Mudcat Café message #2723327 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #122842   Message #2723327
Posted By: GUEST,Derek Schofield
14-Sep-09 - 08:52 AM
Thread Name: Liverpool Folk Club 1970
Subject: RE: Liverpool Folk Club 1970
My own involvement in the Liverpool folk scene was brief, but to me,
significant. I grew up in Crosby and attended Waterloo Grammar School, 1962-69.

Sometime in the fourth or fifth year, I came across folk music. This was a knock-on impact from Dylan and the protest songs in the charts and its fringes I guess. The school had a strong musical side to it - I was in the school choir, as were several school friends who acquired guitars. We started singing 'folk' songs in the fifth year, I think, when the school was strengthening the House system by having social evenings - the finale to the first evening, in perhaps December 1966, was a selection of songs from the folk
group. No idea now what we sang, but perhaps it included the likes of
Blowing in the Wind, Kumbaya...

By the time we entered the sixth form, we were taking this a bit more
seriously, adding to the repertoire, attending Jacqui and Bridie and
Spinners concerts at the Phil, learning their songs, and making contact with similar folk groups in the other 5 grammar schools in Crosby - Merchant Taylors Boys and Girls, St Mary's (boys RC) and Seafield Convent (girls RC) and Waterloo Park (Girls) Grammar. We did folk nights in the schools etc.

The folk group I was in settled at three people - Graham Matthews, Geoff Holland and I - we were called The Tarrymen. We increased the repertoire, but didn't know anything about the wider folk scene - we didn't even know that folk clubs existed.

After A levels, Graham went to Keele, Geoff stayed in Liverpool and I went to Manchester. We all continued our interest, although
I became the most keen! I joined the uni folk song society, bought the Deep Lancashire LP, and that took me to Harry Boardman's folk club, the Manchester Sports Guild, Bert Lloyd's Folk Song in England, the EFDSS..... By the end of my first year, I'd become secretary of the uni folk song society!

Back in Crosby for the summer, Graham, Geoff and I decided to run a folk club (during the summer, when many folk clubs closed down! Perhaps that's why we got a good audience!). Somewhere during the previous year, we'd come into contact with the County Folk who ran a folk club at The Ship Inn, Haskayne, but they closed for the summer and were at a loose end and we ran the club jointly. The
venue was The Litherland Hotel, Litherland. We had guests every 2 weeks I think, but I can't remember who they were - but the Calton 3 spring to mind.

After we went back to uni, and the club folded, someone else ran a club in the pub - a family band from Liverpool, name escapes me!

During this time - summer 1970, vacations through from 1969 to 1972 - we went to other folk clubs - Liverpool Folk Club at The Mitre started during this time I think, The Bothy at Southport (the Tarrymen sang there). But in 1971, I stayed in Manchester for the summer, and was one of the organisers of Manchester Folk Festival that September. I also went to Sidmouth and Whitby that summer.

During other uni vacations, and after graduation before going to teacher training college, I was in Crosby and went to various folk events. I remember MacColl and Seeger at the Bothy the night of a big football match... After 1973, I was in Crewe where the folk club was held on Sundays, so trips to the Bothy were rare!

During my time attending folk clubs in liverpool, I came across John Howson (who later came to do his teacher training at Madeley or Alsager and who came to the Crewe clubs once or twice - I think we went back to Liverpool at weekends), Barbara Bennion/Snape, her friend Mary (now in Newcastle), Stan Ambrose, Tony Wilson/Molyneux. I remember Bruce Scott singing at the Mitre, Bernie Davis who also went to Sidmouth in 71. Others I've met since, eg Clive at the Bothy, Geoff Speed, John Kaneen.

It's been a good thread - keep it going!