Concert News – December 2015

Following the sell-out success of the last two concerts in St James Church by folk duo Ninebarrow and by the Ridgeway Singers & Band, three more concerts are already booked for the first few months of the New Year.

First arrivals in February are the Imperial College String Ensemble who are coming from their London base for a weekend workshop in Purbeck culminating in an afternoon concert in Kingston on Sunday, 14 February, starting at 3pm. Since its formation in 2004, the ensemble, or ICSE for short, has established an enviable reputation for quality with concerts in London and on tour, many of them for charity.

March sees the much-anticipated return of The Hermitage Ensemble from St Petersburg who are due to perform on Thursday, 31 March at 7.30pm. They created quite a stir on their last visit here three years ago, attracting a capacity audience to hear their interpretations of Russian sacred music and folk song steeped in the inimitable Russian choral tradition.

For both these concerts, admission will be free but there will be a retiring collection to help preserve the Grade 1-listed St James Church with its fine acoustic. Interval refreshments will be served.

The third concert, which will be ticketed, will be given on Friday, 22 April at 7.30pm by Northern Harmony, an acclaimed vocal ensemble from the USA who will be on tour here under the auspices of Artsreach. Audiences will be treated to harmony singing in various traditional styles from Georgian to Gospel, a repertoire developed by the group over the many years since its first incarnation in 1993.

Robin Stringer

Village News – December 2015

As I write, we haven’t actually reached Christmas yet, however, I feel it is appropriate to pen a few thank you notes to all who helped in any way in arranging the amazing West Gallery Carol Concert by the lovely Ridgeway Singers and Band. What an awe-inspiring afternoon we had at Kingston under the direction of Tim Laycock and Phil Humphries- with lovely Dorset readings and unusual instruments (such as the Serpent) to enhance the event. The Church was packed to capacity, with a very friendly atmosphere, and people had travelled quite some distance. Thank you Robin and team, for enabling such a memorable evening, for so many.

We have just had our Village Carol Service – which quadrupled our congregation … so much so, that we had to move from the choir stalls into the main church. We welcomed a couple from London who are planning to marry at Kingston, and other visitors, as well as quite a few local people. Lovely to see our Church well supported and a huge ‘Thank You’ to Simon Phillips for leading the service. Much appreciated by all.

Before finishing, I’ll offer a word of encouragement to Mike Pitman and his team of bell ringers; some walkers who had been staying in a local B&B, wanted to visit a church, and came to St James’ Church, Kingston because they could hear the bells chiming to call us to worship. They were very complimentary and enjoyed joining the Christmas Carol Service. I was also asked by Jane Young to mention that her daughter Emily, who got married 2 years ago at Kingston, is now a proud mum of a lovely little boy, born about 8 weeks ago. I’m sure we all congratulate the ‘Young’ family on this lovely news.

Although at Kingston, we were unable to cope with the increasing manpower demands of the Christmas Tree Festival, we hear that two or three of the music contributions, who took part this year, are keen to do further concerts in Kingston Church during the warmer months. So please watch this space when Spring and Summer approach. The sheer number of people who visited the Festival in Swanage this year meant that even a much larger team of helpers at Emmanuel and the larger building were at times fully stretched!

I’ll conclude by wishing you all the very best for 2016, and hopefully, somebody else in future, will try to with provide the Dubber with some Kingston News (we miss you George!).

Judy Forgan

Concert News – October 2015

Ninebarrow, the award-winning Dorset-based folk duo, Jon Witley and Jay Labouchadiere, who have been captivating audiences all over the country with their innovative take on folk music, are coming to St James Church, Kingston, on Saturday, October 31.

“We’ve been looking for the right opportunity to put on a concert in St James ever since we recorded one of the tracks for our debut album there last year,” says Jon Witley. “It’s got acoustics to die for.

“So…we’d like to invite you to spend Hallowe’en with us! Avoid those pesky trick-or-treaters and come and immerse yourself in an evening of Dorset folk music, in one of the most beautiful buildings in the Isle of Purbeck!”

Doors will open at 7pm on Saturday, 31 October, and the music will start at 7.30pm. Drinks will be served from seven and in the interval in return for donations to help preserve this unique Grade 1-listed church. Tickets costing £9 plus a booking fee of 90p can be obtained online or at a cost of £11 on the door.

On Sunday afternoon, 29 November, the Church plays host to a West Gallery Carol Concert, a programme of carols, folksongs, dance tunes and stories from South Dorset led by folksinger and actor Tim Laycock and Mellstock Band serpent player Phil Humphries.

The group was formed by Artsreach three years ago to explore the musical heritage of the South Dorset Ridgeway area and surrounding communities. Hence the repertoire includes Thomas Hardy’s Old Bockhampton Carols such as ‘Remember Adam’s Fall’ and ‘Rejoice, Ye Tenants of the Earth’as well as ‘The Mariner’s Hornpipe’ and Hardy’s favourite fiddle tune ‘Enrico’.

Tickets for the concert, which starts at 4pm, cost £7.50 or £5 for under-18s and can be bought from the box office on 07720 784269 or from the Village Shop in Langton Matravers. As the concert heralds the onset of Christmas, mulled wine and mince pies will be served in return for donations towards the upkeep of the historic St James Church.

Robin Stringer

Village News – October 2015

Moving on …

Twenty five years ago we moved into South Street in Kingston. Towards the end of the road was Aeolia House. At the time, we knew no one in the village. A few days later, there was a tap on our door and Cynthia asked if we would like to join in the Village Christmas Party. We were of course delighted to accept this introduction to the village. As the years rolled by we got used to a tap on our door, our two dogs getting very excited and a visit from Peter. He would call in frequently on his way to visit others, to work at the church on various projects, and perhaps just have a cup of tea. Cynthia would sometimes come with him and we would put the world to rights between us.

The Village Fete, Harvest Supper and Christmas Party would have been poorer without their help and loyalty. As well as storing a lot of the equipment. Chairs and tables etc. they were always there doing their bit.


These loyal Kingston Villagers have now decided the time has come for them to move on. They will be sadly missed, but fortunately they will not be far away as their new home is in Norden, just down the road. Hopefully, they will still be able to join us for village activities in the future.


Peter and Cynthia, we wish you every happiness in your lovely new home. Homer & Rowan will not understand why they don’t hear your footsteps going by now. It always made their day as it did ours when you tapped on our door.

Greta & Terry Hardy

Flowers, Crafts & Music – 19/20 September

Flowers, Crafts and Music Festival – Sat 19th – Sun 20th September

Woodcraft – glass – pottery – flowers – bells – music – stonework – spinning – lace & many more

The lovely Church of St James at the top of Kingston Hill will be hosting a new festival this year, one which celebrates ‘ Heavenly Foods’ in the form of a combined Flowers and Craft Festival , at which you will also be able to enjoy live music at certain times of the day. The event is open to the public from 10am until 5pm on Saturday 19th September and Sunday 20th September and is free of charge. We hope to have the bell tower open both days, for people to enjoy the splendid views over Purbeck, and at certain times you can enjoy hearing the amazing set of 10 bells.

  • From 10am to 5pm – Tower will also be open
  • Music from Ninebarrow Duo, Zephyrae Woodwind Trio, on Saturday
  • Organ and Violin solos and Harmony Rocks Choir on Sunday
  • Also a Quarter Peal of our 10 lovely bells at 12.30

This will be our major fund raiser of 2015 in the absence of the Fete and Christmas Tree Festival, so please come and support it, bring your friends, families and neighbours and enjoy the special surroundings whilst savouring refreshments on the lawn with the best views in Purbeck. There will be local crafts, including glassware, stonework, woodwork, fabric and many more interesting things to see and may be try.

Judy Forgan

Concert News – September 2015

Sunday 6 September – Natalie Clein

There are still a few tickets remaining for this month’s Coffee Concert in St James Church being given by Natalie Clein and Friends as part of her Purbeck Chamber Music Festival, the first of three concerts in the church over the next three months. At the concert, on Sunday, September 6, at 12.30, she will play Bach’s second Cello Suite in D minor and make up a string quartet with friends to play music by Erwin Schulhoff.Coffee and biscuits will be served from noon. Tickets at £16 (students £2) can be bought via the Festival website, purbeck-chambermusic.org.uk, Wareham Tourist Information Centre or from the box office on 0333 666 3366.

Saturday 31 October – Ninebarrow

October’s concert brings a very different kind of music to St James in the shape of Ninebarrow, the award-winning Dorset-based folk duo, Jon Witley and Jay Labouchadiere. The pair has rapidly earned an enviable reputation for their original songs as well as for their distinctive take on traditional material and are now in demand all over the country. Ever since experiencing the exceptional acoustic of the church, they have wanted to return to give a full-blown concert there and have now found a date, namely Saturday, 31 October. The concert will begin at 7.30pm but the doors will be open from 7pm for drinks. Tickets costing £9 can be obtained via the www.ninebarrow.co.ukwebsite, or at a cost of £11 on the door.

Sunday 29 November – West Gallery Carol Concert

The third concert in St James on Sunday, 29 November, at 4pm, heralds the onset of Christmas in the form of a West Gallery Carol Concert, a programme of carols, folksongs, dance tunes and stories from South Dorset led by folksinger and actor Tim Laycock and Mellstock Band serpent player Phil Humphries.The group was formed by Artsreach three years ago to explore the musical heritage of the South Dorset Ridgeway area and surrounding communities. In the repertoire of the Ridgeway Singers, Thomas Hardy’s Old Bockhampton Carols such as ‘Remember Adam’s Fall’ and ‘Rejoice, Ye Tenants of the Earth’ rub shoulders with ‘The Mariner’s Hornpipe’ and Hardy’s favourite fiddle tune ‘Enrico’. We are promised ‘absorbing and joyful music, and pure Dorset!’

Robin Stringer