Janet was born in Keighley in 1945. She lived for nearly thirty years at Oakworth, approximately one mile from Haworth, the village that was home to the Brontes. As a child, her love of music and poetry was influenced by her father, who would sing and read to her every day.
In her mid twenties Janet learned to play the guitar. She performed on the local folk scene, at festivals and at a variety of venues, at home and abroad, balancing these commitments with her job as a full time teacher.
Janet also sang with the Yorkshire Folk Company and at concerts with a number of popular groups, most notably the Crofters. She won the Dales National Folk Music Awards (for best female) twice in succession, and appearances on TV and radio soon followed.