"Give us back our Community Centre"

These are not the words of northwest political protest songs that have been written, yet.

You might not expect such radical sentiments from the attractive village of Edgworth and moorland lanes of the surrounding area. However, government cutbacks have made Blackburn with Darwen Council implement a staged withdrawal of funding from the Barlow Institute. The facility therefore needs to become self funding if it is to remain open. This fine Edwardian community centre gives the village its only 24:7 focus point for arts and community activities.

That's where the idea of the folk day came in. What better way of raising money and interest in this excellent local arts venue than to get northwest folk and the local community involved in a quality day of music, song, dance and other folk based entertainment. Already we have offers to support the event from Bernard Wrigley, Barbara and Peter Snape, Sid Calderbank, Seat of the Pants, Geoff Miller, Jean Seymour, Moira Hill, Dorothy Harwood (children's poet), Jan Needle (children's author). We also have other local folk performers, bands, stewards and helpers most of whom have now confirmed their support and so we are able to offer a full programme on the day!

Whilst the main aim is to raise money which will help the trustees of "The Barlow", another reason for the day is to promote folk music, song and dance activities. We particularly want to raise awareness within the community and encourage folk performance arts in youngsters across the North West. We are targeting local schools and youth groups. FOLKUS have kindly agreed to support the event and there are instrument, voice and poetry workshops during the day.

So far the programme includes concerts, evening ceilidh, Youth Showcase, music, song, dance, Lancashire dialect, poetry and children's workshops and displays, singarounds and music sessions. No folk event would be complete without a real ale bar, café, craft and music stalls to refresh body and soul. We will offer a full day of varied folk activities and entertainment with broad appeal to both converted 'folkies' and the wider community. It will also give everyone a great opportunity to experience what the 'The Barlow' has to offer as a venue. If we are lucky with the weather there are some suitable dance display areas in the village.

Next to the Institute there are tennis courts, a bowling green, an extensive car park, excellent activity playground, cricket ground and pleasant woods for exercise or recharging the spiritual batteries. At tea time, 3 great pubs which are within easy walking distance all serve reasonably priced good quality meals and real ale.

Bromley Cross Folk Club is helping the Trustees to organise the Folk Day and we have our music and song session at The Barlow, from 8.00pm on Friday, 7 October. Why not get into the mood the night before and join us? You could always use the B&B facilities in and around the village.

A full programme of events will be available on this site in the near future.

If you want to know more details before then or wish to support this exciting and worthwhile event in any way please phone Elaine Wedge on 01204 852217.