2019 conference – Cumbria

We are pleased to announce The Society for Folklife Studies annual conference for 2019. 

The draft programme of the 2019 annual conference is noted below. It is also available through the following link –SFLS Conference Carlisle 2019 final programme

A booking form is also available through the following link –  SFLS conference booking form 2019.

The Society for Folk Life Studies

Annual Conference

Carlisle, Cumbria, England

12th to 15th September 2019

**Cumbrian folklife, agriculture & industry**

The conference venue will be Tullie House Museum.

The accommodation will be at the Travelodge Carlisle Central, Cecil Street, CA1 1NL


[DRAFT: 13-06-2019]

THURSDAY, 12th September

17.15-18.00 Registration at Travelodge Carlisle Central, Cecil Street, Carlisle, CA1 1NL

18.30 Dinner at Penny Blue, Halston Hotel, 20-34 Warwick Road, Carlisle CA1 1AB

20.00-20.45  Eric Robson, Broadcaster and farmer

An introduction to Cumbria and Carlisle

FRIDAY, 13th September

09.30 Assemble at Tullie House Museum

09.45-09.50 Dr Dafydd Roberts (President, Society for Folk Life Studies)

Welcome to the 2019 annual conference

09.50-10.00 Andrew Mackay (Director, Tullie House Museum) Welcome to Tullie House Museum and Carlisle

10.00-10.20 Andrew Mackay or Tullie House curators

125 years of Tullie House Museum and its collections

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery is celebrating its 125 anniversary. Andrew Mackay and Anna Smalley will provide a brief overview of the museum’s history and a summary of the organisation’s current move towards developing an ambitious community and collections-centred approach to delivering a sustainable museum.

10.20 – 10.40 Melanie Gardner (Curator, Tullie House Museum)

Tullie House quilt collection

The north of England has a strong tradition of quilt making using local fabrics and distinctive patterns. This talk will focus largely on Cumbrian quilts in the museum collection dating from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

10.45-11.30 Gabrielle Heffernan (Curatorial Manager, Tullie House Museum) & Peter Brears

Tullie House agricultural hand-tool collection

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust holds an important collection of agricultural hand-tools from the local region. This talk looks provides an overview of the objects, as well as providing details on some of the fascinating pieces held by the museum

11.30-11.50 Tea & coffee

11.55-12.30 Peter Brears

Cumbrian traditional food

12.35-13.15 Chris Donaldson (Lecturer, Lancaster University)

‘The traveller will be liable to disappointment who visits Carlisle’

     In 1875, Henry Jenkinson jested that visitors to Carlisle might be disappointed. The City, it seems, was far too modern. ‘Instead of dirty alleys,’ writes Jenkinson, ‘there are now clean wide streets, with modern buildings of stone and brick, and hardly the vestige of an edifice interesting to the historian and the antiquary.’ Taking my orientation from this quotation, in this talk I shall focus on the development of Carlisle during the 1700s and 1800s. I shall draw on the collections of Tullie House and the observations of historical visitors in order to consider how the ‘Great Border City’ changed during these two centuries.

13.15-14.00 Buffet lunch at Tullie House

14.00 Excursion 1: Carol Donnelly (City guide)

Guided tour of Carlisle, Castle & Cathedral

16.30 Return to Tullie House for Tea & Coffee

17.00 Annual General Meeting of the Society for Folk Life Studies (Lecture Theatre, Tullie House)

18.30 Dinner at Tullie House, including an illustrated presentation from Dr Sue Allan, ‘Echoes of Old Cumbria: The traditional music of Cumbria and the Lake District’

SATURDAY, 14th September

09.15 Assemble at Tullie House

09.30-10.15 Peter Brears (Independent historian and consultant)

Traditional food in Cumbria

Predominantly a rural county, Cumbria was self-sufficient in food, but its occupational groups had different diets that suited their particular circumstances. This lecture describes these before going on to look at particular foods and methods of cooking.

10.15-11.00 Alan Cleaver & Lesley Park (Local historians and authors)

The Corpse roads of Cumbria

     Corpse roads were used in medieval times to transport the dead from remote parishes to the ‘mother’ church for burial. Their use was phased out by the early 19th century as more and more rural churches won burial rights of their own. Fortunately many of the corpse roads survived as public footpaths. Cumbria seems to have more than many other counties and, perhaps not surprisingly, they became imbued with special significance reflected in various stories and superstitions. Alan and Lesley have made a special study of Cumbria’s corpse roads but also the traditions and customs surrounding dying, death and funerals in Cumbria.

11.00-11.15  Tea & Coffee

11.15-12.00 Steve Matthews (local author, historian and bookseller)

Carlisle State Management scheme

Between 1916 until 1973 brewing and the distribution and sale of liquor in Carlisle were run by the British government. This talk will outline the origins of the Carlisle Sate Management Scheme and illustrate its impact on the pub architecture of the city.

12.15-13.00 Buffet lunch at Tullie House

13.30-14.10 Excursion 2: Coach to the new Windermere Jetty, Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories

16.30-17.15 Travel via coach to Threlkeld with Ian Harland and Diccan Chaplin-Brice

17:15-18:30 Visit to Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum

19.00 Dinner in Keswick 

20.45 Return to Carlisle. 

Sunday, 15th September

Information regarding church services will be available for those wishing to attend

09.30 Assemble at Tullie House

09.45-10.15  Jeff Cowton (Curator, The Wordsworth Trust)

The Romantic Movement

10.15-10.45 Professor Margaret Bennett (The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland & Honorary Research Fellow, The University of St Andrews)

The Life & Legacy of Eric R. Creegan

     Folklorist and social historian Eric R. Cregeen (1924–83) was one of the UK’s prime movers in recording oral history, and one of the earliest contributors to the journal of this society (see ‘Flailing in Argyll’ in Folk Life, 3, 1963). As a student he was a volunteer on the Manx Language Survey, then in the late 1940s, as Assistant Curator of the Manx Museum, he worked on the Manx Folklife Survey. In 1954 he moved to Scotland to take up a post with the University of Glasgow, and in 1966 joined the staff of Edinburgh’s School of Scottish Studies. He recorded extensively in the West Highlands and Islands, until his sudden death in 1983, and though many of his recordings are online, his handwritten journals remained unpublished until recently. This paper gives examples of Eric Cregeen’s fieldwork journals, now transcribed and published in 10 volumes, exemplifying the ‘solid descriptive scholarship’ which Trefor Owen regarded to be at the heart of the Society for Folk Life Studies (Folk Life 19, 1981).

10.45-11.15  Dr Ryan Foster

Reconstructing early shieling landscapes & land-use in Cumbria from environmental and place-name evidence.

The Viking Age had a large impact on Cumbria in terms of dialect and place-names, one area was the introduction of a particularly West Scandinavian farming practice in the use of shielings. I will discuss the reason for the use of shielings in this type of farming economy, before looking at the distribution of Old Norse shielings in Cumbria and what that can tell us about the settlement of Scandinavian settlers in the area. I will try to answer the long running question, why did Old Norse-speaking people adopt and utilise the Gaelic loanword ærgi when they already had an Old Norse word in sætr.

11.15-11.30 Tea & coffee

11.30-11.50 Enid Roberts

“Mae gen i dipyn o dŷ bach twt” – Welsh social housing standards in 2019 

An outline of what Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd, a social landlord based in north Wales, is currently building, including the design, innovation, and funding models being used to provide affordable housing.

11.50-12.10 Heather Holmes

Unfinished business: past life regression and the crusade of King Robert the Bruce’s Heart to Jerusalem, 1330-2018.

When King Robert the Bruce (King Robert I of Scotland) died in 1329 he asked Sir James Douglas (‘The black Douglas’), his right-hand man, to take his heart East to Jerusalem. On the journey Sir James and his party, including Sir William Sinclair, were killed in a skirmish at Teba, in Andalusia, Spain. The journey and the request were never completed. Sir William Sinclair carried this unfinished business through his soul and its different lives until 2018 when it was revealed through past life regression.

This paper looks at the past life regressions surrounding Sir William Sinclair’s death at Teba and the journey in this lifetime to complete the unfinished business. It is a journey that changes the past, the present and the future

End of conference