Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pics from the picnic ...

Ominous curtains of grey cloud scudded across an oppressively low sky.
Thunder growled in the distance.
Penetrating drizzle drifted sideways in a chilling north-easterly breeze.

... and this was supposed to be spring?!!!

Fortunately we had decided to hold our seasonal-celebratory ‘picnic’ indoors.
The Guide Hall was quite cosy once we’d fired up the central heating and adjusted the thermostats on the radiators to MAX.

Right on time, Helen, of Baps ‘n Buns, (outside caterers from Barnham,) arrived with generous platters of sandwiches and appetising savoury nibbles.
That was all rather good. click here: recommended

Participants supplemented this gastronomic fare by bringing cakes, tarts and other sweet things.
After a while there were mutterings: “When is somebody going to start?”

This man of strangely bilious complexion, wearing a very silly hat, took the initiative and invited Berry and Paul, (who hadn’t finished his first sandwich,) to start some music.

Then we cruised with musical contributions from anyone who was encouraged to perform.

Great to see Ray

Meanwhile, Angela occupied some floor-space surrounded by bits of organic matter: flowers, willow, greenery and the like. She even ran a workshop on how to create flower garlands. That commanded Lynda’s full attention, and the results were truly remarkable.

Is that clockwise or anticlockwise?

After a short break for second-helpings of food we embarked again on music.
Lucy led us in a community sing with a song in some odd dialect of Swahili – in no less than a four-part round. The harmonies were glorious when we got the timing right!

Then came the big moment: the May Queen Competition

Aspirant May Queens

As senior club member, Ray was invited to adjudicate.
He selected Jane ...

After that we had to consider the Jack-in-the-Green contest.
Clearly, the only winner, (by virtue of his surname and his valued regular support and contributions to the club,) could be Berry ...

This was a most enjoyable afternoon, and I trust that those gods of stormy weather have been appeased by our efforts.

Thank you to everybody who turned up and contributed in whatever way, (even if you had to pay to park on a Saturday afternoon.)

Now, for my next EBay auction: a green foliated top-hat …

(A partially used pot of green face-paint will be included f.o.c.)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Being Friday the 27th of April, 2012 ...

There was just one serious tragedy this evening.
The head of the locomotive engineer, George, was discovered by the firebox door.
Regarding the rest of his remains: it is too grizzly to describe in this public domain.

Here’s George’s engine: number 143 …

Otherwise there was our usual fun, and some participants proffered amusing quasi-Russian names to delight our imagination …

  • Ivor Chestikov: Ken recovering from a slight cold.
  • Eva Vestov: a soviet striptease artiste.
  • Rimsky Takyerkorsitov: a randy Russian composer brought up in Glasgow.
Berry was in the chair and, (having little patience for such frivolity,) he gently facilitated the gathering to sing and make music.

We all did the best we could …

Father and Son: Paul
Never, oh, Never Again: Lucy
I am Weary, Let me Rest: Angela
All Around my Hat: Roland
You've got a Friend: Margaret
Weary Cutters: Colin
Alone under Oxford Street: Roger
Nothing You Can Do: Mick & Marion T.
Manchester Rambler: Mave
Nobody's Darling but Mine: Marion & Mick T.
Sad Ending: Mick W.
Jambalaya: Berry & company
I Wish I Knew you Before: Paul
Leftover Wine: Lucy
Engine Number 143: Angela
Windy Old Weather: Roland
When I Need you: Margaret
On One April Morning: Colin
Unfed Melody: Mave
Adieu, Adieu: Roger
O'Carolan's Draft: Mick W.
Across the Great Divide: Mick & Marion T.
Going Home: Marion & Mick T.
I'll See You in my Dreams: Berry
Raining in my Heart: Paul
If not for You: Lucy
You are my Sunshine: Angela
Careless Love: Margaret
Rolling Down to Old Maui: Colin & Roland
When I'm Gone, Sally don't you Grieve: Mick & Marion T.
Good Old Apple Wine: Marion & Mick T.
Things about coming my Way: Roger
Mississippi Blues: Mick T.

"Oh, dear ..." said the Fat Controller.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Being Friday, 20th April, 2012 ...

Innumerable deaths, graves, an inadvertent homicide, imprisonments, history, philosophy, one lost maidenhead, cross-dressing, a smattering of loving tenderness and at least two trains …
It all happens in the virtual world of the City Folk Club!

We were pleased to welcome Derek and Roberta all the way from Worcestershire.
Derek plays a mean guitar, and Mike, (MC,) had to split up fret-board corner for the sake of variety.

Phine, now resident in Singapore, paid us a visit.
It was a delight to see and hear her.
At her request Roger performed his rear-view-mirror song.
That has long been a favourite in our gathering.
Lynda sang ‘Farewell, farewell’ for Phine, and we all hope it won’t be forever.

We mourned for the passing of Bert Weedon. It was he that taught Berry to play the guitar in 24 hours …

The forthcoming centenary of Woody Guthrie’s birth did not go unnoticed …

Here’s what we heard …

Both Sides Now: Mike
Wonderful Picture of you: Paul
When I've Done my Time: Les
Foggy Dew (revolutionary): Colin
Garden of Graves: Elayne
Beware, Take Care: Angela
So Long, it's been Good to Know Ya: Roland
Elizabethan Days/The Last Dance: Derek
My True Love: Annie
Out of the Blue: Mick
I Know Where I'm Going: Margaret
Rear View Mirror: Roger
Molly Bawn: Lynda
Let's Keep it that Way: Phine
Big Grand Coolee Dam: Paul
Folsom Prison Blues: Les
Ups and Downs: Colin
Polly Oliver: Elayne
The Nest: Angela
This Land is Your Land: Roland & Angela
Crooked Road: Derek
Stone Walls do not a Prison Make:Annie
3 Polkas: Mick & Mike
Sweet Little Sixteen: Berry
Five Hundred Miles: Margaret
Banks of the Nile: Roger
Farewell, Farewell: Lynda
What Shall I Write: Phine
Bring us a Barrel: Colin

Dogsbody had to be educated as to the meaning of the adjective ‘tender’.
He thought it was a noun: something to do with a train …

An 8-wheel 'watercart' belonging to a Drummond T9 4-4-0 express locomotive of the London & Southwestern Railway.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Win a Prize at the Picnic ...

We have decided that a competitive element to our seasonal celebration, (Saturday, 28th April,) might prove entertaining.
Accordingly, prizes will be awarded to two people who attend most convincingly attired/costumed/decorated as Jack-in-the-Green and May Queen.

Here's one Jack ...

... and here's a May Queen ...

There are plenty of other images out there in Google to stimulate your imagination.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Being Friday the 13th of April, 2012 ...

This was one of those really cosy evenings: not too hot, not too cold - just right!
Many of the songs referred to weather.

We had lots of sunshine …

… but rain, rainbows, wind, ice, thunder and lightening followed shortly …

There were only three bereavements to report from the repertoire.

There was one pregnancy, two marriages, a bit of love in French, a few sad partings, a smattering of holiness, but no songs about trains, and no yodelling.

Nevertheless, Paul bravely and competently whistled in his opening number.

Crazy: Paul
Annabelle: Lynda
Empty Days: Eddie
Sunshine on my Shoulders: Les
Mr Smith & Mr Jones: Tony
Why Worry: Nigel
Sand and Water: Lucy
Searching for Lambs: Colin
The Shepherd's Daughter: Angela
Moonshadow: Paul
Galway Shawl: Lynda
Cockles and Mussels: Brenda, (Lynda's mum.)
See that Rainbow Shine: Eddie
Morning Bells will Chime: Les
Qu'il est difficile d'aimer: Tony, (trans, Angela.)
Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain: Nigel
Willie Ole Lad: Colin
Anchored in Love: Angela & Paul
Steal Away: Paul
In the Early Morning Rain: Lynda & Paul
Lonely with You: Eddie
Leaving on a Jet Plane: Les
Dimming of the Day: Nigel
Rolling Down to Old Maui: Colin & community
Just a Closer Walk with Thee: Nigel

Please remember:
prompt start next week, (doors open 7.30pm,) and we must vacate the hall by 10.30pm.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

One Hundred Years Ago ...

In the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and twelve:

10th April: RMS Titanic, on her maiden voyage under the command of Captain Edward John Smith, departs Southampton with over 2000 passengers bound for New York ...

14th April, 23.40 hours: Titanic collides with one of these monsters 375 miles south of Newfoundland ...

15th April,  02.20 hours: Titanic breaks her back and sinks ...

It is a matter of some debate whether the quartet really did play Nearer my God to Thee as the ship went down, but it's a nice idea, isn't it?

04.00 hours: RMS Carpathia arrives at the scene, and 710 survivors are taken on board.

18th April:
Carpathia docks at New York ...

I wonder: has anyone got a song about this?
Here's one ...

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I have just received a letter from the Guide Hall management.
Apparently the front door of the hall has been damaged for a second time because someone has left it open to swing in the wind. Repairs have been very costly.

The letter goes on to say that 'spot checks' will be undertaken.
If the door is observed to be unsecured during the hirer's occupation, then that group's rental will be increased.

I am confident that nobody is pointing an accusatory finger at our club.
We have a reputation for being 'responsible' people.
(It takes a long time to acquire a reputation. A good reputation can be lost in an instant! Who said that?)

So, the message is clear:
Please ensure that the front door is never left to swing in the wind.
It should be closed or securely hooked open.
In future it will be kept securely hooked open during the setting-up process, and closed as soon as music commences.
At the end of our proceedings it will be once again securely hooked open until the last person has left.

Please consider the neighbours as you leave in silence.