Wickham thoughts from JJ

“Thanks to everyone for your great support at the RR gig at Wickham and those hardy souls who sweated it out with us on the South Downs during the day. It’s a fantastic  festival and it is an honour to be there for the opening, singing for people as they arrive.

Lindsey, Tim, Rowan, John, Benji & Al singing Never Stop Moving at the Wickham Festival Box Office, watched by Matthew Bannister and being recording for the Folk on Foot podcast.

Special thanks to the Folk on Foot Podcast team who were with us the whole day creating a word and sound picture reflecting the  quiet musings of myself and others following the silent hedgerows of the Downs, in contrast to the noise of a full-on crowd in the Big-Top when we hit the festival. Two different worlds coming together; the contrast was stunning. Thanks to you all. JJ ”

JJ with Matthew Bannister talking folk on foot

John Jones and the Reluctant Ramblers play the Village Stage at the Wickham Festival


Rowan Godel Trio at Wickham

The Rowan Godel trio with Benji Kirkpatrick and Tim Cotterell headline an evening of music in the Wickham Community Centre on 31st July,  the evening before the Wickham Festival. The centre is very close to the festival site. It has its own parking as well as the official festival parking.

The full programme for the evening is:

19.30 – 20.00 20.00 – 20.45 21.00 – 21.45 22.00 – 23.00

Alistair Russell Rachel Newton Alan Burke Rowan Godel Trio

JJ looks forward to Wickham

Just over a week to go now to the RR walk into Wickham festival and gig. You are welcome to join us and details of the walk and gig are on the website. The walk is leisurely , taking in some of the South Downs Way we walked several years ago and reaching a high point on Old Winchester Hill where we will sing a song for the excellent  Folk on Foot podcast people who will be with us on this walk. This is the first time they have done anything like a Ramblers group walk , on a mission to play a festival , so they may well want to talk to you as well as me … so remember as you stumble through the mud and rain , you ARE enjoying yourselves.
Seriously , the weather looks good , we have a full band and we will be  singing  three songs on the walk before we hit The Village Stage later that evening before ‪The Proclaimers‬. All that and Matthew’s Southern Comfort, ‪Graham Nash‬ and ‪Judy Collins‬ on The Valley Stage. it looks like MD Peter Chegwyn’s Woodstock Evening.

Don’t forget also ,  a special  opening night in the Wickham Community Centre on the Wednesday with the Rowan , Benji and Tim trio.

Wickham Walk – Lunch menu

White Lion SobertonWe have arranged to use the function room at the White Lion in Soberton for our lunch stop.

They have given us a special menu (see below) and ask us to pre-order so that they can have the food ready. We expect to arrive around 1.30pm and leave again at 2.30 to walk to the festival site.

Please select your lunchtime order and send it in an email to info@jj-rr.org. Please note the total cost on your order. You will pay for it on the day. If you order food and then can’t make the walk, please let us know to the same email address.


gf – gluten free, df – dairy free, v – vegetarian, vg – vegan, gfa – gluten free available, dfa – dairy free available, vea – vegan option available



Roasted veg, brie and pesto £6.95 v. vga
Cumberland sausage and fried onion £6.95
Bacon, Lettuce and tomato with mayo £6.95
Prawn Marie Rose £7.25

Fries ~ Sweet potato fries ~ Hand cut chips House salad ~ seasonal vegetables ~ Olives


Steak and ale Pie – A short crust pastry base and a puff pastry lid, served with new potatoes or chips, mushy peas, rich homemade gravy £13.50

Risotto- Chicken and Chorizo risotto served with a rocket and parmesan garnish £12.95

Spicy Bean Burger, soft white roll, salad garnish and fries £12 GFA, VG

Hand carved ham, two eggs and hand cut chips £12.50 GF

8oz Homemade Beef burger in a soft bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, gherkin and fries £12.95GFA, DF
Add Bacon, Cheddar, Smoked, or Brie cheese for £1

Roasted butternut squash and chestnut mushroom pie served with new potatoes or chips, marrowfat peas, vegan gravy £12.50 VG

Warm Chicken and Bacon Salad, Cos lettuce, Caesar dressing and croutons £12.50 GFA

Thai Fishcakes- Served on a bed of stir-fried vegetables with a sweet chilli sauce £12.95

Wickham Walk

The morning section of this walk, from the Bucks Head, up Old Winchester Hill and down to Soberton and the White Lion, is 14km or around 9 miles. The afternoon walk is around 4 miles.

The reply to the previous post said the morning walk is 12.5 miles. That is not correct. The total for the day is around 12.5 to 13 miles.

Wickham Festival Walk – RSVP

In keeping with tradition, before their set at the Wickham Music Festival, John and the Reluctant Ramblers will walk from Meonstoke  to Old Winchester Hill, on to Soberton and then down to the festival site outside of Wickham.

If you plan to join the walk then please either comment here or email info@jj-rr.org so that we have some idea of how many to expect.

Start time is 9.45, meet in the car park opposite the Bucks Head. Aim is to arrive at the festival site by 4pm with a stop for lunch at the White Lion in Soberton at around 1.30. The afternoon walk is around 4 miles and mainly down the old railway line.

Wickham Festival Walk

Here is the initial outline for the walk into the Wickham festival on Thursday 1st August. The walk will start from a pub in Corhampton in the Meon Valley and then walk part of the South Downs Way to Old Winchester Hill and onwards before working south west to the festival site just north of Wickham.
The pub at which to meet and the exact route are TBD.
Start time is 10am and the expected arrival time at the festival site is 4pm.
Details to follow in early June.

Ticket availability for September

As of today (15th April) in the initial allocation of tickets for the two concerts at Threlkeld Village Hall on 27th and 28th September, there are just three tickets remaining for the Saturday concert and nine remaining for the Friday ceilidh.

If you don’t have tickets yet then the ticket links are:

Friday ceilidh: www.wegottickets.com/event/465506

Saturday concert: www.wegottickets.com/event/465509

Nearer the time of the shows, the venue will be making additional tickets available.

If you are reading this after the tickets have sold out on WeGotTickets then please email info@jj-rr.org and we will let you know when further tickets are available and how to obtain them.


Article in RnR

The March/April issue of the magazine RnR contains an article about the ten years of walking tours including an interview with John and his walking buddy Colin. It also has reminiscences from fellow musicians and reluctant ramblers Ray Cooper, Tim Cotterell, Dil Davies and Boff Walley.

For stockists see http://www.seymour.co.uk/storefinder/

Copies can be ordered online at http://www.rock-n-reel.co.uk/sales.html

RnR 74 Mar:Apr 2019 Cover Page

Tickets available for September shows

Tickets are now available for the two shows in the north Lake District on Friday 27th & Saturday 28th September 2019. Both shows are in the Threlkeld Village Hall as part of three days of walking and music. Details of the walks and the Thursday evening will be announced later. See www.jj-rr.org/walks-in-2019/

Friday 27th — 8pm start — a standing show with one hour of great songs from John and the band followed by a ceilidh in the village hall. Bring your dancing shoes. There will be a bar.  Click here to buy tickets .

Saturday 28th — 8pm start — a seated show, again in the village hall.  A full concert with two sets from JJ and The Reluctant Ramblers plus guests. Click here to buy tickets.

You don’t have to have walked to enjoy the music. Meet you there .” JJ

For further information, add a comment to this post or email info@jj-rr.org.