Roy Palmer, one of England’s most active and popular folklorists and song collectors, died in February 2015. His books and articles have introduced many people to the tales and songs of their region and of the country as a whole, and he was an unselfish helper to many researchers and singers who sought to tap his store of knowledge. In 2016 an annual lecture was instituted in his name, to give a platform to speakers on an aspect of traditional song, music, folklore, or popular culture, enabling them to share their own knowledge in like fashion.

The 2022 Roy Palmer Lecture will form a part of this year’s Whitby Folk Week. It is to be given by the well-known expert on the music of traditional song, Dr Julia Bishop, and it will take place at the Coliseum in Whitby YO21 on the afternoon of Wednesday 24 August. The event will be open to all without charge. The lecture will not be live-streamed but a video will be available on YouTube after the event.

It’s 115 years since Cecil Sharp published his conclusions on English folk song with his observations on its music. Despite the musical orientation of most early collectors, and subsequent advances in other areas of research into traditional song, our musical understandings seem to be stuck in 1907. Is there any more to be said? What is it that we want to know today? Julia Bishop will give her take on these questions, drawing on examples from her own research.

Julia has been involved in the collection, transcription and analysis of traditional music for 40 years, when her day job allows it. She completed a degree in music before going on to an MA in folk life studies at Leeds and a PhD in folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She now works as a researcher at the University of Sheffield School of Education where she studies children’s folklore, past and present, including musical play. She may be better known to some as the organist for the local carol singing at the Blue Ball, Worrall.