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29 messages

Birtley Folk Club to close

21 Nov 14 - 03:34 AM (#3678836)
Subject: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: Dave Sutherland

Received the sad news from Doreen and Brian Henderson last night that in December Birtley Folk Club will close after 52 years of continuous service. Birtley was an essential part of my growing up in the folk world from 1966 until moving away in 1978. In my early days Birtley was one of the folk clubs known Nationwide as was The Elliott Family who ran the club, Doreen and Brian being the last ones to keep it going.


21 Nov 14 - 10:28 AM (#3678948)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: Betsy

Sad news indeed.


21 Nov 14 - 11:50 AM (#3678977)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: ian1943

It is sad news indeed that one of the oldest clubs in the north east is to close after 52 years. Well done to those who kept the flag flying for so long!


21 Nov 14 - 02:26 PM (#3679023)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: GUEST,twerp

It was a great club. Shame.


21 Nov 14 - 05:17 PM (#3679067)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: JHW

I'm sorry to hear but will admit I don't think I've been since the 50th party.


22 Nov 14 - 07:28 AM (#3679169)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: Wheatman

I served my singing apprenticeship at the Three Tuns, Birtley at the ripe old age of 15. Sang there regularly until I moved south in '72. Pete and Pat came to my wedding and I have always tried to visit the club once or twice a year when I return north to do the tourist bit. The style and ethos of this club was unique, never repeated at any of the other clubs I have either visited or help run since '72. I am not surprised it will not continue in the new year as the average age of the attendees must be rather high (I think I must have been one of the youngest there on my visit this summer) and I am 64. Bless you Doreen and Brian for keeping it going for so long, I do hope your retirement is not due to anything sinister. Gan Canny Brian


22 Nov 14 - 07:28 AM (#3679170)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: Wheatman

I served my singing apprenticeship at the Three Tuns, Birtley at the ripe old age of 15. Sang there regularly until I moved south in '72. Pete and Pat came to my wedding and I have always tried to visit the club once or twice a year when I return north to do the tourist bit. The style and ethos of this club was unique, never repeated at any of the other clubs I have either visited or help run since '72. I am not surprised it will not continue in the new year as the average age of the attendees must be rather high (I think I must have been one of the youngest there on my visit this summer) and I am 64. Bless you Doreen and Brian for keeping it going for so long, I do hope your retirement is not due to anything sinister. Gan Canny Brian


24 Nov 14 - 11:11 AM (#3679604)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: RoyH (Burl)

I have too often had to write a regretful note in a thread announcing the passing of an individual from our folk world, but how to write about an obit on a club? No entry in my gig diary was looked forward to more than a visit to Birtley. To me it was all that a folk club should be, and it was my joy to sing there many times.
Early in my pro singing career, so early I was still trying to play the guitar, I was offered a booking there. I can still remember the feeling I had then, that if a famous club like Birtley would book me I must be making some progress. The gig went well and I continued to be a guest there over the years,loving to be sharing the evening with all the Elliotts, Jock Purdon and friends.
Alas, nothing lasts forever, and so we reach the sad news of the closing of the club. I respect Brian and Doreen's decision that the time had come to bring down the curtain, and thank them and the rest of the family for keeping it going for so long. Goodbye Birtley Folk Club, and thanks for the memories. ROY.


24 Nov 14 - 03:21 PM (#3679670)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: GUEST,Joe G

Very sad to hear this - the club was nothing short of legendary when I was younger though I don't think I ever managed to make the trip up from Hartlepool

Well done to all for keeping it going so long - almost as long as the Topic!


25 Nov 14 - 04:07 AM (#3679784)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: GUEST,Nigel H

Incredible loss to the North East culture, Birtley was always THE folk club, where singers were just "people", regardless of ability or stature, which encouraged young / inexperienced singers to contribute.
Well done Brian and Doreen all these years, but I guess no-one could replace them


25 Nov 14 - 01:02 PM (#3679948)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: RiGGy

Even I, across the pond on the other side of America, am saddened deeply by this. Pete and Pat were such kind and generous hosts, and had amazing guests. I was truly over-joyed to meet Bert Lloyd there during my extended visit in '72.


26 Nov 14 - 05:13 AM (#3680102)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: Wheatman

Well said Nigel H


26 Nov 14 - 07:07 AM (#3680152)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: GUEST,George Henderson

Just booked my flight so that I can say goodbye in person. Birtley is where everything started for me back in 1967 or thereabouts.

Well done to the Elliott's for this magnificent club and its a huge achievements.


26 Nov 14 - 12:40 PM (#3680251)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: Dennis the Elder

I have never been to Birtley, but it sounds to have been a great club from the comments this thread. I help run the Wath Folk Club in South Yorkshire and we too are struggling.
We have changed from a weekly club to once a month with our first once monthly meeting this Sunday. We are trying everything we can to keep going, but must admit it can be hard work and I hope our new venture will succeed..
Is there not someone in the Birtley Folk Club area that can help, it certainly sounds like a club well worth saving or have all avenues already been tried?


27 Nov 14 - 11:00 AM (#3680502)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: GUEST,jim & francie bainbridge

I'd like to add my thanks to the Elliotts who set up that amazing club over 50 years ago- an inspiration to us all, as Doreen & Bryan are still.
I wasn't there at the beginning but about 1964/65, the club ran a monthly 'ceili' dance in the 'Three Tuns'- the three local bands played in turn, the High Level Ranters, John Doonan's Tara Ceil Band and us- the 'Marsden Rattlers'- great times, the Rattlers travelled over from South Shields in Jim Irvine's Ford Prefect before he moved up to a mini.
Would love to be at the closing party especially for the face-to-face singing competition (!) but am otherwise engaged in Ireland- the end of the club is sad but inevitable really- we will both be there in spirit


27 Nov 14 - 04:31 PM (#3680590)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: GUEST,kenny

Sad to hear of the closure of any club, especially one which has been going for so long. If this is not a stupid question, what are the reasons for the club closing ?


29 Nov 14 - 06:26 AM (#3680940)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: Dennis the Elder

It's a good question Kenny, I was wondering the same, does anyone have an answer?


29 Nov 14 - 09:57 AM (#3680980)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: GUEST

Doreen and Brian being of advancing years may be a prime reason. I'm sure that they would have loved the club to continue but it seems that there is no one prepared to take it over.


29 Nov 14 - 10:34 AM (#3680991)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: Wheatman

Is there going to be a final party?


29 Nov 14 - 05:41 PM (#3681072)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: JHW

Somewhere I should still have an engraved glass trophy mug from the face to face singing contest. Had forgotten all about that.


30 Nov 14 - 01:19 PM (#3681233)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: GUEST,guest

For many years, the last practical Wednesday before Christmas has been the date for the Birtley Christmas party, featuring the hilarious Face to Face singing competition, which is an experience not to be missed and which is exactly that.
The final night of the club will be on 17 December at the regular club venue- the Catholic Club in Birtley- it's a big room & will be well attended.


30 Nov 14 - 04:14 PM (#3681272)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: The Sandman

It is a very sad day when any folk club closes, but particularly a club with a history like Birtley.


07 Apr 15 - 05:21 PM (#3700365)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: GUEST,Hartlepool Folk Festival

There will be an event to commemorate the legacy of Birtley Folk Club on 16 October at Hartlepool Folk Festival. Hosted by Doreen and Brian Henderson with festival patrons The Wilsons, it will feature many guests and friends of the club including Bob Davenport, Johnny Handle, Benny Graham and Pete Wood. Doc Rowe will provide historic archive films of the Elliotts.

The following day we will be Screening Death of a Miner, the 1967 film about Jack Elliott.

Tickets from 1 May from hartlepoolfolkfest.co.uk


07 Apr 15 - 05:59 PM (#3700370)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: John Routledge

What an amazing centre piece for us of a certain age.


08 Apr 15 - 04:51 AM (#3700449)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: GUEST,patriot

There's a great tribute to the club and its unique nature in the current issue (107) of the Living Tradition magazine


24 Feb 19 - 02:48 PM (#3978783)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: GUEST,Brian Williams

Not surprised itís closing
Itís been going downhill ever since that dwarfish hideous creep Henderson took over.
To watch him insulting and vulnerable members of the audience was
despicable.


24 Feb 19 - 03:05 PM (#3978789)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: GUEST

A mere 4 years too late.


24 Feb 19 - 03:52 PM (#3978800)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: Dave Sutherland

Troll alert!


25 Feb 19 - 05:22 AM (#3978887)
Subject: RE: Birtley Folk Club to close
From: GUEST

you've got the wrong man & probably the wrong club- nobody ever 'took over' at Birtley- that was the whole point!