Warm Gold


Years active:

1962 - Present



St Columb


Band Members:

Janet Ridley
Chris Ridley


A popular and long-lasting folk duo from St Columb Major. Chris was originally from Surrey and Janet from Middlesex.

They moved down to Cornwall around 1962, just as the folk boom was starting to take off in the county. They began playing alongside early performers such as Mervyn Vincent and Charlie Bate.

Living in St Columb Major they performed mostly around the local area (Newquay, St Austell, Wadebridge, Bodmin). The Folk Cottage was located just down the road and they would often perform at the venue doing guest and floor spots.

After performing for a number of years in the early 70s Chris decided that he wanted to capture and preserve some of the songs they had been regularly performing over the years. The duo decided to make a record to ensure their songs lived on, rather than to make money.

One track would be cut at Job Morris's Sentinel Records studio near Newlyn. Sentinel had previous success with their Sounds Like West Cornwall LP and were planning a similar release for the North of the county. A competition took place in St Columb with the prize being a recording session with the label. Warm Gold won and recorded Levant with Sentinel. The song was featured on the Sounds Like North Cornwall LP.

The remaining songs were recorded with Basil Tait at his studio in Polzeath. Despite Basil only having a two track facility, using his skills and knowledge he was able to create quite a full sound on the recordings. Many instruments were used, including 4 different piano tracks, which were all then balanced and pieced together on the two track.

The records were split over two EP's, with green and orange covers. These were pressed up on their own Hurler Records (named from St Columb's shrove Tuesday custom). Sold mostly at performances, the first pressing of 800 sold out and Chris was able to source a facility that would press in quantities of 100, which allowed for additional small quantities to be pressed as and when required.

The duo has continued to perform throughout the years. Chris has been involved in the Bodmin Folk Club since its inception, with the pair still performing most Friday's. Chris plays the music for the Trigg Morris men, with Janet being the squire of the Saffron Maids ladies clog dancers. Chris also edits Folknews Kernow - www.dreamersfolk.co.uk/folknews kernow.html

A Warm Gold CD is available from Chris for £4 + postage which features all the tracks from both EP's, as well as more recent recordings - Hurler Records, Trenillocs, St Columb, Cornwall. TR9 6JN. 01637 880394




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