Andy Long Bass Player

Four/Five/Six Strings & The Truth


June 2014

A Visit To Stourhead



We spent the day visiting the National Trust property at Stourhead in Wiltshire. It’s a large estate that dates back to the 13th Century, but in 1717 it was sold to Henry Hoare and it remained the property of the Hoare family until it was given to the National Trust in 1946.  The current manor house was built by the Hoare family and filled with treasures from around the world.

Sadly the house was almost destroyed by a fire in 1902, but the staff managed to save almost all of the artwork and other treasures from the ground floor and the house was rebuilt to its former glory. The house itself is well worth a visit, although we were limited to a ground floor tour. There is a striking collection of artwork and furnishings to take in. You can follow Harry Hoare’s story around the estate and find out about his service and death during the First World War.

Aside from the house there is a stunning walled garden and a large lake. Visitors can walk all the way around the lake, taking in Greek themed buildings and more beautiful gardens en route. On the day we went the lake was looking a bit sad as its surface level has been lowered whilst some restoration and repair work is undertaken. But the walk around the lake is breathtaking and holds some surprises.

About two miles away from the main estate you will find Alfred’s Tower, a folly tower built in 1772 by Henry Hoare II, named for King Alfred the Great. You can climb to the top of the tower and get some great views. Well that’s what we were told at least, we were a bit too whacked to make the climb by the end of the day.

Here’s a few photos from the day, click through the slideshow to read the captions.

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Christian Aid Week 2014

calogoEvery year at the little church I go to here in Newport we take part in Christian Aid Week. About eight years ago I took on the role of co-ordinating and managing the week and every year I am stunned by the passion and enthusiasm which people show for the work that Christian Aid does around the world.

Christian Aid is our favourite charity.  If you are not familiar with their work here’s an excellent page that breaks down their core values and aims. 

We are happy to be one of the 20,000 churches around the UK and Ireland that helped to raise around £12-13 million each year, a vital chunk of Christian Aid’s budget which goes directly towards development, relief, sanitation, water supply and many other vital worldwide projects.

We’re just a small church and I’m not writing this to be in any way boastful about what we did, but I want to say a personal thanks to those who organised the events or raised funds this year, so:


Thanks Peter, for organising a concert with your music students.resized_jesus-says-meme-generator-jesus-says-you-rock-1d9c29

Thanks Nick for growing and selling plants from seed.

Thanks James for helping me to organise the quiz.

Thanks Debbie for the gorgeous cakes.

Thanks Anne, for organising the little ones to do a sponsored toddle (genius!) and a sponsored silence (miraculous!)

Thanks Carol for holding a raffle at your pub

Thanks knitters, for knitting and selling blankets

Thanks everyone for your generous gifts.

This year, 2014, we have managed to raise almost £1200.

Well done St Julians Baptist Church, you make me proud, even if you drive me bonkers for most of the rest of the year!


Tim Crahart Blues Band

Tim has updated the band page with a couple more pics from our new studio project


Tim Crahart Blues Band – Home Page.

Studio progress and a few pics

Another very productive and tiring day at Red Rock Studios. Today we finished off all the bass tracks and got all the guitar parts down too, plus a couple of sneaky bits of piano.  Just the vocal tracks and a bit of tidying up to do before the album can go to mix. We don’t really go in for mucking about too much.

This album is going to bring together a real mix of styles, from solo acoustic tracks through classic blues and a few real blistering rockers too! We can’t wait to get it out there. 

One of the tracks is a bit of a mashup that we’ve been playing live recently.  We took the riff from “Steppin Out'” (Bluesbreakers/Memphis Slim) and threw in the lyrics of the traditional blues song “Great Change Since I Been Born”. It’s a fast and chunky rocker and Tim has put a real face melter of a solo on there.

Here’s a few blurry pics from the weekend. Watch this space for more details soon.

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