In 2019 the Clarion Community Choir received funding from the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership (funded by the National Lottery) to lead an exciting singing project. The Pendle Hill Song Fellowship was about some of the visionaries who were born locally or were drawn to the area of Pendle over the centuries. The project encouraged singers and non-singers alike to join us on a discovery of two amazing characters.
You have probably heard of some of the more famous characters linked to our area such as George Fox, the founder of the Quakers, who had his inspirational vision on the top of Pendle Hill, or Selina Cooper, a mill worker by the age of 12, but who as the first woman representative of the Independent Labour Party fought for better services for women. Selina Cooper was the focus for a National Lottery Heritage Funded project which culminated in an exhibition at the Unity Wellbeing Centre, Nelson and the choir sang at the launch of the exhibition.
But there are many other social reformers, free thinkers and mavericks associated with the area around Pendle Hill. For this project we chose to sing about Ethel Carnie Holdsworth (poet, novelist and social reformer) and Thomas Arthur Leonard (founder of the Holiday Fellowship). Both of these individuals fought for the rights for workers to have more time to get out into the great outdoors of Pendle Hill in order to recharge their batteries. We couldn't agree more with the need to reconnect to nature in our lives and so we celebrated them in song.
The free singing sessions took place over three half days between July and August in Pendleside village halls, and were followed by a performance on the final date (17 August), in Downham Village hall. We provided refreshments and all the resources for the singers and as a result had some great singing sessions attended by 50 people on average at each event (with there being 67 individuals who came to at least one event out of the three). Photos below show some of the singers and hopefully capture the sense of fellowship and purpose that we shared.
Thanks to everyone who came, to the volunteers who helped with the singing, the brewing up, the room set up and so many other things that helped individuals feel included and part of something very special.
There are more opportunities to get involved during the Autumn of 2019 – in particular on Saturday 26th October (daytime) and on Friday 22 November (evening). The sound files for these events can be found on the members page. But even if you did not sing previously, please do get in touch if you would like to know more or would like to join the Pendle Hill Song Fellowship!