An extraordinary gig

AWARD-WINNING folk duo Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin, who scooped the coveted BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Duo in 2014, are heading for Swindon as part of an extraordinary tour.

The pair got together in Devon when they were both playing for folk group, The Roots Union.

When the band split they decided to continued as a duo. They were spotted by Steve Knightley, one half of the famous Show Of Hands, while they were busking on the seafront at Sidmouth Folk Week.

Steve asked them to tour and perform at the Royal Albert Hall and they have been performing ever since and notching up prestigious gigs such as Glastonbury and dates in Canada, Australia, South Africa, France Noway and Japan.

Hannah and Phillip also toured with Seth Lakeman and were asked to sing at the Folk Alliance in Kansas City.

They are currently on the Out of the Ordinary Tour which sees them playing in churches, a cavern, Iron Age roundhouses and other weird and wonderful venues across 10 counties in England and Wales, including the Steam Railway Museum.

When they play at 8pm this evening, they will sing songs from their latest album, Watershed, which is more of a modern day folk tale, songs with a grittier edge compared to the historical themes of their last album entitled Mynd.

Tickets to tonight’s Steam Museum gig are £16 on the door or £14 in advance from or 07415 861597.

Young ones enjoy Caterpillar show and party

THE Very Hungry Caterpillar, by author/illustrator Eric Carle, has delighted generations of readers since it was first published in 1969 selling more than 43 million copies worldwide.

Eric’s well-known books captivated readers with his iconic colourful, hand-painted tissue paper collage illustrations and distinctively simple stories, introducing generations of children to a bigger, brighter world – and to their first experience of reading itself.

Now, the timeless classic makes its way off the page and on to the stage at the Wyvern.

Created by Jonathan Rockefeller, the critically acclaimed production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show features a menagerie of 75 lovable puppets, faithfully adapting four of Eric Carle’s stories. The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and of course The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

For £7, you can also head to the pre-show Very Hungry Party, featuring Party music, caterpillar colouring, a Very Hungry buffet and unlimited squash, from 45 minutes before the 1.30pm show in The Place.

There are two performances of the show at the Wyvern, one at 1.30pm and and a second at 3.30pm on Sunday, May 21.

Tickets are £15.50, with £1 off for children and groups of four tickets available for £14.50, saving a total of £4.

To book, call the box office on 01793 524481 or visit the website at

Delve into history of Savernake hall

ON May 19, 1942, a British Restaurant officially opened at Savernake Street Social Hall. What was a British Restaurant and why was it so important?

By 1951 the centre was being used for Civil Defence Training — but what was Swindon frightened of during the Cold War?

Julie Davis, a community history adviser for the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre and author of From Blackouts and Bungalows, will answer these questions and more — in a talk taking place exactly 75 years to the day since the British Restaurant officially opened.

This talk is free to attend, with donations welcome, and tea and cake available to buy.

This talk is part of the Savernake Street Social Hall’s project to discover and celebrate the history of site, made possible by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The talk runs from 2pm to 4pm today.