Author Archives: martinfclarke

Golden age of rail travel?

Much as we like to complain about it, we are living in a golden age of rail travel in Britain. Passenger numbers are higher than at any time since the 1920s, with unprecedented and almost unrivalled growth. Of course, this creates its own problems with overcrowding and so on, but it is spurring record levels of investment; billions of pounds are being spent improving trains and stations, and opening new routes, up and down the country.

What those in power seem to finally be realising is the gist of this article below; that railways are all about people and communities, as are roads and bus services. People want to live near a station. They want to feel connected to work, leisure, friends and family. Great transport enables people and communities to thrive, and it is here where the true value lies, not just on an accountant’s balance sheet.

The Spring Heeled Jacks ceilidh for Oasis UK

I’m delighted to announce that The Spring Heeled Jacks ceilidh band will be hosting a fundraising ceilidh for Oasis UK on Friday 17 June in Lambeth North, London.

Oasis UK work in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the UK, providing Foodbanks, debt advice centres, youth and children’s projects, anti-trafficking awareness and much more. Given the current economic climate, Oasis is often called on to step in where local councils are unable to provide support so their work really is a vital lifeline for many.

I’ll post more details of the event soon.

Judging sword dancing in Boston, MA

This weekend I’m going over the pond to be a judge at DART, the Dancing America Rapper Tournament. It is a great honour to be invited. I can’t wait!

I danced at DART last year and back in 2010 with my team, the Sallyport Sword Dancers, and on both occasions had a fantastic time, meeting lots of great people and watching some fabulous dancing.

Ceilidh to the rescue!

A friend of mine’s sister was getting married up in Newcastle last week. Unfortunately the band she’d booked for the ceilidh at the reception had to pull out the evening before. I got a message asking if I could possibly help. The wonderful Becky Graham put together and led a great band with Simon Stephenson and Hannah Norman, and I called the dances. We had a lovely evening, and everyone had a good time.

I was flattered with the compliment, “I go to a lot of ceilidhs, and you were the best caller we’ve come across in a long time.” Thank you very much, it’s much appreciated! x