Sat 25th November 2017

Songs in Tradition and in Print: A talk on the role of print and manuscript in the carolling traditions of the Southern Pennines

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Sat 2nd Dec: Derbyshire Carol Workshop 2017

Hathersage Memorial Hall

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Sat 9th December 2017

Soundpost Workshop on the Sheffield carols in Underbank School Rooms

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The Work of Village Carols honoured by PM

On the 23rd December 2016 Ian Russell became the 639th recipient of the ‘Point of Light’ award for his work in recording, promoting local carol singing traditions, researching their origins, and reintroducing ‘lost music’.

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Village Carols is a non-profitmaking organisation which exists to record and promote local carol singing traditions. Its main roles are undertaking fieldwork and research, organising the collection of source material, and promoting local carol singing traditions.

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Fieldwork and research

This takes two main forms:

– interviewing carol singers about their traditions and recording the actual singing (preferably, in the correct context);

– investigating record offices, libraries and archives for relevant references to local singing and music manuscripts.

Promoting local carol singing traditions

This is largely done through the production of the cassette/CD and book series. To date, there are ten sets. For details, please see Village Carols publications. An order form is also downloadable on that page.

Organising the collection of source material

The hundreds of tape recordings and manuscripts are steadily being indexed and organised into a usable archive for which there is public access. The recordings of the carols are being copied and the copies placed in the National Sound Archive (British Library) and in the Archives of Cultural Tradition at the University of Sheffield.

Ian Russell describes his approach to research, recording, documentation and publication in a paper written for the Folklore Journal in 2006, and reproduced here.

Festival of Village Carols

The Festival of Village Carols is held every two years to celebrate the remarkable carol singing traditions that flourish in the villages near Sheffield, and elsewhere. The first Festival was in 1994, and, apart from the year 2000, has always been held at the Community Centre in Grenoside.

To mark the Millennium, the Festival took place on Saturday 2 December 2000 at the Cutlers' Hall, Sheffield. The 2002 Festival featured the Glen Rock Carolers from Pennsylvania, USA at Grenoside on Saturday 30 November 2002.

The 2012 Festival was on Saturday 1 December 2012 in the Grenoside Community Centre.


Locations and information for pubs in the Sheffield area where carols are sung.

Carol Indexes

Explore the collection of songs


Articles and research

Carols with a difference. Centuries old living tradition from communities in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
Carollers at Foolow

CD and book sets

CD only