Eleanor's making her mark on folk

Talented teenager Eleanor Walker is following in the footsteps of renowned Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell to make her mark in the world of folk music.

Talented teenager Eleanor Walker is following in the footsteps of renowned Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell to make her mark in the world of folk music.

Eleanor, 15, last year lifted the trophy in the same open fiddle competition at the annual Rothbury Traditional Music Festival which a young Kathryn won more than 25 years ago.

Eleanor, who started playing the violin at the age of 10, is a member of three Northumberland folk bands.

Her local council, Castle Morpeth, has now given her a grant to help her attend a week-long Folkworks youth summer school at Durham University, organised by the Sage Gateshead.

Castle Morpeth Borough Council helped pay for the £300 residential course which allowed Eleanor to get expert tuition.

The King Edward VI School student lives with her mum Pam, 47, a charity worker, dad David, 50, a railway engineer and long-standing folk and blues guitarist, and brother Matthew, 12, in Hartburn near Morpeth.

She plays with her dad in the Rothbury Ceilidh Band and Green Shoots group and is also a member of youth accordion and fiddle band Borderbox.

Mr Walker said: "Eleanor started playing the fiddle when she was 10 and she is frighteningly good. I play the guitar but she is light years better than me.

"When she won the trophy at the Rothbury festival last year we looked at the list of previous winners and it included her fiddle teacher and a young Kathryn Tickell, who must have been about the same age Eleanor is now.

"The residency at Durham University allowed young musicians from all over the country to come together for a week of intensive tuition. The support from Castle Morpeth Council was very welcome.

"Folk music might be a bit unfashionable among her friends but she has never been afraid to plough her own furrow."

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