President:Mr John Buckingham 01841-532470.
Chairman: Mr Barry Cole 01841 532684
Secretary:Ms Daphne Hicks 01841-532202.
Membership Secretaries: Sara Murt 01841 532214 and
Julie Crudace 01841-532848
Treasurer: Ms Julie Crudace 01841-532848.
Recorder: Derek Lindsey 01841 540505
Due to the Corvid 19 situation the members of our society have reluctantly decided to cancel the 2020 - 2021 programme
Annual subscription: Members £10, Visitors £3.50 Juniors £1
All are welcome so why not come and join us
We meet in the Social Club, Padstow at 7.30pm on the first Wednesday of each month unless otherwise stated.
Founded: Mid 1920s
Orange, Royal Blue & Black
CHARLIE BATE - a profile
Charlie was born in Padstow in 1919. His father also Charlie was a merchant seaman who served on several vessels
including the Padstow registered ‘VIOLA’ a ‘Q’ ship in WW1. Charlie was still at school when his mother died and he was
sent to live with relatives in St Merryn. He was separated from his sister Cissie who returned to live in Padstow later on.
During WW2 he served for just over 3 years in the Royal Engineers returning home to a job at St Merryn Camp. He married
May who he met when she was a Land Army Girl in the district. They had one son Alan.
Like his father before him Charlie played music and was a member of the Old Oss band on May Day. Young Charlie proved
to be quick to pick up any tune by ear and it was not long before he was getting a reputation as a singer of songs. In those
days there were concerts to go to and frequent impromptu pub music sessions to feed the imagination of his natural talent.
He was a natural to front a 1953 film made on May Day that remains a unique record. After this (or more likely before as he
seems to have been the “link” man with Peter Kennedy and Alan Lomax) he was taken under the wing of the EFDS
representing the South West in concerts and on Radio often with his good friend Bob Cann from Dartmoor.
From 1953 – 56 he supplied the music for Square and Community Dancing residential courses run by the Cornwall Youth
service under Mr Alan Foxworthy and Mrs Hannah. He was also part of a Square Dance Band called the Padstow Melody
Charlie worked for a time at the Waterbeach Hotel, all the time making new friends and playing his music in the evenings in
the local pubs.
I first came to hear him in one of his haunts. It would have been either the Cornish Arms at St Merryn or the Ring O Bells St
Issey. Charlie’s ‘Old Oss’ mate Mervyn Vincent was often behind the organisation of these happenings for this was the mid
60’s and what was called ‘The Folk Revival’ was in full swing. People from all over the place were coming down not only to
see ‘May Day’ but to hear Charlie Bate in person. Some of us got to learn some of these ‘folk songs’ along with the old
favourites and were encouraged to join in. Happy days.
The Wadebridge Folk Festival grew out of this enthusiasm for folk music. Here and elsewhere. Charlie would appear on
several occasions but he was not so keen on these more formal appearances. After Charlie’s death in 1977 at St Issey aged
58 they instituted a ‘Charlie Bate Award’ for services to local Folk Music. It appears to have lapsed in recent years. (The
Cornwall Folk Festival was cancelled for the first time this year 2007)
Eyes still light up when you mention his name. Those of us who shared some of those musical moments do tend to view
them as through a glass brightly. Were they ever as special as our memories would have us believe.
Charlie can also be heard on :-
Folk Sound of Britain HMV CLP 1910 - Track 8 How Pleasant and Delightful
Track 9 The Padstow May Song
Folk Sound of Britain HMV 7EG 8911 - Side 2 The Sweet Nightingale
Proper Job- Bob Cann Veteran VT138CD – Charlie playing with Bob Cann
Sing Christmas – BBC 1957 – Alan Lomax Collection – Rounder K3719
Boscastle Breakdown and Padstow Wassail Song.
Folktrax -215 – May Day – from the soundtrack of the 1951 Film made by Peter Kennedy, Alan Lomax and George Pickow.
Maggie May, Cadgwith Anthem and How pleasant and delightful can also be heard sung by Tommy Morrissey and Charlie
Pitman on ‘Pass around the Grog’
“NEW” Film and DVD by John Bishop and Sabina Magliocco. OSS TALES which includes the 1951 film. Some armchair
pundits (groan !!!) and fantastic footage (cheers !!!).
By John Buckingham – any errors and opinions are mine.
For details, please click here
For details,please click here