Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Through the Keyhole ...

Now, who lives in a house like this?

Have you heard of Stoney Ridge?
Should I have?
Is it famous?

The answer to the leading question is Lord and Lady National Trust of Uppark.
To the other three, your corresponding rhetorical answers could reasonably be ...
“Is that a geological feature?”
“Where is it?"
"Why not?"

Allow me to enlighten the reader …
The Stoney Ridge Band comprises Mick and Marion Tipper (guitar and bass), Barry Gordon (banjo) and their fiddlin’ accomplice, Richard.
We are regularly privileged to enjoy Mick and Marion’s company and music at the City Folk Club.
Occasionally, all too infrequently, we see/hear Barry.
Last week, (oh, joy!) Richard came along.
All are accomplished and talented musicians, as well as being extraordinarily delightful people.

One has to ask, “What are they doing coming all the way from Portsmouth to be in such dubious company as the City Folk Club?”
“Have they nothing better to do on a Friday evening?!”

While it is not the function of this blog to promote commercial events, on this occasion, I give myself permission to celebrate the musical enterprise of CFC’s deservedly popular participants.

The Stoney Ridge Band will be performing for a barn dance at Uppark House, (pictured above,) on Saturday 10th July, 7.00 – 11.00pm.
Tickets in advance are £15.00 (to include supper) from Uppark House.
Telephone: 01730 825857.
Website: Uppark House and Garden. You have to navigate through 'events' on the menu, and I doubt you’ll be able to book on-line.

Shall we all go?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ray Hedges is in St. Richard's Hospital

Ray can't keep away from St. Richard's, it seems. (I think he's got something going with one of the nurses...). He's in Charlton Ward, pending transfer to Southampton for an operation: this might be one or two weeks away.

You can easily request something to be played for Ray on Chichester Hospital Radio. See www.chr1431.org.uk/request.html or send an email to studio@chr1431.org.uk containing the following details:

Request for: Ray Hedges

In Ward: Charlton

Requested by:

1st choice:

2nd choice:

Preferred date to be played:

Additional information:

Visiting hours for Charlton Ward are 3pm-5pm and 6.30pm-8pm. You can phone to see if he's still in, on 01243 788122 ext. 5101/2 or 01243 831568.

(When the Tuesday request team looked-in on Ray, they thought there was a party going on (although there's supposed to be no more than two visitors at a time)!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Don't mess with a pachyderm ...

I recently heard from our friend, Gigi, in South Africa.
She had a close encounter with an elephant.
This is her car ...

The vehicle is somewhat dented.
Gigi, recovering from extensive bruising, sends her love and good wishes to us all.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Memoirs of a Folk-Song Collector in Rural England

Miss de Hyde has journeyed to a small hamlet in Somersetshire, in hopes to record some 'rustic songs'. Now read on...

I had arranged accommodation at the hostelry in Lingham Peveril. The Horne Goat overlooked the small village green with its duckpond charmingly indistinguishable from it due to its thick covering of algae. The manservant, Old Trouser, showed me to my room, insisting that he be paid two-and-sevenpence-three-farthings in advance, "as was the custom". Unpacking, I noticed that the increasingly sultry weather had not treated my wax cylinders kindly, and I resolved to make the acquaintance of the local butcher, with a view to my storing them in his chill room, once I had succeeded in re-shaping them to the correct profile. Somewhat fatigued by the journey, and moreso by the weather, the temperature surely having reached the upper eighties, I secured the door and removed my clothes to lay on the bed for a while in the hope of becoming cooler. I gained the strange feeling that I was being watched, but could not determine whether, nor wherefrom. I put this feeling from my mind, but became aware of a draught, seemingly emanating from a knothole in the panelling beside the bed. On putting my finger into the hole to ascertain for certain that it was the origin of my discomfort, I was sure I heard a faint cry. Stopping the knothole with tissue paper, I retired and slumbered for perhaps an hour. Pulling on sufficient clothing to render myself decent, I rang for a servant to fetch me a cup of tea. Old Trouser appeared in answer, with a bandage over one eye - an accident in the stables, he gave me to understand. Artisans are unfortunate enough to run continual risk of injury in the course of their duties, it seems.

(to be continued)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

That Radio Broadcast You're Not Meant to Hear ...

I am simply an ill-informed bystander, so, rather like voting in our recent general election, the following observations and opinions are probably meaningless.

This evening I accidentally stumbled across a radio broadcast of folk music. It was hosted by a regularly unapologetic heckler at the City Folk Club. The live guest was one David, (genial host and MC.)

Ken had the incisive interviewing technique worthy of the late Sir Robin Day. Through the indistinct radio-waves you could tell that he was wearing a bow-tie and bore a mischievous countenance.

David, in the face of rigorous interrogation maintained his electromagnetic smile and, unlike that infamous precedent with an erstwhile Foreign Minister, did not discard the microphone and walk out.
Indeed, David maintained remarkable composure and, in response to questions about CFC, uttered (...err ...) phrases like:
“ … err …That’s a good question.”
“ … err … Ambition in a young person is a terrible thing.”
“ … err … not in the first flush of youth.”
“ … err … it’s really good fun.”

He used words like ‘encourage’ and ‘err … confidence’.
(“ … err,” seems to be David’s preferred introduction to any important statement.)

Both Ken and David are to be congratulated on an engaging and enjoyable piece of broadcasting. It was obviously widely appreciated as judged by the constant atmospheric crackle that could easily be construed as universal applause. I even detected one member of the ethereal audience voicing approval in impeccable Serbo-Croat.

Seriously now, it was excellent!

Ken, both in his broadcasting and elsewhere, has always been an enthusiastic ambassador of folk music, particularly for local performers. I thank him for that.
David’s musical contributions were well-chosen, a delight to hear and faultlessly performed.
‘When the Spring has Come’ was a tear-jerker.

Very well done, both.
Thank you.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Coda 30th April

On the 30th of April, we lost a good friend and supporter, and a lovely lady. Our sympathy goes to Ray Hedges and his family. Mary didn't contribute to our club musically, but was a warm, chuckling presence and adviser - even if Ray didn't always obey her instructions! Now released from earthly suffering, we hope she has music still, in her celestial dwelling. We will miss her.