Sale Folk Club's first night in the United Services Club was a great success and the room was almost completely full with 55 people of which 23 were performers. We were well supported by residents Bernice Carters, Mick Hare and John Condy as the "Anything Goes" band, Ed Bentham and Terry McKenna. Sue Bentham and Heather Kenyon held the raffle while Ian Marsden became our doorman.
An 8.00pm start enabled almost everyone to perform twice and 10 people came back for a third time which was very satisfying. Even more rewarding was the quality that everyone brought to the evening.
Traditional songs were well represented by Carl Corbett, Helen Jocys, Alan Grace (the shantyman), Ann Cojeen with her Honiton Lace, Jan Taylor with a lovely song in Welsh, Phil Edwards with the Bonny Bunch of Roses and Rob White who only sings while leaning against the wall (don't ask). Clare Rigby gave us a tune on the whistle and modern folk came in the form of self-penned works by Leah, Harry and Jim Blanchflower in "Axe to Grind" and some nice country music from Ged. The whole evening was held together by episodes of great humour. Ian Marsden and Derrick Kenyon (resident poet) told stories whilst Mark Taylor, Eric and Ed sang several very funny songs.
Many friends from the old days at the Railway Folk Club were there but there was a great response to our article in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger which brought in at least half of the audience. Here's looking forward to week 2 when with a bit of luck we may have a visit from the Marmalade Band giving people a choice to join in and play a few tunes.
Finally UCS is a warm and friendly atmosphere and Jim Clarke, the USC Secretary, made it clear that he hoped that we would go on to become best folk club in the area.