Nigel Hobbins at the Kent Gathering of Traditional Music

Nigel Hobbins sings his songs he learned from his grandfather, who was a well known singer around Challock (pronounced ‘Chollock’), after moving into the village in the late 1890s.

Grandad worked for many years for the local council, and was responsible for the stretch of road between Challock and Boughton Aluph, but he also worked part time as a gardener and cobbler. However, it’s his singing for which he seems to have been best remembered, and Nigel himself has many clear memories of his grandfather singing at family occasions. Clearly, the young boy must have been impressed, as he made the effort to learn his grandfather’s songs.

Nigel himself is a carver in wood and musician. He studied fine art at Canterbury and helped to establish the Whitstable Artists & Musicians Collective.

Click here for more on Nigel Hobbins.

The Millen Family of traditional singers travel to the USA

Kent’s Millen Family of traditional singers sing for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The Millen Family singing at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, where they represented Kent’s contribution to the life of Virginia

Earlier this year, Kent Gathering’s top-of-the-bill Millen Family of traditional singers were invited to represent Kent at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, an international exposition of living cultural heritage held each year on the National Mall of the United States in Washington DC.

Apart from their singing, we gather one of the most entertaining moments of their shows was their attempt to explain the differences between West Country and Kentish ciders, which I gather involved some very funny and improbable ‘true tales’ about local characters around the village of Bethersden.

I’m told that some of these were toned down for the stage, but perhaps they can be persuaded to tell us the truth on the 29th March 2008! And some of the people of Frittenden know something about cider too…