Mudcat Café message #1827863 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #93946   Message #1827863
Posted By: GUEST,Rosemary Tawney
05-Sep-06 - 06:22 PM
Thread Name: Cyril Tawney celebration @ C# House-14 April 2007
Subject: RE: Cyril Tawney celebration @ C# House
Thanks to Mr. Red for alerting me to this thread. I think Blowzabella has already said most of what I would like to say the many events which have taken place since Cyril died have been spontaneously locally-generated; I'm not even sure that I know about all of them. Celebrating Cyril is a one-off national event, which itself grew from a suggestion by one of the group which has volunteered to organise it, made after the Tribute Concert at last year's Sidmouth Folk Week. All the performers and organisers are giving freely of their talents and time and the EFDSS is helping with the use of Cecil Sharp House. Even if the organisers were in the business of looking for hosts, I doubt that they or anyone else could come up with such a line-up again.

Hampshire Hog has a county-biased picture of Cyril's life. Though born in Gosport, he spent four and a half formative years of his childhood evacuated to Hambledon, then 2 years in Gosport before entering the Navy. Even counting his 4-year Naval apprenticeship, this makes about 15 years living in Gosport, plus home leave and other visits. He spent 27 years in the North of England, sandwiched between a total of 18 in Devon.

Re Blowzabella's query my records show that Cyril did a Gosport Festival in April 1992 and another in1993 or 1995 (can't read my writing). I'm not sure whether the current management was involved, but I well remember the 1992 event, because I had a sales point in the large marquee in which Cyril was appearing the crowds began to come in very early and I had literally sold all my stock before the concert started! Cyril was approached once again, fairly recently, but was unable to accept the gig because he was already booked at Lancaster Maritime.

Which brings me to Blowzabella's other point about the lack some of the 'oldtimers' (sorry, baby Hughie) at general festivals in recent years. We thought that is related to whether or not an artist is handled by an agency or management. In the 1960s and 1970s, Cyril worked partly through Folk Directions and Highway Artistes, but latterly we organised everything ourselves. This worked well, and consisted mainly of me co-ordinating requests and filling the gaps in tours by approaching clubs which booked Cyril regularly anyway. I'm not cut out for 'cold calling' and fortunately rarely needed to do it. With the rise of the bigger agencies, many festival organisers have found it convenient to book a package, though some, such as Whitby Folk Week, ploughed a different furrow. This is not a complaint, merely a statement of fact as we saw it. Cyril enjoyed festivals and concerts but the clubs were his greatest pleasure, in spite of the drawbacks of touring.

I hope this isn't too longwinded for Mudcat. Thank you all for your past, present and future support.

Rosemary