After a splendid evening at the Topic Folk Club in Bradford the night before, and eating and drinking late into the night, we had a lazy morning with a leisurely breakfast and a look through some old photographs, before setting off for Cheshire. Since we were playing a Spanish Civil War-related event at the Bolton Socialist Club on the following evening (Saturday), Rob and I had made the previous decision that we would make our way to the Manchester area and look to visit one of the local folk clubs in the area.
Having carefully researched the options, we contacted the organisers at Bollington Folk Club, located around four miles north-east of Macclesfield, to ask if we could call in on them whilst in the area, and they were very content for us to join one of their Friday singers’ evenings.
The trip from Bradford to our hotel in Knutsford was blissfully uneventful and we arrived in plenty of time to unpack ready for a couple of nights stay in the town.
We had a small meal in our hotel before we set off to Bollington - an attractive little, stone-built, town. The Bollington Folk Club takes place in the upstairs room of the very lively and inviting Dog and Partridge PH in the town and we arrived just as another visiting performer to the club arrived and it was interesting to chat with him about the continuing and encouraging vitality of the folk scene in the wider Cheshire and Staffordshire region.
Soon afterwards, MC Mike Rotheram arrived and began organising performance schedules for the evening. As we were to find out, in line with the club’s wider membership, Mike was a wonderfully welcoming and engaging person.
The Bollington Folk Club is extremely well organised and stuffed full of talented folk singers and instrumentalists. Through the course of the evening, Rob and I were treated to everything from traditional ballads right through to the Kinks and the Beatles, a capella and accompanied. The banter throughout the evening was also of the very highest order and the room was full of laughter.
With respect to what we performed, we did a first set of three songs which I’m pleased to report were very warmly received and after the raffle – which for once I didn’t win – Mike very kindly asked us to finish the evening with another couple of songs. So warm was the support for our contribution to the evening that the good members of Bollington Folk Club proceeded to call for an encore, which we were naturally delighted to provide. ( The club actually provides sound clips from the various singaround nights. These can be found on the folk club website at https://sites.google.com/site/bollingtonfolkclub/sound-clips .)
After chatting for some time with various club members at the end of the evening, we eventually returned to the car and made our way back to our nearby hotel. What a lovely evening, what a lovely folk club and what a friendly pub!
Very many thanks to Pete Wood for making the initial arrangements for us to go along to the Bollington Folk Club and to the wonderful Mike Rotheram and all the other club members present for making feel immediately at home and for supporting our music so fully. We sincerely hope to return to the club at some time in the not too distant future.