Monday, April 28, 2014

Beresford Greene Speaks, 22nd fit ...

Look, I know you [Colin] like trains and respect the builders' skills, so why not publish our Sussex pride?
Here are a some nice photos of Balcombe Ouze Valley viaduct ...

Somewhere I have figures for how many bricks, man-years it all was in the making.

Let me see ...
  • 11 million Dutch bricks.
  • 96 ft high.
  • 1475 ft long.
  • Grade 2 listed building.
  • Designers John Urpeth Rastrick & David Mocatta.
  • £38500 to build.
  • Built 1841.... opened in 1842 .... still carries over 100 trains / day.........fantastic achievement..... beautiful!

Surely worth a visit, if not a whole day out!

Can I just say on the BLOG a heartfelt thank you to all those lovely people that turned out last night [25th inst.] to help make it such a nice evening of lovely music and dancing.
Oh you didn't dance?
No-one asked! 
Perhaps next time -eh! :-) 

Being Friday the 25th of April, 2014 ...

This erudite person took charge ...

"Is that my best profile?" asked Berry.
"Is it OK to wake up now?" asked Mick!

Berry's skillful MC-ing, a fairly prompt start and an encouraging attendance meant that we enjoyed 34 performances during the evening.

Paul employed an Anglo-Saxon expletive only twice.
Otherwise he was polite, considerate and charming.

We welcomed, Peter, a visitor from Toronto.
Berry considered singing a song about this railway company ...

but he couldn't remember the words!

Yvonne declared her affection for an employee of Trinity House ...

Someone needs to tell Yvonne that such
erections are now all remotely operated.

We heard about flowers ...

Don't worry, Marion; some day
the rose will bloom again.

Melissa discovered these blossoms in her father's garden.

Connor took us to a remote village in County Clare ...

Here's a recording with lyrics of Spancil Hill with Christie Moore and Shane MacGowan ...


Connor's rendition was gentler, more sensitive and rather good.
Lynda asked, "What's that song?"
In response Dogsbody had difficulty retaining emotional continence.

Molly was captivated by the notion of 'frolicsome' ...

Could you fancy a poor sailor-lad?

Mave engaged once more with a lady of generous proportions at Mrs Fanshawe's ballroom dancing class ...

Mrs Tiverton was 14 stones and of medium height.
A lady is never a gentleman, but she may be your bosom friend.

Ken, sang and played ...

It's the falling over factor ...
Dogsbody wept uncontrollably!

Marion sang about a silly old fool ...

I won him in a raffle, and now I can't get rid!
Mick didn't appear to mind.

Then, after invoking sunshine, we all went home in silence!
(Thank you.)

Friday, April 25, 2014

To criticise the past and make the future better …

Did you see on BBC 2 Ian Hislop’s Olden Days, (3/3) on 23rd April?
You can probably still find it on I-Player.

There are bits about folk song and music
... and dancing!

Ian Hislop begins by questioning the authenticity of some of the idealised art of the nineteenth century.

"The Country Inn" by Myles Birket Foster.

  • He interviews Vic Gammon about the folk song revival.
  • Vic gives guarded credit to Cecil Sharp ...

What a strange way to ride a bicycle!

  • Did the Victorian engagement with folk music fuel ‘aggressive nationalism’ that contributed to WW1?

  • Then there was Morris dancing ... 

  • Were those battle-weary, shell-shocked soldiers really helped in their rehabilitation by attending Daisy Dakin‘s classes?
(It is so writ: it must be true!)

Hislop is somewhat cynical about the myth that describes ‘Merrie England’.
  • There is similar ambivalence from another circumspect academic, (The Imagined Village, Boyes, G., Manchester, 1993)
  • Briefly and sympathetically, he considers the life and literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien ...

Mordor … “Birmingham by any other name!”

He visits Ambridge in fictional Borstetshire, rural home of The Archers.

  • Ned Larkin bemoans the invention of the traction engine.
  • Hens are given spectacles!

Then there’s a  bit about railways!

Monsal Dale viaduct in Derbyshire.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Being Friday the 18th day of April, 2014 ...

Good Friday!

Moseley supplied Easter eggs ...

Margaret reminded us of the holy significance of the day ...

So did Nigel ...

Paul declared that he doesn't care where his body is buried ...

The Funeral of Phocion, Nicolas Poussin, 1648.

Otherwise we got on with the usual secular stuff in the capable hands of Mike.

Ken broke a nail.
"Use a screw!" advised Tony.
Then Ken proceeded to sing about an archaic strategy for addressing domestic disharmony ...

Mave, however, was taken to dine at this expensive London establishment ...

"Please may I have the bread and dripping?"

In company of Angela and Paul we visited a wondrous valley in the US of A ...

Stuart gave a musical tutorial about Samurai swordsmanship ...

It's not what we do ...
It's the reason behind.

Jo and Graham finished off by hoping to see us all in this place ...

Lips that once were mine ...

Addendum ...

Yes, this was a most enjoyable evening, but there was one regrettable episode as we left.

I write in red because this in very important ...

A neighbour complained about the noise we make as we clear up and depart.
It was a courteous and entirely understandable complaint which I believe was resolved amicably.

OK: folding and stacking tables, shifting chairs etc. cannot be done in silence, but it is noticeable that the volume of conversation escalates significantly.

We must address this in future ...

Please speak quietly, if you must, as you leave.
Always shut the front door behind you.
Never leave it swinging in the wind.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Being Friday the 11th of April, 2014 ...

What do you do when only a few people turn up?
Carry on regardless!

We had time to converse.

We talked about this famous Lancastrian singer …

Kathleen Ferrier, (1912-1953.)

In April, 1953, whilst performing Orpheus, Miss Ferrier suffered a spontaneous fracture of her left femur. Supported by other cast members she continued to sing her remaining arias as the audience remained unaware of her discomfort.
6 months later, at the age of 42, she died of breast cancer.

In the folk world she is probably best remembered for her rendition of Blow the Wind Southerly

Roger demonstrated a plectrum manufactured from a Tesco Clubcard.
“The embossed numbers provide a good grip,” he declared.
The Nectar Card doesn’t work!

We enjoyed what you might call a workshop or rehearsal session with several impromptu collaborations.

Finally we went home bearing happy countenances ...

Now, next Friday, 18th of April, will be Good Friday.
The City Folk Club will operate as normal.
If you don't come you'll miss your complimentary Easter egg!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Being Friday the 4th of April, 2014 ...

Tonorrow may rain, sang Paul.
Hopefully this will settle all that Sarahan dust that has been polluting our atmosphere ...

Nevertheless, Roger insisted on taking us on a military excursion to the banks of the Nile ...

This person was inappropriately attired for such an expedition ...

He taught her gymnastics
and dressed her in tights ...

Did you know that the leotard was named after this famous French acrobat ... ?

Jules LĂ©otard, (1838-1870)

How Ken knew that, or why ... we can but wonder!

Lucy went, "Yee-Ha!"

There was only one storm upon the ocean ...

La Girona, of the Spanish Armada, shipwrecked off the Antrim Coast, 1588.
Artist? Citation awaited.

There were no deaths, and nobody drownded ... in fact nothing to laugh at at all!
(Apologies to Marriott Edgar.)

Despite Dogsbody's efforts to control events, there was much foolishness.
Confusion, however, was kept to a minimum.

At 22.47 hours Berry expressed a desire to go home, so Roger and Mick constructed a ladder ...

... shall shine the traffic of Jacob's Ladder
pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.

That solo was recorded a couple of years ago.
It's even better when complimented by
Mick's fiddling.

If you want to learn more about the poet, Francis Thompson, click here.
If you want to hear more of Roger and Mick's music, just keep coming along to The City Folk Club!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Being the Day of all Fools ...

Well, we'd better learn this song for Friday ...

From the album Folk Songs of Old England, (vol.1,) Topic Records, 1968.

The first printed version of this song appeared in Deuteromelia which was the second part of Pleasant Roundelayes, Delightful Catches, Freeman's Songs published by Thomas Ravenscroft of the Seven Dials in 1609. The theme is the degradation of drink, the master drinking out of the can and telling tall stories, whilst his servant drinking from the cup mocks him. In verse 2 the “Man in the Moon” is King Henry VIII and the man standing in St. Peter's shoes is the Pope. To clout in Old English means to mend; thus it was unlikely so see Henry VIII patching up his differences with the Pope as it was to see a cheese eat a rat.
(Thanks to