Meet the Band


Co-founder of the Hayriders Ceilidh Band, Joe started playing the guitar age 9. Over the years he has been a member of many different bands playing with local rock, jazz and folk groups. He joined the Hayriders in the early days playing both guitar and  bass. More recently he has started playing the harp and sings Irish and Scottish folk songs with the band.


Caroline originally trained as a classical musician and has now found her true home in folk music! She plays various pipes – border, Northumbrian and Irish, whistles including Low Whistle and keyboard. She arranges all the music for the band and enjoys composing . The band now include some of her tunes in their repertoire.

Ean – Our Main Man!


Ean is the caller for the Hayriders and without him there’d be no ceilidh! He has had a keen interest in folk music since his young days at university when he was even known to dabble in some Morris dancing. (We think it was only for the beer!) He delights audiences with his repartee and enthusiasm and has even been known to sing some of his favourite folk songs.


John began playing the guitar in the late fifties with a leaning towards modern jazz. After many lapses he has resumed playing rhythm guitar and also enjoys playing the G banjo and ukulele.


Ben has been involved in the local music scene since he moved to Hull in the late 90’s, enjoying a fairly classical background with, whenever possible, excursions into popular music.  Though he has always had a passion for folk music, the opportunity to get involved had never presented itself until he became a guest of the Hayriders.

Amongst other things, Ben read for a Physics degree at the University of Hull, and enjoyed working for the Hull Music Support Service. He now teaches music tech at Wyke Sixth Form College and somehow also finds every opportunity to indulge his keen interest in composition, having accepted a number of commissions over the years.  In 2005 he won the BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composers Competition and, more recently, received a commission to write and perform the music for ‘Grimm’s Lost Children’, an original production by Hull Truck’s head of education Mark Rees.

He currently plays the accordion for the band, is a capable woodwind player and has even been seen, in his more lucid moments, to pick up a bass guitar, though is the first to admit that the keyboard is his ‘home’ instrument.


DSCN0034 (2)

Eddy plays the rhythm guitar in the band. Edward started his musical career playing the trumpet with the City of Hull Youth Orchestra and the City of Hull Wind Band and the Cornet with the Hull Jazz Band. After completing a degree in physics at Hull University  – yes the same as Ben!- he has now found a new venture in folk music and is thoroughly enjoying the journey. He also plays cornet with the East Riding of Yorkshire Band and trumpet with The Hessle Swing and Dance Band

Guest Musicians


Rosie is our newest recruit to the band playing penny whistle. She also plays both Trumpet and Cornet and is currently a member of the East Riding of Yorkshire Brass Band.


Beckie is our newest fiddle player. She has played the violin for many years and was a member of the City of Hull Youth Orchestra. She has now found her true home in folk music and also enjoys singing folk songs.


A former member of the band Ray still joins us occasionally on our gigs. Ray is probably the best accordion player around and stuns audiences with his virtuosity.


Young Lesley is a newcomer to the Hayriders and plays fiddle – occasionally singing!

A classically trained violinist from the age of seven, she discovered ‘folk-fiddle’ whilst at University in 2003, and now embraces her own style of playing.

Lesley is a professional musician who likes to work hard and party hard, and is a full-time member of Birmingham-based pop/folk originals band The Musgraves.

Not forgetting :

Geoff – retired from the band December 2016

A founder member of the band Geoff began playing the guitar in the late 1950’s, playing in local skiffle, rock and trad jazz bands in the north east of England. He stopped playing in 1964 – got married, and started again in 1970 playing with Jock at the Walkington Hayride, garden parties, Burn’s suppers and nursing homes over the years. He is the rhythm guitarist.

Jock – our founder (1936-2012)

Co-founder of the Hayriders Ceilidh Band, he was a half Irish/Scot from the mining area of Midlothian in Scotland. Jock sadly passed away in March 2012.

Known to play various pipes whistles and the accordion. He liked to sing Scottish and Irish folk songs but only when the other band members let him.

He also played with the Cambridge Crofters and played at about 13 Cambridge Folk Festivals.  The Crofters were the most booked band at the festival.

He had a solid grounding in his main instrument the Highland Pipes starting at the tender age of 7.

Jock also played the Northumbrian Pipes and was a tutor for the Joe Hutton course held annually in Rothbury, He also composed new tunes,  some  of which are now among the Hayriders repertoire and others are part of the Northumberland traditional music scene.

He made it a big part of his life encouraging others to play various folk instruments. His wife accused him of being obsessed with folk music and with the Hayriders Ceilidh Band!