Cambridge North Folk Song Project Participants

Welcome to Cambridge North Folk Song Project!

Update 25 May ’21: This project is now complete and the book can be viewed here


Original Open Call: 

If you’d like to be involved in contributing stories, ideas and writing songs for Cambridge North Folk Song Project. Information about how to take part is provided in the short video below. 

To register to participate, please complete THIS SHORT FORM. The deadline for registering is Friday 5 June 2020.

You can contribute stories and ideas anonymously below.

Do you have a story or idea to contribute towards the song book?

Perhaps there’s an unsolved mystery that would make a great song? Maybe you have a story about a local landmark? Is there an interesting person whose story can be remembered in a song for future generations? We’re interested in urban legends, interesting facts and forgotten histories. We’re also interested in stories about CB4 today. No story is unimportant: the brief is wide open.

If you’d like to make a formal contribution that is credited in the song book, please REGISTER HERE and we will be in touch within 5 days with more information. The deadline for registering is Friday 5 June 2020. To contribute anonymously, scroll down to access the form.

Contribute Stories & Ideas Anonymously

Update (25 May ’21): This project is now complete and the form has been disabled.

If you’d like to contribute a story or idea anonymously, please use the form below. Stories and ideas will be accepted until 30 June 2020. If you have an image or file you would like to send to me, please email and your anonymity will be respected.

[wpforms id=”2411″]

Would you like to contribute a song, or take part in online songwriting sessions?

If you have a story you’d like to contribute towards the songbook, please get in touch or REGISTER HERE. The deadline for registering is Friday 5 June 2020.

To take part in online songwriting sessions with Emily Peasgood, Anna Hester or Bob Hines, REGISTER HERE. The deadline for registering is Friday 5 June 2020. Scroll down to meet the songwriting team.

Meet The Songwriting Team

Online songwriting sessions will take place via Zoom with either Emily Peasgood, Anna Hester or Bob Hines. 

Emily Peasgood

Image of Emily Peasgood at her installation Requiem for Cross Bones in 2018. Image by Tommo Photo.
Image by Tommo Photo

My name is Emily Peasgood and I am the lead artist and creator of Cambridge North Folk Song Project. My love of folk music started when I was very young, and starting gigging at folk clubs in my hometown of Grimsby. A folk song book that really inspired me was Singing River by Bill Meek and John Conolly. It captured songs about Grimsby, Hull and the River Humber in a way that was unique, personal and reflected society at the time it was written. That song book gave me the idea for this project. I want to capture a moment in time through song, in a community that is rapidly evolving and changing. Doing so will allow future generations a taste of what it was like to live in north Cambridge in 2020.

One thing that interests about songwriting today, is copyright. Without obtaining licenses and paying fees, songs can’t be performed freely and develop into a tradition where the melody or lyrics are passed from person to person, slightly augmenting and changing as time passes. There are works I have written that I wouldn’t want to make freely available, as they are deeply personal to me, and were created for specific purposes as sound installations at specific locations. And copyright has a very important function to protect creative works. This project, however, embraces the way in which folk songs evolve over time, like Chinese whispers. Many of the ‘traditional’ folk songs we know and love are copyright free, and widely performed as a result-particularly by choirs. They are appealing to a wide range of performers because licenses and payments are not required to perform them. Traditionally, folk songs were passed from person to person and it is impossible to trace who wrote them. Cambridge North Folk Song Project challenges the idea of copyright today by creating a folk song book that credits the original songwriters, but sets those songs free for all to perform, interpret, edit, freely; allowing them to grow and evolve as time passes. I believe that doing so increases the likelihood of these songs sticking around in years to come. I really look forward to working with you, and can’t wait to hear your ideas! 

Read more and listen to Emily’s work on her website:

Anna Hester

Anna Hester - Photo

I am a singer-songwriter, teacher, and huge believer in the power of the arts to connect people and share stories. I’m excited to be on the Cambridge North Folk Song Project team.

As a singer-songwriter I have released two EPs and am now recording my first album, produced by fellow singer-songwriter Dan Wilde. The songs on the album are inspired by postcards – by both the images and the messages – and tell a range of intertwining stories from my own life and about the people and places the postcards depict.  

In 2014 I took part in a songwriting project in my hometown: Milton Keynes. MK is often accused of not having history, so for the WW1 centenary a partnership of artists and charities created Great War MK. I was part of a team writing songs inspired by archival material collected by the organisation Living Archive. I found it so satisfying to bring local stories to life through song.

As well as being a musician I am also a teacher. I am qualified to teach English as a Second Language, and I have years of experience in the classroom. I have also taught singing and drama workshops, and I have delivered a TEDx talk called ‘You can make it’, about embracing your creativity. I have worked with students from all around the world, and I have taught children as young as 5 and adults into their 70s!

Although I wasn’t born in Cambridge, I feel at home here. My parents met when they were both working at Heffers Bookshop. My grandmother lived in Cambridge, so I always visited regularly, and I later came to Cambridge for university. I only moved to the north of the city last year, so I am looking forward to learning more about its history through this project.

Read more and listen to Anna’s work on her website:

Bob Hines

My name is Bob Hines and I have worked as a Water Consultant Engineer for over 30 years. My real passion however, and I suspect one that I share with you, is for music. Music in any shape, form or variety – it all has merit.

I taught myself guitar when I was around 14 so that I could join a glam rock band! From there came heavy metal, Motown, rock, jazz, a little classical, country, an O.U. Music Degree and finally, I found my way to folk music.

I currently help run St Neots Folk Club and I am in a folk band called The Worthys. I love writing and performing original songs, and the chance to support local songwriting drew me to this project.

Cambridge North Folk Song Project is a great opportunity to be involved in the creation of a body of new folk songs This can be by contributing ideas and stories, lyrics or music, collaborating or solo, to meet new musicians with original ideas – in short to make some great music!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *