Tim Laycock


Vocals, concertina, melodeon and hurdy-gurdy.
Tim is a founder member of the Hambledon Hopstep Band, and plays concertina and melodeon. He also performs with the New Scorpion Band, and can often be found working in schools and community venues in Dorset and the South West, telling traditional stories and playing and singing folk music.

Tim has a lifelong interest in the Dorset dialect poetry of William Barnes, and with ex-New Scorpion Band fiddle player Colin Thompson he performs his own play THE YEAR CLOCK about the life and works of William Barnes:

'The play is about language, speech and the way we communicate. It explores the life and works of the Dorset teacher and parson, a self-educated man who lived from 1801- 1886. Barnes is best-known for his dialect poetry, in particular Linden Lea, set to music so memorably by Ralph Vaughan- Williams. Barnes himself, however, considered his philological writings to be his most important work. Especially his philological grammar, a search for the root of all speech, based on a study of over sixty languages.

Thomas Hardy, an old friend of Barnes, later described him as ' the most interesting link between the past and present forms of rural life that England possessed'. And Francis Kilvert, writing in his diary of his visit to Barnes' rectory at Winterborne Came in 1874, named him 'the great idyllic poet of England, half- hermit, half- enchanter'.

Tim Laycock's new play brings to life a complex and fascinating man, and explores the tensions behind the decision of a highly [if self-] educated man to write in rural dialect. The fast paced performance contrasts the rapidly changing world of mid- Victorian progress with a strong sense of a way of life that was being lost forever, a feeling that has many resonances for today.

The play features songs and folk music, played on the violin and guitar by Colin Thompson.

The Year Clock is designed by Michael Taylor and directed by Sonia Ritter.

Lighting by Gary Beestone.

The Year Clock is Tim's tenth play to receive public performance. He has also written Red Spider and Kitty Alone, based on the novels by Sabine Baring-Gould, and A Poor Man's House, adapted from the book by Stephen Reynolds. Really Beautiful Company is about the folk song collecting exploits of the composer Percy Grainger; and Tim has also made an award-winning adaptation of The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy.

In 2006 he wrote A Wonderful Alteration , a community play about I K Brunel and the great Western Railway for Newton Abbot. Tim is currently performing a dramatised version of Vita Sackville-West's epic poem The Land with actress Sonia Ritter. This year [2007] he is musical director for the fifth Dorchester Community play A Time To Keep, by David Edgar and Stephanie Dale.

Tim can be contacted via email: tim@timlaycock.co.uk