Caught Riding A Bicycle.....
The Alchemist Of Electric Morris
Fairport Convention
Steeleye Span
No Roses
Battle of the Field
The Compleat Dancing Master
The Etchingham Steam Band
Morris On
The Prospect Before Us
Live At The BBC: 1977/1982
Rattlebone and Ploughjack
Kickin' Up The Sawdust
Rise Up Like The Sun
Lark Rise To Candleford
Light Shining
Shuffle Off !
Under The Rose
A Christmas Present From The Albion Band
Stella Maris
The Wild Side Of Town
Live At The Cambridge Folk Festival
I Got New Shoes
An Hour with Cecil Sharp & Ashley Hutchings
Give Me a Saddle, I'll Trade You a Car
Sway With Me
Before Us Stands Yesterday
Christmas Album
Along The Downs
Street Cries
The BBC Sessions
An Evening With The Albion Band
Human Nature
As I Cycled Out On A May Morning
Visions of The Daughters of Albion
The Albion Band: The Final Round Up
Some Colours Fly
The Knitting Song and About Dawn
Rainbow Chasers Alive and Well
A Brilliant Light
The Albion Christmas Band
Albion Links

The Ridgeway

Songs Of The Southern English Landscape

Ridgeriders: soundtrack[click for larger image]

We had seen a number of references to Ridgeriders, scattered across a number of websites, but could find out nothing about the programme..."that'll teach you to look harder"...Oh hush!...anyway, at long last we found out all about the programme and subject matter. What a joy....history and travel........
Ancient history, it's woven into the very fabric, that is Britain. This particular pattern has been looked at, far more, from a mythological stand-point, now, I think it is perhaps time to look at it from it's historical stand-point. The peoples that followed the ancient ridgeways, existed, they lived and breathed, the same way as we do, now. They were not gods or goddesses....they were human.
Let's follow them and see where and how they travelled, visit the places they visited, and lived; for our soundtrack.....? Well, you'll see......
Below, is the subject and episode synopsis of the British TV series, Ridgeriders, that has been playing for the past five years, and gives you a very good idea about what the programme was all about. If you are a history buff, or a motor cycle buff, this page is for you. Alas the series is no longer being made, the Albion Band and The Ridgeriders Band are no more, but the memories live on in our hearts and minds, and as long as we have these things, so shall they and the landscape of Southern England be eternal.

On Meridian on Thursdays at 7.30pm from 7 June 2001

Nick Knowles takes to the saddle once again for a new four-part series of
RIDGERIDERS, which follows the ancient trackways of the South of England.

Furnished with classic motorcycles, Nick and two guest travelling companions explore thousands of years of history to unlock the secrets of our ancestors. They travel on some of the oldest roads in the world - the great ridgeways that have criss-crossed
Britain since the Stone Age, many of which they have had special permission to use.
En route, the explorers discover treasures such as Roman, Bronze Age and Iron Age relics. They also meet the people who can explain their significance.
In the first programme of this seventh series, Nick is joined by Penny Mallory from Channel 4's Driven, and Radio 1 DJ Kevin Greening. Together they ride the Eastern Ridgeway of the Isle of Wight.
Their journey begins at Priory Bay, where they see evidence that Stone Age hunters were in the area around 100,000 years ago, before the Island or even Britain existed. From there they visit St Helen's tower, all that remains of the Norman church, before wending their way up onto the Downs and the 19th century Bembridge Fort, built to withstand a French invasion that never happened.
Passing the Bronze Age burial grounds on Culver Down, Nick, Penny and Kevin head for Brading Roman Villa, where museum manager Neville Carr tells them of a gruesome discovery down an old well, and shows them some unusual Roman artefacts.
"I love this Roman stuff, I can't get enough of it," says Penny Mallory. "I would love to be transported back in time and be here when it was first built and see what life was like."
Kevin adds: "I hated history at school. Why couldn't my teachers have been more like Neville........School should be for adults I think. They should make kids work and when they get older they go to school and learn the real stuff."
On Brading Down they meet Vicky and Frank Basford, who love the Island for its history and its archaeology.
"We like to think the Island is a special place......it's part of the Wessex region," says Vicky. "We don't have some of the really rich goodies of the area around Salisbury, but it's the same kind of culture and the same kind of landscape."
The last leg of the RIDGERIDERS journey takes them through a landscape that 10 million years previously would have been covered by a forest of tree ferns, and good dinosaur country.
The dilapidated stately pile of Appuldurcombe House is this week's journey's end. Nick
relates the history of the house, including the scandal of the lord of the manor, his wife and her 27 lovers!

RIDGERIDERS is produced by Peter Hayton and directed by Mike Fuller, a Topical
Television production for Meridian.

Other programmes in the series were as follows:

Programme Two: on Meridian on Thursday 14 June at 7.30pm.
Nick Knowles is joined by comedienne Jasmine Birtles and Home and Away actor Michael Piccarilli on the old royal hunting preserve of Cranborne Chase. Their route
takes them from the village of Chettle to Eastbury House at Tarrant Gunville, and then on the turnpike to an ancient feat of engineering - the Dorset Cursus. Then they ride the prehistoric ridgeway to the 18th century folly Horton Tower, cross the River Allen on the
county bridge at Witchampton before heading straight down a Roman road to finish the day at the Iron Age hill fort of Badbury Rings.

Programme Three: on Meridian on Thursday 21 June at 7.30pm.

In search of the lost royal road from Winchester to Salisbury, Nick Knowles is joined by TV presenter and superbiker Suzi Perry, and daredevil Bear Grylls, the youngest Briton to climb Everest. Their route takes them to the horse monument at Farley Mount, the
remains of the Norman Ashley Castle, the railway station with a Roman platform at
Horsebridge, and to their final destination of the mediaeval Clarendon Palace.

Programme Four: on Meridian on Thursday 28 June at 7.30pm
Guest bikers Claire Ritchie, who manages a top motorcycle racing team, and business guru Geoff Burch, join Nick Knowles to follow the tracks of the mediaeval drovers who herded cattle out of Wales and the West Country through Winchester and to
Portsmouth. The RIDGERIDERS pass through Milbury, Warnford, via Old Winchester Hill Fort to Butser Hill, Hambledon and to Portsmouth.

Route of The Ridgeway [click for larger image]

The Ridgeway runs from Avebury in Wiltshire to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. The trail follows part of an ancient track established by prehistoric man that stretched across the country from Dorset to Norfolk. It passes through two distinct landscapes.

The western half of the trail, from Avebury to Goring, follows a broad track along the North Wessex Downs, with far-reaching views over rolling open downland to the south and the wide expanse of the Thames Valley to the north.

The eastern half, from Goring to Ivinghoe Beacon, begins by following the banks of the River Thames before heading into the Chiltern Hills, through a landscape of beech woodlands and fertile farmland dotted with attractive villages and towns. The Ridgeway has a long and rich history. Stone Age man left the long barrows at West Kennet, Waylands Smithy, and Whiteleaf Hill as well as the extraordinary stone circle at Avebury and Silbury Hill, the largest man-made mound in Europe. Bronze Age people left the round barrows that litter the route and the Uffington White Horse, one of the most famous hill figures in the country. Grims Ditch and vast hill forts including Barbury, Liddington, Uffington, Segsbuy, Pulpit Hill and Ivinghoe Beacon were built during the Iron Age. In the Dark Ages The Ridgeway was the main route for the Saxons and Vikings during their advances into Wessex. From medieval times until about 200 years ago, it was drovers moving livestock, rather than armies, who used The Ridgeway.

The White Horse at Uffington
The White Horse at Uffington


Songs of the
Southern English Landscape
from the Television Series

HTD Records HTD CD 103 (CD, UK, 1999)

Phil Beer, vocals, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, mandocello, fiddle, mandolin;
Chris While, vocals, acoustic guitar;
Ashley Hutchings, vocals, acoustic bass, electric bass

Joe Broughton, fiddle, mandolin;
Neil Marshall, drums, percussion;
Julie Matthews, keyboards, backing vocals;
Ken Nicol, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, backing vocals;
Simon Nicol, acoustic guitar on Close Your Eyes

Recorded at Tone Deaf Studios, Preston, and at Central Studios, Southport, in 1999.
Close Your Eyes recorded at Courtyard Studios in 1995 and previously released on Albion Heart
Engineered by Ken Nicol,
except for tracks 1, 3, 10 & 12, engineered and mixed by Julie Matthews
Executive producer: Ashley Hutchings
Mastered by Andy Seward
Photography by Jeff Wright
and please visit our Ridgeriders website which you can get to here or via the album cover just above this text.

Home Microphone

Ridgeriders Live

The Ridgeriders Band

The Ridgeriders Band also includes Julie Matthews

The Ridgeriders Band


Shapes Of The Landscape

The Work Of The Devil

Along The Downs

The Drover's Song

Turnpike Reel

Close Your Eyes

Low Southern Slopes

What Celia Sees

Never Without a Thief Or Twain

Along The Pilgrim's Way

Michael Morey's Hump

Mossing We'll Go

Up On The Ridgeway

Smugglers Road

Betteshanger Treasure

Dorset Cursus

The Journey

















































The National Trust

 the ashley hutchings website
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all rights reserved