Three Buckingham schools write brilliant folk songs to capture town's heritage

Project with award winning trio and Historic England hailed a success

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 9:22 am
Updated Thursday, 15th July 2021, 9:22 am

Three Buckingham schools have created new folk songs inspired by local heritage.

Pupils from Bourton Meadow, Lace Hill and George Grenville Academies composed the tunes with Historic England and multi-award-winning folk group The Young‘uns through online workshops.

Historic England worked with teachers at the schools to identify local themes and subjects for the new songs.

George Grenville Academy
George Grenville Academy

A celebratory virtual concert event was held on Monday, with The Young‘uns performing the new works.

The three schools, which form part of the Campfire Education Trust, along with three other schools in Northampton and Milton Keynes, each participated in online songwriting workshops with the folk trio, who have combined educational work with a successful international touring career over the last decade.

Sean Cooney from The Young‘uns said: “We discovered folk songs and their transformative power by accident in a pub when we were teenagers.

“They gave us a proud, outward looking, inclusive and creative identity. We thought: 'why didn't anyone teach us these songs when we were at school?’

Lace Hill

“It's been part of our mission ever since to share and create songs that celebrate heritage and community in fun and creative ways with as many young people as possible.”

The children at Bourton Meadow wrote ‘We’re on our way to Buckingham!’ - a song about travelling on a stagecoach to the town from London.

The ancient legend of a local well is the subject of St Rumbold’s Well by the children at George Grenville, and Lace Hill’s ‘The place where they made the lace’ celebrates the lacemaking tradition of Buckingham, with lyrics capturing all the local street names.

Kate Argyle of Historic England’s Heritage Schools Programme said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for the children to create a unique song inspired by their local heritage with one of the county’s leading folk groups.

The Young'uns

“Local heritage is a fabulous source of inspiration across the curriculum and I am delighted to have had the opportunity to work with staff, equipping them with a wealth of local heritage resources to inspire learning and creativity in the future.”

All schools taking part in the project have received a national Heritage Schools Award, which is given to schools by Historic England that have successfully supported pupils to better understand their local heritage and its importance.

To hear the songs see the schools’ websites: www.bourtonmeadow.co.uk; www.georgegrenville.co.uk; and www.lacehillacademy.co.uk