Cambridge North Folk Song Project

Emily Peasgood: 

Collecting stories, creating songs and preserving memories for future generations.


Call for people to contribute stories and ideas, and to take part in online songwriting sessions to create a community folk song book that captures the character of the CB4 postal area in north Cambridge – and you can do this at home!

Do you have a connection with north Cambridge? Are you at a loose end during lockdown? Are you looking for an interesting project for your children and family to take part in from the comfort of home?

You can view a video about the project here.

Cambridge North Folk Song Project will create a community folk song book that captures the character of north Cambridge, its history, people and places, today. It is led by award-winning composer, sound artist and community artist Dr Emily Peasgood. The project aims to preserve stories in an area that is evolving and changing. Songs will focus on the CB4 postal area, which is comprised of Arbury, Chesterton, Kings Hedges, Orchard Park, Cambridge Business Park and Cambridge North train station.

Cambridge North Folk Song Project references the British Folk Song Revival which saw folk collectors such as Cecil Sharp, Lucy Broadwood and Ralph Vaughan Williams recording and notating songs to preserve what was a vanishing tradition. Many of the songs collected in the revival form the canon of folk music today. It is hoped that Cambridge North Folk Song Project will have a similar effect. The songs will be printed in a beautiful songbook that Peasgood hopes will still be around in 100 years. The songbook will be launched early 2021, with live performances by local people, and a feature at Cambridge Folk Festival.

Anyone can take part of all ages and no experience is necessary - but experienced storytellers and songwriters are most welcome! All you need is access to the internet. You can take part as an individual or entire household. This fun activity may result in your contribution featuring in a songbook that will be in libraries, schools and online for future generations to enjoy, and all featured contributors will receive a copy of the book.

Do you have a story or an idea for a song?
Perhaps there’s an unsolved mystery that would make a great song? Maybe you have a story about a local landmark? Is there an interesting person whose story can be remembered in a song for future generations? We’re interested in urban legends, interesting facts and forgotten histories. We’re also interested in stories about CB4 today. No story is unimportant: the brief is wide open.

Would you like to write a song with us?
Songwriting sessions will take place online with Emily Peasgood and Cambridge-based songwriters Anna Hester and Bob Hines. Individuals or entire households can take part in developing stories into lyrics and creating melodies. You don’t need to play an instrument or have written a song before.

Peasgood says: “I’m really excited to be leading this community project, for anyone who has a connection with the CB4 postal area. I hope we create something that really captures the area today, and creates legacy for future generations to look back on and enjoy. Songs can be about anything at all relating to CB4. We have so far developed a song about Strawberry Fair, and another about the Chesterton Community ‘Kindness’ Mural near the Co-Op. We are open to all ideas and I can’t wait to work with you!”

Songwriting team member Anna Hester says: “I find it so satisfying to bring local stories to life through song and I’m excited to be on the Cambridge North Folk Song Project team. I look forward to learning more about the local history through this project”.

Songwriting team member Bob Hines says: “This project is a great opportunity to be involved in the creation of a body of new folk songs. This can be by contributing ideas and stories, lyrics or music, collaborating or solo, to meet new musicians with original ideas – in short to make some great music!”

The deadline for registration is Friday 5 June 2020, so please register today!

If you have a story or idea to share, or would like to take part in online songwriting sessions, register your interest here:

Or contact Emily Peasgood by email or phone 07749 115 484

You can also submit a story or idea anonymously at:


Contact: Emily Peasgood
Rubber Chicken House
2 Kent Place, Ramsgate, Kent, CT11 8LT
07749 115 484


Further information

1.   Cambridge North Folk Song Project is part of the Public Art Programme for Cambridge North (CB4). It has been commissioned by Brookgate and Network Rail with the assistance of Commission Projects and Chesterton Community College.

2.   Dr Emily Peasgood (born 1981 in Grimsby, Lincolnshire) is an award-winning composer, sound artist and visual artist who specialises in creating community artwork. She creates research-led and site specific interactive artworks for galleries and public spaces, ranging from large-scale community events to intimate sound installations. In her installation work, Peasgood uses intricate sound-design and technology design to invite connection with people and places that are forgotten, overlooked, or surrounded by histories that can be remembered through sound. Peasgood uses sound and music to evoke truth, history, stories and the imagination, creating sonic spaces and projects that invite visitors to be a part of her work. Peasgood’s work has been described as magical (The Times), evocative (The Telegraph), and memorable (A-N). She won an Ivor Novello Composer’s Award for her work at Folkestone Triennial (Halfway to Heaven, 2017) and was nominated for an Ivor Novello for her recent work, Never Again (2019, Ideas Test). An short video example of her recent work can be seen here:

For more information contact Emily Peasgood – Lead Artist of Cambridge North Folk Song Project:


Phone: 07749 115 484

Artist website:

3.   Social Media & Hash Tags


Hashtags: #CambridgeNorthFolkSongProject #CB4FolkSongs #EmilyPeasgood

4.   Anna Hester is a singer-songwriter, teacher and huge believer in the power of the arts to connect people and share stories. She has released two EPs and is recording her first album, produced by fellow singer-songwriter Dan Wilde. The songs on the album are inspired by postcards—by both the images and the messages—and tell a range of intertwining stories from her own life and about the people and places the postcards depict. In 2014, she took part in a songwriting project in her hometown: Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes is often accused of not having history, so for the WW1 centenary a partnership of artists and charities created Great War MK. Anna was part of a team writing songs inspired by archival material collected by the organisation Living Archive. Anna is currently based in CB4, Cambridge.

Artist website:

5.   Bob Hines is a singer-songwriter based in St Neots. He has worked as a Water Consultant Engineer for over 30 years, but his real passion is music. He currently helps run St Neots Folk Club and is in a folk band called The Worthys. He has been writing and performing original songs for over 40 years.