Saturday 5th and we are at the TAMWORTH and WILNECOTE Scottish Society. Good to be back here. Dressing room has been transformed and Al asks if we can move in there. Great crowd as usual. Nice to see some friendly faces from past gigs.
Saturday 12th is SNITTERFIELD which is out on the Warwick Road. Lots of little country lanes most of which were flooded. Most of the people we know really well and they have come and supported us at various villages around the area. Pity we can’t have 2 nights with them…one to do the gig and the other to catch up on gossip. They are a lovely bunch to work for. Many thanks to Pat for inviting us back there.
Rod Lumley invited us back to WORFIELD Golf Club tonight and very kindly invited us to share the sit down meal. We are very fortunate to work for such nice people who treat us like old friends. Great to see you all again and share a laugh. Loved the tortoise story, Rod!
A new venue for us tonight out in between Gnosall and Newport. This was a little village called MORETON. This was by far the best village Hall we have been to in a long time in terms of built for purpose. The villagers have worked very hard to raise money and then had it matched by a lottery grant to get the new Moreton Millenium Hall built. It is clear it is well used and wonderful to see how well the people get on together. We had all ages in there. Great to see Martin, Jackie and Sue again.
Thanks to Dawn and the committee for making us so welcome and for having the faith. Al got lots of hugs and kisses.
Another new venue this evening at BROCTON Golf Club. What a beautiful building it is. Built much on the same lines as Shifnall Golf Club. Lots of rooms to explore and a very comfortable and soothing bar.
Thanks to Mike for looking after us and thanks to the audience for making us so welcome. Hope we get to see you again.
This has been a big month for Allan who had his 60th birthday on the 31st. This month has been non stop partying…….well, as much partying as is possible when you are a grumpy old git!
Mid month we had a couple if days in LONDON with our friends Carole and Mike Powell. It was great to get away. We went to see Hairspray and the Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall where we had a box..there’s posh! Had a morning in Kensington Gardens where Al became squirrel obsessed and let them run up and down his hand until I mentioned rabies. We had lunch in St. Martin’s Crypt . Great English food at the Earl Of Bradford’s Restaurant in Covent Garden….a place called Porters. After Allan had tried to communicate with the waitress in broken English we discovered she came from Cradley Heath.
Got on the usual number of wrong buses etc. but really enjoyed it. More fun with friends!
Good news from Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. Carole and friend Barbara Lovett handed over a cheque for £2,000 to the Matron of Ward 19 (Haemotology). The cash was raised at a fund raising Black Country Night at Knowle Village Hall on Nov. 24th last year. Since 2004 we have played at this annual event and have enjoyed them all. They are a great crowd to work for. And the funds raised have helped purchase lots of equipment. This year the money will go towards a PICC ultra sound machine.
The next fund raising event for the ward will be on November 2nd 2oo8 at Honiley Court Hotel for a Sunday Lunch. Call Carole Powell on 01564 776003 for more details.
Had the end of Black Country Night Out party in the Black Country at Ma Pardoes. Many thanks to Brian and Ashley of Brian Yeates Associates, who promote the show for footing the bill and for joining us as usual with all the family.
It was great to get together for a social occasion. A Happy and Healthy year to all our mates on the show and to Brian and Ash and family.
The future of Black Country comedy seems to rest with so few of us these days and it would be so sad to see it die out. It is an important part of Black Country culture and should be appreciated and cherished.
Couldn’t help but remember that the last time we were there we still had our friend Ayli (John Plant) with us. 2007 brought the death of legendary Harry Harrison and comedian Tony Palmer. All sadly missed by family, friends and audiences alike.
Sorry to hear of the death of Rod Allen the lead singer with the Fortunes. We were big fans and had seen them about 5 times from way back when we were 15 at Wednesbury Youth Centre right up until last year. He was a tremendous singer and a really nice guy. A great loss.
Lots of friends invited us for meals to celebrate Al’s birthday. Many thanks to Maggie and Andy (Mad Jocks) for a lovely evening and the very expensive champers. Al’s only tried Lambrusco before!
Great to meet up with old friend Brian Langtry ex Giggetty for a coffee and chat at the Lounge. We look forward to our get togethers. Brian is still writing and was in Lichfield on business concerning his Eva Cassidy play “Over the Rainbow” which has been immensely successful all over the world and is now due back in the Lichfield. Check out his websites www.leglessproductions.co.uk and www.theatre-productions.com
Another great night round at Chez Louise. Thanks to the kids for pressies and cards. Tried to catch up on teen speak from Gina. Learned that someone was a chavvy minger! Too much wine…too much giggling and plenty of laughs playing “Which film stars, pop stars etc do you fancy?” Al was shouted down over his obsession with Lulu! Grow up Briscoe…you’re outnumbered!
Big thank you to Chris and Kev for providing a family party for him on the Saturday evening. They let us share their family. Lots of party food, balloons, birthday cake and pressies. Great to be with all the kids and grandkids.
Allan finally succumbed to the temptation of the karaoke. In one brief hour he went from karaoke virgin to karaoke whore. He wouldn’t let go of the mike and was wrestling it form the hands of small children Callum and Grace. Thanks to “Our Sue” for being his singing partner. The family dog , Hudson, was lying under the table with his paws over his ears. Thanks for everything, gang.
Next night Graham and Pam drove over and took us out for a meal.
Lots of laughs. They are great listeners. They would need to be as our friends, I suppose. We never run out of conversation with them and we all get along so well. Nothing better. Big thanks. Wish we’d found you sooner!
Following day we went to the Fountain in CLENT to meet our friends Norma and Alan for a lunchtime meal. Norma and my Al are just a couple of weeks apart with birthdays so this was a double celebration. Though Norma had already celebrated hers in Barbados…..! Did I marry the wrong Alan? What a wonderful restaurant the Fountain is! I wish we lived a bit closer. Mark of a popular place……you even have to book for lunch. We enjoyed a great meal and then set off up the Clent hills to walk it off. Freezing! We wimped out and came back down and went back in the pub for another coffee. That’s more like it!
Wonderful day and we all really enjoyed it. Its worth being 60 if you can do these things. Next morning my calf muscles had gone into spasm from the hill and I felt more like 90. Hope we can do more of these days…..well, the eating, at least.
Wednesday evening we met Ann and Jack from GIGETTY for a meal. They have a lot of family things to do at the moment but they still found time to come over and see us and bring Al some lovely pressies. Al now has a real leather man- bag instead of his one from the Army and Navy …. so there has been lot of posing and strutting.
The day itself was dreadful weather wise so we stayed in and he spent the whole day with cards, pressies, phone calls, texts, emails. It was like living with royalty. Every time I saw him he was counting his cards. And did he milk it! We stayed in and I cooked him a special meal……Ping!
Next morning , in football speak, was the icing on the cake. We went into the Lounge in Lichfield which we love and which is our regular breakfast haunt. The girls had bought him a card and then brought out a slice of cake with a candle in a procession and singing Happy Birthday. He had his photo taken with them blushing like a schoolgirl. Many thanks to Sharon, Sonia, Eva and Hayley you have made an old man very happy.
Just end this January Allan-fest with a couple of quotes and a poem from our friends Graham and Pam Leddington:
Middle age is having a choice between two temptations and choosing the one that’ll get you home earlier.
Middle age is when you’ve met so many people that every new person reminds you of someone else.
Born and bred in Wednesbury Town
Still acting saft and playing the clown.
Friends see the other side, Some happy, Some sad,
But a true entertainer this Black Coutry Lad.
You make people laugh when you’re up on that stage,
Sixty may be a milestone, but you don’t act your age!
Although you’re a comic, to us you’re a pal,
It’s time to celebrate;
Happy Birthday Al!
Hugs and kisses to everybody that made it so special for both of us. xxxxx
First gig of February is at COLESHILL TOWN HALL for Rotary. Lovely venue. We had played it many years ago. Grand crowd and we were all well looked after with an enormous plate of sausage and mash. Couldn’t resist! We sat in a backroom surrounded by about 30 giant home made apple pies and jugs of cream. Chefs were good blokes … JKB Catering:Kevin 01675 464054.
Mike Berry night again at KINGS NORTON GOLF CLUB. This is about our 6th year and we had a wonderful time again and made some new friends. Great to meet June and Andy from Manchester. Dave Slater who is a massive Buddy Holly fan puts the evening on along with his wife Eve. Dave has his own C.D. out now and is available to do a spot of rock and roll should you need it … 01527 501352. Or indeed if you should need tickets to come to the gig next year it’s the same number.
6th February and we are at ELMDON HEATH RETIREMENT CLUB tonight at the request of Rolf. We had a lovely evening with them. Thank you so much for Al’s chips and for the lovely email.
Out at the beautiful WOOTTON WAWEN tonight for a special Birthday Celebration for Sue. What lovely friends and family you have, Sue. We had a smashing night. Hope you did too and hope you enjoyed your holidays.
Thank you for Al’s chips.
Playing at GREAT BARR CONSERVATIVE CLUB tonight so not far from our home town of Wednesbury. The audience were great to us and we stayed ages afterwards chatting to people. Hope your hand is better, Tony. Thanks for Al’s chips.
Retirement party at YATES, NORTON CANES, which is just over the A5 from us. Terry was retiring from the Police Force. Scary prospect a room-ful of the Bill. You suddenly feel very guilty. Al was convinced he was having some sort of heart problem…thump….thump…thump…..then realised it was the disco bass coming up from the party below. Sue and Terry are a lovely couple. Happy retirement. Make sure you keep him busy with the little jobs, Sue.
16th is KEMBERTON which is a beautiful village out near Shifnal. Clive had invited us to play at their lovely village hall. I would love to see it in the summer the view must be terrific. Wonderful evening. Thank you for sharing your meal with us and thank you to our friend Graham Leddington for coming and supporting us and helping carry the gear. We missed you Pam.
Sunday “ Lunch and a Laugh” at WHITTINGTON VILLAGE HALL at the repeat invitation of Alistair and Margo. Along with friends they arrange and cater for this occasion which is a really jolly, good natured affair. We love doing it. Thank you again for the lovely food.
Lots of friendly faces. There are 2 Vicars in the audience and as there was one last night as well Allan is feeling almost saint-like. Great time again thanks to all and we will see you next year.
Thursday 21st and we have a repeat gig for STREETLY METHODIST BOWLING CLUB at the Terrace Restaurant just along the A5. God to meet John at last as he was in Hospital when we did it last year. Glad to see him recovered. Re-assuring to meet such caring well mannered people. Thanks to all of you.
Friday evening and it is day one of our 2 day stint at STONE VILLAGE HALL for Rotary. Neil has been very ambitious and booked us for 2 evenings. Well organised events……. resulting in £1,800 raised for local charities. Also a very happy local chip shop who catered for the 2 evenings. Well done to all concerned and a big thank you to the people who came 2 nights running. Great to see you all again. Thank you for 2 lots of chips for Allan.
Sunday 24th and we have a lunchtime gig for DROITWICH ROTARY at the Pear Tree, Smyte. We recognised the hotel as one where we had suffered a bad experience several years ago. We had been booked to entertain the C.I.D. from all parts of the country. Not just ignored by locals but from people further afield. It was a Black Country Night with Aynuk and Ayli, Ken “ the Hoss” Woods , Finders Keepers and ourselves. We had all been met with total disinterest and even Ken’s Chimp had lost his temper. Eventually the thin blue line buggered off to seek out the fleshpots of Droitwich and left us all to lick our wounds. Do we still bear a grudge ……Oh Yes!
Happily Droitwich Rotary was a different prospect. Last year they had been entertained by a classical guitarist and a flautist from the Birmingham School Of Music. Culture Shock ahoy! They coped well and were very complimentary. Nice meeting you all. Many thanks to all the helpful staff and the very nice carvery they saved for us. Kept us going for the journey home.
Quite a journey this evening we are at ROSS ON WYE GOLF CLUB. Not very good driving conditions but we had a warm welcome from Patrick and the crowd attending. Lots of people said they had enjoyed it. Many thanks to all.
We have been very busy this month with both work and social events.
Thanks to Carole and Mike for a lovely meal at their house. We know how busy you are ..thanks for finding time for us.
Went to the 3 Hammers for a meal with the gang. Thanks to Glo for organising such a great night out.
I love this time of the year when we get to catch up with friends after the busy December.
Met up with, Bri, Lou, Mick and Mike, Norma and Alan and had 2 nights out with Jack and Ann Webb from Giggetty. We went to see Ultimate 60’s Night at Tamworth Assembly Rooms. Loved the show and we had a lovely welcome from the theatre staff who we have got to know well over the last few years.
This week we went back to see Richard Digance. We haven’t seen him since folk club days when we used to do the Boggery. Glad to see his laid back kind of folk style can still do so well in a theatre setting.
Highlight of the month was a visit to the Old Sils Rugby Club at Knowle which is held the second Sunday of each month. This is a music night with Vivo and friends. Keith Slater fronts Vivo and is again another old friend from folk club days. Multi talented, great looking and a warm personality. They don’t come any better. They are a great band and so versatile. Their popularity was reflected by the crowds. Special spot by Brum Rocks star Danny King. Two songs but they were outstanding. He was born to perform.
It was wonderful to see so many age groups get up and perform such diverse music. Magic night. Shall definitely go again.
Shrove Tuesday we went into Lichfield to support Sonia who was running on behalf of the Lounge in the Pancake Race. Go Girl! Pity it rained but we still got some big crowds and Sonia upheld the honour of the Lounge by coming a close 2nd in her heat. We was robbed! Congrats. to all who ran in very slippery unpleasant conditions.
I’ve noticed writing this that I have thanked organisers for 5 lots of fish and chips for Allan as well as other food he’s consumed. Yet still he doesn’t put on any weight! I still can’t get going with my diet. Al said” I thought you were going to exercise…..” I said “I’ve had to give up jogging for health reasons….my thighs were rubbing together and setting my underwear on fire!”
As the American Comic Rita Rudner says:”I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life!” I think I’ve found mine!
March already and we are at the CASTLE GOLF CLUB, STAFFORD.. We have not been here for a few years and our first sighting is a bit of a shock. Several people are in Welsh National Costume and are waving leeks and daffodils.
We realise it is St. David’s Day and on the board it reads “a Welsh Night with Black Country Comedy Duo, Dandy”. The regulars however have taken it in their stride. Also the bit about smart, casual Welsh dress.
Ken the compere and D.J. has done a great job trying to provide them with Welsh music. We had a good night with them, nice and relaxed and friendly.
Thursday 6th and we are at our own church, HOLY CROSS at STONE CROSS. This is where we were married back in 1971. It is a fundraiser which has been going on every year for the past 40 years to fund trips for disabled children. Mrs. McCoy started it and has continued until her recent death. Her daughter is now taking over the task.
They are a lovely crowd of people and have given us so much emotional support over the past few years. Many thanks to Mary for the Mass Card. We were deeply touched. Allan couldn’t believe that somewhere in Ireland someone would be saying a prayer for him every day.
Always a tense time for me in case Al gets over excited and says the wrong thing. Mary also gave Al her raffle prize which was a bottle of bubbly plus the whisky and flowers that we were given as a thank you. We came home loaded down. I needn’t have worried…..it was a great evening. Thanks to you all.
Next evening we are out in the country at ELMBRIDGE VILLAGE HALL The ladies of the village have prepared a wonderful meal which they kindly invited us to share with them. What a great evening! The people there made us feel very welcome and all came to chat with us at the end. Hope we get to visit again. Thanks for the gig, Jane.
Saturday again and we are back at STAFFORD and this time we are at the CONSTITUTIONAL CLUB up by the prison. We have never been there before.
Sheila and Jim welcome us in and Jim helps to carry our gear in so Al already rates him. The room is lovely and the crowd is lovely.
For me the highlight of the night was to meet Freddie the Staffy Bull Terrier who is very young and at the chewing your hand stage. I spent the entire break having him bite bits of me so I went back on stage with red chewed looking arms.
Look forward to seeing you all again next year.
Friday and we are at ATHERSTONE MEMORIAL HALL with Giggetty and Doug Parker. Big crowd of people and a very friendly lot they were too. It had been a while since we had been there.
Met up with a very old friend who I hadn’t seen for about 40 years. It was great to see you John and to talk about the old days at the Patent Shaft Steel Works. We were both about sweet 16 when we worked together. Allan did a fair amount of eye rolling when he came to tell me there was a man outside who knew me. The last 3 gigs I have met men who I worked with at the Patent Shaft. At Elmbridge Village Hall I met one of the very big bosses …whereas John and I worked in the Drawing Office. Happy Days!
Saturday 16th and we are back at SHIRLEY GOLF CLUB after about 10 years. How well did we go the last time !!
Great to see John and Sue again they still look exactly the same.
Wonderful night. We met some great people and had a really enjoyable evening. Met a Mr. Bean look alike…www.mrbeanlookalike.com
Will be back there later in the year. Thanks for a smashing night.
Wednesday evening and we are in the Cotswolds at a lovely little village called CLIFFORD CHAMBERS not far from Stratford. We had a great time with them. We were there on the invitation of Val and Chris who were lovely people and made us very welcome. Thanks to our compere, Pauline, who had a lot of leg pulling to put up with from Allan. She was a great sport.
Last minute gig standing in for our friend Lizzie. This was again out near STRATFORD at a beautiful Georgian Manor House called BILLESLEY MANOR HOTEL. This was a farewell celebration for the people who had worked together for the Heart of England Housing Assoc. They are now to become part of the Orbit group.
Niku, a very friendly and charming lady who had organised the evening took great pains to make sure we were well looked after. Along with our old mate, Aynuk we enjoyed a wonderful 3 course meal and coffee and home made chocolates in the beautiful oak panelled restaurant.
The evening was not without problems . Al had been told to drive the car into the delivery yard to unload the gear. Unfortuately the manually operated pole had not been sent right to the floor by the young lady guiding us in. Imagine the crunch as we got jammed on the top. Very scary. We had to unload all the car and lie on our stomachs expecting to see the hole in the floor.
Then while getting changed in the very small toilet / dressing room I dangled the sleeve of my velvet shirt down the loo.
The last 20 mins. of our set the management asked us to whisper because there were children trying to sleep in the rooms above.! It was only 11.00 and we are hardly Status Quo. The talking was too loud! Dandy do mime as well now…….The audience were great and at least we managed to have a good laugh about it. Beautiful food and a beautiful hotel, though.
Last gig of the month and we are back at HAGLEY COMMUNITY CENTRE for Hagley Rotary. This is an old favourite booking of ours we have done several times and it is always a great pleasure to work for them.
It was an absolutely lousy night but they all turned up ready to laugh. We had a great time and bostin’ fish and chips and bread and butter. Can’t beat it! The “heads and tails” game in the middle was a scream. They had to start it 3 times. Thanks to all of you for making us so welcome again. We hope you had as good a night as we did.
Glad to see the back of March. What a cold, wet, miserable month it has been. I think we’ve both developed cabin fever.
Did a bit of recording with our mate Mike this month which was great fun. Mike is lead singer with Atlantic Dream….www.motownmagic.com. He would make a great singing teacher.
Sorry to hear the news that our friend, Lizzie Wiggins has had a slight stroke. Although it has knocked her about I am sure she will be back to normal soon. She has been told to rest for a while so we all send her our love and best wishes.
Easter was a complete washout. We had planned to go to Wales for a few days but as they forecast was so bad we didn’t bother. Had a few meals out and met a few friends. Had another great night at the Old Sills in Solihull with Vivo and friends.
Went to watch the gig debut of our friends Al, Beth and Graham at a local folk club. Yow woz bostin’! A lot more professional than we were our first gig…….and probably our last gig if I’m honest.
Any of you that watch youtube might want to have a listen to the son of Roy “Dripper” Kent who was for years the lead vocalist with top Black Country Band “Finder’s Keepers”. Go to youtube music videos and type in Pete Kent. What a fantastic acoustic guitarist he is! Music must be in his genes, Roy.
I see there’s a new holiday destination…Terminal 5..you can go and spend a week there and they even provide luggage.
Menspeak: I hate women because they always know where things are! The best fun I know is watching a man trying to put a duvet cover on by himself.
Little man walks into a pub and slips in some dog poo. A big biker walks in and does the same. The little man says “I just did that!” And the big biker punches him!
Advice for the almost elderly….the best form of birth control is turning the lights on!
Two or three of the audience had seen us recently so we tried to change the set a bit. I met one of the big Wednesbury names……Mr. Tom Hickinbottom. His bakery employed half of the people in Wednesbury a few years back. Lovely man and a good sport. They were a jolly crowd to work and so nice to meet thePresident Elaine Turton again.
4th April is a Black Country Night Out at the VILLAGE HOTEL, Dudley.
All the gang together except our friend Lizzie Wiggins who is still a bit too poorly yet. Mixed audience made it difficult. Not too bad for second half when the “Girls’ Night Out” gang retired to the bar with a bottle of champagne. Most of them were there for the disco. I don’t know who was the most surprised…..us or them to be sharing an evening. Learning curve for all.
Really good night at the CLARENDON SUITE. Downstairs room a bonus. Lots of the crowd had seen us and knew what to expect. I managed to squash into an evening dress and heels which I hadn’t done for a while. Copped off with 2 very distinguished gentlemen from another party much to Al’s amusement.
Alistair was sadly missed by all of us there. Kind and honourable men are hard to find these days. We were very pleased to have known him however briefly.
Friday 11th and we are at a beautiful restaurant in KIDDERMINSTER. The last time we played here we had a problem because no one could see us………..I can see some of you saying…and this is a problem?
This time we were in a lovely upstairs room for private functions. The Restaurant is Italian…THE BRASSERIE but they had created a very posh Black Country menu. Looked great and lots of choices. Lovely to see people we knew from Belbroughton and Hagley. Thank you so much for coming. The evening took a bizarre turn but I think it’s fair to say the audience were well entertained one way or another. One for the memoirs.
April 12th we are back at the VILLAGE in LICHFIELD. Wonderful to see you all again. We feel like old friends now. Thanks again to all of you for another lovely evening.
Friday 18th and we are at another of our favourite gigs at HEIGHTINGTON for BEWDLEY ROTARY. We are here with our old friend Bev Pegg. This is the third year and what a wonderful crowd they are. The time goes so fast. Great social evening, smashing crowd and fish and chips. What could be better!
Sunday we are at SOLIHULL BRIDGE CLUB for Carole’s birthday. We had a very pleasant afternoon and I hope Carole’s family and friends enjoyed the show.
Another Rotary gig and this time we are at the Firs in Codsall for BREWOOD ROTARY. Thank you so much for inviting us for the meal it was much appreciated. Again a lot of people we knew but had not seen for a long time. Had an interesting conversation with a couple on our table. It turned out that Keith and I had actually both gone to Wednesfield Grammar School way back I the Dark Ages. Needless to say he was much younger than me…………who isn’t?
We also had both played the folk scene so we had loads to chat about. He is now in a very popular tribute band “Maet Loaf”. Check out their website www.maetloaf.co.uk .
Back at the BRITISH LEGION in SOLIHULL for about the 5th time. Sorry to hear about the death of Chris who always booked us there. A very genuine and likeable guy called Snowy or Snowman is now M.C. and does a great job along with his partner [sorry I didn’t get your name]. He is a real character and brings a lot of laughs to the proceedings. We were well looked after as usual with food and drink and the people are all so friendly. Great to see Keith Slater’s Mum and Dad, June and Derek, in the audience. Thanks for coming.
Strange month in which I say several times “I’m getting so out of step with the world today!” and Allan is heard to mutter numerous times “I have no recollection of that at all!”
I think the paper’s headlines “Binge Drinking Britain” and “Alcohol Killing of Brain Cells” were proven several times this month. I now understand why so many modern stand up comedians “work” their audience by establishing a mutual abuse flinging session.
T.V. talent shows which are reminiscent of the Christians and the Lions in Roman times have become the norm. Everybody has become a critic or wants to be part of the act. A bit like Eunuchs….they’ve seen it done… they know how it’s done but they haven’t got the required equipment to do it. Rare for us to get these kind of gigs but I fear they may be on the increase.
Drink seems to be the inspiration and motivation to make yourself look a prat. The difference is we get paid for it and they don’t. Luckily an “iffy” gig is usually followed by a gig that makes it all worthwhile where we meet wonderful people. So things usually balance out and make us really appreciate the good guys.
Big loss to all on the local folk scene this month. “Bernie the Box” longstanding member of The Staffordshire Men lost his battle with cancer. We all started together in the70s and Bernie was a kind and gentle man who was much loved by us all. Our love and thoughts are with his family and best mate, Barry Yates.
We managed to get away for a few days here and there this month and spend some time by the seaside. Always a great spirit lift.
There will be a strange assortment of photographs this month as the camera has gone an’ bosted on we. So we will probably put on any that were too late to go into the proper month. Al has brought a new camera but at the moment is deleting more than he is saving. Oh the joys of modern technology!
Just a few funnies to finish off after my big moan:
Heard a nice one this month when I enquired if the speaker had been too close making the performance too loud. “No, my dear, no problem…I turned my hearing aid off as soon as you started!”
My friend Brenda is claustrophobic and agoraphobic….so she spends a lot of time standing in doorways.
Street scene: If a mime artist is arrested do the police say “You have the right to remain silent!”
Accosted by a beggar in Wednesbury…….”Can I have £3 for a cup of tea?”
Me: “A cup of tea doesn’t cost £3!””
“No!….but I’m a big tipper!”
Back at Weight Watchers. Lost 7lb so far but very grumpy and missing red wine badly………
Inside every fat person there is a thin person trying to get out – but you can usually shut the bugger up with biscuits!
Speak soon, my friends.
———- May 2008 ———-
Friday 2nd May and Dandy are appearing at BREWOOD CRICKET CLUB along with our old friend WILL MORGAN. Will runs a folk club here on a regular basis and the room is ideal for an intimate gig . The staff and organisers are all very friendly.
Great crowd and lovely to see Will and Chris and all our friends from that area who have come along to support us over the years. Special thanks to Jonathan, his Mum and friends, Jan’s uncle, and all who were regulars at the Bridge in Brewood. Great night!
Saturday 3rd and we are at a surprise Birthday Party at COPT HEATH GOLF CLUB. We skulked in the car until everyone was in the room. Diane has arranged the party for her husband, David. It turns out we know them from the Buddy Holly Nights at Kings Norton Golf Club.
Our good wishes for a speedy recovery to the lady who was taken ill.
Lovely crowd . Thank you for inviting us to share your special night.
Friday 9th. Beautiful evening and we are in a beautiful place at BIRCHFIELD SCHOOL, ALBRIGHTON. How lucky the children are who come here.
Lesley has booked us again to raise money for her favourite charity the N.S.P.C.C. At the end of the evening the proceeds had reached the grand total of £1,265. Well done to all concerned.
Al had a big hot meal of steak pie with all the trimmings. I sat and sucked my muesli bar (low sat. fat) and plotted his downfall.
Saturday 10th and again a lovely evening for us to drive out to the LICKEY HILLS CARAVAN PARK where we are entertaining the people from the ROMA MEET. The marquee soon filled up and we had a lovely jolly crowd from all parts of the country and no one complained that that couldn’t understand us. Great fun to meet you all and many thanks to the people who came up to chat and who have since sent us emails. Thanks to Ted and the ladies for their hospitality.
Busy week this week and this afternoon we are at BURTON ON TRENT at ELIZABETH COURT. After several pitiful attempts we conceded defeat and sat crying on Sainsbury’s Car Park in the centre of the town.
Needless to say you always have a desperate urge to use the toilet in these situations. We were eventually “talked in”. Within the first five minutes Al managed to put his big fat foot in the mike lead and pull it out of the amp.
Not a good start. The elderly residents must have thought we were a punk band at that point. They soon got used to us and were very friendly.
Wednesday 14th and this evening we are at STREETLY COMMUNITY CENTRE for about 100 ladies from the local Womens’ Institutes. Streetly were hosting the event . What a lovely time we all had. Al made a big thing of saying ” We all know who is the most attractive man in the room!” and they all shouted “Eric!” who Allan had failed to spot sitting near the front. Classic!
Many thanks for your warmth of welcome and for your wonderful food. We hope you all enjoyed it.
Thursday 15th and we have another afternoon gig this time at WALSALL TOWN HALL. This is a bit of a problem to reach at the moment as Walsall is in a state of flux. Lots of roadworks. We parked near the Asda and legged it across town. Black Country Show with our friends, Tommy Mundon and Giggetty. Great to see Tony Dalloway with Giggo. Quite a few old familiar faces from Wednesbury and many thanks to Roy and Marian Hands for supporting us once again.
LIGHT HALL SCHOOL, in SHIRLEY this evening. Bad start as I trapped my little finger in the music stand and had to content myself with saying “Oh, dear me!” and not using what Allan calls my “sailor language” as I was in front of the mike. Spent the first part of the evening with bloody toilet paper wrapped round my finger. Not very glam! Numbers were low but the audience were great and we really enjoyed the gig and met some good people. My injury did not stop Allan wolfing down a big bag of fish and chips!
Saturday 17th and we are back at THE GRANGE in SOUTHAM. Carole and John look after us so well and run the shows in such a friendly yet well organised manner. Carole had even found time to prepare me a salad for the break. Allan meanwhile found time for another bag of fish and chips.
Problem with one of the mic leads before we started but John kindly fixed it for us. This is about our third time here and the audience were wonderful.
I think they are used to our strange ways by now. Hope to see you all back there next year.
Tuesday 20th and we are in the Black Country at DUDLEY MASONIC ROOMS for Mike and Virginia who we have worked for several times before. Nice to see you again. We hope the audience enjoyed it. Thanks to the people who came up to have a chat with us at the end..
Saturday and we are out at LANGLEY MILL for the EREWASH CANAL PRESERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION.
This is a big night it is the 40th Anniversary Rally of Boats and is a colourful spectacle. We are working in a Marquee and it is full to capacity. Despite a good number of people having to stand in front of the bar the audience was great. Everyone gave the best attention and was a pleasure to work for.
These people really come to have a good time and do everything they can to make the evening work on all levels.
Many thanks to Sheila and Howard for inviting us again to be part of their celebrations. It was good to see so many old friends from previous rallies. We all remembered Runcorn! Thanks to Sheila for Al’s Cornish Pasties!
30th May and we are here at MAXSTOKE GOLF CLUB for a special Birthday party for a lovely lady named Kay.
Maxstoke must have some of the youngest and most glamorous looking ladies I’ve ever seen. Kay’s husband, Frank, also looked very dashing as you can see from the photo.
We know loads of people here so it is a nice social occasion for us too.
Many thanks to Arthur, “The Umbrella Man” who let us use his speakers. As soon as we finished he had them up and jigging. The golf must keep them young and fit.
Great crowd and we had a wonderful time meeting your friends and family, Kay. Hope you have many more healthy and happy years ahead.
31st and we are at a club in the lovely village of PATTINGHAM at the back of Wolverhampton. We broke in the middle of the evening so that people could watch the results of Britain’s Got Talent on the enormous screen behind the stage. Quite a weird sensation I kept expecting to see Simon Cowell in the audience sticking his thumbs down and clicking his pencil.
Bit late getting this typed up as we have been a bit busy.
Many congratulations to the lovely “Leddington girls” who have both had babies recently..a boy and girl respectively.
Had another great night at the Old Sils in Knowle on the second Sunday. Some very talented people do their stuff there. Couple of great girl singers and spots from Kelly Grocutt and a guy from Stourbridge who I think was called Shane who did a brilliant version of “Hi Heel Sneakers”. Lots of other great regulars who get up and have a go alongside Vivo.
Allan has “been on medication” for the last couple of weeks as a result of a bizarre mishap in Wales. While looking sideways to check out a pub he walked into the back of my walking stick which promptly collapsed and then re aligned – itself with his leg trapped inside.
Instead of going back to the car for the first aid kit he chose to go to the pub….as men do! The leg went “ bad ways” as we say in the Black Country resulting in a trip to the Doc.for antibiotics and cream. Much has been made of this and most people in the West Midlands have now had the leg exposed to them for inspection…and the Doctor has gone on holiday for 2 weeks to avoid another visit. I know how he feels!
Wales was a bit scary last weekend with 85 mile an hour winds along the coast. Our shed took off and we spent most of bank holiday searching for it and re-assembling it.
Happy Birthday to all our friends who had birthdays this month.
I have received notification that my pension is due in August. It doesn’t seem two minutes since I was “having a crush” on boys and studying for G.C.E. exams. The only thing I can retain now is water.
Scientists have just discovered a food that diminishes a woman’s sex drive by 90% It’s called wedding cake!
Two dogs walking down the road and one suddenly crosses over sniffs a lampost for a minute and then runs back to join the other dog who say’s “What was all that about……running over the road, sniffing the lamppost and then running back…? “Just checking my messages!”
Standing in the weight watchers queue last week waiting to get on the scales for the showdown and we were talking about things we do before we get on the scales e.g. thinnest clothes….taking off all jewellery, several visits to the loo etc. Then one girl told us about a lady who used to go and take out her false teeth pre weigh in so that she would weigh less. Yuck!
Somebody told me the ultimate Definition of getting old…You know you’re getting old when your zimmer frame has an air bag!
Toodle Pip ‘till next month!
Saturday 7th June. What we laughingly call the summer has arrived and tonight as we head for LEAMINGTON SPA it is actually a great evening. We arrive at the Bowls Club which is a beautiful building. Binky and Brian are holding their Golden Wedding celebrations here.
Leamington brings back many happy memories of our friendship with a fantastic act called Waterfall. They consisted of Gilly Darbey, Keith Donnelly and Martin Oram. They have all gone on to do solo work and are much respected artistes. Click on to any of their names on Google.
Meanwhile back to Binky and Brian who have themed the party ‘Ello ‘Ello in honour of their French relations. So many people have made the effort and turned up in costume. Met and chatted to plenty of nice people. Binky and Brian were lovely. So pleased we could share your special night.
Back again at SHIRLEY LAYCA CENTRE to entertain some lovely people. Many thanks to Paul and the staff for looking after us so well. Had a good chat in the interval with some ladies at the front and great to see old friends from Solihull Tennis Club in the audience. Well promoted and well supported event.
Saturday 28th and we are at a new venue for us . The Corks Club is next to the Masonic Hall at KINGS HEATH. The audience are used to music acts here so the second set we decided to do something that the ladies at the front could dance to. Nice to have a chance to sing for a change.
Sunny Sunday morning and the church choir will have to do without us today as we are doing another 50th wedding anniversary for Betty and John out at TENBURY WELLS. Betty is a Brummie and John is a Black Country Lad and are still in love. Lovely ride out there we usually only see this area in the dark. Beautiful place and they have kindly treated us to a lunch which is very nice. When the guests arrive we know quite a few of them so that gives us a head start. Very friendly crowd we stayed a long time chatting afterwards.
Sunday 6th July and we are set to entertain BRIDGNORTH LADIES FLOWER CLUB at the request of Hilary and Maureen. We are in an après wedding marquee on someone’s farm. I always forget that fields and rain mean mud but luckily I found 2 carrier bags in the car to wear over my shoes so I made a very glam. entrance. Good to see so many faces we knew. Thank you for the beautiful food and good company. We had a great time.
Friday 11TH July and we make a return visit to PEDMORE CRICKET CLUB. Ken and Chris, the double act behind the bar, looked after us well and we had a great time. Keep supporting the club. You have a really good atmosphere there.
Saturday 12th and the good weather is holding which is lucky because we are under canvas again tonight for the 40th Anniversary Rally of the Birmingham Canal Navigations Society. We are at the TITFORD PUMP HOUSE , in OLDBURY. Brendahas invited us to entertain but it doesn’t take a lot because they are so easy to work for. Good to see plenty of friends from other events…particularly “Cerise” Brian and his monkey. Many thanks to the celebrity greyhound with windlass who gave us all a laugh. Thanks again to a wonderful crowd for some more “great canal memories”.
17th July and we are back at school in STAFFORD at Flashley School . Tonight reminded me of the old joke…”I don’t want to go to school!” “You’ve got to go to school!” “I don’t want to!!!” “You’ve got to….you’re the headmaster!”
David was Head for one more day and we were there to help his staff, friends and relations celebrate is retirement. Very popular guy. His staff loved him and did a very funny parody of “I know him so well”
Good to see some familiar faces from recent events and some from way back when. Hope you all enjoyed the evening as much as we did. Thanks for the food and flowers. Hope you both have a happy and healthy retirement.
19th July we are at WHEATON ASTON VILLAGE HALL for a lady called Val who is (I think) a Sister at New Cross Hospital. She is a lovely bouncy, friendly lady who must bring lots of love and joy to the children she looks after.
This is a fundraiser for people with Cystic Fibrosis and she and others are soon to undertake a walk of Hadrian’s Wall to raise money for the cause. She along with others have already raised great amounts of money by their selfless actions.
Wonderful crowd of people and good to see some old friends from the old Sunday night club we used to do so long ago. Thanks for coming to support us at the theatres. We had a smashing night. We wish you every success in the future.
20th July. Another beautiful Sunday morning and we are heading back BRIDGNORTH way for some of the Bridgnorth Flower Club Ladies and their partners. They have been invited as friends and relations to the house of Jean and Peter.
What a perfect day for a perfect couple. We have met them several times over the years and they are an absolute joy to know. They deserve all they have but I know the most important thing for them is the love of their family and friends which was, birthdays aside, what they were really celebrating. Thanks to them for their food and company and special thanks from Glyn for my birthday pressie. God bless you both.
Fewer gigs for these summer months but those that we have done have been great fun. We have met some lovely people and have been in a position to share their celebrations which is very important to us.
Having no close family ourselves we rely on friends to share their happy days and luckily for us our job allows us to do the same with people we have only met once or twice.
Met up with lots of friends these last two months for meals and coffees and like all of us we have shared the good and the bad things in their lives and in our own. I feel I am quite self sufficient and then I add up the number of friends I have and I realise how much they mean to me. This sentimental outburst has nothing to do with the fact that my birthday is coming up…….and I’m getting scared!
Thanks to Louise,Georgina and Jozef for a great day erecting “The Tent”.
Bigger thanks for an even better evening packing the kids off to bed for making too much noise and then sitting in the tent in the dark with red wine giggling and making even more noise! Shame on you Allan!
Had a great holiday in Riva Del Garda. Dave Berry (Crying Game) was on our plane but I controlled myself. He used to drive me wild when I was young and impressionable . Still a great act and doing the rounds again at local theatres this year . Great to see Joan and Alan and family from last year. Things have changed since we used to travel with Dan Dare airline (as Al called it). Those days you couldn’t get on the plane without the correct change.
Got back in the afternoon from Italy and went to the Robin to see the Searchers with John McNally. Fantastic night we got right up the front and danced like we did in “ olden times” when we was young. Knew about it the next day though.
Another blast from the past at Cannock Hockey Club. We go for the wonderful carveries not for the health and fitness. Met up with Janice “Oi’ll give it Foive” Nicholls. Smashing girl. She put the Black Country, particularly Wednesbury on the map in the sixties. I used to play with her sister, Pat. If any of you can remember her check her website and see her with the Beatles etc. etc.
Couple more great nights at the Old Sills in Knowle. Bit like old Boggery days with Malc Stent, Keith Donnelly, Yogi and Les Ward there. Another great spot from Kelly Grocutt and great rendition of Warwick Ave from Sophie. Thanks again to Vivo and friends for 2 wonderful nights.
Had a good time at the Medieval Market in Lichfield. Al got to go up the Cathedral …I stood and watched until he’d done “Look at me!” several times then I snook into Dame Olivers to look at the clothes. I always have to wave to him!!
Being brave bout the upcoming birthday. My friend has just had a face lift and is disappointed because they’ve found another one exactly the same underneath.
I know I’m getting old I’ve started pricing the metal detectors in T.J. Hughes.
Last time I went to The Museum of Childhood I found most of my childhood toys on display.
As some of you know I have Osteoporosis as well as a lot of things ending with “itis”. Now my doctor doesn’t bother giving me x rays anymore he just holds me up against a sunny window.
Not as bad as my friend who went on the beach and someone complimented her on her layered look…she was wearing a bikini!
Weather hasn’t been up to much but I hope you are all having a good time. As one of my old Library bosses used to say: “Keep your powder dry!”
Tarra a bit!
Friday 16th August and the first gig of the month. We had left most of August clear for holidays but the weather has been so bad. It is a very wet and miserable evening as we make our way to Ye Olde Bowling Club in Dorridge.
It is a return visit and we get a warm welcome made even better by the Chicken Chausseur or Chicken Chaser as Al calls it. Had a lovely evening with the crowd there.
Friday 22nd we are with our old friends at Hatton Cruising Cluband it is the last year with Doug at the helm. It is a special one as it is also his 70th birthday soall his friends and family are there with him. The evening boasts us and a pig roast. It is the proper pig roast done the old fashioned way and as the night is cold most people huddle round him warming their hands. The ground underfoot is very soggy because of all the rain so a big thank you to all the people who sat watching us up to their ankles in cold mud. A great night for all concerned….all except the pig
It is Sunday 23rd and we are doing a lunchtime gig for Kevin and Ann.
It is a milestone birthday for Ann who is a lovely bubbly, friendly lady who I liked immediately. Quite a few of the audience had seen us before which made it easier. What a great crowd they were we enjoyed it so much we stayed an extra hour chatting to people. Good to meet you all and our very best wishes to you both.
Good weather today and it is nice to be with friends on a show on the eve of my milestone birthday. They say 60 is the new 40. I’ve tried telling my body that but it doesn’t believe me
We are out at Bodymoor Heath near Tamworh at a canalside pub called The Dog and Doublet. It is a lovely setting and the publican does a lot of fund raising for cancer based charities. It could have been a hard gig to work because we were outside and the audience were quite scattered and all ages. Luckily for us the weather and the audience were wonderful. Giggetty finished the evening with them all up and dancing.
Sadly, the weather didn’t hold for my birthday the next day so my drive in the country and lunch at a little pub didn’t quite work out. Although I did get loads of cards and emails and phone calls which was great.
Following this we went to Puerto Pollensa, Majorca, for a week to celebrate. We had a great time. Best holiday we have had for years. I even went in the swimming pool…….a thing unheard of. Even at school I used to stand on the toilet seat with the door locked and hide when it was swimming lessons.
I did manage to disprove the old theory of you can’t hurt yourself in water by pulling a muscle in my shoulder. I got a bit frenzied in the first five minutes when I thought I might drown!
Wonderful to feel some warmth after some very soggy attempts at time in Wales in August. I’m amazed we haven’t all developed fins. We managed one evening sitting on Graham and Pam’s balcony all trying not to shiver. Great night though.
Friday 12th September and we are back from Majorca and straight into the gigs. Lovely to be back at Sammy’s place in Hopwas. Thery are a smashing crowd there and we know them well by now. We had taken along Aynuk and Giggetty and we all had a great gig.
Sunday 14th and tonight it is the first night of the Black Country Night Out Tour. We still miss Ayli (John Plant) particularly on these nights and we always sit round and talk about the things he used to do. Doubly sad this year because our mate Lizzie Wiggins has been ill and cannot be with us on stage. Standing in for Lizzie we have Lee Wilson who worked on the T.V. show the Comedians some time ago. He is a one man joke machine. Busy man.
Monday evening and we are at a special birthday party at Boney Hay for a lady called Joyce who has booked Giggetty, Tommmy Mundon and ourselves to help her friends and family celebrate her birthday. Great night again finished by Giggo getting them up to dance with their Abba set.
Thursday and the show is back again at Solihull Library Theatre and Friday back again at Birmingham Town Hall. Al is very excited because we have our own dressing room with Dandy on the door (beware he is carrying the photograph).
We meet up with Lizzie and Rich for a coffee prior to the show. It is lovely to spend time with them again. Lizzie is making a guest appearance and it will be her first one since her illness in March when she suffered a slight stroke.
The audience went wild when she was introduced and were obviously pleased to see her well and performing again. Very nerve wracking to get on a stage like Birmingham Town Hall by yourself after such a setback. It showed great spirit and was rewarded with thanks and affection from the audience. Magic! Good on you, girl!
Saturday 20th and we are back again at Derrington Village Hall for John for the third year running. Great to see so many familiar faces. We really appreciate it when people come back again and again to support us. Smashing night and even better for Allan who scoffed a bag of fish and chips. Thanks again Derrington!
Sunday 21st and we are up the road at The Prince of Wales Theatre, Cannock with the Black Country Night Out show. Poor Anne from Giggetty had to be hauled off to Hospital last year before the show had even started. This year she is struggling with a bad throat infection and is feeling guilty.
We all worry If we feel we are not up to standard but in the end we are only human (although the jury is still out on Allan) and we all worry if we can’t give our best. Most people are understanding though. We met some nice people in the interval and had a chat. The first time we have been able to do that on this tour. Something we miss as we enjoy meeting people.
Thurday 25th September and the show is at the Grace Centre in Bloxwich. It is poorly attended as this is the first event they have put on at this venue and are new at organising such an event. Unfortunately not many people know of the centres’ existence although the room is well set up for shows.
The audience we did get more than made up for the lack of numbers and I think we were all surprised given the circumstances how well the evening turned out. Many thanks to all of the audience for coming and making the evening a success particularly the children on the front row who helped Giggetty on stage with some of the singing.
Try to support them later in the year with a show starring Ian Sludge Lees and Nina and Peter Lee. Our best wishes to Darren and the staff for the future.
26th September and it is a Friday evening so a bit of a challenge to get to Bromsgrove. Friday night traffic nightmare with M.42 closed. We are at the Artrix theatre with The Black Country Show.
It is a very modern designed theatre but the staff is very helpful and the programme is excellent covering a wide variety of tastes.
We are upstairs and enjoy our time in the dressing room as you can see. One of the best things about doing the tour is to spend time with our friends, Ann, Jack and Sue from Giggetty. Again we met some nice people in the interval and the audience were one of the best we have had.
Tonight we are doing a gig for the Willenhall, Bilston and Sedgley Lions at the Quality Hotel in Wolverhampton. We know quite a few of the audience and they have lots of other representatives from other branches round and about and some as far afield as Babbacombe.
We have a long wait while they eat but they show no signs tiredness and give us a really good time when we go on to do the show. Really enjoyed meeting them all. Best wishes to you.
I am a bit late in getting this into print this month. Not the fault of our web man Paul Shotan but me…lazy bones Briscoe. I can type a 100 words a minute but not in any language that you would recognise.
Been a bit of a retrospective two months as I celebrated my 60th birthday. We still drive past my old school which was Wednesfield Grammar and it doesn’t feel so long ago when I was walking home from detention……a long way as I lived in Wednesbury. I had to catch 3 buses but passed the time singing Beatles hits and eating a bag of hot peanuts and a frozen Jubbly…..and I wonder why I suffer from I.B.S.
At school I asked which 0 levels I should take and my careers advisor said take exams in the things you like and are good at. I wanted t do eating, sleeping and boys! These days it’s a good school if you don’t get stabbed in the first term.
I need to get back to get back into some exercise routine after our holidays. My doctor told me that jogging would add 10 years to my life. I feel 10 years older already. Just once I would like to take my clothes off and not see elastic marks. And what is a size zero? Surely you couldn’t be here at all if you were that thin.
Sometimes you meet people and you think he might be a nice man underneath it all…but how far do I have to look??
A make friend of mine was recently talking about a less than attractive date and calling her a “Two bagger”,. When I enquired he explained that you put a bag over your head in case the bag falls off her head! Charmant!
Still we do our best and plod along ………less than perfect……… but trying.
But then if life was fair Elvis would still be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.
Hope to catch you at one of our gigs. Toodle pip.
Another month rolling round and it is the 3rd October already. We are at HUNTINGTON HALL on the Black Country Night Out Tour. A lovely crisp, dry day so we set out early to spend the day there. It is usually a mad rush in the Friday night traffic. Tom is feeling a bit rough tonight with a bad cold but he never lets it show on stage. Aynuk has brought a home made pork pie with mustard so all the lads are getting in there smartish. Quite a little party backstage. Great gig. Lovely crowd we get in there.
4th October and we are working for SOUTH STAFFS CARAVAN CLUB who are having there ‘meet’ and have hired the village hall at Fradley near Lichfield. Last time we worked for them Al’s younger brother was on a life support machine which was about to be turned off…. so it had been a tough gig for us. Tonight was a much merrier affair. There were quite a few kids to teenagers who we thought might be bored but they were brilliant. An overlooked clause in a village hall contract meant we had to vacate the room in 15 min at the end so everyone carried a piece of equipment out to the car. Great crowd! We love ya!
Friday 10th and we are at WOODBOURNE SPORTS AND SOCIAL CLUB. Back in Earlswood again and nice to see so many old friends. We do a couple of gigs in Earlswood at different ends of the village and they’re both great gigs to do. They make us very welcome. Al had fish and chips. I gave in to a chip butty. Lovely to see the dynamic duo….. twins…Margaret and Elizabeth who along with the regulars work so hard to keep things going and to keep folk happy. Well done all of you.
Saturday 11th and it’s a busy day for us. We have two gigs today.
First we are off to the VILLAGE HOTEL in WALSALL to celebrate Marion’s birthday with her family and friends.
We couldn’t refuse to do it because we did her husband Roy’s birthday last year. They are great people and have supported us so much over the past few years. The gig went well and it was lovely to be part of their day. Good health and happiness to you both.
Saturday 11th and we are back at GNOSALL VILLAGE HALL. Again this is a gig we have done many times over the years. A few years back we worked there for Harvey Andrews who has now moved out Church Stretton way . Catch him in the new year at the Guildhall in Lichfield. Later we did fundraisers for the local hospice. This gig organised by Lyn was for the upkeep of the Hall itself. Thanks for the Birthday cake Allan managed to scrounge from the lovely people sitting at the front and for the offer to stay with them in Ireland. Nice to meet Sam who hopes to go on the X Factor. Thanks for the gig we really enjoyed it.
Tonight we are at LILLESHALL doing a fundraiser for Hope House Hospice in Welshpool. This has been organised by our good friends Graham and Pam Leddington. Dot and Trevor have got the room looking very pretty and Dot has worked her magic in the kitchen and provided a wonderful buffet which disappears like lightening as soon as the covers are off.
Amazing raffle. Funds raised on the night total £1,300. Many thanks to Dot for her cups of tea and coffee.
Saturday we are back at CHASE RECREATION CLUB. We love it here. Just up the road. It’s like being out with a gang of mates and getting paid for having fun. It is so good to do a gig and be totally relaxed. We seem to have individual conversations with most of the room. Mike and George are completely barking! Thanks again to you all we had a brilliant night.
Last gig of the tour and are back at the GARRICK at LICHFIELD. We weren’t very pleased with our performance here the last time so we really needed to get it right. We love Lichfield and the people. It is our adopted home town.
I wore my new pink frock extravaganza……with reservations and two pair of M and S “squash me” tights. Although I felt like a 60 year old slapper who should know better I definitely finished the tour on a high. With a ‘high’ and a low neckline as it happened.
At my age I’m more likely to hear cries of “Keep them on!” but I think I prefer to grow old disgracefully. I’ve never been ‘pearls and a twin set’ and I think it’s too late to start now.
Thursday evening and we are working for a firm of solicitors called ENCH EVANS who have been based in Walsall for the past 150 years. So they must be doing something right. A big plus for me was that they kept the old fashioned Black Country name. Nothing old fashioned about the firm. After reading their very impressive portfolio and meeting most of the team it was clear why they have survived so long. The team were friendly and efficient. It was to celebrate the longevity of the firm and to thank their guests for the evening who had been longstanding clients.
Also very impressed by the organisation and standard of the food and the service at the Village Hotel, Walsall, where the event was held. This was the second time we have worked here in the past few weeks.
Friday 24th October and BROSELEY, near Ironbridge is the destination for this evening. Quite a journey for us especially when Allan (for some reason best known to himself) decided that he was driving a 10 ton truck and did the heavy goods vehicle route.
We eventually arrived via Much Wenlock, Buildwas Abbey and many twisty narrow lanes and harsh words later. A need for the toilet always seems to be synonymous with being lost in the middle of nowhere.
After asking most of the locals how to get round the back of the club we finally made it. Difficult access which involved carrying things from distant car park. They were a large and welcoming crowd though. Been a good many years since we were here last.
Didn’t get back and to bed until 2.30p.m. Wrecked. Could have “Trick or Treated” without make up or mask the following day.
Saturday night and we are back at ASTLEY VILLAGE HALL tonight near Stourport.
A lovely lady called Pam had kindly invited us to a full roast dinner before we started. Way to go! Thanks to the lady we dined with who made us very welcome. The gig was for the local Horticultural Society which is very well supported. Great crowd as ever. Many thanks for your kindness. Allan wouldn’t sit too close to anyone in case Gardening was catching.
Last night of October we are at SHIRLEY BRITISH LEGION for the members of the ex R.A.F Association. This is probably our 3rd visit and it felt really comfortable. They all greet us like old friends. They are a bright, well mannered and receptive audience to work for and for us it is a treat to be able to just chat and do observational stuff.
Good to see people there from other gigs as well as the regulars. Thanks to Gail and Gary Allport who were Mayor and Mayoress of Solilhull last year and are deputies for 08. They have seen us about four times in the past year. That’s above and beyond the call of duty.
Thanks again to Ken and June for asking us and for the audience for being great.
Quite a busy few weeks meeting friends and doing gigs. I think by the time we reached the end of the month we had both got a bit low and have been fighting off the winter bug thing. This fighting it off means we do nothing except eat and sleep. I think a trip to the Merry Hells half term week probably consolidated it.
Like most people we were pleased to see the angry backlash against Jonathan, Foul Mouth, Ross and his glove puppet Russell Brand. Quite often we get to gigs where we have not performed previously and the audience is cowering in fear because the last comedian booked had been crude and abusive. It puts people off from returning to watch “comedy” and it makes a decent comedian’s job so much harder.
I like lots of the “new” comedians and I am not bothered by “the language” although I feel that most of the time it is totally unnecessary and a feeble attempt to sound “young”. It is no substitute for good material.
For us the main aim is to give the audience a relaxing, happy evening and hopefully for us to gain their trust and respect.
If they want excitement they should go to a lapdance club instead. At our age excitement is winning the raffle! That’s as “edgy” as our evening gets.
Baptism after mass at church the other week and I was sitting next to one of the guests and her daughter during the service. She kept pointing to the very pretty satin dress with lots of ribbon and ruffles that she was wearing. I whispered to her…”I love your pretty party dress”. She answered back very loudly…”Yes, but Mommy says it’s a bitch to iron!”
Minutes later I heard her say to the elderly lady in front “Why doesn’t your skin fit your face?” I think at that point her Mum gave her a very large sweet…the ones we called gobstoppers..
Just a few funnies to finish. A Polish man goes into Specsavers for an Eye test. The Optician presents him with the sight test board and says.”Can you read this?” The Polish man says: Read it? I know him!
I said to Al last week. “I’m fed up…take me somewhere I haven’t been before. So he took me by the hand and led me into the kitchen.Funneeee!
I said I’m going to have a t.shirt printed with “Been there,..Done that..Can’t Remember it.”
I’ve found the best way to forget your troubles is it to suddenly wear high, spiky heels after a gap of about 10 years. Ooow!
Just remember….He who laughs……lasts! Tarra a bit!
Saturday 1st of November and Lyn and John have invited us to return to HORSEHAY, out near Ironbridge. Although the numbers are down a bit ,due to another venture in the village, the evening is brilliant. Our friends Graham and Pam Leddington surprise us by turning up to give us some support and food. Everyone has brought their own food and it is very informal. It feels like a group of mates getting together for a catch up and a laugh. When we are asked about the gig for tomorrow we explain about working for the Heartlands Hospital. Imagine our amazement when an incredibe donation is handed over at the end of the evening. The warmth and generosity of these people is so uplifting and will be a wonderful surprise for tomorrow. Many, many thanks to you good people at Horsehay.
November 2nd and this is the charity luncheon for Heartlands Hospital held at the Boot Hotel at Honiley. It is an ongoing fundraiser for Ward 19 which is the Oncology /Haematology Ward. This event is organised by our good friends Carole and Mike Powell along with their family and friends who all chip in to help things run smoothly. This is our 8th year working for this cause and £1000 is raised during the afternoon. £100 of this was the cheque from our friends at Horsehay. Carole and the audience were stunned by this kindness and Kathy, the Matron, explained about the equipment the money would buy for the ward. Lovely afternoon and many thanks to all concerned.
All of our thoughts and good wishes go out to the other big fundraisers for this cause, Gwen and Tony Evans who, because of health problems, are starting a new life in the sun. Love and thanks for all your many years of hard work go with you both
LEEK WOOTTON village hall is our venue for tonight. We have previously worked it for an anniversary. Beautiful place. Marian has booked us and there are some friendly and familiar faces from both her choir and from the village of Barford. Great crowd and lovely food…….and we didn’t get lost and argue. What more could one ask for?
Saturday 8th and we are at WHITTINGTON HEATH Golf Club near Lichfield. It is always a pleasure to come here. We are working with our friend, David Bartley, The Tipton Wordsmith and the audience ‘take to him’ straight away. Good to see quite a few people we know from past gigs. Wonderful crowd. Thanks for making it such a good night……and for feeding Allan.
12th November and we are at SUTTON COLDFIELD Conservative Club for Probus. We are greeted like old friends which is always a good start. Allan overindulges at the buffet which is nothing new. Unfortunately one of the ladies is taken ill at the end of the show and paramedics are sent for. We rang up a couple of days later and thankfully she was okay. I feared it could have been ‘the Allan effect’. I have built up a resistance over the years but it can be overpowering for newcomers.
Friday 14th at the Holy Name, GREAT BARR. This is a very special Memorial Evening organised by our friend, Alan, and his family. It has been organised to remember and to celebrate the life of his wife, Theresa , and also to raise money for Macmillan nurses to thank them for all their help. It is easy to understand why Alan has become a successful businessman because the evening was an extraordinary feat of organisation with a full evening’s programme of entertainment, raffles, auction, race meet and food. All this along with some very personal and moving tributes from the family. It was a humbling and emotional experience and we were proud to be part of it. At the end of the evening Alan V. handed over to Macmillan Nurses a cheque for the incredible amount of £4,000.
Saturday 15th November and we are back at GREAT HAYWOOD Village Hall. This is our second visit so we all know each other now. Some audiences respond onstage but keep their distance when we are offstage. As most people have decided Al is a few sandwiches short of a picnic I can fully understand that. This crowd, however, are great…they include us in everything and chat to us all the time. Makes it a very relaxed evening which we really enjoy. Thanks again for a good time and especially for the fish and chips…..says Allan.
This is our 4th visit to EARLSWOOD Village Hall and we have some of the gang in from the Woodbourne Club just up the road. As some of them have only seen us a few weeks ago we can only presume there is not much to do in Earlswood. Great to see them all again…..and some of them are really young!!!! Wow! Thanks you staunch and true followers. Jenny B. organises for us to come and we have become firm friends. She is a very talented Scottish lady with a warm personality.
Al wins the much maligned plastic cow in the raffle and is very excited and makes it moo most of the way home and the next day….and the next day…. Great night again Earlswood. Thanks for keep turning up. Many thanks to Jen for our goodies and to the ladies who brought us new diaries and the ladies who brought us throat sweet. You are all sooo kind!
22nd November and we are back again at St. Chads at SUTTON COLDFIELD. Big problems with the P.A. tonight. Luckily we had arrived early and were not too far from home so we had to drive back and pick up our old amp praying that it would still work. We hadn’t used it for about 10 years but incredibly it did the job. Allan’s biggest worry was that he had missed out on the jacket potatoes and had not had anything to eat all day. I was already quite tense so all this didn’t help. The audience is very understanding and after a later than advertised start we manage to get the time in . We offered to do another gig for them next year at half the price by way of some recompense. Big mystery we had it checked by two different music shops and they could find nothing wrong with it. Gremlins on the night. It’ been okay since.
26th November and it is a star studded extravaganza at KIDDERMINSTER TOWN HALL. Cast of thousands….the New Dimensional Experience Choir, John Sparry and the Crown Phoenix Big Band along with ourselves. Our compere for the evening is ex T.V and Saga star Peter Tomlinson. Excellent show. Great to work on a true variety show. Lots of people there that we know from Hartlebury and Astley. We did two short spots so I attempted heels and a frock which was a shock to my ankles, knees and back. I could hear the thin, spiky heels saying ‘Surely she doesn’t expect us to carry all that body weight’. Clingy dress = M and S magic knickers (bum, tum and thigh squashers) which was alright till I realised the dress had a split and I had to climb onto the stage. Knicker legs are not a good look glimpsed through a split skirt! Great to see the wonderful Bev Pegg in the audience and lovely to meet the male vocalist with the Crown Phoenix Big Band and also his family.. All of the acts were brilliant and the audience went home very happy.
28TH November and we are at SUMMERHILL SCHOOL, Wallheath. This is about the 10th year for us. The Black Country acts swap about year to year. Dave Whalley, ex Giggetty band member gets the show together. Tommy Mundon and Giggetty are with us this evening and Dave always supplies us with food and drink so it is good fun. Second half Dave gets up with Giggo and does some of the old stuff he did with them and we all get nostalgic. Dave and his wife Nita have taught at the school for years. The audience love this spot. Great evening again.
Saturday 29th of November and we are at GREAT WITLEY village hall. Bit of a drive out through Stourport but we have a warm welcome and a team of ladies who busy themselves getting us tables, drinks etc. A group of people who see us at Astley and who also saw us at Kidderminster last week and have come along again. They must be fans! Many thanks for coming again. Proper Black Country faggitts and pays purchased especially from Dudlaaay warm us up on a cold night. Allan manages to squeeze down some pudding as well then he can hardly move in the second half. Nice to meet you all and thanks for your friendship and hospitality.
November has been a very busy month for us and a big lesson in people power. We have met and worked with so many caring and motivated people involved in fund raising. It counter balances some of the terrible things we read about every day.
We are lucky we get to meet new people all the time. Some of them become firm friends and sometimes we meet up with old friends we have lost touch with which is great.
“The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions.
The little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment – countless infinitesimals of pleasure and general feelings” Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Some thoughts …. (though not of Samuel Taylor Coleridge):
You know when you are getting old……your zimmer frame has an airbag.
I think I may have C.D.O….Obsessive Compulsive Disorder……..only in alphabetical order….LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!
Why do they call tiny chocolate bars “Fun size” what can be fun about having a choccy bar that small!
Meanwhile gird your loins and prepare for the Christmas Crush.
Last month of the year and we are working for the ALDRIDGE LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY. Big treat for us we get to work with good friends Nicky and Cliff who are a husband and wife who sing individually and also together as Eternity. This is a new venture for them although they have both been professional performers in their own right for many years. They have a wonderful sound and do some lovely songs together. It was a faultless performance. Check the website on our links page and go along to see them.
2nd December and we are at LUTTERWORTH Golf Club which proves a bit tricky to find. Harsh words are spoken and there is talk of a Satnav replacing me. Cries of …..“ I haven’t got my reading glasses” and ‘Read it your bloody self… know all !” ….. will be heard no more. Difficult logistics for setting up and I “had got one on me” as Allan so quaintly describes it. All ladies…… who were being waited on by their husbands etc. I think that this and the opportunity to grade their “waiters” in the manner of “Strictly” was probably the highlight of their night. We did an hour of comedy which I think they enjoyed and then we provided them with some disco sounds. Many thanks for the food.
Wednesday 3rd of December and we are at another Golf Club. Back at SHIRLEY for the Senior Golfer’s Christmas Party. Lovely crowd and we all enjoyed the evening. Thanks for the gi-normous plate of sandwiches and for the gift which was a very kind thought. We look forward to being back there in February.
Christmas Party for the Tibbington Lodge who have moved to a new venue which is closer for us as it is the Beverley Hotel, WALSALL.
Not a big crowd but we had a very pleasant evening with them especially as I was given a pressie along with the other ladies.
5th December and it is another Masonic Christmas Party at STONEBRIDGE Golf Club. They are a very young staff there but most efficient and very friendly. They gave us the best chicken and bacon sandwich I have ever tasted along with a porcelain coal scuttle dish filled with chips……I shall never be allowed in Weight Watchers again at this rate. Great night with a lively crowd. Had some fun with the carols. I managed to sing two using the same tune. Doh!
6th December we are on our way to Purley Chase Golf Club out near Atherstone. Previous visits have seen us ending up in the quarry but this time we find it without a problem. We are on with a disco so he has the stage area and we set up on the edge of the vast dance floor. The audience were fine but they had sat for a long time with the meal and were waiting to get up and dance. The club is much changed since the early days when we went. Very smart.
Sunday 7th and we are doing the Christmas party for the CUBBINGTON crowd at the Triumph Club at Coventry. They are a jolly lot and we have a good time with them. Sadly a lady from the party in the other room collapsed in the toilet and her daughter was most distressed. I stayed with them until the paramedics arrived and by then she had started to rally a bit. Brought back a lot of bad memories of my mum and trying to cope with her epileptic fits. Bad memories have a way of sneaking up on you when you are least expecting them. Hope Bridie is fully recovered now.
Monday 8th and we are back again at ALDRIDGE. This time for a lodge party at the Masonic Hall. We tend to do it every couple of years at the request of Robin. Great to see our fiends David and Joan Lambert there. The real stars of the show were 2 very young dazzling girls who had come with their family. They made me feel so old. Lovely girls with impeccable manners. I asked Al to take their photo for this page but he said he’d feel a bit Gary Glitter if he did. They were what Dante Gabriel and the Pre Raphs. would have called a couple of Stunners.
Just up the road this evening at an old haunt of ours…HAMMERWICH Cricket and Bowls Club. This is a home crowd and they treat us like old friends. Allan sat very close to the wonderful buffet and managed to drop butter on his newly cleaned suit. It’s like taking a child out!
December 16th and this is a shock to the system as we have to be set up and ready to go at 10.00 a.m. in SOLIHULL. Traffic nightmare but we just about manage to get set up before the first act which is a hard one to follow These are the “Tena Ladies” and like our audience are all ex Marks and Sparks employees. They perform as a group and raise money for charity. They are very funny. This gig is always a joy to do and we look forward to it. They are a wonderful crowd to work for and it’s nice to chat to them after. Many thanks.
Evening gig at WALSALL Town Hall so we start out early to negotiate the traffic lights at the Arboretum. They are very similar to the Krypton Factor. We are on tonight with Giggetty, Doug Parker and David Bartley. Low attendance figures but the people are lovely and we all enjoy the evening. It is good to do one very Christmassy gig with old friends.
18th December and we are at STOURBRIDGE Institute for the Pedmore Club. We had met them all a couple of years ago. They are a lovely crowd. They are very polite, well mannered and responsive. We are so lucky to work for people like this. Before we go back on after the mountain of yummy food there is a short literary based interlude. A wonderful Christmas mix of material read so eloquently by Ron Pickering. I really enjoyed it. Thanks again to all concerned and to Ron for emailing me the poetry information I asked about.
Last one before Christmas for us and we are at WARWICK Masonic Lodge which we also did last year. Everywhere looks very pretty. We spend a fair time chatting to David, the Steward there, and then Allan is given the option of a plate of profiteroles and has to have most of them wiped from round his face. Nice relaxing gig to finish on. Thanks for Allan’s food and my plant. Happy Christmas to all of you.
30th December and Christmas has come and gone in the blink of an eye and we.are on our way to HEREFORD Caravan Club’s Christmas Meet at a beautiful village called Bishops Hampton It is a long journey and we are very lucky the weather is okay. Lovely village Hall which is nice and modern and the crowd are well settled in for a four day stay with their vans and homes parked outside the hall. We have some great fun with them particularly the Tractor boys who are really good sports and the crazy Welsh brothers. We meet a lovely lady from Wednesbury and enjoy their company very much. Big thanks to all concerned. Got to bed about 2.30 a.m…..wrecked!
Sad news today as we hear that old friend GRAHAM GREEN has died.
Graham was one of the founder members of our friends GIGGETTY. Graham was a talented musician, an excellent front man and a great Black Country songwriter. Whatever happened or had happened in the history of the Black Country either Graham or group co founder Brian Langtry would write a song about it. He had been ill for some time and will be sadly missed.
Last gig of the year and it is at Sutton Conservative Club. We have worked here lots of times but the last twice for private functions. Jim is our compere and looks after us very well. Martin and his wife and all the staff at the club are always kind and welcoming.
Bit nervous as New Year Do’s can always be a bit iffy. People usually like to dance and we don’t want to hold up the party fun. Audience were great and if their little feet were itching to get up and boogie they didn’t let it show and put us off. They gave us a great spot.
Many thanks and a Happy New year to all of you.
December is a hard month for people who have lost loved ones. The desperate expectation of required Christmas happiness is forever pushing us towards impossible and stressful situations.
For that read….Women do everything and get really grumpy! We end up exhausted by Christmas Day and hate everybody. Allan and I had reached the teeth gnashing stage with each other and I was ready to smother him with a pillow.
I ran out of Christmas paper at the last minute and had to use Happy Birthday paper to which I added in felt pen “Happy Birthday…Jesus”!
We’ve all got a selection of unwanted (last year) Christmas gifts wrapped and ready for the unexpected guest while just praying we are not handing back what they gave us last year.
This year they were in the “Limbo” the “Lost Place” where lurks….the other glove , the missing sock, the other ear ring,
the book of stamps, the radiator key etc. etc. This means unexpected guests will not gain entrance.
I hate seeing the supermarket catalogues full of perfectly wrapped pressies. I did “crap wrap” before it was invented. My sellotape on parcels always comes with lipstick marks where I have savaged it from the roll. In days gone by the sellotape always came with border collie hairs. Now it is budgie feathers. It’s a sort of Glyn signature.
Got quite upset about missing my Mum at one point. I arrived home and started putting tags on parcels and at the bottom of the bag found one from my Mum wishing me a Happy Christmas. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry…it was so unexpected. I don’t know how it had got amongst the new tags but it made me feel much better.
Christmas seems to consist of making endless shopping lists and endless dinner party menus with timetable prep…. as suggested by Delia and then discovering the tablecloth has an “Allan food juggling stain” on it that looks like a map of Italy. Nigella Lawson has a lot to answer for …creating such angst among us less than domestic goddesses. Her performance owes more to porn movies than cooking. I wouldn’t let her lick my wooden spoon!
I love fairy lights….. may we still call them that? When I came to hang mine in the grotto I found that our resident garage mouse had chewed through the wires. I was going to re house him but he had a heart attack in my humane trap. He must have been claustrophobic. I felt terrible. Al kept calling me Mouse Murderer.
I realised how old and sad I am getting when for my two social outings at Christmas I actually carried a thermal vest in my handbag.
We were lucky enough to get another Christmas Day invite from one of my “best friends forever” Norma and her husband Alan. She is a brill cook and they make us very welcome. It is great because Allan and I would have spent Christmas Day looking at each other over a soggy jacket potato.
Allan reaches the “can’t do supermarkets stage” as soon as the kids break up. He has left the house several times looking like a Gary Glitter trib. after opening the Christmas cards and rubbing his hands on his face. I’ve said nothing!
Our second outing was Andy Brownlie’s (Mad Jocks) 60th Birthday party. Great to catch up with so many old friends from Folk club days. We had a wonderful time. Thanks to Maggie and Andy. Al wanted his coat to leave and said “Will I be okay fetching it from the bedroom?”“I said if anybody is in the bedroom at our age they will be asleep!”
It was good to have bit of a break from gigging and catch up with some friends over the holiday period.
Enjoyed Midnight mass which at our Church is always 5.30 p.m. At least this year I hadn’t lost my voice. Thanks to all our friends who took time to come over or to meet up with us and make it a special time. A big thanks to all the people who have supported us, re-booked us and laughed along with us in 2008.
2009, will be a difficult year, or so we are told. Let’s hope we get back some of the old values along with the Dunkirk spirit that Gordon Brown has asked us to adopt. Allan already wants to keep a pig in the garden to feed it scraps and I think I saw him get his Vera Lynn songbook out.
Whatever happens we will all need a good laugh so come along and see us if you get the chance and we will do our best to cheer you up.
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