Sweet Thames Archival Training Workshop

Monday 15th August 2022. 12:30 to 4pm

The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML), Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent’s Park Road, NW1 7AY

We are recruiting now for our Sweet Thames: The London Folk Club Heritage project volunteer team who will receive free training to assist us in conducting archival research at the VWML. We will eventually use what we collect alongside recently recorded oral histories to co-curate a project exhibition which will tour some London venues in 2023 and accompany a project theatrical and musical performance piece based on the collected stories to share our project findings in a fun and inclusive way. As a volunteer on this part of the project you would be expected to attend the workshop in full and make at least two research visits to VWML to conduct the research.

Travel expenses within London, to the workshop and subsequent visits can be claimed back using receipts or evidence of travel using Oyster cards etc.

To register for this training complete this online form.

We have limited places so book soon to secure a place. When all places are full we will ask if you would like to join a waiting list.

Workshop Programme

12:30: Registration with teas and coffees in Cecil Sharp House cafe.
13:00: Welcome from Tiffany Hore (Library and Archives Director, VWML)
13:05: Introduction to the Sweet Thames project by Sam Carroll (Star Creative Heritage)
13:15: VWML archived London Folk Clubs resources by Nick Wall (Librarian, VWML)
13:30: Guidelines around engaging with resources and best practice (Tiffany Hore)
13:40: How to conduct the research for the Sweet Thames project (Sam Carroll)
13:50: Group research session with support from Archive staff
15:30: Overview of other VWML resources and searching catalogues (Tiffany Hore)
16:00: Individual research session for those that would like to continue.
17:00: Close

The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML)

The VWML is the library and archive of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS). It holds books, periodicals, sound recordings, photographs, manuscripts and other items relating to folk music in England and elsewhere. The collection has developed over time, reflecting changes in technology and in the world of folk music. The folk revival dating from the 1950s onwards, which saw the emergence of folk clubs, had a huge impact on the library. Magazines were launched to cater for the interest in folk, the need for repertoire and, later, to list what was happening in the clubs and concert halls.

Independent record labels like Topic and later Transatlantic pioneered a huge expansion in the number of recordings available. There were also some photographers who captured what was happening. Later on, when the boom was over, the VWML received the archival collections of some of the folk clubs, performers and others who were part of the scene.

As a result of this, the VWML is full of material that can help people who are researching London folk clubs. There is a comprehensive collection of magazines and recordings, and patchier, but still interesting collections of photographs and archive items. Whether you are after the facts (who played where, when), the controversies, artefacts or ephemera (what’s-on leaflets), there’s a lot to be discovered here.

Resources for the Sweet Thames project


Folk London
Club Folk
Folk Music
Folk Scene
English Dance & Song
BBC Folk Club Magazine/Shindig/Clanfolk


Eddis Thomas collection
Alison Chapman MacLean collection (Troubador)

Personal Collections in the Archive

Rita Cherriman collection (Croydon Folk Club)
Dolly Terfus collection (Troubador)

Sweet Thames: The London Folk Club Heritage Project is an exciting new project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund which will run from June 2022 until August. We will research, preserve and share the heritage of London folk clubs from their vibrant origins in the 1950s until the present day by collecting oral history interviews and analysing them along with other archival resources. It is essential to record this valuable social and cultural history now, while many of those originally involved remain active, and we are still able to collect their stories and digitise photos, posters and flyers from personal collections. Star Creative Heritage are supported by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML), Camden People’s Theatre and nine London Folk Clubs to deliver this project.