Last month Glenn Kimpton reviewed A Hymn for Ancient Land, the new album from Sheffield born Jim Ghedi. He described the 7-track album as “a small masterpiece, a homage of sorts to the subtleties of nature, place and space, played out with a string of instruments that rattle and sweep along together wonderfully to evoke the landscapes and stories this musician has taken in so far along the way.”
One of the sung pieces which stood out for me on the album was Phoenix Works for which Jim has revealed a new video. The film took over a year of filming and editing by Jim and filmmaker/photographer Scott Hukins and it also features some beautiful archive footage. It’s a huge pleasure to share this with our readers today, watch and read more about the song and video below.
“My scythe and hammer lies reclin’d My bellows too have lost their wind My iron is spent, my steel is gone My scythes are set, my work is done My fires extinct, my forge decay’d My body in the dust is laid” – (Scythe worker, Joseph Rippon).
Set within the heart of the Moss Valley sits the village of Ridgeway and the hamlet of Ford, pre-eminent for several hundred years in the industry of scythe and sickle making, the earliest records of productivity dating back to 1459. This is the sole verse from a poem by Joseph Rippon, one of the Scythe workers at Phoenix Works, the rest of which was destroyed through time.
The artifact inspired writing the song and was collected from Ridgeway History group after being donated by Joseph Rippon’s son.
The making of this video took over a year of filming and editing by myself and filmmaker/photographer Scott Hukins, with huge help from Blacksmith’s at Ridgeway Forge and Garland Films with kind permission of local archive footage ‘The Derby Tup’ taken in the winters of 1971 & 1972.
The photograph at the end shows the Phoenix Works before 1899 with the 1822 extension built, unfortunately, no specific date found but further information available at Ridgewayhistory.org.uk
Glimpses of history weave themselves throughout the video with fragments of background locality as well as footage of a local group performing in several pubs in the village from that 70’s era.
However it is the modern day which holds the focus point, quiet solitary walks by a local musician within its current landscape, alongside venturing into a blacksmith’s forge which nestles itself hidden but very much still the beating heart of this communities togetherness and productivity.
The remnants of history somehow creeps into our landscape and you can still envisage glimpses of these older traditions & industries, whether just imagined by viewing the moss-coated stone rubble on a Sunday walk or discovering a local working forge while rambling down a forgotten pathway, it strangely shapes our imagination in places so close to home.
For details of Jim Ghedi’s tour dates please visit: http://www.jimghedi.com/live/