Pressed! History of the Press Gang in the North East of England

For our December event, we’ll combine history and music with Pressed! an insight into the history of forced enlistment into the navy, focussing on the 18th and 19th centuries and especially the role of the notorious Press Gang. You’ll hear about the conditions for men serving in the navy during this period; the role and nature of the institution of the Press Gang; the attitudes of ordinary people to this form of recruitment. And you’ll hear – and be invited to join in with – relevant songs of the day.

Old English comprises Pete Cryer and Al and Pauline Giles. You’ll instantly recognise at least one of them! They research their own material and find interesting harmonies for traditional songs. As well as voice, they use guitar, whistle and Northumbrian small pipes. They come highly recommended. See below.

The event will take place at the Corner House on Wednesday 17 December with the normal 7.30 start. Because we’ll have tables out to create a less formal atmosphere, there will be slightly fewer places than usual, so it’s very important to book and to arrive to claim a seat by 7.15 at the latest. Contact Maria as usual (maria@heatonhistorygroup.org / 07443 594154).

What they said

Glendale Local History Society
“Your presentation was first class and couldnthe’t be faulted. The music and song was marvellous, the images were a great addition; whether cartoon, historic documents or illustrations they added variety and complementated the great narration. I for one, am so pleased to have your cd as a memory – great traditional harmonies and song.” Secretary GLHS

Alnwick Local History Society
“Balance of words and song was good. Lively and interesting subject and presentation. Content – excellent.” Society Visitor
“This was one of the best talks I have been privileged to hear. Content and presentation excellent.” Member
“Very interesting and entertaining presentation on press gangs. A very good blend of song and text. Accomplished musical performance.” Member

Cresswell W I
“Excellent presentation and content. Informal pleasant evening with some great songs. Very interesting.” President Cresswell WI
“Excellent presentation and content. Very informative and well presented.” Member

Tynedale U3A
“Thank you for and extremely successful and enjoyable meeting. We look forward to seeing you again once you have completed the preparation of your topic on ‘The King’s Shilling’.” Programme Secretary

Prudhoe and District Local History Society
“What a lovely evening. The illumination of the talk with music made for a truly informative and entertaining evening.” Secretary

Belford and District Local History Society
“Thank you for providing us with such an excellent evening’s entertainment. The whole thing came together beautifully, with a well balanced mixture of historical information, relevant illustration and memorable folk songs. Everyone I have spoken to since said how much they enjoyed it.” Secretary

Blyth Local History Society
“Excellent evening. Very enjoyable. A change to have songs and music.” C Trinder – secretary
“Very well presented. A good mix of fact and songs – well researched.” Member
“Very entertaining and informative. Lovely music; very well played and sung.” Committee Member

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