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June 07, 2007

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Ned Corvan Comes to Morpeth
BY: Jenifer Maughan
Wed Oct 6, 2004 09:39


After the legendary Tyneside singer/songwriter Ned Corvan died in 1865, someone wrote, "Ned is no more, so no more of Ned," but at 2 pm on Saturday 16th October, his act and songs will be brought back to life in the historic ballroom of Morpeth Town Hall in Morpeth Market Place when Keith Gregson, expert on North East history and folklore, presents "More of Ned," the 2004 Roland Bibby Memorial Lecture hosted by the Northumbrian Language Society.

The public are invited to this free event, starting with drinks from 1.30 pm and a chance to chat or browse through the Society's publications and recordings, before Keith launches into his fascinating talk on the life of Ned Corvan. No doubt Corvan's most famous song, "The Cullercoats Fish Lass", will be heard, but so will many of his other works which covered sporting, political, humorous and local subjects. One even celebrated the infamous legend of the Hartlepool monkey that was hanged.
Along with the legendary Billy Purvis, (with whom Ned served his apprenticeship), Corvan deserves to be remembered as one of Tyneside's greatest entertainers and his songs should stand beside those of Joe Wilson and Geordie Ridley as monuments to the North East's Victorian past.

The annual lecture series was established after the death seven years ago of Northumbrian Language Society founding chairman, Roland Bibby, of Morpeth, lifelong advocate of Northumbrian dialect and culture. The choice of lecturer is most fitting, as, like Roland, Keith Gregson is a former history teacher who has written extensively on the history and popular culture of the North East and Cumbria, including the book "Corvan - a Victorian Entertainer and His Songs." Now living in Sunderland, Keith is himself an entertainer who writes his own songs and calls at barn dances throughout the North East. His first appearance on TV was as a child in the early 1960s, performing with a country dance group in the BBC series "Barn Dance," which regularly featured Jack Armstrong and his band and local singing group the Barry Sisters.

Further details of the event can be had by ringing 01670 513308.


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