In days past, Christmas Eve in Heart’s Delight-Islington would ring with the singing of their own special Christmas carols. The tradition involved the door-to-door singing of two specific carols which had been passed down over the past century. Originally, they were sung by men, who would travel to every house in the community. Other communities in the area, such as Cavendish and Green’s Harbour, also once sang a version of the carols, but the tradition remains strongest in Heart’s Delight-Islington.
The custom continues with some changes over time, but more work is needed to safeguard this very special local tradition. In this podcast, we chat with Stan Reid and Howard Sooley, two long-time carolers who are working to ensure this tradition is carried on to the next generation. We talk about the past and present of the tradition, and where they would like to see it in the future.