Ian's Blog

10th January 2021

10th January 2021

I have previously mentioned on this website about the older brother of my Grandad Gordon Churchward who died at sea on the Indefatigable at the battle of Jutland. I was told about this when I was a child by my father and I have often thought about him, especially whenever I went past the war memorial in Newton Abbot.

A few days ago I received a facebook message from Stephanie Medwell who wondered if I was related to the Christopher Churchward who was lost at sea at the battle of Jutland. She told me that she was the granddaughter of Olive Reynolds who had been engaged to be married to Christopher. When I told her that I was related and knew about him she sent me some further interesting information, photos of him and postcards that he had written that I had not seen before. She told me that the last time her grandmother had seen Christopher was after a meal at his mother's house in Exeter, at the railway station. She said that her grandmother never forgot about him and that their wedding banns had been made on the Indefatigable. I have now written a song about this.

Christopher Marks Churchward


Banns of marriage witnessed

Dated in May

On three Sundays

Before he sailed away

But for Christopher there would be no wedding day


At the station in Exeter

He said farewell

It was the last time she saw him

Such a sad tale to tell


Shells from the Von Der Tann

Screaming across the sea

Death and destruction

Created so terribly

And for Olive Reynolds bad news she would receive


At the station in Exeter

He said farewell

It was the last time she saw him

Such a sad tale to tell


She never forgot him

And her memories live on

Told to Stephanie

Now written in this song

The photographs and postcards treasured for so long

3rd January 2021

3rd January 2021

Several years ago Phil Swann wrote a song that was inspired from a sign which he saw when he was driving to Plymouth "the spirit of discovery." He recently told me that he wasn't very happy with the original lyrics so I  have now rewritten the lyrics.

 The song is about explorers like the Pilgrim Fathers from Plymouth, the Wright brothers' first aeroplane flight and the first person to climb to the top of mount Everest. 

Phil has started recording the song using my lyrics. On the recording Phil is playing guitars and mandolin and I have contributed the vocals, bass and keyboards. Eventually we will probably get Jules to sing it. We have also asked Martyn Hillstead to add some drums and or percussion.


SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY


THEY SAILED FROM PLYMOUTH'S HARBOURSIDE

UNCHARTERED WATERS TO BE CROSSED

WITH PRAYERS NOT TO BE LOST

FAR FROM THE SAFETY OF THE LAND

OF GREAT REWARDS THEY WOULD DREAM

THEIR EYES WERE ALL AGLEAM


WITH THE SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY, DISCOVERY, DISCOVERY


A FEW MILES SOUTH OF KITTY HAWK

IN DECEMBER 1903

TO DEFY GRAVITY

THEY LAUNCHED THEIR BIPLANE

NEARLY A MINUTE OF FLIGHT

NOT REACHING A GREAT HEIGHT


WITH THE SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY, DISCOVERY, DISCOVERY


SOME SUCEEDED AND I REALISE

IS IT FAIR JUST TO CRITICISE

THE MISTAKES OF ALL THOSE WHO HAVE TRIED BEFORE


TO REACH OUT AND NOT LET GO

IT'S IN OUR MINDS BECAUSE WE NEED TO KNOW

LEARNING FROM ALL THOSE WHO HAVE TRIED BEFORE


HE CLIMBED THE WORLD'S HIGHEST PEAK

THE AIR SO RAREFIED

HIS AMBITION SATISFIED

ON THE MOUNTAIN HIGH IN THE CLOUDS

SO MANY MOUNTAINEERS

HAVE DIED OR DISAPPEARED

27th December 2020

27th December 2020

Well I've nearly survived another year on Planet Earth. It's been a very difficult time for lots of people but I reckon I can't complain and my music has generally kept me happy. I will be looking forward to releasing the Torquay Pageant Part Two and the Semi Acoustic Almanac albums next year. I've got a few other musical ideas up my sleeve which should hopefully keep me busy and happy

20th December 2020

20th December 2020

It's Chris Greenway's birthday today. I'm not sure if it is a happy one though because his wife has been poorly with the covid 19 virus. I hope she is starting to feel better and Chris doesn't become ill with it. I will send him a new version of his sixtieth birthday song with slightly different lyrics and call it the Sixty First birthday song. If Chris is feeling a bit miserable on his birthday then I am certain that my song will cheer him up!

Lord Zarquon has finished recording my song about Claude Grahame White's pioneering flight over Torbay. I got the idea from David Scott's book about the Upton Vale Baptist Church. It contains some very interesting information about Torquay in the 19th and 20 centuries. It was a mention of the visit of the British warships to Torbay in 1910 that gave me the idea for the song.


Mr Claude Grahame White

And his pioneering flight

See him fly over Torbay

From Torre Abbey Meadows today


In July Nineteen Ten

The fleet is here again

Two hundred warships this time

The view of them is so fine


But Mr Claude Grahame White 

With his pioneering flight

Above the fleet in Torbay

A warning for the admiralty today


A south westerly gale

Forced the fleet to sail

From their gathering in Mounts Bay

To a safe anchorage in Torbay


But Mr Claude Grahame White 

With his pioneering flight

Above the fleet in Torbay

A warning for the admiralty today


The combined fleet is here

With King George it brings good cheer


Above the fleet he flew

To show them what he knew

For their guns could not elevate

To threaten his fragile flying crate


Mr Claude Grahame White

And his pioneering flight

In his Farman biplane

He will surely gain great fam

11th December 2020

11th December 2020

Lord Zarquon has now completed the recording of my song about the old Torquay fire brigade. He has recently purchased a new bass guitar which has been used for this song and his bass playing sounds very impressive on it. Towards the end of the recording he has used an effect on the bass which is very appropriately called burn!

IMG 0060

Lord Z now has four looky likey Bass guitars!

6th December 2020

6th December 2020

Howard Jones was painting the top window frame at the front of my house last weekend. Like myself he used to live in Shiphay. This reminded me of one of my first friends called Anthony Bromell who lived next door. Anthony was about three years older than me and one of my most vivid childhood memories is walking with him up Dairy Hill when he escorted me to my first day at the junior school in Chelston. At the bottom of Dairy Hill he took me along a paved footpath to Stanbury Road. Why that moment in my life remains in my memory I do not know as I have no other memories of that day.

When Anthony moved with his parents to live in Tavistock I was terribly disappointed although our parents kept in touch with each other and over the years I was very pleased to see him occasionally. Not very long after he moved from Torquay the new neighbours arrived and I can vividly recall the excitement of Tony and Kay Perry running around their new house. We soon became very good friends and had lots of happy times together as children.

29th November 2020

29th November 2020

The journalist Guy Henderson has written an article about the Torquay drinking fountains song which has been published on a Torquay news website. In the article he states that the song is on the Acoustic Almanac album but it is actually on the Torbay Pageant Part One album

https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/news/torquays-famous-drinking-fountains-celebrated-in-song/

I have recently been composing some songs with Martyn Hillstead who lives in Teignmouth, although I haven't actually seen Martyn since he played with the Estuary Buoys at Tom and Sasha's wedding last year. We have been communicating by email and Martyn has been mainly writing the lyrics for the songs while I have been composing the melodies.

22nd November 2020

22nd November 2020

Lord Zarquon has now completed the recordings of nine songs for the Torbay Pageant Part Two album. The latest one is called Dreaming of Ashfield.

Here is a link to a demo version of the song


There is another one that was recently completed about the Brixham Mayflower but I have decided not to include this one for the album. The song feels like it is too long and boring at the moment and I may see if I can shorten it and make the song sound a bit more interesting.

15th November 2020

15th November 2020

I happened to see Phillip King in the shopping precinct of St Marychurch on Saturday, the previous weekend. He told me that an American lady had purchased a copy of the Torbay Pageant album from the museum shop. Mind you they won't be selling many copies for the rest of this month as the museum is closed again due to the latest covid 19 lockdown. I know Phillip from the recording sessions that I did for Renaissance Folk a few years ago. Phillip played some percussion for this folk music band. This is also how I came to know Fleur Elliott who was one of the singers and she has since sung on some of my song recordings. I didn't sing or play any instruments at the Renaissance Folk recording sessions, instead I was recording them in the basement of my house.

Like myself Fleur is a Torquay United supporter. I would imagine that she is also very disappointed that our team managed to give away a two goal lead twice in last Sunday's 5-6 defeat in the FA cup. It was pure agony to watch the late goals that were conceded in injury time although I have got used to watching the games live via my computer while the football is played in an empty stadium.

Here is a link to the match

https://torquayunited.com/category/video/

8th November 2020

8th November 2020

An article has been published in the Torbay Weekly about my Fastest Own goal song.

https://www.torbayweekly.co.uk/news/infamous-torquay-united-own-goal-record-inspires-musician-ian-churchward-to-record-song-1-6909579

Here is a link to a new version of the first Richard III Legendary Ten Seconds album. This new version includes narratives written by Sandra Heath Wilson

https://www.circleofspears.com/store/p155/Loyalty_Binds_Me.html


© Rainbow Starshine Productions 2020 - Version 9.0.2 January 2021