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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Nicholas Waller Alex Eaton Tribute - Topic Folk Club (3) Alex Eaton Tribute - Topic FC 25 Oct 12

On Thursday 1st November 2012 at 8:15pm the Singers and Musicians evening at the Topic Folk Club in Bradford - the oldest folk club in the world* - will be a tribute to its founder, Alex Eaton, who died earlier this year.

The club was started by Alex Eaton and some friends in late 1956, around the time of the Suez Crisis and the Hungarian Uprising, and has carried on meeting on a weekly basis in a succession of venues (now on its 12th) ever since. As far as the records show, the club has only been closed on 40 or so club nights in those 56 years, almost always at Xmas and New Year.

MC for the tribute session is Karl Dallas, who had known Alex since pre-Topic days. Alex's widow, Louise, and other members of Alex's family will be coming along, and the evening will include reflections on Alex's life and music. Karl recently circulated a list of 32 of Alex's favourite songs, with the idea that people attending might like to try and sing some of them. For anyone thinking of coming along, check the latest Newsletter on the Topic site.

In particular, Karl says, the song The Time To Be Happy Is Now was played at Alex's funeral, and it would be good if we all sang it at the end of the night. The words go:

The time to be happy is now, the place to be happy is here.
And the way to be happy is to make someone happy
And we'll have a little heaven right here

Alex Eaton had contributed over the years to his local newspaper, the Telegraph and Argus, so it is fitting that they have an article about him and this tribute night.



This subject has been raised on these pages before... The Topic was not the first, and in some respects is also not the oldest entity that calls itself a folk music club, but it is at least, we think, "the oldest continuously-running weekly (pub-based) folk club" in the world. Anyway, have a look at the History page on the site.

For anyone wondering what sort of guests came to folk clubs in the North of England in the mid-to-late 1960s, we also have a pretty comprehensive listing of club meetings from 1964 to 2012 on the site, and a few records from the first eight years as well.

For good measure, there is also an A-to-Z of all acts who have ever appeared, from Pete Abbott through Ewan MacColl to Zoox.

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