The Radio Lincolnshire “Write a Lincolnshire Folk Song Competition”
aka “Song for Lincolnshire”- a Spalding-centric history!


The competition was the brainchild of Dany Dalley, who suggested that Lincolnshire should have its own comptition after the demise of the annual songwriting competition at the Beverley Folk Festival. The competition has taken place every year since 1992, apart from 2008-09 when it fell foul of the BBC's general ban on such events following the Blue Peter cat "scandal."  Heritage Lincolnshire sponsored it for a few years after this, until the BBC became involved again. Since 2015 it has taken on a new lease of life, with a live broadcast on finals night, and celebrity guests, both performing and on the judging panel. 

Although there has been debate every time about whether the judges got it right or not, on the whole there has been a complete absence of cut-throat rivalry.  The competition has been an opportunity to enrich the store of songs celebrating everyday Lincolnshire life and history and to broaden everyone's repertoire. Interestingly, there are several examples of songs which weren’t winners but have subsequently taken on a life of their own. And of course several of the winners have been taken up by professional performers. 

There are no official records of all the finalists so this list has been pieced together from various sources. Our aim was to compile a list of all the winners and runners-up, together with a list of all the Spalding-based writers who reached the final but weren’t among the prizes.  Over the years Spalding folk club has been very well represented in both departments, and ahem.. that's the reason this page is here at all.  Our thanks are due to Tom Lane who has compered the event every year and who provided a list of most of the prizewinners.

As a result of its piecemeal construction, the list is still incomplete and may well contain mistakes. We would appreciate your help in filling in the blanks, and we apologise in advance to anyone who's been missed off or whose entry is just plain wrong. Please let us know! Here's the address to write to:


1992  Winner: The Green Mist Rising(Dave Vermond). 
Joint runners up: Heartbeat of the Fens (John Sykes), Forgotten Harvest (Dany Dalley and John Sykes), 
Other finalists: Windmills (Kim Johnson)

1993  Winner: Sea Change (Mark Addison and Kate Abbot)

Second: Come Alive O Gainsborough (Peggy Wright)
Other finalists: The Cork Tree (Penny Sykes), Dancing in New York (Paul Dickinson), Tail End Charlie (John Sykes)

1994 Winner: In Between the Dances (Mark Addison and Paul Dickinson)
Second: The North Wall (Dave Evardson)
Third: Lincolnshire Lass (Dany Dalley and John Sykes)
Other finalists: Ron Diggins Diggola (John Sykes), Borrowed Places (Penny Sykes), Edge of a World (Chris and Paul Dickinson)

1995 Winner; Tom Wood (Jane Ludlum)

Second: Horse for all Seasons (Dick Appleton)

Third: Alford Fair (Katie Abbott)
Other finalists: Unknown Land (Penny Sykes), Greenlands (Mark Addison), Spring Song (Angela King and Paul Dickinson), General Midwinter (John Sykes).

There was a theme this year “The Seasons”

1996 Winner: The Story Tree (John Connolly)
Second: First Time out of Lincolnshire (Dave Wilson)

Third: Wild Goose Man (Penny Sykes)
Other finalists: The Sausages of Lincolnshire (Paul Dickinson), Love in a Mist (Dany Dalley), Old Father Lincoln (Phil Biggs), The Boggart (Steve Redshaw)

1997 Winner: The Swing Bridge (Penny Sykes and Paul Dickinson (25%!))
Runners up: The Little Flock of Sheep ( Paul Dickinson) NB Unfit for broadcast and had to be erased from the radio show.

Runner up: Mucky Slow and Late (Pete Addison)
Other finalist: Strange Lights over Lincolnshire (Dany Dalley).

There was a theme: “In the News Now and Then”

1998 Winner: The Big Bang (Dany Dalley and John Sykes)
Second: The Fenland Dye (Penny Sykes)

Third: Man of Ore (Phil Thomson)
Also in the final: Tulip Day ( Chris and Paul Dickinson)

1999 Winner: Fisher Lads and Lassies (Pete Addison)

Second: Tractor Drivers Song (Jim Hancock)

2000 Winner: Speed King (John Sykes)
Runner up: The Drovers' Clock (Penny Sykes)

Third : Dream of a Working Man (Dave Wilson)

Other Finalists: The Rusty Old Van (Dany Dalley), The Plover Catcher (Elizabeth Padgett), Dead Man's Hand (Kim Biggs)

2001 Winner: Jag Day (Jim Hancock and Geoff Convery)

Second: I’m Coming Home, Mam (Dave Wood and Neil Quinn)
Third: Apple Crumble Court (Paul Dickinson)
Other finalists: Out at Sea (Penny Sykes)

2002 Winner: Lincolnshire Family (Dave Evardson)
Second : Follow the Drum (Dave Fletcher)

Third: Slash Hollow (David and Hannah Hurdman)

2003 Winner: Woven Threads of Linen (Sue Dewsbury) 
Other Finalists: Boston Farewell (Dany Dalley), Old Sessions House (Angela King) (not a finalist but performed on the night by special request)

2004 Winner: Give it up for Jim (Paul Dickinson)

Second: Goodbye Big Mill (Geoff Convery)

Third: Ode to Michael Strong (Billinger Roughs)


2005 Winner: The Day we Went aDrinkin at the Show (Jim Hancock)

Second: Footsteps of Legions (Mark Ashworth)


2006 Winner: The Fallen of Fulstow (Mark Addison and John Blanks)


2007 Winner: The Millers Daughter (Dick Appleton)

Second: Those Who Will Not Know Me (Mark Addison and John Blanks)

Third: This Singing (Angela King)


2008 No competition due to BBC restrictions.

2009 ditto


2010 Winner: When the Gallopers come to Town (Mark Ashworth)

Second: Lincoln Castle Demolition Crew (Dick Appleton)

Third: Ancholme Toll Bridge (Jim Hancock)

Others: Long Ago in Spilsby (Paul Dickinson)


2011 Winner: The Boston Dame (Penny Sykes)

Second: Missing Man (Mark Addison and John Blanks)

Third: Lincolnshire Heart (Lorraine Bennington)


2012 Winner: Only You Can Go (Mark Addison and Phil Biggs)


2013 Winner: King of the River (Dick Appleton)

Second:  Fields Where Bombers Flew (Mark Ashworth)

Third: Cush Cush My Girls (Gareth Patten)


2014 Winner: This River Runs (Clare Harding)

Others: Statues in Time (Penny Sykes)


2015 Winner: Johnny Wield (Ian and Michelle Wright)

Second: Lincolnshire Changes (Penny Sykes)

Third: Lincoln Ladies (Paul Dickinson)


2016 Winner: White Mercury (The Rye Sisters)

Second:   ? (Ian and Michelle Wright)

Also ran: Moulton Mill (Angela King)


2017 Winner: Sean Mumby’s Dancing Feet (Salutation)

Second: Mushroom Ketchup and Mustard (Kim Biggs)

Third: The Surfleet Experiment (Penny Sykes)

Also ran: Lincolnshire Heroes (Paul Dickinson)

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