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  • Come to West London Folk workshop

    Laurel Swift founded this in Year 2000, and it goes from strength to strength, regularly playing concerts and ceilidhs as the West London Folk Band.
    It all starts with tunes which she teaches in West London.
    It is held upstairs at West London Trade Union Club
    33-35 High Street, Acton, London, W3 6ND. Parking in nearby streets is fairly simple, lots of buses pass the door and Acton Central Overground station is 5mins walk.
    Monday evening term-times: 7:15pm - 9:15pm.
    Cost: £7.50 per night.
    Who comes? Bedroom musicians, beginner musicians, starting-again musicians, younger musicians, late bloomers, musicians that think they can only read the dots, musicians who worry that they can’t read the dots – you are all welcome.
    Use the Contact Form or email swiftlj (At) gmail.com to find out more (copy this email address and replace the (At) with @ and remove spaces).

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Bridget Cruise

Bridget Cruise

One of 4 airs composed by Turlough O’Carolan, 1670 – 25 March 1738, a blind Irish harper, in honour of his first and unrequited love for Bridget Cruise of County Longford

The young Turlough O’Carolan attended a school run by the Cruise family in nearby Cruicetown.
The Cruises were an Anglo-Norman family who had been Gaelicised over the centuries.
Despite the loss of their property at nearby Brittas to the Bligh family in the Cromwellian Plantation of the 1650s,
they clung on in Cruicetown and Rahood and the family continued as patrons of native poetry, music and learning.
At the Cruise school Carolan met and fell in love with a daughter of the family, Bridget Cruise .
So intense was his affection for Bridget that in later years he composed four airs which bear her name and also three or four songs in her honour.
His friend Charles O’ Connor related that throughout his life Carolan always recalled Bridget with great affection.
Tradition has it that years later when Carolan was blind, the pair met again while on pilgrimage at Lough Derg.
When Bridget reached out to help the blind man, Carolan instantly recognised her by the touch of her hand and exclaimed in Irish:
“By the hand of my godfather, this is the hand of Bridget Cruise!”

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