Celebrating in Bishop’s Itchington, 14 April 18

The Silver Bough Ceilidh Band played at a joyful twin celebration event – 25th wedding anniversary and 50th birthday on 14 April. The event was held in the Memorial Hall, Bishop’s Itchington, Warwickshire and the hall was packed with people who danced until late!

Donald and Jackie explain a Silver Bough circle dance

All-age barn dance, Deddington 13 April 18

The Silver Bough Ceilidh Band helped to raise £800 for Oxfordshire-based Medic Assist International (MAI) at an all-age Barn Dance hosted by the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Deddington in support of MAI’s work in Embo, South Africa on 13 April.

Church of St Peter and St Paul, Deddington

The event was organized by MAI in conjunction with Banbury Community Church and the Church of St Peter and St Paul to raise funds in support of the HIV and AIDS caregiver team based at Embo Community Church, South Africa. Steve Travis, Executive Director, MAI said that: ‘Every ticket sold is going to help community caregivers to provide the home-based care and support that is vital to vulnerable and marginalized people with HIV and AIDS. The remarkable sum of £800 raised from the event will also help Embo’s vision for the work to be locally sustainable, so that community care can be provided to those that need it, for as long as it is needed.’

All age-barn dance, Church of St Peter and St Paul, Deddington


Music revival night, Adderbury 20 February 18

Members of Gospel Bell help to facilitate a quarterly popular music revival night ‘Groovy Tuesday’, hosted at the Bell, Adderbury, Oxfordshire.

Some of the singers and musicians at ‘Groovy Tuesday’ 20 Feb 18

Everyone who comes to the event is invited to bring with them and perform classic songs from the 1950s to the 1980s in ‘open mic’ style. Why not join us at the next event on Tuesday 22 May 2018? For more information see: https://www.facebook.com/Groovy.Tuesday/

Who invented rock and roll? It’s hard to be sure but it could have been Sean (pictured below with his precious Martin guitar) – he even knows all the obscure songs from the 1950s onwards. This is the ‘Groovy Tuesday’ house band: Sean and David (pictured left holding the sign board) sing and play their hearts out, David on rock, pop and blues guitar and Troy and Richard (pictured in the middle) make up the rhythm section. Last night we played: Dire Straits, the Eagles, ZZ Top, the Small Faces and old classics like ‘In the midnight hour’ ‘634-5789’(Wilson Pickett) and ‘Bonie Moronie’ (who remembers Larry Williams?). Great fun playing songs from 50 years ago (and more) and our repertoire is now big enough for us to play for about a week – non-stop!

The Groovy Tuesday house band – left to right – David, Troy, Richard, Sean



Burns Night at Talton House 26 January 18

The Silver Bough Ceilidh Band led by Donald and Jackie provided the poetry, music and dancing for Burns Night at historic Talton House on Friday evening, 26 January 2018. Talton House is a Queen Anne period building with history and charm. The bedrooms are named after family members, including ‘Dr Watson’ who was Queen Victoria’s doctor. For all its atmospheric high ceilings it has a fun, relaxing vibe and it sleeps up to 23 and hosts events for around 60 people.

Historic Talton House, Warwickshire

A full house enjoyed a memorable evening, with bagpipes, haggis, old Scottish poetry and Ceilidh dancing in the large hall from early until late! It was a joyful evening with enthusiastic dancing and music led and performed by the impeccably dressed Silver Bough. In the photo below, we are relaxing in the ‘green room’ prior to all the revelry. Our thanks to Olivia and Barney for hosting the event and for looking after us so well.

The Silver Bough Ceilidh Band relax in the Talton House green room

National Storytelling Week 2018


Events for National Storytelling Week 2018

To celebrate 25 years of Creativity & Education in Public Services

With Donald McCombie, poet, storyteller, singer, musician, song writer.

Dates, venues and times:

Saturday 27th January 11.30am Library of Birmingham

Saturday 27th January 2.30pm Sparkhill Library

Tuesday 30th January 10.15am Tower Hill Library

Wednesday 31st January Springhill Library

Thursday 1st February Birchfield Library

Friday 2nd February Kingstanding Library

Enjoy family friendly poems, stories & songs for National Storytelling Week

Admission Free

Party night at St Leonard’s, 20 January 18

If there isn’t – as yet – a genre of music called ‘Gospel Disco’, Gospel Bell may have just invented it! We were delighted to facilitate the singing and tremendous all-age dancing at a fund-raising event held at St Leonard’s, Banbury on Saturday evening 20 January. It’s the first time that we have played at an event in aid of the construction of a new toilet and we’re delighted that more than £200 was raised during the course of the evening. For the band, it was a really encouraging night as a ‘party’ atmosphere prevailed. After an opening set of 30 minutes and a pause for a delicious buffet meal, the event moved-up a gear as almost everyone took a turn on the dance floor  – including a few older people with walking sticks and other mobility aids. All the photos we took of the dancing are blurred because there was so much movement!

Gospel Bell – music and dance band!

It was encouraging to receive the following feedback comment: ‘Everyone at St Leonard’s was buzzing on Sunday morning, with those who went, telling those who didn’t what a great time they’d missed and saying “Can Gospel Bell come again please?”‘ Our thanks to Sue Ayliff, event organizer, Sue Burchell, vicar of St Leonard’s and to all who helped to make the event so enjoyable. We’re already looking forward to next time!

We closed by singing ‘Amen’ together – a welcome break from all the dancing …

‘Singing for Syrians’ concert, 14 December 17

On Thursday 14 December, Gospel Bell played a concert in aid of ‘Singing for Syrians’ at St Mary’s Parish Church, Adderbury, Oxfordshire. An enthusiastic audience turned out for this charity fund-raising event in support of Syrian refugees. Guest speaker Victoria Prentis MP (pictured below and seated in the centre) hosted the Parliamentary launch of this charitable initiative on 5th July 2016 and Victoria explained that all of the funds raised are used to pay the salaries of medical staff working in areas such as war-torn Oleppo and to provide them with medical supplies and resources.

Gospel Bell sings for Syrians

The band were really pleased to discover that one of several representatives attending the event from the Syrian refugee community in the UK had brought his bass guitar with him. He had previously played double bass with a leading orchestra in Syria and so he slotted right in playing lovely bass melody lines. He is pictured with his wife (who celebrated her birthday with us) and (left to right) Sean, Richard and Troy  – together we were an awesome rhythm section!

We’d like to thank Jean and Stephen Fletcher for hosting and organizing the event at St Mary’s, the representatives from the Syrian community in High Wycombe, Victoria Prentis and all who attended a moving and enjoyable celebration of the positive work that ‘Singing for Syrians’ is doing in the aftermath of terrible loss. We felt privileged to play for such a good cause.



Adderbury Christmas Tree Festival, 09 December 17

Gospel Bell played at the Adderbury Christmas Tree Festival (CTF) organized by St Mary’s, Adderbury on Saturday 09 December. We played an hour-long set to a throng of Festival-goers from 2-3pm. The band were especially encouraged to see quite a number of small children happily jiving away in the aisles and it is heartening to know that the old Gospel songs that we play appeal to all age groups. While we were setting-up, a St Mary’s regular (Ray) came over to say that he’d heard us play in the church on three previous occasions and that he really loves the songs we play – we felt so encouraged! Adderbury’s annual CTF raises around £4,000 for good causes and to assist with on-going restoration work at St Mary’s and it is a joy to play in such a beautiful building. We’d like to thank Emily Reed and Stephen Fletcher, Vicar of St Mary’s for inviting us to play.

(Left to right) Toni, Rachel, Donald, Sean and David

On Thursday 14 December at 7.30pm, Gospel Bell is playing a concert in aid of ‘Singing for Syrians’ in the same venue – St Mary’s Parish Church, Adderbury, Oxfordshire OX17 3LP. This is a charity fund-raising event for Syrian refugees, with guest speaker contributions from the Syrian community in the UK and Victoria Prentis MP. If you are able to join us in support of those who have been affected by long-term conflict in Syria, please come along – the Season of Advent is a time to reflect and share our heart with a hurting world.

Bloxham Christmas Tree Festival, 03 December 17

At the invitation of Amnesty International (Banbury branch) Gospel Bell played at the Bloxham Christmas Tree Festival (CTF) hosted by St Mary’s, Bloxham, on Sunday 03 December. We played an hour-long set from 4-5pm to an appreciative audience of Festival-goers. The Church looked truly beautiful (we are posing in front of several trees in the photo below) and we’d like to thank Ian Myson and Lesley Mills for the invitation and Dale Gingrich, Vicar of St Mary’s and his team for the opportunity to participate – we really enjoyed the session.

Lesley Mills on behalf of Amnesty International (Banbury branch) writes: A huge thank you to Gospel Bell for your support in making our Christmas Tree Festival at St. Mary’s Church, Bloxham, such a success!! Thank you for the time you all gave up to support our fund-raising event and for sharing your Gospel songs which we loved. 

Barn dance, Tudor Hall Banbury, 12 November 17

On Sunday afternoon, 12 November, The Silver Bough played for more than 100 young people (see below) at a Ceilidh or barn dance held at Tudor Hall School, Banbury. Everyone danced for hours and we all enjoyed a lovely meal and conversation during the break.

The Silver Bough band perform music, dance, song and story-telling. We love working with past and present traditions and we value diversity and difference: from Ceilidhs for children, teenagers and church events to weddings, special occasions and for the elderly, those in residential care or attending day care centres. We provide everything needed for a joyful event – caller, band and PA system and we play a variety of dance styles to suit all occasions. For contact information, see the ‘Dance’ page.