BIOGRAPHY

Hazel, born in 1950 in Portsmouth Hampshire England, my father was in the Royal Navy until I was 12 years old, and during his early navy career he was a member of the R.N. amateur dramatic society and was in many productions. My mother won a scholarship for singing but sadly at fifteen caught rheumatic fever and lost her voice. My sister was born in 1953. I went to performance school, preschool four years of age, which involved Tap dancing, Ballet, and Singing. I was also sent to piano lessons and seemed to be getting along fine. Then at 7 years we went to Malta {Dad’s commission} a break from all the classes. Before we went to Malta, we visited Ireland and stayed with someone dad had met during the war I think this was in Gory, us girls used to call him “Jimmy Edwards” because of his red beard, we were all made very welcome. Dad had previously visited Ireland in 1947. One day I might find the time to research the family history that once came out in conversation, could be on both sides, as after a DNA test showed me to be 19% Irish! We were back from Malta early due to my mother’s mental illness {which sadly she had to fight all her life} I went back to piano lessons but not for long, but I never stopped singing, learning chart hits. Up to leaving school us girls would get up on stage and sing duets at the C I U and R.N. clubs.   I met my husband whilst on holiday, he had an interest in Folk Music and we joined the Swindon Folk Club. Ted & Ivy Poole ran this club for 40 years. It was here that I was overheard singing the choruses by Mervin Penny [ 1923 - 2014] who remained a very dear, he gave me a song book and said learn a song for next week, and the rest is history. Every spring many of the Swindon folk members and extended family would travel to the Bampton Morris weekend many a good time had by all with the dancing singing and the pram race. Since then [1971] I have sung at Folk Festivals such as Dartmoor, Cambridge, Sidmouth, Mells Irish festival [Somereset], Newton Abbott and Cornwall where we moved in 1977 and many a pub session in The Wellington Inn, Boscastle and the Trawarmett Inn, plus numerous pubs along the way. In 1987 at Lowender Peran we met a party from the Listowel Area hence how we ended up arriving in Listowel in 1988 while on holiday in our camper, traveling all over Ireland. From 1988 Ireland has been our chosen holiday destination. In 1991 we were at Sligo for the Fleadh Ceoil we spent most of the time in Tommy Regan’s Bar being made very welcome by Dennis the landlord at that time, [“a hole in the glass, sir?”] my husband was playing Tea chest base in those days’ In 1996 we bought our cottage in Glanaderhig Lyreacrompane near Listowel since this time we spent all our holidays based in Co Kerry we finally moved here permanently in 2004. On July 1 st , 2016, life changed for me, becoming a widow was something that I had lived with the prospect of for a much longer time than I ever thought I would. I am not dwelling on the reason for this now, as that is a complete book in itself and one day, I just might get around to writing on this subject! Now that my time is my own, I am doing more of the things that I have had to squeeze in before, as time and energy was previously an issue. I fill my days with music learning new songs and at last finding the time to learn how to play the whistle, properly. I am fortunate to have a friend who is a talented musician to teach me. I am still living at Glanaderhig, in a new lovely house, but I am planning a move to Listowel sometime in the future, maybe in the next year.  I will be sorry to leave Glanaderhig as I really love to be living out in the country, but one has to be sensible when pondering a minimum of a fifteen-mile round trip every time I go out. My music takes me to Listowel regularly as a Volunteer entertainer. Music is a great therapy, not just for the clients but also for me.