Live music is an important feature of Lemmings Reprieve and Mr Beveridge’s Maggot, led by Tony Hill, was the mainstay of that music for many years.


The band, Mr Beveridge’s Maggot, was formed at very short notice after the Easter Folk Festival at Poynton Folk Centre in 1976. The band was asked to play for the monthly Saturday Ceilidh at the Centre and continued to do so for about three years. Members of the band had been attending a music workshop at Poynton Folk Centre organised for Adlington Morris Men by Tony Hill.


The initial line-up included Tony Hill as leader on accordion, Marguerite Hill (née Roberts) on English concertina, Trevor Crozier on mandolin and Roger Dunant, a fire-eating guitarist. Trevor Crozier suggested that we should name the band Mr Beveridge’s Maggot (the name of a 17th century dance tune). Later, the alternative name of Lemmings Reprieve was suggested by Tim Beasant, but after discussion, the original name was retained. From 1976, the band had at least 20 musicians passing through and then moving away to other areas. Instruments played by members of the band at various times included accordions, English concertina, melodeon, fiddles, flutes and whistle, hammered dulcimer, guitars, Northumbrian pipes, trombone, keyboard, percussion, oboe and a double bass. In spite of the changes in personnel over the years and the variety of instruments, Mr Beveridge’s Maggot remained active because of the constant presence of Tony Hill as leader.


Andrew Shaw later took the name Lemmings Reprieve for the dance group, which began under his leadership in 1984, with Mr Beveridge’s Maggot playing regularly and welcoming other players to join in.


In September 2016, after 32 years at the helm, Tony handed over leadership of the band to Denise Bearon.


The current regular line up includes Denise and Norman Bearon, Iz Jackson, Roddy Tofler and Rhonda Hotop.


Denise and Norman Bearon are experienced musicians and dancers from the North West. Formerly they played as a duo and trio and family as Saraband. They were involved in the Folk Camps as musician and leader and also played for Cober Hill dance w/e for many years for West Yorkshire dancers. They play locally for dances and workshops. In recent years they have played as a duo on piano and fiddle and as a family as D.N.A. They play a wide range of styles with a recent focus on English but always with an emphasis on danceability.


For more information or bookings, phone: 01695-422971.

  Updated: 01/10/2022