5:00pm Thursday 15th August 2013
By Tarik Al Rasheed
A MUSICAL couple from Malvern are sharing their love of the folk scene with hundreds of fellow enthusiasts all over the country.
Sam and Eleanor Simmons’ Folklife Quarterly magazine has been running for the best part of 30 years and they now regularly send out more than 700 copies all over the West Midlands, West Country and beyond.
The publication originally started out as the newsletter for local Somers Traditional Folk Club, which was then based in Leigh Sinton but is now centred on the Alma Tavern in Worcester and still going as strong as ever.
However, the publication soon took on a life of its own and, and while Mr and Mrs Simmons are still members of the club, the magazine is very much an independent venture.
It is printed in Malvern by Aspect Design, in Newtown Road, and is very much a labour of love for the couple rather than any great money-making enterprise.
“It’s very much a hobby but something that we’ve been able to sustain and that there has been interest in for all this time,” said Mr Simmons.
“We started out back when it was all done on typewriters and cutting and pasting literally was cutting and pasting.
“The reward comes when we travel around the country and meet people who know about us and the magazine.
That is always very gratifying.”
The couple are both lifelong lovers of folk music and, while it was simply a love of the songs that first attracted them to it, it is the warmth of the community that has kept them drawn in.
“I think that the community aspect is a huge part of the appeal of folk,” said Mr Simmons.
“You go into a room and everyone is enjoying themselves and always comes home happier at the end of the evening.”
Mrs Simmons said: “The community is very supportive.
There may be people who have perhaps never sung in public before but the atmosphere is always very encouraging towards them.”
Folk enthusiasts may very well already be familiar with Mr and Mrs Simmons’ work, but anyone unfamiliar who is keen to find out more can now read the magazine for free online at issuu.com/folklife.
For more information about the magazine visit folklife-west.org.uk or call Mr and Mrs Simmons on 01684 561378.
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