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GUEST,John From "Elsie`s Band" John from Elsie's Band / south London (32) RE: John from Elsie's Band / south London 01 Sep 20

    As a result of attending a singing club with Bert LLoyd in Greenwich, circa 1963, I met fellow members there called Potty Walker and Tom Tomkins. I was told me of a folk club in Catford at "The Railway Tavern" and taken there for an introduction. It was run by David Watts and Robin Gray, members of a group called The Taverners. I became part of their team and was the ticket man on the door. It was there, among many others, we had M.Carthy, P.Simon, M.Windsor, N.Catouse, The Haverim, T.Rose, The Young Tradition, J.Felix and so many more. "The Melody Maker" archives could shed more light. I believe the landlord of the "Railway" decided to call a halt and David and Robin again set up shop in pubs not too far from Crystal Palace,(their names desert me), me still being on the door and upsetting students by not letting them in for free. One memorable night we had B.Jansch. He asked me to roll him a cigarette possibly thinking it a something special but it was only "Old Holborn". It was also my introduction to the songs of Fred Jordan. The next one that David and Robin instituted was "The Old Tiger`s Head" at Lee Green, once again me still officiating. Memorable nights when Alex Campbell`s guitar case was spattered with Alan "Tiny" Craig`s spew following an eating and drinking exhibition. He was not best pleased. Also there was a young lad, a friend of one of my football team members, Gordon Gilltrap. Such youthful, astonishing talent. I believe our next club was in Chiselhurst Caves. Memorable guests being P.Simon and Sandy and Jeannie. With David and Robin both marrying their respective wives and moving to Edenbridge we became acquainted with Ken Stubbs and his Sing and Play Nights at "The Wheatsheaf", Marsh Green and "The Queens Arms",(first "Annie`s then "Elsie`s") at Cowden Pound. For us the rest is history. David continued to be the mover and shaker for "Our Sing and Play Nights" at both pubs and we have enjoyed a good innings, settled at "Elsie`s", until this virus and the pub`s recent change of use. At some time during this era we also met and became close to Jim Bainbridge and our friendship has remained so. Robin and I ran for a while a club on Blackheath at "The Green Man" (circa 1964/65). P.Simon was one of our popular guests. The pub is now a block of up-market flats. I am sorry I cannot provide more details for you, it was not the habit then of keeping diaries but so much happened. The more I think, the more guest names come to mind.

Matt, I hope this is of interest.

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