Mudcat Café message #3886356 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162917   Message #3886356
Posted By: Big Al Whittle
02-Nov-17 - 06:46 AM
Thread Name: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
This is a very rewarding thread.

My own family were descended from the navvies that were working on the canals round Liverpool in the early 1800's. My grandfather was sold as an infant for a quid to the Whittle family - by an Irish gypsy lady called Travers. The sale was effected in a pub in St Helens.

As Jim's post had relevance to me personally. it was interesting. not that i like to get bogged down in the past. the grandfather became an english soldier who had no truck with the Irish republican cause. THe Irish branch of the family were doing physical jerks with some sort of IRA youth organisation in the 1930's - preparing to fight with the English! I can see how they wouldn't get on. history isn't a tidy business.

however , Ray Padgett's hard headed analysis is probably the most interesting set of propositions to people who actually do the business of organising folk clubs. I won't say Jim's turf war isn't interesting, but one suspects its really neither here nor there. When folk clubs were doing well. The Grey Cock and The Star Club and The Old Crown in Digbeth were packing in the traddy crowd and Les Ward and Jim McPhee were running very successful contemporary folk clubs during the 1970's. When folk clubs were doing well. Everyone was doing well.

My own recollection of the period was that I had a folk club in the wilds of Staffordshire that I took over from Andy Dwyer. I can remember when petrol went up to 30p a gallon , I thought - people won't be able to afford to come out this far. Though it went on another couple years and OPEC kept the pressure on.

Also the breweries got very greedy . Landlords were paying so much rent, they had to charge a lot for drinks.

The tightening up of the breathalyser laws were beneficial for road safety. Neverthe less I suspect there are many of whose heart sinks at the thought of buying diet coke all evening at three quid plus a pint. And the stuff running through you like a bloody tap.

Other considerations are the differing attitudes to disability. You can't really expect an upstairs room in a pub to be an acceptable venue any more. MOre pubs are geared towards being 'food' pubs nowadays. Families eat out more.

Those pubs that want to be drinking holes - the chairs are often bloody uncomfortable and sometimes non existent

Realistically - don't you think these factors have provided more problems for folk clubs than disagreements about what a few intellectuals cooked up in 1954.