NEFS Winter Residential Weekend 2023 – Resources

NEFS Winter Residential Weekend 2023

Fri 1st – Sun 3rd December 2023


If you are booked in for the Friday evening, please plan to arrive at or after 5.00 pm. This is the welcome with a few tunes to take us to dinner – the main music session will be after dinner. Dinner is a sit-down meal at 6.00 pm, so if you know that you will be late, or don’t now require dinner, please let me know. For last minute changes, please call or text me on 07843 238139.

If your first event is the Saturday workshop, please plan to arrive from 9.30 am. You can join us for a Physical Warm-up at 9.45 am and the first workshop will start promptly at 10.00 am.


Shepherds Dene Retreat House, Riding Mill, Northumberland NE44 6AF
01434 682212

Travel and Parking

If you are following Google maps, the entrance to the driveway for Shepherds Dene is a little further along on the left than shown. In the driveway, fork right for the Main House. Car parking is on the right hand side of the driveway as you approach the house – please don’t drive or park on the soft verges. There are some spaces closer to the house, including two disabled access spaces. If these areas are all full, you can drop off your luggage into the hall, and there is an extra car park if you follow the driveway around the house and up the other side, bending left. The car park is at the top on the left and you can walk back down the way you drove up.

Please ring the bell at the front door of the main house to gain entry. A door code will then be provided so you can come and go. Please sign in on the group registration form (they request an emergency name and contact number), and sign out and back in at the door if you leave the house for any reason.

If you would like to travel by public transport, lifts can be arranged from Riding Mill station – please let us know if you would like help with this.

Signing in and out

Signing in and out is very important at Shepherds Dene for fire regulations. Over the weekend there will be a lot of people coming and going at different times, so please help by using their process. There is a clipboard on arrival where you need to sign in to the event, and sign out when you leave. If you leave the building for a short time during your stay, there is a separate in/out clipboard near the door – please keep that up to date.


All of the teaching materials will be available on the Block 6 Saturday Workshop page. For the sessions on Friday and Saturday evenings, and possibly just before lunch on Sunday, we will again use the NEFS Live Tunes as a basis for shared repertoire. The most recent Live Tunes material can be found on the Block 6 Live Teaching web page.

As there are a lot of tunes in our Live Tunes repertoire now, nearer the time we will provide a shortlist of a few tunes that we will definitely play. Please check back in the week before the event.


Daytime refreshments are included in the Saturday workshop, and on Sunday morning at coffee time. If you would like a bar drink with your dinner or during the sessions there is a small honesty bar (bottles only), which you can settle up for directly with Shepherds Dene (cash or card) before you leave. We can only take water into the Chapel, where we will be holding the daytime sessions, but there will be breaks for coffee and tea, and you can take your drinks into the lounge or the Terrace Room. In the evening, we will use the open lounge space for our informal concert and session where drinks can be brought in from the bar.

Warm layers

Shepherds Dene is an old building and certain rooms might feel chilly at times if the weather is cold, especially if sitting for longer periods of time. Please bring extra layers to wear to keep you warm!


We are delighted to announce that there will be a short evening concert by the wonderful Bottle Bank Band to inspire and delight you! This will begin around 7.30 pm and will be followed by an evening session. If you haven’t already, do check out the Bottle Bank Band web page and Facebook page – you can order their CD in advance to collect at the event, or purchase one at the concert – highly recommended listening!

Weekend Timetable

Printable version (pdf)


17:00Arrive & tunes!
18:00 – 19:00Dinner
19:30 – 23:00Session


08:30Breakfast for residential guests
09:30Arrive and set up
09:45Physical warm-up
10:00 – 17:00Saturday Workshop for Block 6
18:00 – 19:00Dinner
19:30 – 20:00Informal Concert with Bottle Bank Band
20:00 – 23:00Session


08:30Breakfast for residential guests
09:30Physical warm-up
09:45 – 11:00Workshop with Stewart
11:00 – 11:30Coffee
11:30Depart Shepherds Dene