Short History of Bayle Music
Bayle Music, now in its ninth season, grew
out of the ‘Music
on a Sunday Afternoon’ series which in turn had developed
from the 'Coffee,
Cakes and Classics' series
held on Saturday mornings at The Metropole.
When The Metropole was no longer available,
the concerts - and
the splendid Yamaha Concert Grand Piano - transferred to St Mary & St Eanswythe’s church.
With agreement of the church, the concerts moved to Sunday afternoons. Grenville
Hancox, then Head of the Music Department at Canterbury Christ Church University,
organised the concerts and booked the performers.
The costs of the concerts were underwritten by the University and
the programmes, featuring established and emerging young musicians proved
One such emerging group was the Sacconi Quartet which after
performing twice asked if the church would be prepared to host an annual
Music Festival over a weekend in May. Fr
David and Churchwardens agreed and the first Sacconi Chamber Music Festival
was held in 2008. The Festival goes
from strength to strength and presents five concerts in three days filling
the church each time.
Sadly the University withdrew its financial
support leaving the concerts uncertain.
However under the leadership of Grenville Hancox, sponsorship from
local businesses and the support
of our 'regulars' becoming
patrons or buying season tickets, the concerts continued under the name
2019-20 marks Bayle Music's 9th season and plans are well in hand for the 10th season beginning in September 2020.
And what about me? Well,
I have been associated with this church since I joined the choir in 1954.
I attended St Eanswythe's Primary and the Harvey Grammar Schools
and undertook my teacher training at Canterbury followed by 11 year's teaching
I returned to Folkestone in 1978,
when Canon Peter Cole was vicar, and have been a member of the church community
in a variety of roles ever since. Most
recently I have explored the use of the church as a community asset.
We have hosted Folkestone Art Society exhibitions; Folkestone Book
Festival events and Folkestone Triennial installations; visiting music groups
and choirs as well as special civic and community services and events.
Each of these has attracted any number of visitors from the town
and beyond and, we hope, encouraged people to come to our services.