Folk musicians, morris dancers and jig dolls revive popular traditions at the Oyster Inn, Butley

Folk musicians play together at the Oyster Inn, Butley. Picture: JUDI NEWMAN

Folk musicians play together at the Oyster Inn, Butley. Picture: JUDI NEWMAN - Credit: Archant

A recently reopened pub’s ambition to revive old traditions is continuing apace – with the return of a popular folk night.

The monthly folk festivities at the Oyster Inn in Butley, which are in keeping with the pub’s musical heritage, are said to have proved a big hit.

Judi Newman, who bought the pub with her husband Andrew last year, said the evenings had revived fond memories for former customers, many of whom had been asking when the events might return, ever since the pub’s reopening in March.

“Right from the start, we knew that traditional folk music would have to play a part in the Oyster’s new life,” she added.

“But we didn’t want to force it if that’s not what people wanted any more. I didn’t want to organise something that wasn’t authentic or didn’t feel right, so we just let it be known that we’d be really happy for traditional folk to naturally return and we knew that the right people would come along and say hello when they were ready – which they did.”

Pictured at the reopening of the Oyster Inn in March are landlords, Rob and Tracy Butcher together w

Pictured at the reopening of the Oyster Inn in March are landlords, Rob and Tracy Butcher together with customers. Picture NIGEL BROWN - Credit: Archant

Richard Cove co-ordinates the musicians, and said he was delighted to be returning to the pub. “The Oyster has got a magnetic draw from its old days and people really want to support it,” he added. “It’s a good old fashioned pub forged from a brand new one.”

The folk evenings are held on the first Tuesday of the month when traditional singers and musicians get together to perform a few songs. At the latest gathering, 25 musicians with concertinas, melodeons, fiddles, flutes, banjos, recorders, guitars, a saxophone, bagpipes and bodhrans as well as soloists took part. Some had travelled from out of the area to join in, with songs introduced from the 17th Century. Other weeks, there are step dancers and jig dolls and in July, the Pretty Grim morris dancers joined in too.

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The pub has been welcomed back into the community ever since its reopening, which came four years after villagers feared last orders had been called for good. It has undergone an extensive refurbishment, during which a number of historical features of the 18th Century building were uncovered.

Further work is nearing completion on the barns in the beer garden, where there are plans to open a village shop, mini cinema and micro-brewery.

Advertising photos taken of The Oyster Inn taken in March 1989. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Advertising photos taken of The Oyster Inn taken in March 1989. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY - Credit: Archant

For more details visit the Butley Oyster on Facebook.