BREAKING NEWS FOR 2016…….BREAKING NEWS FOR DANDY 2016……..BREAKING NEWS FOR DANDY 2016
After much soul searching and despite a nagging fear of the new we have decided to embrace FACEBOOK We now have a personal Facebook each…one for Dandy for friends and one for Dandy-Comedy Duo…Just For Fun… which will give details of gigs, thanks to organisers, photographs etc.
There is a link to this at the top of the page. You do not need to login or to be a member of Facebook to access it.
This website will continue to give you gigs (DATES) where hopefully you can come to see us. It will still include COMMENTS (Testimonials or References) and a Photo GALLERY. This website will still include DIARY ARCHIVES showing venues we have played at with accompanying photographs. There is also a HISTORY Section. This all sounds mind boggling so basically just click things until you get fed up or give us a ring and we’ll talk you through it.
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JANUARY 2015 This is the full monthly diary of gigs for 2015
Hopefully the last Turkey leg has been gnawed, the last Selection Box has been fought for and the last joke has been made about sitting in front of the fire and cracking your nuts. Thank you Allan!!
We look forward to the usual pilgrimage to re- join Weight Watchers. I have been a member since 1971!! We look forward to the usual frantic call to our Plumber when the weather gets bad and the pilot light blows out and can’t be re-lit. Even though he’s shown us how to do it millions of times….and when he comes he looks at us as if we are morons. We look forward to iced up car locks and the De-Icer on the back seat. We look forward to the thumbing through holiday brochures at people in hot places and then saying…we can’t afford it! ……… Allan’s ongoing search for his favourite thermal vest. The list is endless and mind numbingly boring!
First gig of this pristine, new year is at ARLEY KINGS which is out at the back of Stourport on Severn. We are working at their very beautiful Village Hall. We have been here before but many years ago for a Wedding Anniversary.
We do, however know several of the people there who have come to see us up the road at Astley. We have also worked several times for Audrey and the Ladies of Arley Kings at the Hundred House at Great Whitley and also for a Friendship Club from here….so they are not strangers to us.
Lovely to see some of my family here tonight. So glad you could come. Good to meet the gentleman in the interval who was the Conductor of the Langley Brass Band. In fact a big thank you to all of the people who came up to chat and tell us jokes etc.
Keith has been very helpful and made us very welcome tonight. He, and a hardworking team have everything well organised and it shows. Thank you so much for our refreshments in the Green Room and for our Supper. It was very thoughtful. So good to know exactly what the night will entail. It makes our job so much easier.
Brilliant night. We couldn’t have had a better gig to start the year. The audience were with us all the way. Many thanks to all concerned particularly to the official photographer who sent us some photographs of the event so promptly.
Second gig of the new year and a new venue .We are out through Stratford at ALDERMINSTER VILLAGE HALL. Gerry has invited us here .Vivacious is the best way to describe her . Instantly likeable She has worked hard with her team and husband Adrian to make this evening a success .
This there Annual Mega Dinner with a firm of Caterers , pork and cider and all the trimmings . We are on the first rung of our diet ladder so we declined there kind offer of a meal . We had a wonderful night with the people there. They couldn’t have made us more welcome . So many people came to chat and thank us at the end .
Tonight we are local. We are back at HAMMERWICH CRICKET CLUB at the behest of Ron Box. Sadly Ron can’t join us tonight after putting in all the hard work organising she is unable to make it. Speedy recovery Ron.
Meanwhile we are in good hands. David is M.C and the ladies have there instructions . The table is heaving with lovely food and the place is packed to capacity. It is great to be working with friends Nick and Cliff again. There are so many people there we know. The atmosphere is wild. They are on form tonight and determined to keep us on our toes . All the banter is good natured and we are truly lad to see them all. We go back many years with these people here. Big thanks to all for a cracking night .
It is very cold this afternoon as we set off for the Cotswolds again. Early start as the Friday traffic is a nightmare. We are over at INGON GOLF CLUB tonight for John and Shirley. They usually see us over at ALCESTER .So we are looking forward to seeing them and our friends Nick and Sham as well . Fabulous building . Cruck built enormous barn . It must be wonderful for weddings in the summer . Although the heating was on full ……. I wish I had worn my thicker knickers…..it is a very cold nigh! Big thanks for our fish and chips and the lovely welcome people gave us .
Friday 6th February and in the words of Canned Heat…..We are on the road again. We are heading for BROMSGROVE INDOOR BOWLS CLUB.
I have googled – so I know its like the Tamworth one – very big. These new indoor clubs are amazing. Bit hard to reign in the sound as the area is vast and it seems to bonce of each wall and back again. They are very nice people here.
Geoff has already given us a brilliant line that we will be using. He’s the club clown and a bit of a rogue with all the ladies. We didn’t think all the ladies needed searching. But he did!. Great night with them all.
Tonight we are at GREAT BARR CONSERVATIVE CLUB. We have not been here for many years. We are now sharing the night with a girl singer. I am a bit apprehensive – but she turns out to be great. Loved her to bits! . She went down a storm with audience and had them up dancing with her first set. What a wonderful night! Look out for her ….. HALEY COOKSON. Back next year with her.
It is Valentines day and we are on our way to NEWPORT BOWLS CLUB. We have done this for the last five years for Maureen and her ladies. It is a fundraiser for Alzheimers and Cancer relief. They always have loads and loads of raffle prizes but it is really well organised. Team Maureen have decorated the room and it looks great.
We had planed a special Valentine set with songs jokes and observations to fit the night. The are a fabulous crowd here always so responsive. Bit have hiccup when the chip man had forgot the order. Asked if i wanted to announce to one hundred people they had no chips. Declined that. Fortunately he closed the shop and we got them in a hour. Three cheers for the chip man.
Great to see our mate Graham Leddington who always drops in at this gig to bring my birthday present. Brillpresent mate. Hugs kiss’s to you and Pam. See you next year. You lovely Bowls Club.
Late afternoon sitting in the traffic on our way to BRIERLEY HILL CIVIC HALL. Tonight is a big and very special night for us. It is STAND UP FOR TOMMY MUNDON. This is a fund raiser in tribute to Tom. The proceeds will be going to THE MARY STEPHENS HOSPICE where Tom spent his last days .All of the artists have given their time to honour a friend and respected performer. The entertainers in order of appearance were as follows:
MEL THOMAS … BARRY SMITH… MARLENE… MAGGIE O’ HARA… DOUG PARKER… BEV PEGG… MIKE SULLIVAN…TONY BILLINGHAM… AYNUK… KEN WOOD… AND….. DANDY .
It was a great honour for us to be asked. We were very proud to be part this historic night. The crowd numbered ……750 . The money raised. . £10,531 .
It was a wonderful night. It was sad and sweet and full of memories for all of us. The crowd rose to the occasion and I’m sure Tom looked down with total approval .
It is great to be back here at the bijou SUTTON ARTS THEATRE . It is warm and intimate.We love it. Peter and Sally meet us at the door and make us very welcome. Sad to hear Divina Barns has died. The night before. Her & her husband lived and breathed SUTTON ARTS. They have left it in capable hands and i am sure it will continue to thrive.
Great to see friends Andy and Pat in the audience . Glyn and Andy worked together as lab technicians at Wodensborough High School.
It was such a lovely night and we enjoyed it immensely. Many thanks to all.
Saturday night we heading off towards Eccleshall to a place called GREAT BRIDGEFORD. We have never been here before. Val and Harold have organised the event and are to meet it. Everyone has made such an effort and the hall looks very pretty. We have been made very welcome by the group of people getting the hall ready. One of the best gigs we have had for a while. What a corker! The audience were exceptional. Big, big thank you for such a great night. See you next February.
Tonight Glyn is a bit nervous. We are going to play at WALSALL WOOD FOOTBALL CLUB. Glyn has a problem with football in general. It was was the cause of many teenage arguments. Allan was obsessed with football. Two nights training. Two days playing. Then talking about it in between incessantly! So she does not hold it or its followers in high regard. Our friend Alan Vurlan is a sponsor and part organised this fund raiser for the club.
Some of our friends are coming so I hope it will be ok. Mixed age group. But after the first panic we went for it. I think most people enjoyed it. We were very pleased with the response . Big Big thanks to all. For those who may not have enjoyed it thanks for not letting it show!
Its Saturday night in February. So it must be Dave Slaters BUDDY HOLLY NIGHT at KINGS NORTON GOLF CLUB. A night we have been doing for many enjoyable years. Its a great thrill for us to be working with the the Fab MIKE BERRY & THE OUTLAWS. We used to see Mike at Wednesbury Youth Centre in our teenage years .To be doing gigs with him now is amazing . He looks no older. But feels it when we remind him we paid one shilling and sixpence to see him. Mike and the lads are a great band . But more important lovely people. Dave puts so much into organising the night. The result a Bostin night . Brill night from start to finish. Two Dancers who stood out . Joy and Graham .Wow! Think the people enjoyed them as much as the acts. Rightly so. With their Lindy Hop jive they were Magic!
Friday night M5. Love it! But we exit at junction 3. Now on the Quinton express way . Express way ?. On a Friday night . Any turn right makes you wish you had left home the day before . Arrive at Harborne Golf Club . Glyn is convinced we have played here before . Until we pull on the car park .Then not so convinced. The gig tonight is for EDGBASTON ROTARY CONVENTION . A mixed aged audience . A great night everyone made us very welcome. Special thanks to David who booked us. Never seen us before .But booked us on the recommendation from the Geordie man from CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN GOLF CLUB. Thanks Geordie.Thanks everyone.
Saturday night back on the M5 junction 3 .Deja-vu! Turn right tonight. Get your kicks on the A456 BELBROUGHTON VILLAGE HALL bound are we . Tonight we are working with our old mate and Black Country / Hagley Legend plus (parts of Kidderminster…….. but not many )……. MR BEV PEGG. Worked with Bev for many years and the one thing we can be sure of is we will have a good loff. Tonight is no exception . The hall is packed to capacity ,with an air of excitment . To be honest we have put that down to the interval fish and chips . Great to see Steve and Pauline again .Steve says he has seen us about fifteen to twenty times over the years .What stamina they have and they still sit at the front .Amazing !
Also in tonight we have our long time mates Pam and Graham Leddington ( Dudley and Tipton originally). Now tax exiles in Wellington . They have brought with them the Leddington clan who have come from all over the country . Made that up. Steve and Jane live in the next village .Think they walked it . Thanks to everyone for tonight . Bev and ourselves had a bostin time . A good Sing…..Loff…… Drink… and Fish and Chips . It dow get any better .
Friday 13th……. should we be out? CHETTON VILLAGE HALL is tonight’s venue. It’s just outside Bridgnorth on the Ludlow road. Memories of misspent youth at The Punch Bowl and The Downs. It was so many years ago, but it feels like yesterday. This is our second time here. We are made very welcome by a lovely audience. There are people in from the Black Country, who, with the aid of escape committees have managed to cross the Wolverhampton border and start new lives in this wonderful area.
The event was organised by Anne Williamson and a committee of nine other people (sorry not got the names of all of you) . They are the Wheatland Support Group for Severn Hospice. This night was just one of many of the fund raisers over the year. Thanks to their hard work and the people who came on the night, the event Raised £1023. 00. All the best for your future events.
Tonight is a night that made me wish I had paid more attention back in my school days. Then maybe I would have learned how to spell! That really would have helped with tonight’s gig. The village hall I had in the diary was very similar to the village hall we were really at. The only difference was tonight’s village hall was about another fifty mile further on. The other side of Hereford in fact. Not this side ….Did we laugh? So many thanks to Gordon who talked us in on the phone for the last part of the journey.
What a great surprise to see people we knew from Aymestry village. Joe and Ruth (who have booked us many times) and Malcolm & Helen who’s Golden Wedding Anniversary was that weekend. Also thousands of other faces ( o.k not thousands ) we knew. We had a cracking night and were really grateful for the lovely food and drink. So thanks to you all. A special thanks to Gordon & Vivienne for booking us and our wonderful compere. Gordon escorted us back to the main Ludlow road. Without his help we would still be there now. We decided to stay at the Travel Lodge near Ludlow over night. After a good nights sleep, we had a great breakfast at the The Salwey Arms…… then a leisurley drive home. Many thanks to all at BREINTON VILLAGE HALL.
Tonight is our third visit to NEWCHURCH VILLAGE HALL. Rachel and Gordon are Mein Hosts!. This gig gets better each year. Packed to capacity. That’s good because it keeps us all nice and warm. At our age that’s a blessing. A great first half. The interval arrives. Bring on the food! I eat my Ploughman’s Lunch and I love it so much that I eat Glyns as well. A bit of a surprise when she gets back from doing her hair.. . but I am just helping her with the diet. Then out come the sweets. I am now prepared to change to any religion that lets me have two wives. The lady who made the meringue . . .Who are you? On with the second half. Good to see the Vicar joining in with High Ho Silver Lining. To use a much used Black Country Phrase . . . . . . .A Bostin Night . . . . . .See you next March .
Its just six weeks since our last gig at BRIERLEY HILL CIVIC HALL. That was a night I think we will all remember, the audience and artists alike. Forever known as the Tommy Mundon Night. This one is organised by the Lions. Thirty minutes before the start people had formed a queue outside in the rain, I can only think they must have the wrong night!… The venue is once again packed to capacity.We are working with two other acts, Chris King and Paul Ray. Chris followed by Paul soon have the audience laughing and singing creating a great atmosphere. Once again the Black Country Folks were wonderful to us. A brilliant night all round……. and we had an ice cream! Tar Brierley Hill.
It is the he first Saturday in April and the first date of the new Black Country Show. We start the tour off at WALMLEY CLUB.
The new line up features Peter Lee and ourselves (the old uns) The Ronaldos (not so old). Kaylee Cropper (young un) and top of the Bill…. Jonny Cole. Age (?) depends on the lighting. (It’s a joke!)
The all Brummie audience gave us all a great start. Letting them know I was a Wolves surpporter got the best laugh of our set. Ta….. blue noses Yam Alright.
Sunday off to a village by the name HANLEY SWAN. This gig is just us tonight. What a lovely part of the country this is. We liked UPTON ON SEVERN when we saw it for the fourth time as much as we did when we saw it the first time. In the end we found the village hall and had a great night with some good Black Country Folk. When we left it had gone dark. Bit of a surprise at half eleven. Country people don’t like lights. It must frighten the cows or something. So we saw UPTON ON SEVEN another three times and HANLEY SWAN, another twice. Thanks folks, we really enjoyed the night.
KIDDERMINSTER ROSE THEATRE. Tour date. Many thanks to the Mons Hill School staff who come to see us tonight.We did gigs for them thirty plus years ago. Kids taken to TAL-Y BONT on a Friday night for a weeks camping. We arrive Saturday to do the gig. Staff have no voices left. Kids not slept since Thursday. Requests include Thriller by Michael Jackson. I have an acoustic guitar. We get three cheers. Night ends and off to bed. Gig money spent in Barmouth next day, at the “Things we never knew we needed”shop. Glory days of our younger years. Thanks to the ROSE THEATRE without you we would never have met these lovely people again. Just a thought ,why have you left it thirty years to see us again you buggers! Also great to see Chris and John again from the Red Lion O’Morfe. Happy Days!
STRATFORD ART HOUSESTRATFORD ARTS HOUSE tonight so we head off early. Played there on the B.C. Tour a few years ago. The place is much changed and has had a real re-vamp. Beautiful main hall, bar and sun terrace. The tech. staff and management team are very helpful and look after us with tea, coffee and biccies. Big thank you to Clare and Genna. Allan gets chocolate down his good trousers in the first five minutes! The audience are few but friendly.
Saturday 11th and we are heading out Stratford way again to a familar venue …...WOOTTEN WAWEN. Good to be greeted by Tina who is now Steward there. Tina is one of the Slater clan and sister to, our friend, Keith. They are a lovely family. Great to see, mother, June who came along later. Our friend Carole, brother John and partner, Judy have bought tickets. Very friendly audience here and we know them pretty well by now. Allan’s Platters song brought the house down.
This is the first of our two St. Georges Nights. This one is for the Masefield Lodge at KINGS HEATH MASONIC HALL.
Giuseppe Tambe is the Worshipful Master and Paul Bunn has contacted us to supply the entertainment. Good to speak to some of the people from other lodges while we were waiting. Thanks for the kind words. Lot of flag waving and patriotic stuff and the audience were well into the mood of the moment. Allan’s favourite moment was the enormous beef sandwiches that he was given for his supper.
14th April and we are set to entertain the ladies of PEDMORE. W. I. and surrounding areas. It is the Big Meet where ladies from this group get the chance to impress ladies from other groups with their Mary Berry Muffins. Allan eat 7 cakes while he was there and took 2 platefuls home.
People must think I don’t feed him. The venue is St. Peters Church Centre and the Church and Churchyard are very pretty.
The ladies are all wonderful and give us a great night with lots of laughing. Great pleasure to meet them all.
Tonight is a B.C. Tour date and we are at the lovely LICHFIELD GARRICK THEATRE. Lichfield is our spiritual home and as soon as we win the Lotto we are buying a house so I can spend every morning trotting in to Costa, the Cathedral, Dame Ollies and Stowe Pool. It is important that this one is a good one or we will have to find new place to shop.
Big thanks to all our great friends who came along to support us on the night. It was great to have my friend Jenny there. We have been friends since we were twelve back at Wednesfield Grammar School. We had Detention together, stayed over at each others’ houses and went on Butlins Holidays together. Truly wonderful to still have great friends from so long ago. They are the people who know the real you and still like you. Sorry I didn’t get to catch up in the bar after with Steve Handley and his wife and the Walsall 41 Club, neighbours Steve and Steph, Pat Viggers and friends from the old Park Hall School days, Dave and Diane, Sandra and Graham, and all the others who made it such a special night for us. And a very big thanks to Katy for providing the cast with the Chocolate Brownies. They were amazing! We had taken my Basil Brush who had pride of place in the Dressing Room.
Today is our 44th Wedding Anniversary and we are to spend it at REDDITCH PALACE THEATRE on the B.C. Tour. This is no hardship as we are among friends. The cast of the Black Country Show are great to spend time with and great to work with. The wonderful Ronaldos come from the Shrewsbury area and all have great musical history. Ron was with T’Pau and wrote the incredible worldwide smash hit for Carol Decker…”China in Your Hand”. Ian has worked with, among others…The Debbie Bonham Band (John Bonham’s daughter) and Rich and Shunt worked with Shropshire Band …The Loose Hounds.
Our new friend and new comedy star Kaylee Cropper aka Katy Ann is doing great. This is Katy’s first B.C. tour but she is no stranger to live performance. She is well rehearsed and her material all written by herself is unique to her and well suited to her Black Country Wench character. Wish I had her memory. I spend most of the time looking at my hand, on which I have scribbled or on the floor at a piece of paper neither of us can see. Black Country Bad Boy… the cheeky Jonny Cole who has so many stories and has leaped from a 20 minute spot last year to the top of the Bill this year.
Jonny is a fast learner and his timing is brilliant. We wish him a long and successful career taking the Black Country humour to the next generation. Supposedly to keep us in order and the whole show together we have our own wonderful Master of Ceremonies…the Silver Fox himself Peter Lee. Peter was with the sixties group from Wolverhampton..the Californians. He has worked on shows with all the big stars and stayed with Jimi Hendrix back in the day!!!! We were all very impressed when he was featured in the Black Country Bugle and we read all the handbills of his old shows. He is the ultimate Leg..end!!
Again the audience is not a big one but it is such a wonderful night for everyone. They are a great crowd and make everyone welcome. Big thank you to our great friends Celia and Richard and for all the Earlswood crowd, Michelle, Charles and the gang. Thank you so much for the bottle of Prosseco. Great to meet up again with friend Linda from my time at Wodensborough High School and always a pleasure to see Johnny and Doreen.
The night ended with a get together in Wetherspoons which is just down the road from the theatre. All of the cast and about 10 of the audience continued with the party there. What a fabulous Anniversary it was for us. Thank you so much to everyone who came along and made it such a special night for us.
What a lovely evening as we make our way over to the beautiful BRIDGNORTH. We are appearing at the Bowls club there in High Town. Bridgnorth is the sort of place that makes you catch your breath each time you see it on the horizon. It has so much going for it. Barry and Jenny have asked us back here. We have worked for them several times and the experience has always been brilliant. The crowd here is exceptional. They have always been a wonderful audience to work for. I always wish I had recorded the night because it would make us sound really good.
Thanks for feeding my “always hungry” husband. Great to see so many of you that we know from previous events like the Bridgnorth Flower Club, Red Lion etc. Big thank you to all of the people who have already bought tickets to come and see us again at the end of May on the Black Country Tour at the THEATRE ON THE STEPS. We are really looking forward to it. It will be the last gig of the Tour. Good to hear that Mike enjoyed the show. We have posted off the two C.D.s for him. Big thanks to all.
Early start as we are doing the SOLIHULL ARTS COMPLEX this evening on the Black Country Night Out tour. We arrive the same time as Peter. Peter is so kind he shares all his food with Allan. Although I had taken Allan some of his own he still ate half a bar of chocolate, 2 Greggs sausage rolls and a Krispy Kreme Doughnut. Gannet!!
Solihull is usually an older and quite reserved audience but tonight they surprise us and give us a really great night. How lovely to see John from our Sunday Music nights and what a shock to see someone I knew from when I was 15. Ivan Jackson was my friend back when I worked at the Patent Shaft Steel Works. We walked together with Pat Handley every morning up into Wednesbury and down to the Shaft. Lots of other familiar faces. Great to meet up with Kate’s other half….Ben. Instantly likeable. There is never enough time to talk to them all. Big thank you to all, especially our lovely friend, Helen.
Today is the 24th April and we are back again at the old Sugar Beet Factory Sports Club at WALCOTT Doreen has organised the evening and as usual has it all in hand with raffle prizes and a full house. She was a born organiser.
Allan teases her without mercy but she seems to enjoy it. Lovely to see her again. She has plans to come and see the Black Country Show at Bridgnorth. She does an incredible amount of fundraising and I am sure she could get blood out of a stone. She should be in charge of a roomful of cold callers she would double profits overnight.
Big night tonight with lots of preparation going into it. We are doing a St. Georges’ Night Celebration at KINGS NORTON GOLF CLUB. This is for the RUBERY ST. GEORGES SOCIETY who celebrate all things British. John and Val have asked us along. We have worked for them before and there are also some people there from the Buddy Holly Nights that we do at the Golf Club. Graham is the Master of Ceremonies and everywhere is looking wonderful. There is a lot of red and white and the room looks brilliant with flags and bunting.
So kind of them to give us the Roast Beef Dinner. We sit on top table with John and Val and the rest of the table are really nice people. Two of them saw us last week at Redditch. The time goes all too quickly and I didn’t get time to do a lot of the stuff I had prepared…..but everything went really well. Great night. We really enjoyed it.
We are looking forward to tonight with some trepidation. Although we go to the ROBIN, BILSTON to see bands it is quite daunting to be playing there. We are playing on the Black Country Night there. Jonny and Katy both do support spots there so we are a bit concerned that the room will be full of very young people who have come to see something edgy and are wondering what two old people are doing on stage. I have attempted to look younger with false eyelashes….but I have lost the knack and have merely succeeded in pulling most of my own out with the glue.
The crowd look mixed ages but our first ten minutes are hard going. Whether that is down to a mental block from us or them I am not sure. My theory is that unless they know us some of Black Country audiences take one look at Allan and think he is a Wuss…to put it kindly….. and that I am a snobby cow. Black Country people are naturally suspicious which is no bad thing. After the first ten minutes I lose my fear and say a few rude words to myself and pull myself together. Things seem to improve after that. Felt relieved when we had done our bit.
The new Black Country Show is very different. It is a mix. Jonny and Kate and the Rons are all used to working for younger, more boisterous people. It is the nature of the work they do and the type of venues they play.
Whereas us and Peter, the Elders of the Tribe…are used to something totally different. Although the mix works it means that usually one or the other of the groups are not totally in their comfort zone. Not altogether a bad thing because it might help us to overcome our fear of the young and the others to overcome their fear of the old. The Rons appeal to everybody across the board. They play such happy music and they are such great people.I think we have all gained experience from this tour and we have loved working with everyone. The dressing room time has been a blast. We have almost not wanted to go on stage we were having so much fun.
This has come through to the audiences and there has been a very positive response to the new show.
Thursday 30th of April. We are working tonight at ASTON WOOD GOLF CLUB on the Black Country Show.
Sadly we have to attend another funeral the first part of the day. Allan’s Uncle Albert has died and today we are going over to Redditch to say our goodbyes. Auntie Margaret has been very supportive to us over the years. Albert has been in a home for the past 11 years and she has visited him almost every day she is, understandably, feeling very lost. The day itself was not all doom and gloom though and Allan met 5 cousins he didn’t realise he had got. They all talked about the old days living in Wednesbury.
We made our way over to the Golf Club for the evening feeling a bit tired but we soon got our second wind. Great to see Roger who is the Main Man! He has such a dry sense of humour. I love getting together with him for a natter. Mark was showing us around all the new improvements to the Club. It looks fabulous. They’ve done a great job.
Full house. Great to see all of our friends from the Walsall Resident’s Assoc. They had booked a couple of tables to come and see us. Also nice to see the ladies who had come along after seeing us at Sutton Little Theatre. Glad you got your faggots, girls. Lots of people we know who we have met before or who have booked us at the Golf Club in the past. Good to see you all again.
Tonight I had taken along a present for the Rons who have a love of anything quirky. I had made them a full size doll which they loved and spent most of the night re arranging and having selfies taken with.
He now has his own facebook page and they had called him Aston “Woody” Wood.
Great night! Big thanks to you all.
Friday night and we are local. The venue is the TAMWORTH ASSEMBLY ROOMS with the Black Country Tour. Many happy memories of the old tour days here. The wonderful technical crew are still the same. It is so good to see Ron and Jem again. They really go the extra mile to give us a great sound and lighting. In fact all the staff here have always been great…bar staff, front of house…everyone. Great to have Anne here with her friends but sad that last time we were all working here together and Jack was with us. Giggetty have worked very hard in Black Country entertainment over the past 40 years and made a lot of friends. Jack is a great loss professionally and an even greater loss on a personal level. She is very brave to come and watch the show given all the memories.
Big surprise to see our old friend Barry Hunt who we have known since folk days. Good to see you again and to meet Tessa. Thanks so much for coming along. Quite a few faces we knew in the audience.
Backstage that wonderful Katy has been brilliant..taking all the great photographs of the Tour which we will keep and treasure. She has also arrived tonight with Cornish pasties and Chocolate Brownies made by her partner, Ben. When I see him next I shall offer my hand in marriage. He is a star and should be made Official Food Provider for the Show. This is our last show for a couple of weeks so we drain every last drop of pleasure from it. After working on or own for so long it is fun to be with other people. We shall really miss them all. Thanks to the people of Tamworth for coming along and supporting the show.Keep the Black Country Faith!
Tonight we are working for our old friend John Quelch who is the conductor of the NEW DIMENSIONAL EXPERIENCE CHOIR. This is a big celebration for them. They have been in existence now for 25 years. They are a Christian Choir and are well known and highly praised and their shows and concerts are always well attended.
The night is very enjoyable and the people are really kind and friendly. After we have done our spot the choir do some songs. Wonderful soloist who is also John’s son in law. Lovely to see friends Mike and Olga from Astley. After a buffet supper we were entertained by a soprano. This lady was a total star. I could have listened to her talk all night. She was so motivational….so inspiring. When she sang….no microphone….her voice was excellent but her delivery was without equal. I was captivated.
Thank you so much for such a lovely evening. It will stay in our memory.
Off on the road to Kenilworth to meet with the WEST MERCIA GUIDES LEADERS. We have worked for them before at Linden House so we know a few of them. Nice evening for a drive over there and the venue WOODSIDE is somewhere we have worked before. It is a hotel, conference centre etc. and has become a sort of all things to all people. This is the way they must go these days to be competitive. There is a School Do in one room and our ladies in another. Very excited as they have there a brilliant coffee machine with free access. This makes me very happy. Split age group audience with the younger ladies sitting near the back and possibly wondering. Hope we passed the audition as we are working for them again very soon in back in Wolverhampton. They seem to like Abba so I shall be getting out my Abba songbook in readiness.
May 15th and again we are heading for Kenilworth. We are playing at the neighbouring village of SOUTHAM at the GRANGE THEATRE there for Carol and John who we have worked for many times in the past. Tickets have not gone awfully well as there is another big event on in the village the same night. No matter, we ditch the idea of the stage and work in the round for the lovely people that turned up.
They were a lovely crowd and did their best to sound like a multitude. Thanks again for our supper and many thanks to the people who came along. Hope Carole and John enjoy our C.D.s.
Local gig this evening and we are just up near Wheaton Aston at a place called BLYMILL. Lovely area. The village hall is a great surprise and is only about 3 years old. It is very well equipped and very well designed.
Tonight they have 40 people on the waiting list for tickets which is great. It is certainly a big and boisterous crowd and very mixed ages. I have gone into panic mode. Luckily although they were very vocal they were good fun and gave us 3 encores. Great night. Thanks to Helen and the team for looking after us so well with drinks and food.
Lovely to see Mike Cooper there and his sister, Karen from Wednesbury. Both Allan and myself went to school with them at some point.
Today is an afternoon gig over at OAKENGATES THEATRE for Age Concern. There will be 400 people here today and if they are as appreciative as last year then it will be great.
We are working with 2 other acts and the local primary school are coming along to do a spot. This afternoon is a 60s themed event so we have searched out our sixties clothes. The only thing I can still get into is the shoes and they feel tight.
Good to see Bella Sohi again and to meet up with our friend, Martin who is M.C as usual for the afternoon.
The crowd were treated to Elvis, Roy Orbison, Frank Sinatra and a Beatles set. We then did some 60s based observations and jokes and a couple of songs. Great audience again. Sorry we weren’t allowed out in the interval to say “Hello” like we did last year. Not our decision! Glad we caught up with a few of you at the end. Big thank you for coming and big thank you to Bella and Martin for looking after us so well.
Today is the last date of the Black Country Tour and I must admit we are all a little sad about it. We are over at the beautiful BRIDGNORTH THEATRE ON THE STEPS. We have never been here before and are very excited at the prospect…although not as excited at the thought of carrying gear up the hill. Ron, Bless him, is already there along with Peter and he has dragged the equipment up the steps to the theatre. It is a special night and Katy aka Kaylee along with Ben have made us all an amazing B.C. Tour cake and have even made figures of all of us. It had taken 3 nights. Kate has kept us going with food and her wonderful youthful exuberance. This is her first Tour although she is no stranger to the Stage and has worked and performed in many drama productions. Sounds corny but there has been a lot of love backstage. Everyone has been very supportive of each other. In a profession where Ego is King that is very unusual. Lots of family and friends have turned up and the theatre is full and buzzing.
So pleased to see Joan Bodenham who must have found it very difficult as originally she was coming with her husband, our old friend, Geoff. Sad to think we were here unexpectedly for his funeral a couple of weeks ago. Thanks so much for coming and supporting us.
The show was great and the Rons and Katy and Johnny and their partners stayed overnight in Bridgnorth to party a bit longer. Us old timers walked back to the car clutching our cake tired but happy.
Back on the road tonight to appear at the STRATFORD ON AVON RACECOURSE for ROTARY INTERNATIONAL. I love driving through Stratford on a summer evening it always looks so pretty and so English. It is a lovely evening and we arrive in good time to get set up and meet Robert and some of the people. Everyone is very welcoming. Al and I sat outside a while as it was still warm.
The show went down very well and people said some very kind things. Lovely to meet you all.
After a week’s break re -acquainting ourselves with Welsh rain we are back at work and tonight we are off to PEOPLETON near Worcester to appear at a special Birthday Party for our friend John. We have been coming here for many years and John and June are wonderful people and we have come to think of them as friends.
John is 80 today but it is hard to believe because he is such a vital man with a big personality. It is hard to imagine him ever taking things easy. It is always interesting to be present at these family occasions and hear the history of someone you thought you knew. People do such amazing things and you seldom hear of them. Both him and June are very busy people and are much loved and respected by all in the village. It is clear from the number of friends and family that have turned up. People coming from many different places. His sister, Sue, has come all the way from Tuson, Arizona…..a far cry from where she and John came from in Bridgnorth.
The people are lovely and especially the teen table who must have been bored rigid by the ramblings of two pensioners with Black Country accents. They were so well mannered and a credit to their parents ad to themselves. I hope everyone enjoyed the evening as much as we did.
Our love and best wishes to John on his Birthday and to both of them for their upcoming Anniversary.
Here we are back again at STUDLEY VILLAGE HALL and it is good to see Linda who arranges the night and Paul who does such a great job as M.C. for the evening. They have a great team here and it all runs like clockwork. We have had some womderful nights here so let’s hope that tonight will be as good as we have friends and family coming along.
Allan’s lovely Auntie Margaret is here again. She is always a loyal supporter and it must have been difficult for her to come. So sorry that her husband, Al’s Uncle Albert, passed away recently. She has visited Albert every day by bus for the past 11 years. Although the funeral was sad it was good for Allan to meet up with five cousins he didn’t know he had and to spend time with them all. Unfortunately it is the only time families get together theses days. We are all so caught up in our own lives.
Big thank you also to Maggie, Andy,Dee and Gill for coming along. It was great to see you all.
We are wondering what this gig will be like as we set off to CLOWS TOP. We are going to do a gig in someones house after a meal for 40 people. This is a fundraiser. God knows how they do a 3 course meal in someones kitchen for 4 people. I struggle when I have to do one for 2. It is hot and sunny today as we drive through lovely countryside to the beautiful village of BAYTON.
We had a walk around the village and the church. It was idyllic. What better way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon.
We were kindly offered the meal but instead we sat in the garden and relaxed for a couple of hours.
Big thank you to our host and to the lovely crowd he had assembled.
Today is the 9th and we are back at Lindon House in Wolverhampton for the West Mercia Guides Presentations. They all work very hard to encourage and to give young girls skills, confidence and training which will help them to develop their personalities and abilities for their own benefit and also for others. Congratulations to all of them and good wishes for the future.
This is an afternoon gig over at RUSHALL LABOUR CLUB. This is for our friends, Sid and Betty who are responsible for these afternoon concerts for a more mature and discerning person. So God knows why we are here. The shows are always good and we have been on a few o;f them sharing the stage with top class acts. Today is no exception.
We are on with Kim and Jake’s All Stars Show. They are husband and wife and they are two of the loveliest people we have ever met in entertainment. They insisted we use their P.A., Mics. the lot. Great Act.
They do Comedy/Tribute stuff but nothing tacky. It is all done with humour and respect. They both have excellent voices and work so hard. We were exhausted watching them. The audience loved them. If you get the chance to see them….go along ….they are special people. Big thanks again to Sid and Betty and the wonderful audience they attract.
This afternoon we are at STOURPORT MASONIC HALL and this is a surprise party for Bryan. Mavis, his wife has planned it and all the family are waiting for him. He has no idea. Luckily he seemed pleased to see us. Lots of nice words from friends and family. He is a busy and a popular guy and looks nothing like his age. Hope they all enjoyed the afternoon. Hope the family branch from Gala Shields managed to cope. Big thanks to Mavis for the kind and thoughtful letter she sent us. Happy 80th Bryan!
26th of June and we are happy to be back at one of our favourite venues. This is our third visit to STOURBRIDGE SPIRITUALIST CHURCH. Thanks again for thinking of us , Laraine. Great to sit and chat to Kat and her daughter over the fish and chip supper. The people here are wonderful and make everyone so welcome. I can understand why the church is so well attended. We were sorry to hear of all of the enforced building/repair work they have had to undergo this past year. It takes it’s toll on finances and continuity. Thanks again to all of you for making us so very welcome.
Last gig of the month and Malcolm has asked us to go over to Telford to entertain ST. JOHN’S LODGE over at HADLEY HOUSE HOTEL. It is a lovely evening so we sat outside while they ate. There was a very noisy wedding party a few rooms down. The drummer should have been taken outside and shot. Our crowd were excellent. Sometimes a Masonic Ladies Night can be a bit formal and a it stiff but these were really good fun and made it an easy night for us. Many thanks to you all.
July 11th and it is a Saturday night as we head on over to BROMSGROVE GOLF CLUB for a special occasion. This is the Golden Wedding Anniversary of Ken and Chris who have seen us before at Earlswood. They are really nice people. We are pleased to be joining the celebration along with their family and friends. Good to hear of some of their past exploits. People there had many kind things to say and many funny stories of their experiences with them over the years. It’s fair to say ….that to summarise…Ken is very clumsy and Chris likes to get things organised….as an ex Headmistress that makes sense. If anything can go wrong Ken will be in the vicinity! They both laugh readily especially at themselves. We had a great evening with them and the friends and family really entered into the spirit of things. One of the best family “do’s” we’ve done for a long time. We wish them plenty more years of laughter and love together. Many thanks to both of you for the lovely email
Back again after a brief sojourn in Wales and ready to tread the Boards again. It is Thursday morning and we are off to the HORNS OF BONINGALE for a special occasion. It is a big celebration for the NAFAS Club (the National Association of Flower Arrangers) for the West Mercia and North Wales Area. It stretches from Wolverhampton to the coast of North Wales and covers all in between. This club was founded in 1955 and today they have all gathered to celebrate this.
Maureen has been responsible for getting us involved. We have done several gigs for the Bridgnorth Flower Ladies. There are between 80 to 100 ladies gathered for a lunch at the Horns.
Allan is very excited as he came here many times when he was a lad. The inn is about 300 years old so, as they say in America….Do the Math! Unfortunately on arrival he realised that the tree (he said!) he always climbed has been chopped down and the garden is now the extension where the ladies are dining. The ladies look less than enthralled by this tale of disappointment but it doesn’t stop him then regaling them with the loss of his water pistol at the Foaming Jug.
In the meantime I have “felt” a presence and do not want to stay in the back room. The Bar area and restaurant felt okay but then I read on the board about the place being haunted. Although they said the spirit was friendly I didn’t like the feel of the one room at all.
Had a lovely lunch there . The food was great and the ghostly presence didn’t spoil my appetite. The ladies themselves were great and gave us the best of attention. It was lovely to meet and speak with them.
Tonight we are off to the TITFORD PUMP HOUSE for a Canal meet. It is the Black Country Canal Navigations Society and tonight we are there for the RUSSEL NEWBERY REGISTER RALLY. It is an enthusiasts and engine owner’s club. We have worked for them a few times before and we always look forward to it. Titford Pumphouse is not easy to find despite cries of “Just look for the Canal”!
Luckily we managed to attract the attention of a passerby and God was with us because he actually worked in the street where the gathering was being held. It is not a very picturesque place….we had been there before ….so we knew what to expect. My view from the corner of the marquee was a scrapyard….and that was one of the better views. Not so lucky coming back…got badly lost and ended up in Wednesbury!
The people, however, are the best. The evening was fine and sunny. They all had faggots and chips and some real ale. They are a great crowd. I don’t think you could meet more friendly people. They laugh loudly and sing loudly and give the event everything they have got. We met so many wonderful people there. They greet us like long lost friends. Big thanks to the lovely people from Hungerford who sat at the front, especially Jess. For Pauline and her husband who are such big fans. A special thank you to the man from Peterborough who I spoke with at the end. It was lovely meeting with you. Good Luck to Olga, the Russian lady who I chatted to in the break. I hope you find success with your music. Cally the beautiful Border Collie who stole my heart and all of you who made it a great night. The people we already knew and the new friends we made there.
Lastly thank you to Andrew for inviting us along and looking after us so well.
Saturday 1st August and it is a lovely afternoon as we make our way through the Hereford Countryside. We are on our way to the PEARL LAKES HOLIDAY HOMES PARK. Had food at 3.30 p.m. at home and took a sandwich for the journey home….which we ate on the way there when we got stuck in the traffic at the Tenbury Wells Show. Beautiful place. Stopped at Shobdon village to ask directions but there was a bit of a language barrier. Long journey……took us about 2 and a half hours
Jacqui had booked us and made us very welcome…as they all did. Lots of people in from the Black Country including a guy who had booked us at the Bowls Club in Hammerwich. They were a great audience. Lovely to meet and work with Mark who was a magician and also a Reverend. Thanks to everyone there for making it a great night to remember.
Monday morning. It is 11.30 a.m. and we are going over to ARLEY KINGS out of the back of Stourbridge. We are working for Maureen who has invited us to entertain the ArleyKings and Astley Friendship Clubs.
We know some of the people there as we have played Astley for may years. Big thanks to Graham for helping us set up and providing me with a lovely lamp over my songwords. We were wrecked when we got there. We had been stuck on the Kidderminster Ringroad for over an hour. Avoid it like the plague this summer. It was a nightmare. We had to come back home via Omberesley and Droitwich to avoid it.
Maureen provided us with sandwiches, tea and cakes and everyone was very welcoming. Good to see our old friend Pat who was there playing bridge in the other room. Allan was very excited he won a new kitchen clock in the raffle………….his favourite colour. Finally got home about 7.00 p.m. Getting too old for this life on the road!!
Lots of bad new at the moment. Decadent sex crazed politicians. Total chaos at Calais. ……Some politicians are very concerned about the situation there. It is slowing down their supply of prostitutes and cocaine.
French Farmers blocking roads with burning tyres. Our farmers protesting by buying up all the milk and giving it away. Bastard American blood lust Dentist destroying more wild life than he has walls to hang them on. Now the death of another of the Sixties Pop legends…..Cilla. And the Publicity Pimp Katie Hopkins getting her own show!! Where’s the justice?
Further questions will be asked in the house about Lord Sewell and his shenanigans. Specifically how much does his dealer charge and can he deliver to all areas.
Sign seen outside a Black Country Pub.
WARNING. Drinking alcoholic beverages before pregnancy can cause pregnancy!
In my blog I have included a piece called “Back To Garden.” This is a piece about our friend Dave Cartwright who died on the 8th of August. Dave’s website is still operating…run by John Montague.
Anyone who knew Dave from his many years entertaining in Folk Clubs and Theatres will feel the same sadness we are feeling at this loss.
Back after the Summer Break and we are heading over to DUDLEY to Broadmeadow Village which is a Midland Heart Retirement Village. Lovely to be back here again. The people here are great and make us feel very welcome. It has been a while since we have been here but everywhere still looks fresh and new.
BROADMEADOWThere are some very attractive ladies here and a lot of the residents are younger than us. Great to chat to some of them in the interval and at the end. Hope we can go back again we really enjoyed it.
11th September and we are on our way to Bridgnorth. We are playing at a small village just outside called ASTLEY ABBOTTS. We are at a sweet little village hall. Charles has invited us over here and he is getting us settled. He is very jolly.
Paul is M.C. for the evening and keeps things running smoothly. The hall is is very bijou so it is advisable to go to the toilet on entering….no chance after.
What a wonderful audience they were. It was great to see our friend Maureen again. Thank you for the follow up phone call……it was much appreciated. Also a big thank you to our friend Graham Leddington who came all the way from Wellington to bring me a Birthday pressie. What a sweetie!
So 2 great gigs to start the new season. Many thanks to all.
Tonight we are back at BRANSTON Village Hall. This is our second visit here. We had a great night the last time and tonight is a sell out so we are optimistic. This is such a well organised event. The ladies are amazing and they works so hard to get things right. Ham/Cheese salad with crusty bread and home made cakes and an amazing raffle. It is no wonder, along with a very generous audience, they raised the incredible sum of £1,400 for Burton M.S. Big thank you to Jill, Carol, Liz, Sylvia, Maggie, Angela and Margaret and the great crowd. Another big thank you for all the drinks, suppers (plus the ones to take home) the plate of cakes and the bottle of wine and the bouquet. Felt really spoiled…..but I liked it!
Saturday 19th September and we are back again at the NEW OSCOTT RETIREMENT VILLAGE which is an Extra Care facility and frankly it looks more like a very posh hotel.
They are a lovely crowd here and everybody likes playing it. Jean has arranged for us to come over to entertain and it is a sell out so we are really pleased.
Great to chat to some of the people in the interval and at the end. A big thank you to Don Osborne, who is a very popular resident and who helped us to get our equipment out at the end of the night.
Friday 25th September and it is a lovely afternoon as we make our way to BOCKLETON. This is a little hamlet out in the middle of the beautiful countryside at the back of Tenbury Wells. We have been here before. Dreadful journey today as most of Kidderminster seems to have been dug up. It is a traffic nightmare and the Friday night lunacy has kicked in very early. I was a nervous wreck by the time we arrived. When did we start driving like the French?
The people here in Bockleton are very friendly. Peter has asked us back over to entertain. It is a lovely evening and it was good to have Vicki from the Black Country back doing her bit on the bones. I hesitated to ask her where or who the bones had come from. Best not to know. Thanks again for all your support.
Tonight we are over at MAPPLEBOROUGH GREEN VILLAGE HALL We are doing a fundraising gig for SPEAR. This is the Sue Pike Equine Animal Rescue Centre www.spearcharity.org.uk They support and care for elderly, infirm and unwanted large animals. It is possible to adopt them so click on their website and look at the gallery of lovely horses you can help.
Jack, who is the brother of our friend, Rosemary, is also the vet here and we have known him for many years. Karen who has organised the gig is waiting to greet us. Chris, her grandson, kindly helps us to get the gear in.
It was a fabulous night. There were so many friends there who had come to support us ad such a worthwhile charity. Big thanks to Anita and Alan, Chris and Pat, Rosemary and Dee, Johnny Jones and his gang. Lovely to see Nadine and Patrick who spent so much on the auction. Big thanks for your generosity and a big Happy Birthday to Patrick for tomorrow.
Many thanks to the ladies down the front who had come from Studley and were such “gud loffers” and to the couple at the fron who had even brought along the Black Country flag.
They were all such good fun and we raised £950 on the night which was wonderful. As a footnote I would like to mention all the kind people who took the trouble to get in touch the following week to say how much they had enjoyed it. We really appreciated the feedback. Some of the comments will go on the testimonials page.
Back at WOODSEAVES VILLAGE HALL.This is a gig we have done many times, so I have re-shuffled my scripts. Sandra has invited us again, and its good to see so many faces from over the years. Stage improvements look good and we have a beautiful screen to change behind. They are spoiling us. I reluctantly refused the fish and chips, Allan dived in like a starving man. Many thanks for another great night, like so many before.
MORETON VILLAGE HALL is a reltavitvely new hall, and is a lovely venue. Our second year running tonight and we have been down every lane in a five mile radius. Bushes touching your wing mirrors is okay, but a bit disturbing when you see “road narrows ahead” signs. Tony does send me a great map, but I am easily confused. Phil is compere and translator ( good Black Country bloke). Friends Jackie and Sue were there to see us again. They have now seen us so many times, they shout out any lines we forget. Allan had his first veggie burger, and loved it, coming from Wednesbury it is a big step up from a pie. Smashing night and thanks to the ladies who carried our gear out at the end of the night .
ELFORD VILLAGE HALL is the venue for a fundraiser by LICHFIELD SOROPTOMISTS .Pat has organised the event along with her team, and it looks like a good turnout. The money is to go to Lichfield young carers .We have worked for this charity before and are happy to help.
Big thanks to our friends, Roger, Barbara, Dot, Bob, Dale and Sharon for coming to offer their support. Allan auctioned off a wonderful tiger and two bottles of champers for £200 as well as the raffle. We haven’t had final figures but confident it will be a good result.Great to catch up with Barry again and meet Karen (please let that be the right name she is so lovely). Special thanks to Alison for her kind words and big thanks to a great audience. Elford, as always really rocked!
Back at ECCLESHALL VILLAGE HALL. This is a fundraiser for KATHERINE HOUSE HOSPICE.It is good to see so many people here for such a good cause.
Great to catch up with friends, Janet and John . Lovely surprise to see them. Much quieter night than Elford but the folks were very appreciative and friendly and it was nice to chat to them in the break. £650 raised on the night. Well done everybody.
Friday night M42 on our way to STONELEIGH VILLAGE HALL, FOR LEEK WOOTEN AND CUBBINGTON CONSERVATIVE PARTY. Signs on motorway say 20.m.p.h, another 12m.p.h and I will be doing about that. Leave M42…. I know a way through Hampton In Arden . Now behind the biggest tractor in the world. Getting grumpy. Yippeee! We have arrived. Many thanks to David and Diana for looking after us with drinks and food. The fish and chips will be put into Allan’s new book , called….. “My favourite fish and chips 2012 to 2015”. The audience were great . Had a good sing and loff. Thank you so much. See you next year.
Saturday. Tonight we are local at WESTON VILLAGE HALL. Last year was brill, even better this year. Had a Bostin’ first half. A very enjoyable interval talking to people eating cheese and pate and drinking Alans beer (forgot mine). Honest. Second half was even more Bostin!. Thanks to you all .See you next year . Same Saturday 2016. All this and only forty minutes from our house. What more could we want?
Wednesday. THEATRE SEVEN SHREWSBURY FOR THE TOWNSWOMEN’S GUILD. Big one for us. Tonight we are sharing the Theatre with Sarah Millican! Although not in the same room!. She is in the big room.
We are in the Studio. Sarah keeps coming into our gig to tell us to keep the laughter down. To be honest that was a lie. We have a lighting and sound man and radio mikes. We feel very special…. almost like a proper turn. In our dressing room we have lights and tea making facilities. We also have have coffee, milk, sugar, hot water. Wished we had brought a cup. The only person on the show that we know is Maggie O’ Hara. Not seen her for ages. She is just getting over a bad cold, but chooses songs well and the audience, as always, loves her.We had an excellent compere in Chris. He really bonded with everybody and had a very relaxed style. If anybody needs a compere then Chris is your man. Our thirty minutes fled! Got out of Shrewsbury without getting lost. So all in all, a jolly good night all round. Thanks to you all.
Friday. Not far for us tonight STAFFORD RANGERS F.C FOR STAFFORD LIONS. Gig for David Lewis, who, over the years, has seen us ???. many many times. Tonight with Pauline and Roger , he has persuaded people who have never seen us before to give it a go. It could be us………but more likely it’s the chips that have made it a great turn out.
Lots of people we know. Lots of people we don’t know,along with people we think we know but don’t. A cracking night. Raffle prizes that we have seen for many years now. (“Bing Crosby: The Early Years” is a favourite of mine ) It’s a joke ! Stafford has lots of roadworks at the moment. Lots of big holes thirty foot long and ten foot deep, and amusing little signs that say “Possible Delays!”. POSSIBLE ?.
Saturday at CHORLEY VILLAGE HALL. This venue is fifteen minutes from our house. But we still have to ask directions at the village pub like we did last time. People at the pub tell us it’s the same place as the last time we asked. I don’t believe that they have not moved it to another lane. It’s Harvest Festival time in Chorley. We were very kindly offered a wonderful meal. We sadly declined. Our meals these days are followed by a nap. So….. back to the pub for a couple of hours. People at the pub saw us pull up on the car park and hid. Cracking pub full of locals. Very jolly.
Back to Village hall to do our hour. Lovely to see Susan who has booked us many times over the years. This time Jenny booked us . Never seen us before, but took a chance. Smashing Audience! They were very good to us. We left the village down many lanes never seen earlier that night. We were home for Match of the Day ( The Sunday one ). Must make friends with my Sat Nav again .
Friday night BREWOOD VILLAGE HALL This could be a long review so I would get a brew on and crack open the Hobnobs. The idea for tonight’s gig was to put on a four act show with old mates, while we still had four acts. The running was order quickly sorted in the Bridge pub. This was based on who had sent Will the best photos.
Cast in order of appearance. Will ( I Hay) Morgan. Will is a legend in Brewood and northern parts of Darlaston. Master of mirth, music, story teller and jolly good egg. His first thought is always to set the right atmosphere for the Artists he works with. He dow (as we say) hog the limelight. With is backing band Trevor and Dennis the evening got off to a great start. Following Will , John Hendley and John Richards. The two Johns. They are both very talented singers and song writers. But they are also tellers of tall tales. We love um for this. Stories you would have trouble believing if told by anyone else . But with these two you know its true. So they make you sing, loff and think. Their C.D is on sale now. Opening the second half Steve (I’m hungry ) Ashcroft. We have known Steve forever. In our early days he tuned my eleven string guitar for our gigs. The general opinion was he would have been better hiding it. The boy Steve is at home with folk songs, or as a singer with Eagles tribute band Desperado. We went on last (photo remember ?)
We loved every minute. Amazing to see how many people we knew who had given up their time to come and see us all. On behalf of all we old uns. Many thanks. Another night. Another fabulous memory.
See you next year ? . . . .We all hope so . . . . . . . . .
Saturday night CROWLE VILLAGE HALL WORCESTER. This is our second time at this venue .Third if you count coming to see the wonderful IVY LEAGUE. Every effort has been made to stop us reaching the village. Roads closed.Temporary traffic lights. New islands, and diversions to Torquay ! . These look hand painted to me . Not everybody loves us . We sneak in through the back lanes .Total sell out, less three.We have a stage, lights and a compere. Also our own dressing room with enough food to feed a small village for week. Nearly forgot the hob goblin beer. Heaven is Crowle Village Hall on a Saturday night.
Rob had booked us. He has been bringing top acts to Crowle for many years. The Searchers. The Fortunes. The Ivy League. Dave Berry. .. you name them! He is really into live music. Class live music. So there is a glazed look in his eyes when I tell him we are going to see The Bay City Rollers in a couple of weeks. Tonight is his last night. He must have some Fabulous memories. We have only met a few times but feel like we have known him years. Please don’t think he will fade into the background. We have been told he has at least twenty seven farewell parties planned. All the best Rob. A big thank you to all the audience , who sang loffed and made us very welcome. A bostin’ night.
BY WAY OF A CHANGE……...
We have decided to include this letter here. It would normally be in the Testimonial Section of the Website, but we felt as Phil Whiteland had taken so much trouble to post this on his Blog. we should like to reciprocate by including it in full.
WE WOR ARF’ CHUFFED! PHIL IS A PROPER WRITER WITH PUBLISHED BOOKS AN’ EVERYTHING!
IT’S ONNY’ BOSTIN’!! It reads as follows……..
The Slightly Odd World of Phil Whiteland
Enter the slightly odd world of Phil Whiteland for a different view of today and yesterday that you might just find amusing.
We were invited to a Black Country Night Out last weekend, and I must admit we approached it with a degree of trepidation. In my mind, I had a picture of a Dudley based Colin Crompton type, all flat cap and whippet with added faggots and peas. The show was in aid of SPEAR, the Sue Pike Animal Rescue Charity which does such good work rescuing neglected and abandoned horses and ponies but also other livestock from goats to pheasants. A friend of ours was organising the show so we thought we should show our support. There was a fish and chip supper too so we were hooked.
I have to say I have never been so pleasantly surprised in my life. Dandy, the husband and wife comedy duo who provided the entertainment were absolutely amazing. You know that couple that you like to meet because they are entertaining and always have such good stories to tell? Well, Dandy were that couple x 100, but with better stories and much funnier gags.
It was just like being able to listen to a pleasant chat, with plenty of back and forth banter from Glyn and Allan, without ever feeling you were at a performance. There was no question of being performed to, you were included as part of the conversation. As well as the chat, there was some great songs and poems and the whole audience in MAPPLEBOROUGH GREEN VILLAGE HALL were convulsed with laughter from start to finish. Allan even managed to make the raffle funny!
If you ever have chance to see these two, I really would recommend it. I takes a lot to have me laughing until tears run down my cheeks these days, but Dandy managed it.
We have ten bookings in November. Seven we did last November. Three we have done for eight years Two we have done for four years. .But we are going to see The Bay City Rollers at the Robin 2 on the 19th , So shang a lang . cor wait! .
Tonight is 6th November and we are off to beautiful BRIDGNORTH. It is so lovely in the summer. I love the buildings and the little streets and nooks and crannies. The first view of the skyline coming down Hermitage Hill is breathtaking. We are enroute to ST JOHNS CHURCH for Charles and Sue who we have already worked for at Astley Abbotts. St. Johns Church is a Catholic Church so I am a bit apprehensive. in case there are any Nuns and the will somehow know that I am LAPSED!!!
Father Ian is in the audience and he is very gentle and not at all scary like some of the Catholic Priests I have encountered in the Confessional Box. The crowd are great and I am pleased they are making it easy for us because I have one of my all day headaches so the fish and chip supper and two more Nurofen are very welcome. Thanks so much to all. Nice to see Barry and Jenny from the Bowls club.
Tonight we are back at CHILCOTT GARDENS at MADELEY. Trina has kindly asked us back here and we are looking forward to seeing everyone again. It is a very big crowd here tonight which is great. Lovely surprise to see Marc, his Mother and friend. Marc Andrews, along with Sarah, is one half of String of Pearls. We worked with them last year at Oakengates Theatre. They are a class act, excellent singers and performers. They work a lot on the Vintage Circuit and they look great in all the Forties Gear. Check out their Facebook page and go along to see them. They are lovely people and we wish we could get together more often.
The people at Chilcott Gardens make us so welcome. A big thank you to all of you for coming along. It was good to meet Violet who sat at the front…and her family…who call her “Violence”! Enjoyed meeting you all and look forward to next year.
We are just down the road tonight at the CHASETOWN FOOTBALL CLUB. This is one of our favourite gigs. The crowd are always magic. Lovely to see John again and our friends from Hammerwich. Our friend, Mary has brought along a group of friends from W.I. etc. and they have the front table. Allan is basking in what he mistakenly feels is hero worship. Hence the photograph he has set up with them!
What a fabulous night we all had. Many thanks again you lovely lot! See you next year.
14th November and we are on a return to LILLESHALL MEMORIAL HALL at the request of Frances, Chris and the Committee…and hopefully the audience. This is a fundraiser for the upkeep of the village hall which has undergone a some big improvements over the past few years. It is a lovely room. It is great to see our Caravan neighbours from Criccieth, Gill and Paul. Glad to share the tasty hot meal with them and have a catch up. It was a slightly different crowd. Some new people but very appreciative. Thank you so much for the warmth of you welcome. Look forward to seeing you again next year.
Sunday morning and I am not sitting in Costa….Boo! Hoo! Instead we are on the way to KNOWLE BRITISH LEGION for John Berry. We have known John for many years. Great Lad! He has asked us to do a show after Sunday lunch to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II being on the throne as the longest serving Monarch….for 63 years! Love Her Maj! She will not be in attendance but the fair folk of Knowle will be toasting her health. I have not worn my Union Jack dress as I feel it might be a step too far…but I have red, white and blued as much as poss. Lots of peeps know us from doing the village Hall there for Carol and her fundraisers. What a great crowd! The room looked beautiful and so did the people…flags and suits and posh frocks and proper respect.
We had a really, really lovely time there with them. Can’t thank them enough for all their support and kind words. Finally got back home about 7.00p.m and sat down to eat at 8.00p.m….and I didn’t Weight Watch!
These last few gigs have given us so much pleasure. Amid all our happiness, like a lot of people, it is hard not to reflect with sadness on the devastating loss of life and loss of peace of mind that has been in the news in Paris. I am sure we all feel their grief and pray for the strength that we all need to combat the people and the doctrine that would rob us of all we hold dear.
Today is Wednesday 18th and we are working this evening over at BRIDGNORTH at the Punchbowl for the CONSERVATIVE PARTY. This is getting to be a habit. I shall lose my working class credibility at this rate. I won’t be allowed back over the Black Country Borders.
The Punchbowl was one of the haunts of Allan and his mates on Boys’ Night Out. Apparently it still looked the same……….more than can be said for Allan or for myself.
Caroline, who has booked us to entertain has been kind enough to offer us the wonderful carvery that they do here. We had already eaten mid afternoon but it was too tempting.
The audience were fine and we all, I think, enjoyed the evening.
We were over at WHITTINGTON tonight for the LICHFIELD AND HATHERTON CANAL TRUST. We have worked for them before and they have many hardworking members who are totally committed. Anyone with an interest in this check out their website www.lhcrt.org.uk Tonight is their Autumn Show and there is a full hall. Quite a number of them we have worked for or met at different rallies round and about. They are a very friendly audience and we always love working for them.
Great to see so many friends here tonight. The audience were wonderful and John did an excellent job as M.C. for the evening. Many thanks to all.
Saturday 21st and this evening we are back again at ALCESTER TOWN HALL for the ROTARY. It is lovely to see Nick and Cham again and all the people we have come to know over the many years. Thanks again to all for their support and wonderful hospitality as usual.
Tonight is Friday 27th of November and we are heading for EARLSWOOD VILLAGE HALL. The weather is dreadful and even though this is our 11th year here we still managed to get lost. We passed the Woodbourne Club 3 times………this was a place we could never find when we had to play it….but tonight 3 times. We had a very hair raising moment when Allan nearly took the upper road onto Earlswood Lakes. We did this once before. It is not something I want to experience ever again. Eventually we had to ring Jenny and she had to talk us in. How humiliating after 10 years!
They are lovely people here and it was good to see them all again. Big thanks, as usual, to our friends Jenny and Mike for looking after us so well.
Saturday night. This means GREAT HAYWOOD. Again it is a gig we have been doing for about 10 years. Hard to believe it has been so long in some ways but we feel very much at home there with them and have got to know so many of them. It is good to be so relaxed but because they are such a warm and forgiving audience we always try new thing out on them. Thanks to you all for coming and supporting us again. We love you loads.
This is a new booking for us. It is Thursday 3rd and we are heading for the Library at MERE GREEN, SUTTON where at the request of Roger we are to entertain the PROBUS group that meet here. They a usually have a Speaker so this is a different type of evening for them. Dreadful night to be out. Gale force winds and torrential rain but it did not deter them. They had a cup of tea in the interval and I must admit I was a bit apprehensive. We usually appear much funnier after alcohol. I read them wrong. They were with us from the get go. Very attentive and very appreciative. Many thanks to you all for you kindness.
December 10th and we are off to STUDLEY VILLAGE HALL for the Studley Ladies Country Club. It is their Christmas “Do” and they all arrive laden with baskets to transform the Hall. It soon looks very festive. Elaine and friend (so sorry I haven’t a name) provide an amazing array of food. This year it is a carvery and they do it all themselves. I go into a panic if I have to cook for more than 2. I told them not to bother for me as I rarely eat at gigs but Elaine has provided me with an enormous box of varied salads and I have to be honest, everyone was very envious.
It was lovely to see Allan’s Auntie Margaret there. She has had a tough year and only recently lost Allan’s Uncle Albert. She is such a lovely lady.
May thanks to everyone for a food and for the warm welcome from the ladies. Have a great Christmas.
Last gig of the year and we are celebrating New Year’s Eve with friends Nicky and Cliff aka Eternity Duo. We are working together on our new show “Music and Laughter Show” at OXLEY PARK GOLF CLUB. We haven’t been here for years. Not a massive place but great people here and a lovely club. Brian is in charge of the evening. Old friends Roy and Marian Hands are on his table. Marian and his wife are sisters. Great to see them again. Nick and Cliff’s parents and friends came so it was good to be spending the time within a group. We really enjoyed the evening. There was a big dance session at the end together with Nick and Cliff and everyone was up on the floor. Brilliant. Great way to start the New Year.