has visited, and which promises to be stunning. See the Museum's website for continuing details of the project, and look out for details of Costin's Christmas celebration for the Museum at a venue to be announced shortly.

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