Stockton Folk Club 1962 - 2012
Find out about the first
50 years; add your memories and stories; correct the record or post a
||Click here for a brief(ish) history of the Club
To add your stories, comments, corrections etc. to the thread
below, send them by e-mail to mail@sfc
Please include your name ( you can add a pseudonym if
you wish for publication). Because we have a responsibility for this site,
we reserve the right to reject or edit material that is defamatory, manifestly
untrue or totally irrelevant!
[more from the early days] One of the eccentric performers
who visited the club regularly was Fred Osborne, who would perform
on various stringed instruments from the one string fiddle to the
dulcimer: he would sometimes dress up as a pirate to sing sea shanties!
There were two Indian lads who were regulars, and after much persuasion
got up one night to sing amazing wedding songs from their part of
I recall an occasion when various club members arranged to take
over a farmhouse for a "Folk Weekend" in the Cleveland
Hills. It was embarrassing for me as my Bond threewheeler couldn't
make it up the bank, and I had to walk on to get some help from
the lads to push it the last quarter of a mile. We had a good weekend
mind, 'cos the hangover lasted till Tuesday.
|29 Feb '12
||John - I really enjoyed reading the 50 years story of the club and
look forwards to the addition of the memories of the many over the
years. You must have put a lot of work into this!
One thing I would like to add is in my early days the way the night
always ended with the singers (and hangers on?) who got together in
a group huddle for a shanty or three. I have not seen that anywhere
else. Strange male bonding but it worked. [Not just the males:
I'm sure Ron enjoyed it more when he was huddled with one of the
Other minor points - Graham shouting out mind my balls, the stage,
the ladies toilet for the pub meaning women had to come in from the
front room and walk all the way to the front.....[and they didn't
or couldn't always wait until the end of a song, which sometimes disconcerted
our guest performers!]
|9 Mar '12
||Eddie sent a personal memoire of the Club which can be accessed
|2 Sept '12
My first recollection of going to Stockton Folk Club was when
it was held in the Talbot. I recall hearing a girl singing "The
Trimdon Grange Explosion" which moved me greatly - I expect
that was the first time I heard a song by Tommy Armstrong. As the
history says, we were all seated round the billiard tables, but
another thing to mention, for the benefit of younger readers, is
that it was all lit by candlelight, something that these days would
be impossible (Health & Safety). [Don't think the candles
were a regular feature - Ed]
I also remember later going to one session at the Black Lion. To
get to the entrance you walked down a long alley down the side of
the pub and into a room at the rear. To help readers imagine the
size in those days, the room was full and I recall noticing that
the floor was marked out with white lines for a badminton court.
I played a floor spot that night, I think Isang "Lily of the
West" a Joan Baez number, accompanied on my trusty old nylon
strung guitar, an instrument I haven't played in many a year. There
was a lot of noise, which soon subsided once the audience realised
that a singer had started to play - a well-mannered bunch they were.
When the club moved to the Sun, I went along one night on my own
and was immediately invited to a party the following saturday -
a good illustration of how friendly the club was, and is! Terry
[Conway] and I love[d] coming to Stockton....We
were very honoured when Ron Angel came out of retirement to hear
us on our last guest night at the club, since he had been so unwell.
So, long may a lovely club continue to flourish!
|14 Jan '13
||Apparently, I am the guest performer who has been booked the most
times at your club, I would like to say that I consider this a big
I have had some great times at the club: fond memories of many people
but particularly Ron Angel, who always gave me great encouragement.
I also remember when the Wilson Family were barred from the pub, a
particularly unbusinesslike move by the pub management, but with or
without the Wilsons it has always been a first rate club, renowned
for quality nurdling and good chorus singing. yours. Dick Miles
|15 Feb '13
||It gave me great pleasure to find your website. As 16-year-old,
working class boys from Norton, my friend Mick Connell and I discovered
the folk club at The Stork and Castle. I remember it with great fondness,
it was an extraordinary learning experience for me, both culturally
and musically and has been extremely valuable to me throughout my
life. Miraculously, I ended up directing films in Hollywood and my
use of music in these films has been guided from the early influences
of the folk club.
I have very fond memories of all the people who performed there
and was very happy to see a photograph of some of them on your site.
Please pass on my best to any of them who might remember me.
[Franc directed cult film Quadrophenia amongst others. He also
devised the TV format for Auf Wiedersehen Pet for which Mick Connell
was an inspiration]
|6 Apr '13
||Just reading the comments on your website, the latest being from
Franc Roddam. Franc was the person who got me interested in the Stockton
Folk Club and like Franc I went along to the Stork and Castle and
had some great nights, loved every single minute of those evenings
and the memories have stayed with me over the years, often discussed
when I meet up with my brother who also became a folk club enthusiast
and actually sang at the club on a couple of occasions. Ron Angel,
Ken Crawford, Dave Lewis members of the Fettlers singing those great
Graeme Miles Songs, the young up-and-coming Vin Garbutt plus the incredible
guest singers that came to the club in the 60's. I could go on a long
time about those great days, but I can see that the spirit of the
club is still being carried on today by its present members,long may
it continue. Send everybody my very best wishes.
|21 Sept '13
||I've just come across this memory-prompting site. Was it Fred Osborne
who would sing 'Yuper dee a di'?[probably] And was he the
I used to fetch up at the Stork and Castle with my chums as the
teenage Hireman Chiles (?), singing stuff we'd collected through
years of field research in hidden corners of the British Isles.
Or did we learn stuff from from Corrie Folk Trio LPs?.
Fred Osborne took a shine to us, and gave us a kind mention in
his column in a mag called the 'Banjo, Mandolin Guitar monthly',
or some such.
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