First started in 1996 and referred to
as Shapenote Conventions, the first three years were two
book singings, aimed at attracting all those who had been
taught by Larry Gordon and brought up on Northern Harmony.
An introductory day was organised in 1995 at the
earliest of the Finstock
singings, led by
Robin Fox and Mary
O’Reilly, both of Minnesota.
For the first two
years the Annual convention was held in Woodside Hall, Hitchin, Herts., before moving on to Beeston Youth Community
Centre, nr. Nottingham for three years; Cumnor Old School
and Cumnor Village Hall, nr. Oxford for two years and one
year respectively; the Letchworth Methodist Church
Hall, Herts., for two years; Henry Box School, Witney,
Oxfordshire, for two years; and the Mechanics Institute,
Marsden, West Yorkshire for the last two years of its then
fourteen year history. Subsequent years have seen an annual
move of the convention location to venues in
Northamptonshire, South Yorkshire, Berkshire, Durham
City, Central London, Bristol and Brighton.
Guest Leaders from the
States have included Richard deLong, Ginnie Ely, Robin Fox,
David Lee, Bruce Randall, Shelbie Sheppard, and Matt Wojcik.