about Hylda

Hylda SimsHylda Sims

“There’s … no line between poetry and people, poetry and politics, poetry and song, for Hylda. She makes us want to rhyme, to sing, to laugh and weep. She makes us remember ‘who we are, how we were …’ ” – Mimi Khalvati


ever since
Ivor Cutler bought her a guitar when she was a teenager, Hylda has been singing and performing – around the coffee bars of 50’s Soho, with the City Ramblers Skiffle Group in Soho’s Skiffle Cellar, on TV and radio and even in Moscow  (see picture below!)City Ramblers 1958and solo round the folk clubs and as resident ‘Elizabethan minstrel’ in the Elizabethan Rooms, Kensington

she has also
taught English as a Foreign Language in London and Spain
taught table tennis to London kids
founded and lived in a community on the South Yorkshire Moors
received a BA and an Msc in Russian studies from Hull University and the LSE

published three novels  and two poetry collections

she gigs with the City Ramblers Revival (website coming soon), reads and sings her own material at poetry events and elsewhere and hosts a monthly poetry event, Fourth Friday, at  Bar 48, 48 Brixton Road, London SW9 6BT, London, a few minutes walk from Oval underground www.bar48londoncom

she has
2 daughters, 4 grandchildren and 1 great-grandson

she lives
in South East London

she was
educated at AS Neill’s truly ‘free’ school, Summmerhill

she is
the love child of itinerant, communist, market traders


5 thoughts on “about Hylda

  1. Nicolas

    last night I read your account of being at Summerhill during the 1940´s, and, I have to say I loved these few pages so much. Even after having read different things about Summerhill, your piece was something new that really reached my heart and, put me in that dreamy happy moods.
    I suppose I wish I had been there, or maybe rather I wish I will be somewhere like that
    Thanks for writing that.


    1. fourthfriday

      Hi Nicolas
      Not sure where you found that – maybe in David Gribble’s book. Glad you enjoyed it. I have a novel about Summerhill called Inspecting the Island – you might enjoy that.
      All the best


  2. Nicolas

    Yes I found it in David Gribble’s book, which I found in a Sudbury school in Belgium. I’ll sure get your novel when I get home, if I can actually get it shipped to Spain, this is exciting!
    Thanks for your answer, All the best to you too


    1. Nicolas

      Hi Hylda!!
      Thanks for your answer and help, I really appreciate.
      I got back to Spain a few weeks ago and havn’t taken the time to search for Inspecting the Island yet.
      I have a feeling this is going to be just the read I need now.
      I’ll send you my adress by email.



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