MARCH - 2020

Newsletter No 565  10 March 2020

With no fear of the corona virus PETE sang of the HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN which for PAUL McD meant a HAZARD while ALLEN reckoned IT ALL SEEMS SUCH A LONG TIME AGO. In a different direction ED was THE PILGRIM (Kris Kristofferson) while HEATHER gave us all AMNESIA (les Barker) before together DON & HEATHER explored the concept of mother’s love in SONNY. Then traditionally MARK sang of THE LAST PIT IN THE RHONDDA as KAMRAN went through FIRE AND RAIN before PAUL RILEY had us appeal to JOHN THE REVELATOR. Next HILARY came up with an hilarious version of ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT followed by some ONE=LINERS before STEVE brought us up to date with TODAY to end the round. Rising to the challenge of "Ireland until eternity" ALLEN sang ERIN GO BRAGH and PAUL McD observed SO SAD TO WATCH GOOD LOVE GO BAD before ED treated us to BOB DYLAN’S DREAM and PETE sang his WHOLE LIFE THROUGH. Then for MARK it was a trip to FIDDLER’S GREEN followed by DON & HEATHER & PAUL with the message not to was your hands in MUDDY WATER which made HILARY laugh with more ONE-LINERS. Heading for the break PAUL R introduced BLACK-EYED SUZIE and STEVE presented PETER VON GHERKIN which left KAMRAN to comment on the virus crisis with THE SWOLLEN SINUS (Woodstock Taylor).
The interval Raffle saw the Box of tea won by Heather, the Bottle of Red Wine won by Otto and the Body Butter won by Steve before KAMRAN formed us into a circle and kicked off a sing around with TAKE ME HOME COUNTRY ROADS followed by HILARY with more ONE-LINERS before MARK got us back on track with IT TAKES A WORRIED MAN and STEVE swore ME AND THE ELEPHANTS we’ll never forget you. For ALLEN a POUND A WEEK RISE was definitely inadequate followed by DON & HEATHER with a GYPSY WOMAN and PAUL hearing the K C MOAN and ED chasing THE BLACK LEG MINER. With a final round PETE went off to KANSAS CITY and KAMRAN celebrated the BROWN EYED GIRL before MARK took off on the SLOOP JOHN B and STEVE drank to ABSENT FRIENDS. Coming to a climax ALLEN sang the GOLD WATCH BLUES whereas DON & HEATHER exclaimed ROLL ON THE DAY (Allan Taylor), PAUL R had us SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD before ED brought us to a close with BLOODY ORKNEY which brought the riposte: 
Captain Hamish 'Bloody' Blair

Isnae posted here nae mair
But no-one seems tae bloody care
In bloody Orkney.

A superb night.

Newsletter No 564  3 March 2020 

KATH & STAN greeted a steadily bourgeoning crowd by taking them on the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND followed by a CHEROKEE SHUFFLE. Next PAUL RILEY offered ONE MAN’S HAND and PETE gave us THE BEST IN ME and ANDY claimed WALTZING’S FOR DREAMERS. Then urgently on behalf of the polar bear HEATHER asked us HAVE YOU ANY NEWS OF THE ICEBERG (Les Barker) and then DON & HEATHER took off to the ROSEVILLE FAIR before PAUL McD admitted NO-ONE CAN MAKE MY SUNSHINE SMILE. Luckily HILARY was on hand with a bunch of her ONE-LINERS to lighten the mood before SIMON confessed I AIN’T GOT NO HOME IN THIS WORLD ANY MORE and IAN sang it’s THE WAY WE WERE. Next ED was a tease with GEORGINA BAILEY and KATH & STAN played us 2 tunes on fiddle and whistle, PRINCESS ROYAL & PRINCE WILLIAM, followed by PAUL R said he didn’t like PEOPLE PUTTING PEOPLE DOWN (John Prine). Still in heavy mode PETE sang HURT and ANDY introduced ALISON which left DON & HEATHER completely PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE. On a different level PAUL McD said you’re ALWAYS ON MY MIND and JAMES invited us to WALK RIGHT BACK or go sailing with SIMON who replied IF I HAD A BOAT. In fine form IAN again solo-ed with FIELDS OF GOLD before ED confessed I GOT STONED and I missed it, along with Dr Hook.
In the bumper interval Raffle the Red Wine was won by Barry, the Box of Tea was won by Margaret, the Jewellery won by Andy and the Toiletries taken home by Ian before KATH & STAN set out as a HEDGER & DITCHER leaving PAUL R with nothing but HARD TRAVELLING. Certainly PETE had NO REGRETS (WE ONLY CRY AGAIN) and for ANDY he thought that LOVE IS A LASER GUEST all of which left DON & HEATHER unable to see the wood for the trees as they were KNEE DEEP IN A RIVER and dying of thirst. No wonder PAUL McD that with WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD THIS WOULD BE and HILARY reached for more hilarious ONE-LINERS as JAMES caught out IN THE EARLY MORNING RAIN. With the answer to a difficult question SIMON & JAMES responded HOW CAN YOU KEEP ON MOVING and not migrate whereas IAN had GEORGIA on his mind and ED had the BRONCHIO-DILATOR BLUES. This left KATH & STAN with 2 more tunes, BRIGHTON CAMP & SOLDIERS JOY, before they had PAUL R off GOING DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD which left DON & HEATHER to close the show with a GYPSY WOMAN followed by an invitation to lay down the borrowed guitar at the end of a superb evening and sing ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD.

FEBRUARY - 2020

Newsletter No 563 25 February 2020

A gradely turnout was welcomed by host MARK & JAN who immediately looked at BOTH SIDES NOW as PAUL RILEY took off on the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL and KATH & STAN sauntered down the GOODNIGHT LOVIN’ TRAIL. More harshly ALLEN took us back to WWll his ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE before JOHN REED reminded us his PEACE was the objective. Bringing us back to earth JANET made her own welcome return with MORLEY MAIN followed by CARL with THANKS FOR THE DAY and PETER BRIDGE with Woody Guthrie’s GREAT GRAND COOLEY DAM. Luckily we had HILARY on hand with SOME OF TIM VINES JOKES and HEATHER with Les Barker’s DEJA VU to lighten the mood before DON & HEATHER took us ACROSS THE BORDERLINE. With one of his own PETE ROBERTS celebrated a SUNSET, SAY GOODNIGHT and PAUL McD sang I HOPE YOU HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE before PETE MINERS with PARTNER JOKES. Then MARK & JAN regained everyone’s attention with HUSH about the Scottish Clearances while KATH & STAN reminded of a big issue nearer to us with WATERBOUND and CARL reminded us of the role of the miners with BLACK DIAMONDS. On a lighter note PETER BRIDGE asked WON’T YOU COME DOWN TO YARMOUTH TOWN before a trilogy of Singer Songwriters ALLEN sang his own IT ALL SEEMS SUCH A LONG TIME AGO and JOHN REED sang his MONTEVIDEO and DON & HEATHER sang their SOUTH AUSTRALIA.
During the break the interval Raffle saw Lin win a bottle of red wine, Margaret win a box of Biscuits, Kate win the ready-made Pancakes, Carl win the Easter Egg and Hilary win the Hand Wash before PETE ROBERTS admitted he had TAKEN THE LAST TRAIN AND GONE while more immediately JANET related the personal experience of A FARMER’S PLIGHT about a Foot and Mouth outbreak. Again PETE MINERS amused us with MORE PARTNER JOKES before PAUL McD tried to hold on TILL I GAIN CONTROL AGAIN and PAUL RILEY gave us HAUL AWAY by Mark Knoppler before we ran into a songfest. First JAN sang the VERDANT sang BRAES OF SCREEN, ALLEN declared I’M GOING TO FOLLOW THE SUN and JOHN REED swore SOME DAY WE’LL RETURN HERE. Next PETER BRIDGE admitted THE PARTY’S OVER and KATH & STAN greeted the BANJO PICKING GIRL with I’LL FLY AWAY before JANET’s HOUSEWIFE’S LAMENT. Then MARK told us DON’T THINK TWICE before PETE ROBERTS sang the GOING HOME BLUES and PAUL McD gave us a nice version of the Beatles’ GIRL. Headed to a big finish PAUL RILEY led the SLOOP JOHN B and CARL wished a HEALTH TO THE COMPANY before DON & HEATHER took us to the RED ROSE CAFE which left MARK & JAN to send us home to the sound of a SQUEEZEBOX. A top night!

Newsletter No 562 18 February 2020

A super friendly group shipped up to Sale Folk Club last night and despite Hurricane Harry and Rainy Ruth or whatever a great night was kicked off by PAUL McD with YOU ARE NOT ALONE followed by MARK who went down to SAMMY’S BAR followed by ALLEN who sang his own NEARLY SONNET 18 (Shakespeare). Then HELEN went for LOVE AT THE FIVE AND DIME before PETE ROBERTS gave us Michael Chapman’s take on it in RABBIT HILLS. Next HEATHER gave us a humorous view of how life can be unfair with SPOT OF THE ANTARTIC (Les Barker) followed by DON & HEATHER and their DANCES FOR DOLLARS and by ANDY with the introspective THESE DAYS by Jackson Browne. Thankfully HILARY got us smiling again with some of her ONE-LINERS and PAUL RILEY had us all singing with BIRMINGHAM. Next MARK showed us how his finger is recovering by playing ALBATROSS before leaving ALLEN to sing his own WHAT’S IT TO YOU and PETE to sing his own STORM RISING to which HELEN summed up our feelings with IT SUITS ME WELL. Coming up to the break DON & HEATHER described their feelings at the DIMMING OF THE DAY before ANDY touched on PERSUASION and PAUL R sang the evergreen CARELESS LOVE.

In the interval the raffle king Andy returned to take the Big Tin of Chocolates, and immediately shared them round, Helen won the Red Wine; Jackie won the Bunch of Roses leaving Lin to take home the CD. PAUL McD then started the second half with GARDEN PARTY by old favourite Ricky Nelson. This prompted a few more ONE-LINERS from HILARY and made MARK think of the DIRTY OLD TOWN down the road and sent ALLEN all WILD EYED. In sympathy HELEN suggested PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES and PETE suggested we go DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL whereas DON & HEATHER headed down south with WAGON WHEEL. Unusually ANDY sang I HOPE I DON’T FALL IN LOVE YOU but more forthright PAUL had STAGGER LEE shoot Billy leaving PAUL McD to take THE WEIGHT. As far as MARK was concerned there was A BAD MOON RISING and someone was going to pay in McPHERSON’S RANT from ALLEN leaving HELEN to observe that the BLUES RUN THE GAME. Coming to a climax DON & HEATHER just wanted to STEAL AWAY and ANDY had the EMPTY POCKET BLUES before PAUL R announced that when God tells you YOU GOTTA MOVE. An action packed night.

Newsletter No 561 11 February 2020

The windy weather did us a favour and blew a good number of the hardy annuals with PAUL inviting them all to COME ON UP TO THE HOUSE and HEATHER introducing them to COSMO THE FAIRLY ACCURATE KNIFE THROWER (Les Barker). Being so close to Valentine’s Day DON & HEATHER sang their own love song I WOULDN’T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY before HILARY turned romance completely on its head with her excellent ONE-LINERS and finally PETE ROBERTS sang Dylan’s classic song of unrequited love, BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER. Next PETE MINERS gave us some thought provoking WORD PLAY before ED told the tragic story of the good ship ROYAL CHARTER and KATH & STAN cheered us with the NEW YORK GIRLS. To end the round TONY, on only his second visit, told us of his ambition to walk the Pennine Way singing songs with his concertina and then he gave us a sample with WHERE RAVENS FEED. Continuing the Valentine’s theme PAUL was WILD ABOUT MY LOVING and HEATHER explained why DACHSHUNDS can’t climb stairs before migrating with DON to SOUTH AUSTRALIA. Then back came HILARY with more hilarious ONE-LINERS about marriage that had PETE ROBERTS pleading we should TAKE IT EASY. This led to ED turning to a comic song, THE HERMIT, and TONY giving us another WALKING SONG. The final round was started by PETE MINERS with more TWISTED WORD PLAY with KATH & STAN finding themselves WATERBOUND like many in the north having the reality. PAUL then gave us SPENCER THE ROVER specially for Tony and PETE ROBERTS remembered WOODSTOCK before DON & HEATHER responded to Hilary’s request for GALWAY SHAWL. Reaching a climax ED had us GOING UP TO LONDON and TONY instructed DANCE, DANCE before ED, DON, HEATHER & PAUL announced that ALL THE GOOD TIMES were o’er but they had been great!

Newsletter No 560 4 February 2020 

HEATHER & DON’S joint birthday bash brought in a decent crowd as GRASSROOTS appropriately sang STRONGER before they were quickly joined by the celebrants with FAREWELL TO THE GOLD. Then EDDIE remembered a sad event with EVERY DAY for Buddy Holly followed by PAUL RILEY at the BELFAST MILL and KATH & STAN on the road to OWENSBORO. Next PETE turned up with his FRIENDS as ALLEN confessed MY LOVE’S IN GERMANY and ED told us AL BOWLY’S IN TOWN but he was in limbo now. CLAIRE was then frozen by JACK FROST but things warmed up with MIKE’S sweet BONNIE SUSIE CLELAND and over-heated with HILARY’S hilarious ONE-LINERS. No wonder PETER BRIDGE went for a TEQUILA SUNSET before GRASSROOTS with Mick’s song, ELIZABETH IS SINGING, remembered his experience of Soweto. KATH & STAN next played two tunes THREE AROUND THREE and COME TO THE CEILIDH before Simon & James transformed into RACING DEMON for GREENVILLE to which EDDIE responded THAT’LL BE THE DAY. Rising in a crescendo JAMES pronounced I’M INTO SOMETHING GOOD which saw PETE back in ST JAMES’ INFIRMARY and ED encountering DISASTER.
In the Interval there was a super Chips and Butties Buffet and Bumper Raffle in which Peter Bridge won the Wine, Ken won the Chocolates and Barry won the Ladies’ Scarf and immediately gave it to Janice. The second half was started by PETER BRIDGE who asked, CORRINA WHAT MAKES YOU TREAT ME SO before PAUL R sang his own YOU MEAN MORE THAN ANYTHING TO ME before CLAIRE played the tune, PARTING OF FRIENDS. With his own song ALLEN sang IT’S A SHAME which left MIKE was gazing at LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS (Beatles). On the other hand HEATHER was struggling with Les Barker’s BOOMERANG and remembering a trip to New Zealand DON & HEATHER celebrated the LITTLE POT STOVE on the whaling ships before RACING DEMON raised the tempo with YOUR CHEATING HEART. Next JAMES was sad with FOR NO ONE by the Beatles before finally sending us home happy with HILARY’S ad lib ONE-LINERS and GRASSROOTS finished the night on a high with HE THINKS HE’LL KEEP HER by Mary Chapin Carpenter. First class!

JANUARY - 2020

Newsletter No 559 28 January 2020

Before a fairly packed crowd PETE kicked off with Dylan’s SHE BELONGS TO ME before introducing our guest SETANTA from Bradford took us down the ROCKY ROAD TO DUBLIN followed by the gentler ALL THE WAYS YOU WANDER leaving PAUL RILEY to appropriately sing ROVE RILEY ROVE. With another from the alternative shelf ANDY sang STARTER HOME by Doug Paisley before PAUL McD set off on a RUNAWAY TRAIN leaving the CROWTHER CREW with RED IS THE ROSE and CHILD OF MERSEYSIDE. With one of his major works EDDIE played O’CAROLAN’S DRAFT and then ALLEN gave us SALLY FREE AND EASY and HELEN followed with BLACK IS THE COLOUR before ARTHUR tore up the rule book with his STORY OF THE NHS. Next IAN was instrumentally HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE whereas ED turned to Keith Marsden for his CITY LAMENT which nicely set up SETANTA for BURNING TIMES and I WISH I WAS BACK HOME IN DERRY. Coming to the break HEATHER told us the sad story of REG, THE LONELY GLOW WORM before together DON & HEATHER kept it Irish with the RARE OULD TIMES.
In the interval raffle Allen took the red wine, Pete won the Box of Tea, Andy won the Box of Chocolates, the Crowther Crew won the Handwash and Ann took the Guitar Calendar before PETE took to the floor again with BLUE MOON. On the other hand ARTHUR felt the WARM WIND OF CONNEMARA and IAN played Dylan’s TO MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE and ANDY asked us to TALK TO ME OF MENDOCINO. Swiftly PAUL McD replied WELL, ALRIGHT before ALLEN was back to business with A POUND A WEEK RISE and HELEN was at the BARRACADES OF HEAVEN (Jackson Brown) but ERIC was happy with THREE NIGHTS AND A SUNDAY DOUBLE TIME. With a sudden outburst EDDIE then declared MY LOVE IS LIKE A RED, RED ROSE and LOTTIE suggested A PARTING GLASS. PAUL RILEY then raised a cacophonous ensemble for JUG BAND MUSIC at which ED suggested PUT ANOTHER LOG ON THE FIRE as things built to a big finish. SETANTA led off with CLUE BAY and FAREWELL TO ERIN followed by ARTHUR with his big hit, FENCES, and the CROWTHER CREW with THOUGH I LIVE NOT WHERE I LOVE which left ED, DON, HEATHER & PAUL aka FREE SPIRITS to send us out singing about ALL THE GOOD TIMES. Magic!!

Newsletter No 558 21 January 2020
Another healthy crowd greeted host MARK & JAN who gave a nod to Burn’s Night with YE JACOBITES followed by KATH & STAN who asked MAY THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN before ALLEN OGG san of the THREE FISHERS. Next for PETER BRIDGE it was AFTER RAIN and JIM & LYN were GOING TO HAVE SOME FUN and PETER ROBERTS was with the GIRL OF THE NORTH COUNTRY. No wonder PAUL McD retorted TILL I GAIN CONTROL AGAIN. Then we all found it funny with HILARY and her ONE-LINERS followed by HEATHER who had us chanting to Les Barker’s EARWIG-O. Obviously DON & HEATHER thought they were PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE as ANN delivered a SOLILOQUY ON A SAFETY PIN and ED declared I’VE AN ANTI-SOCIAL PROBLEM. On the other hand PAUL RILEY got the HESITATION BLUES just as JAN celebrated the JANUARY MAN and PETER B came OUT OF THE SNOW, Next JIM & LYN went deep Lancashire to meet A MON LIKE THEE but ALLEN was all at sea with ROLL THE OLD CHARIOT ALONG and MARK was whaling with his LITTLE POT STOVE. Coming to the break KATH & STAN sang hurry BEFORE THEY CLOSE THE MINSTREL SHOW as PAUL McD turned to EVANGELINE and DON & HEATHER pleaded for RECONCILIATION.
In the interval the bumper raffle saw Jim win the Rose Wine. Peter Bridge win the Red Wine, Peter Roberts win the Box of Tea, Margaret win the Handwash and PAUL R win the Chocolates before starting the second half with his song A NOODLING LIFE FOR ME. Next ED gave another nod to Burns with THE HAGGIS HUNTER but PETER R said I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT which made ANN laugh along with some of her JOKES and this carried on with HILARY and more of her ONE-LINERS. It was relief then to have a lusty sing with ALLEN and BYKER HILL AND WALKER SHORE. For PETER B faux news and FABLES AIN’T NOTHING BUT DOGGONE LIES before JIM & LYN eulogised this DIRTY OLD TOWN and KATH & STAN asked us to meet then in the WILLOW GLEN. For PAUL R it was a case of THAT’S WHAT MAKES THE WORLD GOES ROUND but for ED it was RED HEADED ANN and for PAUL McD it was the BROWN EYED GIRL. Rising to a big finish DON, HEATHER & PAUL sang us out with WAGON WHEEL before MARK & JAN told us it was THE END OF THE LINE. A top night.  

Newsletter No 557 14 January
 2020

They flooded through the door before DON & HEATHER kicked off with GALWAY GIRL and PAUL RILEY stayed on with ANOTHER YEAR HAS COME and CHRIS stepped up to WEATHER THE STORM before CLARE appropriately told the story of the WIDOW’S MOOR. Then there was a big welcome for our old friend DAVE BOULTON with a new song SESSION ON THE OTHER SIDE before ANDY announced WE’RE GOING TO THE SALES and JAN & MARK rushed off to ROTTERDAM. With another big decision PAUL McD sang I’LL WRAP MY SOUL IN THE BOSOM OF ABRAHAM (Emmylou Harris) and IAN did it TENDERLY before HEATHER confessed JE NE SAIS QUOI. Next MIKE COSGRAVE raised merry hell with COME ON ENGLAND before ED told of a COMICAL GENIUS before JAMES sang about a TEQUILA SUNRISE and SIMON joined JAMES to explain that THIS THE WAY WE MEND A BROKEN HEART. Returning PAUL RILEY addressed the weather with HEY RAIN which had CHRIS THINKING OUT LOUD and with another new song DAVE BOULTON commented COME BACK HERE AND TELL ME THAT WE’RE CLEVER whereas MIKE COSGROVE was more pragmatic with COUSIN JACK as was PAUL McD with LAY DOWN SALLY. For MARK & JAN there was NO USE CRYING which left ANDY to celebrate THE JANUARY MAN but for IAN it all gets better AS TIME GOES BY especially if you AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ sang JAMES and certainly on a SALFORD SUNDAY sang SIMON with JAMES.
In the bumper interval raffle Vic won the Bottle of Red Wine, Barry won the Box of Chocolates, James won the Christmas Pudding and Ian won the swanky Handwash before ED informed us that he had just STARTED LEARNING TO PLAY THE GUITAR. Next CLARE decided to FOLLOW THE HERON HOME and PAUL RILEY got on the MOBILE LINE before CHRIS found himself at the TERMINUS. With his third new song DAVE BOULTON had us singing the great chorus in GOLDEN DALE followed by MIKE C with a SONG FOR IRELAND and JAN & MARK who were DOWN IN THE EASY CHAIR. In full melancholy mode ANDY admitted I JUST DON’T THINK I’LL GET OVER YOU before IAN played a cheerful IMPROVISATION leaving JAMES to get the COCAINE BLUES nad with SIMON to taete some TUPELO HONEY. This left the rousing finish to ED with TREAT MY DAUGHTER DECENT and PAUL McD with WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SATURDAY NIGHT. Very appropriate to end a superb night all round!

Newsletter No 556 7 January 2020

The first night back after the festivities saw KATH & STAN welcome decent sized crown with WINDMILLS followed by DON & HEATHER with SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES as a tribute to recently deceased Brian Thornley. JAN quickly followed with MAE NGHARIAD YMUELL to the tune of My Bonny lies over the ocean and MARK with LITTLE POT STOVE before ARTHUR changed tack with his DUNCAN SMITH’S GOT A KNIGHTHOOD SO EVERYTHING’S ALRIGHT and PETE MINERS followed with his RUSTY RED BOX (FOR FIDO). Next PAUL RILEY had a dream and sang MICHAEL ROW THE BOAT ASHORE & SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT with his BIG BAND in tribute to Brian Thornley RIP. Then ED got down to business with CHILDHOOD MEMORIES from Iris Dement and PAUL McD sang FEELS LIKE RAIN by John Hiatt a favourite of Brian Thornley before KATH & STAN played 2 tunes on the whistle and cittern, TWIGLET & BODMIN RIDING. Next JAN & MARK teamed up for WE’LL HUNT HIM DOWN and HEATHER was dog training with STAY, GO, FETCH by Les Barker before DON & HEATHER joined up to ROLL ON THE DAY. With a song that greatly resonated with him ARTHUR gripped us with BIRD ON A WIRE by L Cohen but luckily PETE MINERS then had us smiling again by MUSING ON WORDS eg why women don’t object to Manslaughter. Next PAUL RILEY claimed it was as GOOD AS I’VE BEEN TO YOU before more pragmatically ED extolled the virtues of THE FLUSHERS as did PAUL McD with GIRL from the Beatles before KATH & STAN retired to the SLEEPY DESERT for the half time break.
In the bumper interval raffle Jill won the Bottle of Red Wine, Heather Kenyon won the Box of Chocolates, Kath won the Box of Biscuits and Vic won the Candles before JAN & MARK started the second half with DIMMING OF THE DAY and DON, HEATHER & PAUL visited the RED ROSE CAFE before leaving PAUL to ride on THE OXFORD AND HAMPTON RAILWAY. Getting into full flow ED sang RAMONA whereas PAUL McD had that PEACEFUL EASY FEELING while KATH & STAN were in BLACK WATERS. For JAN & MARK they thought IT TAKES A WORRIED MAN to sing a worried song and it took HEATHER KENYON seconds to assume the role of THE CLOG MAKER complete with real dialect before and sadly DON & HEATHER had NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT ALL. Coming to a big climax ED told some tall tales before we erupted SHURRUP YA BLOODY LIAR and PAUL RILEY sang the British version of THIS LAND IS MY LAND which left PAUL McD to belt out a great version of CARRICKFERGUS followed by BAD MOON RISING to end a superb night of great music and humour.

DECEMBER 2019

Newsletter No 555 17 December 2019

A lively evening with PAUL McD kicking off with I RECALL A GYPSY WOMAN swiftly followed by KATH & STAN with DINK’S SONG and PETE ROBERTS and HEART OF GOLD. Then never too soon for JIM & LYN who stepped up with the STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN and PETER BRIDGE with HONEY BABE BLUES and CHRIS wishing us THE THINGS YOU WISH YOURSELF. Next HEATHER put a strong case for the role of THE OSTRICH at Christmas (poem) before with wider issues in mind DON & HEATHER touched on the migrant problems with ACROSS THE BORDERLINE. It was good to have EDDIE with us again as he sang the unusual BOAR’S HEAD CAROL before HILARY had us laughing at her CHRISTMAS CRACKER JOKES (e.g. what did the dog get for Christmas? A mobile bone!) followed by ED with the off the wall Kid’s view of Christmas presents etc in SCARLET RAY GUNS. Then PAUL McD thought it was time for a little PERSUASION as PETE ROBERTS came up with HARVEST MOON and KATH & STAN set out on the GOODNIGHT LOVING TRAIL so no wonder PETER BRIDGE saw the funny side of THE FOLK CLUB by Richard Stillgoe. With the break in sight JIM & LYN introduced THE BELLE OF BELFAST CITY and CHRIS asked WOULD I LIE TO YOU before DON & HEATHER took us off to the ROSEVILLE FAIR.

The Interval Raffle saw Stan win the wine, Vic win the Box of Quality Street, Pete win the Feet Warmers, Ken win the Luxury Candle and Heather K win The 50 Sheds of Grey before EDDIE started the second half with SILENT WORSHIP, Handel put to words. Soon off to France PETE ROBERTS lustily sang I SHALL BE RELEASED followed by HILARY with MORE CHRISTMAS JOKES like who hides in the pantry at Christmas Mince Spies and ED gave us the slightly risqué MURGATROYD by Les Barker. Next it was nice to be reminded by PAUL McD that YOU ARE NOT ALONE just as PETER BRIDGE also reminded us with STREETS OF LONDON that some people are alone. On a lighter note CHRIS played Bert Jansch’s ANGIE followed by KATH & STAN leading the singing of BRIGHT MORNING STAR, DON & HEATHER with MAY YOU NEVER, EDDIE with THAT’LL BE THE DAY and JIM & LYN with THE GYPSY ROVER. Heading toward a big finish ED had us chanting MI HUSBAND’S GOT NO PORRIDGE IN HIM before latecomer RICHARD GRAY had us singing THE VIRGIN MARY HAD A BABY BOY followed by PAUL RILEY with Arthur Marshall’s FENCES, PAUL McD with SILENT NIGHT & WHITE CHRISTMAS and finally PAUL RILEY and RUDOLF THE RED NOSED REINDEER. Merry Christmas everyone!!

Newsletter No 554 10 December 2019

A bumper crowd braved the weather to make the Christmas Party a great success with HEATHER & DON welcoming all the NO HOPERS, JOKERS & ROGUES to entertain and be entertained. KATH & STAN turned up with the NEW YORK GIRLS and CHRIS brought MRS ADAMS ANGELS (R McTell) before EDDIE unsheathed his melodeon with JOY TO THE WORLD, DING DONG MERRILY AND JINGLE BELLS. Following this lead PETE sang ST PAUL’S SONG, PAUL sang MARY’S BOY CHILD, JIM & LYN told us the FAIRY TALE OF NEW YORK and STEVE had us crooning with WHITE CHRISTMAS. Next JAMES returned to his favourites for NOWHERE MAN and SIMON crossed the Atlantic for some FOLSOM PRISON BLUES before we returned to theme with HEATHER from the TURKEYS point of view, ED from out of this world when A SPACEMAN CAME TRAVELLING and CATHY & PETER who went all traditional with THE HOLLY AND THE IVY. Back in the real world HILARY then gave us some MARITAL ONE-LINERS and MIKE got rid of the PIDGEON IN THE CHIMNEY leaving ANDY to give his experience as a serial raffle prize winner in RAFFLE PRIZE LAMENT. As we raced towards the Chips and Sarnies Buffet we found IAN with his CHESTNUTS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE and EDDIE following THE SNOWMAN and KATH & STAN in the BAY OF BISCAY-O.
The interval Raffle saw £100.00 go to the North West Air Ambulance Charity based in Altrincham when Jim won the Bottle of Red Wine, Heather Kenyon win the Christmas Pudding, serial winner Andy win the Box of Biscuits and every performer win a CD of their choice. PAUL opened the second half with his CHRISTMAS CAROL 1st Verse Only MEDLEY followed by PETE with SISTER SONG and STEVE with O CHRISTMAS TREE, JINGLE BELLS & SILENT NIGHT. Next ANDY reminded us that many will be A DOLLAR SHORT OF CHRISTMAS before IAN & CHRIS formed a new duo for an AUTUMN LEAVES instrumental duet which left MARTIN muttering I WANT A CD for performing in SALE before PETER & CATHY went off A-WASSAILING. Getting back to normal JAMES had us rocking to KANSAS CITY as SIMON celebrated AMELIA EARHART and MIKE remembered the WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD. With a brief nod to Christmas EDDIE told us SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TONIGHT before DON & HEATHER headed down south with WAGON WHEEL and KATH & STAN boarded the TRAIN ON THE ISLAND. Briefly on a sombre note PAUL touched on the subject of depression in life and in the song PEOPLE PUTTING PEOPLE DOWN by John Prine before JIM & LYN had us singing with RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER and DON & HEATHER had us carry on into the street with ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD. A brilliant start to the festive season. Next week mince pies.

Newsletter No 553 3 December 2019

There was a big welcome for GRASSROOTS with Janice well again and in harness with Mick to kick off THE FINAL TRAWL which PETE followed with BIG GIRL NOW and then JIM & LYN with I GOT STRIPES. Posing a question ANDY asked DID SHE MENTION MY NAME and HEATHER mentioned many areas of the city in A MANCHESTER CHRISTMAS before DON & HEATHER confessed needing us at the DIMMING OF THE DAY. In good form IAN celebrated THE WAY WE WERE and then DAVID celebrated LONDONDERRY before CARL reminded us that some are NEARER TO NETTLES. On the other hand SIMON told us some have PALACES OF GOLD while TONY told us that with love we all could feel WONDERFUL TONIGHT whereas MICK on RAGLAN ROAD wondered if love was enough. Next PETE said GOODBYE TO THE OLD while JIM & LYN were hot in the RING OF FIRE before IAN was laid back with GEORGIA ON MY MIND. Coming to the break ANDY was in conflict with GENESIS HALL before DON & HEATHER sang their requested DANCES FOR DOLLARS before SIMON picked up some EASY MONEY.
The interval raffle saw Vic win the Bottle of Red Wine, Andy take the Box of Biscuits and David win a Christmas Pudding before GRASSROOTS opened the second half with FINISTERRE followed by CARL looking for BLACK DIAMONDS and HILARY with a cheeky LITTLE VERSE. Philosophically, TONY wondered what will be WHEN I’M SIXTY FOUR while JIM & LYN were away with THE HIGHWAYMAN and MARTIN gave us his own poem IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME IN CAIRO STREET. Back in dreamland IAN took us to FIELDS OF GOLD as ANDY mused IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND and PETE polished up his RAMBLIN’ SHOES before DON & HEATHER remembered WHEN I WAS A COWBOY. Coming to a climax CARL had us smiling at SISTER JOSEPHINE, TONY was thinking of ELEANOR RIGBY and SIMON speculated on the BIG DARK SEA before GRASSROOTS sent us home with THE WAY THAT I FEEL. A quality night.

NOVEMBER - 2019

Newsletter No 552 26 November 2019

They filled up nearly every pew as DON & HEATHER welcomed NO HOPERS, JOKERS & ROGUES before ALLEN got down to business with a hanging in MACPHERSON’S RANT and we extended an even bigger welcome to old friends JIM & LYN and SPANISH LADY. Next PETE ROBERTS announced he was LEAVING LONDON just as KATH & STAN were off to the HORNCASTLE FAIR which left HELEN to declare I DUG UP A DIAMOND just before HILARY commented on THE FUNNY SIDE OF MARRIAGE which made CHRIS think of BRIDGES by Ralph McTELL. Following a Safari holiday in Kenya HEATHER then came up with ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AFRICA, a parody by Les Barker, followed by PAUL McD with GIRL’S TALK and MIKE with the BRICKLAYER’S LAMENT. Next ANN was that SWEET NIGHTINGALE before JAMES sang EVERY NIGHT off PAUL McCARTNEY’s first solo album and SIMON joined him as THE TICK TACK MAN. From ED came a serious comment on how we treat our soldiers after war with AL BOWLY’S IN HEAVEN AND I’M IN LIMBO NOW and TONY agreed IT’S JUST ANOTHER DAY before CHRIS sang NANA’S SONG also by R. McTELL. Coming up to the interval PAUL McD pleaded HANDLE ME WITH CARE but JIM & LYN were off with THE WILD COLONIAL BOY and ALLEN related a bit of contumely in ERIN GO BRAGH.
The Raffle saw Heather win the Quality Street, Ann win the Bottle of Red Wine, Helen win the Ladies Leather Gloves and Jackie win the Couch Organiser before KATH & STAN opened up with two tunes, THE WATER OF TYNE & SIR JOHN FENWICK followed by HELEN who said, IF THIS IS GOODBYE. Fortunately, HILARY had some MORE MARRIAGE JOKES and PETER had NO REGRETS as ANN went fishing for THE TROUT. Next there was nothing funny in MIKE’s PART WORN TYRES but for TONY it was all WONDERFUL TONIGHT as JAMES came out with BUCKETS OF RAIN and SIMON asked, WHY DON’T YOU TRY ME TONIGHT. Joyfully ED was then out ALONG THE VERDIGRIS before DON & HEATHER were experiencing the SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS and JIM & LYN were all at sea on the IRISH ROVER. Rising to a climax CHRIS asked, MAY YOU NEVER and PAUL McD questioned, WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW to which JAMES answered, EVERYDAY. Sadly SIMON was DOWN TO SEEDS AND STEMS again but KATH & STAN were off to OWENSBORO before DON & HEATHER invited us to lay down the borrowed guitar and sing ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD as we went homeward. A top night,

Newsletter No 551 19 November 2019

Possibly due to a clash with a certain must see TV debate the number of performers was reduced but the quality was not diluted as performers were invited to give us TWO items repertoires with MARK & JAN paradoxically starting off with THE END OF THE LINE followed by PETE ROBERTS with HEART LIKE A WHEEL and NORTH COUNTRY MAID before welcome visitor IAN WHITE rosined up his bow and gave us THE BOAT TO INVERAY, MAIRI’S WEDDING and an IRISH AIR. Rising to the challenge ROB WHITE then launched into SOUTH AUSTRALIA followed by the demise of THE ALABAMA. Next HILARY regaled us with her jokes about marriage before ANDY sang about HEART OF A SATURDAY NIGHT and IN BETWEEN LOVE before PETE MINERS gave us some of his WORD PLAY to many groans & giggles. This brought back JAN at the DIMMING OF THE DAY and MARK saying it’s a DIRTY OLD TOWN, With a quick turn round ANDY was a DESPERADO who took Kate Wolf’s THESE TIMES WE’RE LIVING IN to heart and PETE replied with OXFORD TOWN followed by RABBIT HILLS. Then MAGGIE IN THE WOOD & EGAN’S POLKA were played by IAN WHITE before ROB WHITE borrowed a guitar and sang WHIP JAMBOREE and then gave us a lesson in life with THE GAMBLER to which PETE MINERS added more WORD PLAY to savour taking us to the interval.

The interval raffle saw Kate win the wine, Pete win the tea & Andy win the hand wash which he said could be his birthday present for tomorrow nicely teed up JAN to tell us what she would do IF I HAD A HAMMER to which ANDY responded LOVE IS OUR CROSS TO BEAR, Then, his memory returned, PETE did a short reprise of RABBIT HILLS and then his own composition THE BEST OF ME before finally IAN laid down his fiddle and borrowed Mark’s guitar to sing about NEW YORK GIRLS. Building to a climax HILARY returned with more ONE-LINERS and ROB borrowed a guitar to tell us IT’S GOOD TO SEE YOU and PETE MINERS gave us more PUNS before MARK & JAN ended a fine evening by washing their hands in MUDDY WATERS followed by a traditional favourite WILD MOUNTAIN THYME. Magic!

Newsletter No 550 12 November 2019

Another bumper night with KAMRAN & PETE who started off with-MENDICINO followed by KATH & STAN with a WAYFARING STRANGER and PETER BRIDGE with ENGLAND 1914 (McTell). Continuing the Armistice Day theme ANN sang NO MAN’S LAND (Celtic Thunder) whereas ALLEN decided TO TRY FOR THE SUN and HELEN got rid of the TEXAS BLUES. Next MATT admitted I NEED YOUR LOVE SO BAD, with KAM backing him up, but ROD just retorted TAKE IT EASY as PAUL McD insouciantly sang I RECALL A GYPSY WOMAN. Even HILARY saw the funny side with SOME TIM VINE JOKES but KAMRAN had those DEEP ELLUM BLUES and JAMES announced he was the NOWHERE MAN and with SIMON as RACING DEMON reckoned THERE’S A HEARTACHE FOLLOWING ME. Returning after many moons DAVE CINNAMOND gave us A POEM BASED ON A DONOVAN SONG & one known as THE BOX. As all these performers rolled in it was no wonder ED exclaimed I CAN’T HELP BUT WONDER WHERE I’M BOUND before RICHARD brought us up sharp with HARD RAIN and PAUL RILEY had us singing JAMBALAYA. Coming to the interval ARTHUR MARSHALL reminded us of the seasons with AUTUMN LEAVES before KATHY & PETE went traditional for WILLIE McBRIDE and CARL turned to favourite Jez Lowe for YOU WON’T MAKE OLD BONES.
The interval raffle saw the Red Wine won by Gillian, the Soap won by Simon and the Big Box of Tea suitably won by tea drinker KAMRAN before KATH & STAN went down to WESTERDALE. Going back in time ANN was next at the WIDECOMBE FAIR before ALLEN saluted the veterans in FAREWELL TO SICILY leaving MATT to sing the anti-war MY SON JOHN before PAUL R was undaunted with his WWII SONG MEDLEY. Fortunately HILARY was around to lighten the mood with SOME JOKES and PETER diverted attention going AROUND THE WILD CAPE HORN to which JAMES replied THINGS HAVE CHANGED and with SIMON as RACING DEMON mused SINCE I MET YOU BABY (Ivory Joe Hunter). Hopefully HELEN claimed PEACE WILL COME to which PAUL McD blurted out DARLING and returner ROD pleaded DON’T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD. Coming to a climax KAMRAN was seriously HURT, while KATHY & PETE were BOUND TO GO SAILING and CARL was a PIPER TILL THE END and ED celebrated ERNIE, THE FASTEST MOBILE LIBRARY DRIVER IN THE WEST before RICHARD paid his last respects to the LAST GREAT WAR to close another remembrance themed night. Finally, with Don & Heather in Kenya, KAMRAN was going to sing The Lion Sleeps Tonight but reckoned his trousers weren’t a tight enough fit for the high notes. A top night of great talent.

Newsletter No 549 5 November 2019

A fairly full house with lots of performers, some old and some new greeted KATH & STAN who paradoxically started with THE LAST GOODBYE. Then PAUL McD picked up the pace with LUKA (Suzzane Vega) whereas ERIC relaxed with ALE IS PHYSIC FOR ME before PHIL went political with LICENSED TO STEAL which left HEATHER looking for her OCCASIONAL TABLE which sometimes was a chair. Together DON & HEATHER were metaphorically KNEE DEEP IN A RIVER AND DYING OF THIRST while PAUL RILEY had TROUBLE IN MIND before JAN sang a beautiful Welsh song, BUGEILIO’R GWENITH GWYN, the sad unrequited love story of Ann who belonged to a wealthy farming family and Wil who was only a farm labourer and rejected by her family. Fortunately, MARK struggled to overcome his current handicap of only three good fingers after damaging his left hand to cheer us up with DIRTY OLD TOWN before ARTHUR brought some parliamentary reality with his own HERE’S TO OLD GUY FAWKES. Next PETE was a welcome sight on his return from France and sung IF NOT FOR YOU followed by HILARY with THE BUNNY POEM & LIKE YOU OULD from Pam Ayres before ALLEN took us down his ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE. A word of advice next from ED with THE GAMBLER before CHRIS gave us a touch of reality in I WASN’T EXPECTING THAT before STAN introduced his new violin with KATH and her concertina for two tunes PRINCESS ROYAL & PRINCE WILLIAM. Continuing the eclectic mixture PAUL McD gave us a great version of THE WEIGHT before ERIC was very traditional with LISH YOUNG BUY-A-BROOM while PHIL sang Al Stewart’s most requested song about Alexander Solzhenitsyn, ROADS TO MOSCOW. Coming to the break DON & HEATHER gave a nod to the coming Armistice Day with Alan Brydon’s CALLING DOON THE LINE before PAUL RILEY had us SING MY BLUES AWAY.
The bumper raffle saw the Bottle of Red Wine won by Helen; the Big Box of Biscuits won by Sue and the Big Christmas Pudding won by Margaret before MARK & JAN told us YOU AIN’T GOING NOWHERE and ARTHUR gave us a more peacefully minded angle in his own ARMISTICE DAY. Continuing the swings in mood PETE announced SHE BELONGS TO ME before HILARY lightened the mood with OH NO I GOT A COLD & THE CURLER’S POEM by Pam Ayres and ALLEN told us how THE WAR DRAGS ON. Next ED was caught TEACHING MY WORM HOW TO SWIM (not poaching) while CHRIS thought IT’S GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE DAYS and for KATH & STAN it was a case of JOHN LOVER is dead. In fine form PAUL McD had us CRYING IN THE RAIN and then ERIC had us laughing at THE LOBSTER MAN before PHIL downed the mood with THE COLD HEART OF ENGLAND. Finally the end was in sight as DON & HEATHER sang their DANCES FOR DOLLARS and PAUL RILEY requested MAKE ME DOWN A PALLET ON YOUR FLOOR before JAN & MARK took us OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY leaving ALLEN to look toward retirement and the GOLD WATCH BLUES. A truly eclectic night of folk music, song and humour. Magic!

OCTOBER - 2019

Newsletter No 548 29 October 2019

A fairly full house greeted Ed & Sue as they first welcomed KATH & STAN to kick off Sale Folk Club’s 11th Birthday Party with WATERBOUND swiftly followed by PAUL who was that JOHN THE REVELATOR as HEATHER hunted round for her CAMOUFLAGE NET. Together DON & HEATHER then washed their hands in MUDDY WATER whereas ANDY had the EMPTY POCKET BLUES and ARTHUR spent a QUIET NIGHT IN THE OLD TOWN before PETER took the LAST TRAIN AND RIDE out of town. As usual HILARY had us laughing at her series of ONE-LINERS before SIMON & JAMES got serious with PANCHO & LEFTY which left JAMES with the lesser known SENOR (Bob Dylan) and ANN with the story of mother love in SONNY. Next ED extolled the feats of the BANTAM COCK and KATH & STAN praised THE MAN IN THE MOON before PAUL lifted the lid on the PHANTOM FOLK SINGER and ARTHUR advised don’t go to THE FUNERAL until you know the person is dead. In contrast PETER confessed to DOIN’ MY TIME and HEATHER revealed the first to reach the South Pole was SPOT OF THE ANTARCTIC before together DON & HEATHER led the diddly diddly chorus in the GALWAY GIRL. Closing in on the Chips and Sarnies Buffet ANDY sang Jackson Brown’s THESE DAYS followed by SIMON with JAMES confessed SEE HOW I MISS YOU (Bruce Cockburn) before JAMES had us singing an old favourite EVERYDAY by The Everlys.
A bumper Birthday Interval Raffle saw Malc win the Bottle of Wine, Rosalyn win the Box of Chocolates, Kevin win the Xmas Pudding, Warren win the Box of Tea and Chris win the CD before ED started the second half with the LOGGER LOVER. Always in vogue ARTHUR was current with his GOVERNMENT SONG which PAUL reckoned would RAISE A RUMPUS TONIGHT leading DON & HEATHER to restore calm with their FLOWERS ON THE WATER. Any way up PETER decides to WALK ON BY (Leroy Van Dyke) while HILARY keeps us amused with more ONE LINERS before KATH & STAN gave us shock horror in THAT’S WHAT WE’LL DO WITH THE BABY. It’s getting late now so ANDY bids us FAREWELL, FAREWELL (Fairport Convention) and ED is off on the town with JACUZZI JOE the gigolo and JAMES is off to SHIMMY LIKE MY SISTER KATE. Finally the end is in sight just like SIMON & JAMES with AMELIA EARHART’S LAST FLIGHT and ARTHUR takes advantage of the lull to have us sing his great song, FENCES, before one last band up sees DON, HEATHER, ED & PAUL tell us ALL THE GOOD TIMES are passed and gone until next week. Magic!

Newsletter No 547 22 October 2019

Another quality night kicked off by PAUL McD with TOM TRAUBERT’S BLUES (Tom Waits) followed by CHRIS with THE FERRYMAN (Ralph McTell) and PETER with the observation NOBODY KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU’RE DOWN AND OUT. Next HEATHER commented that it is also tough when you have AMNESIA (Les Barker) and even tougher when you are PAST THE POINT OF RESCUE reckoned DON & HEATHER but life is tougher still at the end of it sang ED with HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS (Dave Bolton). Upping the tempo ALLEN took us to BYKER HILL AND WALKER SHORE leaving PAUL R to give us a Gospel Medley starting with THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE and PAUL McD to apply some PERSUASION and CHRIS to turn to THE HANDS OF JOSEPH. Returning to the fray PETER sang WINNIE’S RAG (Ralph McTell} and DON & HEATHER WOULDN’T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY but for ALLEN IT ALL SEEMS A LONG TIME AGO. Back to the future ED introduced RAMONA (Bob Dylan) and PAUL R led us in another gospel medley with O WHEN THE SAINTS followed by PAUL McD who reckoned it was no BED OF ROSES. The build up to the interval saw CHRIS sing his FIRST SONG (Ralph McTell), PETER sing ROUT OF THE BLUES of the broad sheet and DON & HEATHER head down south with WAGON WHEEL.

In the break we had a Huge Raffle with Super Prizes of 2 tickets to the PITMEN POETS Concerts at the Brindley and the Sale Waterside won by Helen & Andy and Ed & Sue followed by Allen taking the Bottle of Wine and Peter winning Allen’s CD. Then we had a band up of THE ELDERLY BROTHERS (Peter/Paul Mc) for DREAM and kicked off the second half proper when ROY & KIM sang IT’S A WORKING MAN, I AM (Rita MacNeil) followed by CHRIS who was THE BOXER and ED who complained EVERYBODY IS MAKING IT BIG BUT ME. This left ALLEN on THE ROAD TO PASSCHENDAELE (his own). With quick turn round ROY & KIM went back to THE ROVING COUNTRY LIFE while PAUL R went for a WADE IN THE WATER and PAUL McD asked LORD, WON’T YOU BUY ME A MERCEDES BENZ. After all the excitement DON & HEATHER had us sing about Dublin in THE RARE OULD TIMES as PETER speculated about dancing to the MAGINOT WALTZ and ED had the HYPOCHONDRIAC BLUES leaving ALLEN to scoff at THE POUND A WEEK RISE. Closing with a big finish ROY & KIM treated us to THE BLUE ROSE while CHRIS sang YOU WON’T MAKE OLD BONES before DON & HEATHER sang their DANCES FOR DOLLARS which left PAUL to close the night and STEP IT UP AND GO. Terrific!

Newsletter No 546 15 October 2019

After a slow start came the rush and appropriately MICK started with it was MEANT TO BE and as PAUL McD sang it certainly wasn’t QUITTIN’ TIME more like KATH & STAN’s song HEAVEN’S A BAR but still PAUL RILEY was left asking WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH THE MILL to which we replied, “It’s done broke down!” HEATHER then told us the Polar Bear’s perspective in Les Barker’s TITANIC asking HAS ANYBODY ANY NEWS OF THE ICEBERG before joining DON in Amsterdam at the RED ROSE CAFE. Old friend MICHAEL then went back to his SCHOOLDAYS whereas for CHRIS it was all FIRE AND RAIN before CARL knocked us out with his MAGICAL SKY. Still recovering well JAMES went to The Beatles for I WILL then joined SIMON for a TOWER OF SONG before HILARY had us laughing at her ONE-LINERS. No wonder MICK returned IN A HURRY - BEFORE THEY CLOSE THE MINSTREL SHOW as sung by KATH & STAN. Next PAUL RILEY invited TICKLE ME while MICHAEL sang the life story of NANCY MILES and PAUL McD had the SATANIC BLUES. Next CARL thought it was FURTHER but we were coming up to the interval as DON & HEATHER headed down south with WAGON WHEEL and SIMON & JAMES gave us Richard Thompson’s version of a SALFORD SUNDAY.
A bumper Raffle for the big turn-out saw Mick win the Bottle of Red Wine, Hennie from Holland win the Silver Clock donated by Vic who was rewarded by winning the Box of Tea before Kath won the Hand Wash. Starting the second half CHRIS gave us memories of student work experience with THE FACTORY GIRL followed by HILARY with more ONE-LINERS. For MICK it was a matter of LOVE MINUS ZERO/NO LIMIT which made JAMES comment YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND and PAUL McD to add LET IT BE ME. Often the result of such liaisons KATH & STAN asked WHAT’LL WE DO WITH THE BABY and MICHAEL asked TWO SWEETHEARTS and ARE WE TO PART LIKE THIS, BILL? In the end we all have to part sang DON & HEATHER with their FLOWERS ON THE WATER followed aptly by PAUL RILEY with TAKE ’EM AWAY and CARL with his BLUE GUITAR. On a happier note SIMON & JAMES were sampling TUPELO HONEY but for some reason JAMES was SO SAD which could also have applied to KATH & STAN who were WATERBOUND. This left PAUL McD to reminisce about the SUMMER OF ’69 before DON & HEATHER had us singing ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD on the way home. A top night!

Newsletter No 545 8 October 2019
A splendiferous evening this week celebrating Heather Kenyon’s birthday was kicked off by DON & HEATHER with GYPSY WOMAN before ARTHUR lit the after burner with a parody of PLEASANT AND DELIGHTFUL in which he claimed was the real version was ‘The Larks they hate Melodeons’ and ED and the bonfire was well and truly lit when parodied IF as applied it to Politicians. Now we were rolling PAUL boarded THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL and HELEN sang THE LOW ANTHEM - TO OHIO before t’other HEATHER told us she had AN INFINITE NUMBER OF OCCASIONAL TABLES. Next PETER BRIDGE had those FOLSOM PRISON BLUES and JAN & MARK complained THEY TOOK THE TREES AWAY before HILARY had us laughing at a series of ONE-LINERS commenting on marriage. Back from a nice holiday ANN was pressed into service for THE FOLK SINGER and ALLEN was back to Scotland in the old days with ERIC GO BRAGH before ARTHUR returned with JUST ONE MORE SONG. Next a word of advice for Heather came from ED when he told her YOU’RE ONLY AS OLD AS THE MAN THAT YOU FEEL before PAUL told us he had the BOLLINGER BOATMAN BLUES and HELEN dismissed it as JUST A SIMPLE THING and PETER pleaded LET ME DOWN EASY. Next JAN sang about COLOURED GOATS in Welsh and MARK shot off to THE TOWN OF OSWALDTWISTLE while ALLEN sang NEARLY SONNET 18 one of his few love songs before DON & HEATHER led us in singing happy birthday to Heather Kenyon followed by one of her favourite songs WHEN SHE WEARS BLACK CLOTHES.
This nicely took us to the interval in which Heather treated us to a traditional Sale Folk Club Buffet of delicious Thick Chips and Sarnies. Here’s to many more, Heather. In the interval Raffle Heather got instant payback by winning the Bottle of Red Wine, Jan won the Box of Tea, Allen won the hand wash and Lin won the aftershave before ARTHUR blew our minds with two more parodies WHO’LL COME A-WALTZING THE BULLDOG WITH ME and I’M GOING TO DROWN MY CAT (All around my hat). Next ALLEN was critical of the POUND A WEEK RISE but PAUL was optimistically FOREVER YOUNG before PETER gave us a political comment from Johnny Cash in THE ONE ON THE RIGHT IS THE ONE ON THE LEFT. On the other hand MARK was after DAI THE MOTOR BIKE MAN and JAN advised girls not to wed a DANDY MAN and HELEN was just a WAYFARING STRANGER. In his own way ED had to admit, I LIKE WOMEN A LITTLE ON THE TRASHY SIDE, before HILARY came up with a few more ONE-LINERS and ALLEN sang his own WILD EYED. Now it was time for the last round up with ARTHUR leading with his FENCES then PAUL who went HOPPING DOWN IN KENT while HELEN was easily pleased with IT SUITS ME WELL. With more Welsh culture JAN sang the delightful DY BACH TWT and together with MARK led us in WHEN JONES’ ALE WAS NEW before PETER was again blue with CORRINE WHAT MAKES YOU TREAT ME SO? This took us to a climax which DON & HEATHER capitalised on with a McCalmans’ special ALL THE TUNES IN THE WORLD which had us singing into the street at the end of an excellent evening. 

Newsletter No 544 1 October 2019 

A select group gathered this week hosted by DON & HEATHER who set the tone with bottles of SPANISH BURGUNDY before KATH & STAN went off singing a NIGHT VISITING SONG whereas HELEN had the TEXAS BLUES and for PAUL it was DARK AS A DUNGEON way down in the mine. On his return and in a positive frame of mind BRIAN told his woman you have ACES UP YOUR SLEEVE and JAMES was equally positive up a LAZY RIVER which for HEATHER, in National Poetry Week, was a case of DEJA VU. Next DON & HEATHER took us all down to the RED ROSE CAFE and KATH & STAN had us KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE before HELEN sang I WISH IT WOULD RAIN. NO wonder PAUL decided to change the mood down COUNTRY ROADS and BRIAN reckoned YOU’LL NEVER KNOW and JAMES showed his sensitive side with TILL THERE WAS YOU and consummation had already taken place in KATH & STAN’s DINK’S SONG so HELEN concluded ALL OF HIS SONGS WERE LOVE SONGS (Zoe Mulford). Then PAUL promised to be better on THE NEXT GO ROUND and BRIAN asked us to HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME before JAMES summed it all up with SWEET LORRAINE as we reached the interval.
In the half time raffle Chris & Barry won the Bottle of Red Wine, Vic won the Box of Tea, Andy won the Roses Chocolates and Brian won the Hand Wash before DON & HEATHER kicked off with NO HOPERS, JOKERS AND ROGUES. Straight away HEATHER KENYON took us BACK IN THE DAY and HELEN confessed I WISH I HAD A RIVER (Joni Mitchell) before PAUL reminded us of the WRECK OF THE OLD 97 and JAMES gave us THE STORY OF LOVE. A request then had DON & HEATHER lead the singing in I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER which continued as KATH & STAN celebrated the BANJO PICKING GIRL so no wonder HEATHER KENYON thought we should know the PC WAYS TO SPEAK ABOUT WOMEN. With a sad song HELEN gave us NO NAMES (K Rusby) but more cheerfully PAUL was ROLLING IN MY BABY’S ARMS and JAMES was lucky to have a BUCKET OF RAIN (DYLAN).

SEPTEMBER - 2019

Newsletter No 543 24 September 2019

A superb evening well stewarded by Kamran & Pete saw James return to the field of play after a good few weeks so it was appropriate that PETE sang his own BEAT THE DRUM in welcome and PETER BRIDGE proclaimed it a GRANDE AFFAIRE, a big deal to us folk. HELEN then had the URGE FOR GOING (Joni Mitchell) but newcomer STEVE was WATERBOUND and ALLEN was stuck back in time with Mc PHERSON’S LAMENT which KAMRAN summed up nicely with EVERYBODY KNOWS (Leonard Cohen) and PAUL McD replied with WHEELS, take this boy away (Gram Parsons). Still in a heavy mood ED sang his favourite BOB DYLAN’S DREAM and JAMES was still GOING DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD and when Simon joined him as RACING DEMON life wasn’t much better with CARMELITA. As we headed for the break CARL was ALL AT SEA with his lady mariner and with HEATHER life was unheralded for SPOT OF THE ANTARCTIC before together DON & HEATHER related how tough it was for Greek migrants to SOUTH AUSTRALIA.

In the interval raffle the bunch of Roses was won by Paul McD, the Bottle of Red Wine went home with Kate and the Chocolate Orange went to Peter before we got going with PETE in his BIG YELLOW TAXI. Then newcomer STEVE sang a SONG FOR MANCHESTER which was totally new to everyone before PETER headed for SIN CITY and ED dealt out some ROUGH JUSTICE (Dave Boulton). On the other hand HELEN was just a WAYFARING STRANGER before ALLEN introduced JOSIE (Donovan) and KAMRAN parodied I FOUGHT THE LAW in his Prorogation version. Thank goodness JAMES was TRAVELLING LIGHT before as RACING DEMON Simon & James questioned HOW CAN YOU KEEP ON MOVING unless you migrate too and CARL looked back and said THANKS FOR THE DAY when rail travel was king. For PAUL McD it was a question of getting lost in the rock and roll to DRIFT AWAY before DON & HEATHER went back in time to THE CONQUISTADORES and HELEN flew off in the EARLY MORNING RAIN (Gordon Lightfoot). PETER BRIDGE preferred to get away to ABILENE (George Hamilton IV) whereas ALLEN mused over PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE and STEVE went falling down drunk with BILLY O’SHEA. Coming to a climax which is always useful RACING DEMON confessed that SOMETIMES SHE FORGETS before PAUL McD had us singing into the street with a PEACEFUL EASY FEELING. Top Night again!!

Newsletter No 542 17 September 2019

On this auspicious evening KATH & STAN opened up by tilting at WINDMILLS before just when we thought there was one big birthday for Brian there was two as BANJO JOHN owned up to one as he sneaked in to entertain us with SOMEBODY STOLE MY GAL, however, PAUL McD soon put it all right with YOU’RE STILL THE ONE? Back on track PAUL RILEY insisted PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN and HELEN sang it FOR A DANCER before ALLEN went north for YE JACOBITES. On the other hand ANN still had her eye on MR PUNCH AND JUDY MAN and PETER had a shine for THE GIRL FROM THE HIRING FAIR whereas ED was admired the THE GAMBLER and SIMON told us the story of JOE BOWERS. Fortunately, HILARY was next on hand with some TRADITIONAL WORDS OF WISDOM before BEN gave us some GRAVE WORDS. Returning to the front KATH & STAN went the extra 900 MILES which gave BANJO JOHN the TISHAMINGO BLUES before PAUL McD asked us to TAKE ME AS I AM. Next HELEN reminded us of the old days with the SMUGGLERS SONG before ALLEN challenged WHAT’S IT TO YOU and ANN went for a trip in the SHABBY OLD CABBIE. As we reached out to the interval PETER told us THIS TRAIN IS BOUND FOR GLORY and ED confessed I MISS MY BRAIN THE MOST before out of the blue ROB, a snooker player from the next room, reckoned we are all LIVING ON A PRAYER.
The birthday buffet provided by Ann for husband Brian was greatly enjoyed before the bumper raffle saw the Wine won by Rose, the Chocolates won by Kath and the Toiletries won by Ann. The second half was well started by SIMON and the BAR ROOM GIRLS before BEN introduced his SISTER to which PAUL responded DON’T THINK TWICE. On the other hand HILARY had some MORE WORDS OF WISDOM and KATH & STAN played us 2 TUNES - TWIGLET & BODMIN RIDING before PAUL McD confessed I USED TO LOVE HER. More worryingly HELEN insisted there is a GHOST IN THIS HOUSE to which ALLEN replied that’s LIFE, DON’T YOU KNOW as PETER got the DEEP RIVER BLUES. With a true story ED sung of the GRESFORD DISASTER before SIMON went off DOWN THE ROAD and BEN sang the STRAY AND THE MOON. This nicely allowed KATH & STAN to cheer every up with the BRIGHT MORNING STAR before PAUL RILEY had us all sit DOWN IN THE EASY CHAIR to end a great birthday night.

Newsletter No 541 10 September 2019

A very pleasant evening was hosted with alacrity by Ed & Sue who invited PAUL McD to open with a Chas & Dave number, BILLY TYLER which made IAN to DREAN A LITTLE DREAM and ANDY to turn to CHOCOLATE JESUS by Tom Waits. Then HELEN sang the equally tragic ELLEN VANNIN followed by ED with the BRONCHIO-DILATOR BLUES and ANN who insisted on DEFYING GRAVITY. With an eye on the date ALLEN decided the time was right for a song composed in Autumn, NOW WESTLIN’ WINDS, whereas PETE chose to live in the present with BIG GIRL NOW by Bob Dylan and finally PAUL RILEY, who had reached Sea Shanties in his song book, sang ROLL THE OLD CHARIOT ALONG in which we all joined with gusto to end round 1. A second lap saw PAUL McD to comment HEY! NOW YOUR DREAM IS OVER to which IAN replied TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS (Hoagie Carmichael) followed by ANDY with FOOLISH YOU, which he directed at Ed! Wisely HELEN responded with Joni Mitchell's CIRCLE GAME as inevitably everything comes round again. Not too often hopefully for ED as he sang about the legendary pub crawl in Bradford known as THE MANCHE and with LUCY JORDAN as sung by ANN. Coming to the interval ALLEN played and sang THE GOLD WATCH BLUES and PETE sang ST PAUL’S SONG which left PAUL RILEY with another shanty, BULLY IN ALLEY, to end the round.

The raffle was great fun for Rosalyn and Joyce who both won the first two prizes a bottle of French Red Wine and the bottle of Caramels. Then Ann won the enormous bag of baking apples that Ed and Sue had taken in from their son Kristian's garden before Kevin won the last prize, a bottle of Bucks Fizz, which he seemed very pleased about. He has now gone away on holiday to Germany for a month to stay with his daughter but he will surely be back on his return. Finally we played a trick on Andy made some 'jokingly acid' remarks about the BBQ Kit prize that Ed won! So we wrapped it up again last night and offered it as a booby prize, which of course we fixed for Andy to win!! We also put his happy retirement card in the parcel so he was quite bewildered but saw the funny side when he opened it up.

PAUL McD opened up the second half with I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND followed by ANDY with DARLING GIRL, directed at Sue for a change she said, before HELEN sang to the DESPERADO. For PAUL and everyone else THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING while IAN had the MISSISSIPPI BLUES and PETE sang Woody Guthrie’s AIN’T GOT NO HOME. Coming to the end of the round ALLEN sang Donovan’s I’M GONNA FOLLOW THE SUN before ED wrapped it up with RED-HEADED ANN.
After a top quality night a big finish loomed and was delivered by PAUL McD singing WHEN WILL I BE LOVED and PEACEFUL EASY FEELING followed by a lovely piece by IAN the name of which we missed and PAUL RILEY with LEAVE HER JOHNNY LEAVE HER. Great stuff!

Newsletter No 540 3 September 2019

The feeling of the imminent onset of Autumn didn’t dissuade a good few folk turning up for what was a very varied and entertaining evening. Mark and Jan kicked off the night with Rotterdam and Paul Riley was next with Two Dollar Bill and Andy was Waltzing for Dreamers. Helen lamented her love lost to High Germany and Ian’s first instrumental was Scarborough Fair.
Pete Miners was next with a selection of his “flutter byes”, an art form which can affect people in many ways but mostly resulting in a sea of shaken heads, faces hidden by hands and groans but despite this a good few laughs! Following a short discussion on the merits of champagne flavoured dog toothpaste, Simon gave us a Jimmie Rodgers medley, Hobo’s Meditation and Waiting for a Train and also promised to pass on our best wishes to James for a speedy recover from his crippling prolapsed disc. Chris was next with Ralph McTell’s First Song. Paul McD was here at the Wrong Time, Ed was complaining about the Backleg Miner, Peter Bridge sang the dark song Black Girl, Leadbelly’s interpretation of In the Pines from John before he went sailing on the Sloop John B leaving Pete Roberts to round off the first session with Make You Feel My Love. 
Mark, in recognition of Neil Armstrong's first step on the Moon half a century ago sang Donovan’s Intergalactic Laxative whilst Ed was on the Verdigris with Tom Paxton and sometimes Iris Dement. Next Peter Bridge was Somewhere Along the Road whilst Helen was in Pastures of Plenty before Andy sang Sunday Morning Coming Down and Jan popped over the border with Ar Lan y Mor (Beside the Sea) complete with subtitles! Ian’s next instrumental was The Nearness of You, then Pete Miners kicked us out with more of his Flutter Byes before Paul Riley took us up to the interval with Wild Bill Jones.

First up after the raffle was Pete Roberts with Knocking on Heavens Door then Chris with Summer Lightening before late arrivals (due to work commitments) Roy and Kim sang a beautiful version of Over My Mountain. Next, in contrast, was Simon with Who’s Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot, John was a Poor Fool and Paul McD lamented that Boys Cry Too. Helen then sang Dance a Little Closer before more Flutter Byes from Pete Miners, Tequila Sunset from Peter Bridge and Andy who revealed The Beast In Me. Pete Roberts, who should have rounded off the “Pete fest” before Andy but was noticeably absent at the time, then followed on with Goodbye to The Old. Ian’s final contribution was Here There and Everywhere before John modestly sang Oh Lord Its Hard to be Humble followed by Paul Riley with The Cuckoo. Welcome newbies Roy and Kim were next with Deportees followed by Chris with Jez Lowe’s You Won’t Make Old Bones before Simon had us all joining in with Gillian Welch’s By The Mark. Coming to a climax Ed asked us to Treat Me Daughter Decent and Mark and Jan rounded off a brilliant evening by coming to The End Of The Line before wishing everyone a safe journey home. A top night!

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