A New Year and a New Website. This is very exciting for us. Our old website was not compatible with all the new technology on ipads, smart phones etc. Our opening page which was Queen Vic. trundling through the Black Country on a train and donning a gas mask we absolutely loved……… but it will not work on all this new gadgetry.
Therefore we embrace a new era and a new order. The format will be slightly different.
For regular readers you will notice that we have retained the HISTORY Section with all the photos and information about our younger days.
The GIG DIARY which is a chronicle including photographs of all the shows we have played since 2006 until 2013 will still be available under the heading DIARY ARCHIVES. For any prospective organiser this will provide a record of the type of gigs we do and the type of audiences we work for. There will still be a section called COMMENTS. This is a selection of testimonials from past organisers.
There is a new GALLERY Section where we will be adding any photographs (click on to enlarge) which we think you may be interested in.
My write up of monthly shows will not be so detailed. After these many years there are only so many ways I can say that the audience was great and that Allan had fish and chips!
I have a section called GLYNS DIARIES with drop down boxes called DIARY 2014 which will be the new monthly record of SHOWS.
The next drop box down is GLYNS BLOG which will give me ample opportunity to witter on any subject that takes my fancy. It will include home news, poems and any jokes I find and want to pass on.
There is a section advertising UPCOMING SHOWS and we will try to find out as much info. for each show as possible
There is also a section with CONTACT details including a box where you can type in enquiries.
We hope in time to add a mixed media section where we can hopefully add some video footage and/or musical snippets. This has not been a feature so far! How do you think we have managed to get so many bookings!
The different heading will be along the top of the WELCOME page.
This has all been possible with the help and guidance of our friend and Web Designer Paul Shotan 0121 453 5264 artworks-unlimited.co.uk His interest and imagination has helped us to envisage this. His creative skills and technical expertise have made it possible. Hopefully, with his tuition will be able to manage this site which will give us the opportunity to update it on an almost day to day basis. We owe him a very big thanks.
We hope you like our New DANDY Website and that you will continue to visit it and support us. We love hearing from you.
First gig of the New Year. Happy 2014 to everyone. We start the year off at HATTON which is a beautiful Village Hall and one we have not visited for a few years. It was so good to see so many people we knew. Big thanks to Ken and Gill and the gang from the Old Sills for supporting us yet again. Special thanks to Tractor Man, David Berman for being such a good sport.
Second and last gig of this month. We are breaking ourselves back in slowly with a holiday in the middle. Tonight we are local. We are performing at the GEORGE HOTEL in LICHFIELD for the Austin 7 Owner’s Club. It is a very smart affair and they all look elegant and very much in keeping with their classic cars. Lovely audience it was good to meet them.
It is the 2nd of Feb. and there is still an awful lot of rain about. It has sent my hair ‘poodle’. Looking forward to tonight because we are nice and local at HAMMERWICH CRICKET CLUB for Ron Box.
This is a fundraiser. Some fatherless child has swiped their greens roller which took them a long time to buy at the cost of thousands of pounds. Now they have to start all over again. The Club members have over the years worked really hard to improve the Club in every respect.
We are sharing the night with our great friends Nicky and Cliff, Eternity Duo,. They are kindly letting us share their P.A. and they have even given us a lift to the gig. Great Mates. It was a magic evening and we all really enjoyed it. Ronnie was very pleased and the audience loved the mix of comedy and wonderful singing from Nick and Cliff.
Local gig tonight at DRUIDS HEATH GOLF CLUB. It is a Birthday party for Kevin who lives in our little tax haven of NortonCanes. The weather is horrific and up on Druid’s Heath it is very exposed and the wind is scary. I had to hold the side door open while Al got the gear in. We both looked as if we’d swum there when we’d finished getting it in. Lovely crowd of people and we enjoyed meeting and chatting with the ex. Dept. Head of Willingsworth Secondary School, Tipton. Respect!
Return gig tonight at NEWPORT BOWLS CLUB. Some swine from the local council has painted double yellow lines on our usual parking space so much consternation and gnashing of teeth. Nice to be back here. This is about our 4th or 5th year and they are a very friendly crowd….we love them. Big thanks to our mate, Graham for popping along with Allan’s Birthday pressie. Smashing to have a bit of a get together and very kind of him to give up his Saturday night to bring it over in such foul weather.
Great to meet Jacqui and Patrick from Wednesbury who are now living in the area. Amazing how much we had in common. Since starting to write this Jacqui has been in touch and left a wonderful email which, now I have asked her permission, I will be putting in the Comments Section. It seems we have even more links than we first thought. We had a great night and enjoyed it so much. They raised £750 on the night half of which will be going to the club and the other half to Alzheimers Charity. There were about 60 Raffle Prizes. Well done for being so generous and big thanks again for welcome.
Feeling fragile after late night back from Newport. No sleep the previous night as the Warthog lying next to me had gone into snore mode and could not be woken. I nearly smothered him with the pillow at one point. We are local this afternoon which is lucky as we have had a bit of a scramble to get up and ready. This afternoon we are performing at WHITTINGTON CHURCH HALL near LICHFIELD to raise money for the Church.
This is something we have done several times now and they call it LUNCH AND A LAUGH. Alistair and Margo and their willing band of helpers organise the event. There are about 80 people here and Margo prepares the 3 Course Lunch which is always very well received. The audience are mostly known to us from this event and from the Golf Club etc. They are very appreciative and always very kind to us. Thanks again for great food and great company. They raised about £800 and hopefully enjoyed the event as much as we did.
St. Valentine’s Day and it is Friday night on a very wet and windy night. We are on the road to LEOMINSTER for Molly Cooke. She has asked us back to the BRITISH LEGION for a Fundraiser for Alzheimers.
Molly is an amazing woman she has been the Mayor of Leominster 3 times and she has served on the Council for over 25 years despite having some health problems along the way. She has always served the needs of the people. It was great to see her again. Nice audience.
Awful journey though. We set out about 5.30 and arrived at 7.30 after driving through the Tenbury Wells heavily flooded lanes at a crawl. Had to drive on the opposite side of the road going back and praying that there would be no oncoming traffic. Al had 18 miles of very stressful driving. I was on Water Watch and had to keep shouting “Veer to the right” and “Veer to the left” to avoid the Dolphin! Man the lifeboats! Imminent attack by Somali Pirates!” It seemed a long, long, way.
Luckily Saturday’s gig is local. We are off to see friends at HILL ALLOTMENTS CLUB , MERE GREEN .
They are a great crowd. They are good people and have supported us well over the years. Nice to meet up with Alfie again. Karen is doing the bookings again after a bit of a break. Lovely to see Alan and Bill and Liz and her Mum behind the Bar. It is very much a family place.
They all look after each other and always try to raise money for different charities. Liz’s lad Billy has changed a lot in a year. He’s 14 now and was teaching Allan the new Youthspeak. Clever lad, great sense of humour and really helpful. Apparently if I say he looked “swag” it’s a compliment! I hope! Enjoyed meeting the people who used to come and see us from the old school gigs round Sutton and as always, thanks to Harry, Derek, Hazel and Margaret. Big thanks for the warm welcome and look forward to seeing you all next year.
Friday afternoon and we are making an early start to get to the Hereford area again…cautious after last week’s flooded roads. It is lovely for the drive over today. We decided on another route this week. We drove in to Bridgnorth and then on through Ludlow and back down to the Tenbury road.
We are performing tonight for the T.A.S. Farming Competition judges and competitors at BRIMFIELD . This is a gathering of farming families from the surrounding areas. We have met a number of them before at Bockington Village HallThey are an amazing crowd. They never stop laughing and are so friendly and polite. They are with us every step of the way. We had a marvellous night with them and a good, hearty sausage and mash followed by apple pie and custard.
We passed on the pudding as we were already too full to move. Thanks to Carol for asking us and to Dave for being the M.C.
Back at KINGS NORTON GOLF CLUB tonight for our annual Buddy Holly Memorial Night supporting Mike Berry and the Outlaws. As always the event is organised by Dave and Eve Slater. Dave is a tremendous Buddy Holly fan and has spent a lot of time in the States with people who knew and worked with him. He has visited the crash site many times and himself made recordings with the legendary Jordanaires and other luminaries from that era.
Great to see so many familiar faces. Big thank you to all the lovely people who came up to talk to us…especially the man who asked if Allan wore a wig. I loved that! Good to see so many people looking at the scrapbooks I have produced. Thanks to Mike Berry and the Outlaws for such another great night.
Local weekend for the end of February. Tonight we are at the FRIARY SCHOOL, LICHFIELD. The event has been organised by John May and Ross, the President of the Lichfield Lions and his team of Lions….or should I say Pride. The purpose of the evening is to raise some money to send the Young Carers in the area (CASS) on a Spring Fling to give them a break for a couple of days. The event is really well attended and we are so pleased and grateful to see so many friends and people we know who have come along to support us and this wonderful cause.
Big thanks to Nicky and Cliff, our friends, who have given up their free evening to come along and film the proceedings. This will result in Allan pointing out all my faults and me his. It will certainly end in tears!! Also big thanks to Dominic for the lighting. Too many people to mention individually but a sincere thanks for making it such a special night for us.
Tonight we are at ALL SAINTS in DARLASTON which is just a couple of streets away from where I was born in Wood Street and from where Allan worked at G.K.N. We are working with Ray who, along with his wife and the hardworking team of volunteers put on these events for the Church. Heavy rainfall over the last few weeks has caused a tremendous amount of damage to the floor and particularly the kitchen. They need many thousands of pounds to put things right. All Saints suffered a direct hit from the Germans in the Second World War. I still have the photographs of the terrible destruction. Let’s hope they can get a grant and that the local community will help out with funding. While the Mosque was being built next door All Saints shared all of their facilities while it was being built.
Tonight Ray is performing with Wot’s Next. This is Ray and 3 friends who play in their spare time and have a lot of fun. They did a wide range of sixties songs and some dance stuff and soon had some people up on the floor. Great to share the night with them. Our long time friend, John Heaven plays drums for them so it was good to see him and Janet again. Good to see Alan and his wife and Haydn and the ladies we met last time. Gud loffers! Good luck with the fund raising.
Just one gig this weekend. Saturday has been re-arranged. Friday is the worst night to reach a gig destination because of the heavy traffic but fortunately we are just up the road at LICHFIELD. We haven’t been to BEACON PARK VILLAGE for a few years although we still see a big number of the residents to chat with while we are out and about. It’s a beautiful Retirement Complex with lovely apartments and excellent facilities. Several of the balconies overlook Beacon Park.
Kia is Entertainments Manager and we know from the Notice Board and from talking to residents that he works very hard to give them a full and varied programme. They have some big names appearing there. Good numbers on the night and a very warm welcome. Great to see so many people we knew. Started with a migraine in the break but managed to curb it with a muffin somebody conjured up and some Express Lysine Ibuprofen. Did the trick so we stayed to have a chat in the bar at the end which was good. Lovely evening.
Tonight we are on our way to CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN GOLF CLUB at BLAKEDOWN. Steve and Pauline, our old friends from the Belbroughton gigs have organised the event. There is a warm welcome when we arrive from the Steward who we have known for many years. He is always very friendly and very helpful.
Lovely to be back here and to see so many familiar faces from shows we have done around this area and from the club itself. Good to talk to people in the break especially the lovely Geordie and his family. Many people were asking about Tommy Mundon. He is suffering poor health at the moment and is sadly missed on the Black Country Shows. Everyone sends their love and best wishes to him. He was the Black Country’s finest! Big thank you for our drinks and scampi and chips. Thanks to all for making it such a great night.
We have just got back from the first of the Black Country Night Out gigs at the SOLIHULL LIBRARY COMPLEX. It is strange to be without the old gang of Tommy Mundon, Aynuk and Ayli and Lizzie Wiggins. I miss sharing the dressing room with Lizzie and having a good gossip. Our work on the shows with them all goes back many years. We had much laughter and during John’s (Ayli’s) illness many tears and to all intents and purposes we were like a big family with all the moans and spats and teasing. We call them jokingly “The Glory Years” but I think for Black Country Comedy they were. It is not just a case of the artistes getting older and suffering health problems it is also the fact that the audience that this type of humour attracts is in the same situation. Lack of money and mobility being a factor.
We are fortunate that we still have enough of our fan base alive and kicking to appreciate what we do and I can say, without conceit, that we both work hard to try to stay up to date with what is “trending” and what our audience is likely to relate to. Any comedian is only as good as his audience and the funniest comedian in the world is likely to fail if he has no material suitable for the audience he is faced with on the night. Keep supporting Black Country Nights. Wherever and whoever….give them a go….it is important to keep the Black Country Dialect, stories, comedy, poems, history alive and kicking. Give it a go!
This year’s “A Black Country Night Out” is …Master of Ceremonies the Old Silver Fox himself Peter Lee…..Black Country Night Veterans, Giggetty, Us, Jonny Cole and Ian Sludge Lees. It wasn’t a big crowd at Solihull but it was good to see so many people we knew. It was much appreciated. Big thanks to our friend, Helen, for coming again and for bringing me such beautiful flowers.
Tonight we are over at the old Allscott Sugar Beet Factory, near TELFORD . Mari and her team are trying to raise money for a very worthwhile cause….The Chernobyl Children’s Life Line. www.chernobylchildlifeline.org They bring over approx. 3,000 children a year at a cost of £350 per child to give them a holiday they remember. The aim is to boost the children’s immune system and offer them respite from the ceaseless bombardment of radiation. This trip, eating good food, breathing relatively clear air etc. could add up to two years to their life expectancy.The pictures of the children are heartbreaking.
It was a wonderful night and they raised a fabulous £900 during the course of the evening. Apologies to people whose photograph Allan took but the camera created some very strange results……..was Allan’s excuse. Big thanks to you all for giving so generously and for being such good fun. Also big thanks to Graham and the other gent for carrying out equipment….all around the bowling green!
Local gig for us tonight at NEWCHURCH which is just out of the back of Yoxall in beautiful countryside. It is very small. …not on the map but a lovely little community.
We played here last year for the first time and really enjoyed the evening. Rachel and Gordon and the team have worked hard and the hall looks lovely. Lots of lovely food and a very nice family to sit and chat to. Amazing how many people in the room had some kind of links with our past or people from our past. It was great to chat with them. It’s good to go somewhere where the evening is very relaxed. Sometimes it seems a constant rush to get everything done and people aren’t given enough time to chat and to enjoy the food and the company. Looking forward to seeing you all again next year.
Thursday afternoon and the second leg of A Black Country Night Out Tour. Tonight we are playing at HUNTINGDON HALL in WORCESTER. which is our favourite building. It is a converted chapel and it has a big all sharing,homely dressing room.
Long drive, hence the early start. Allan has packed enough food rations to be contemplating an Arctic Expedition. Right road into Worcester, thanks to advice from our friend, John at Peopleton. We usually spend half of the afternoon entering, driving round and exiting . All this with a constant background of me making helpful suggestions and Allan effing and blinding and making gestures at people who obviously do know their way round and are stuck behind some dithering plonker with a death wish.
Arrived in time to help Giggo with a bit of equipment carrying and then off for a quick Costa and panini. Not a big crowd here but they were great. They were behind everyone of us and really up for a laugh.Nice to see Folk/Jazz artist Pete Boddis singing in the Bistro Bar. Haven’t seen him since the old Walsall Folk Club days. We all had a great gig and the supportive, lively audience really brought out the best in us all.
LICHFIELD GARRICK and it is the best numbers yet on the Tour and a really good mix of ages which is good for all of us. Great to meet Clare. She is a delight and a really big hit with everyone in the Dressing Room.
Best gig for all of us so far.
Thanks to the audience for being there and for really being there for all of us. A great evening was had by all. Last thanks to Sound Supremo Pete and his team and all the lovely staff at the Garrick who made it such a good night for all of us.
Saturday and it is a wonderful day for the drive to MICKLETON in the Cotswolds. It has been a few years since we played here. We see some of the residents at the other villages we do in the area, Lower Quinton and Clifford Chambers. Phil and Nicki have been our contact and they look after us so well all evening. They are all very friendly people here and we have a good laugh with them. Our old friend, Dave, who was once the Butcher in the village has brought us a present of an enormous tray of faggots. As our Website is WordPress and an American name I wonder if I’m allowed to say faggots. The food the team have prepared is wonderful. Quiche, ham, cheese pork pie, crusty bread and salad and chutneys. What wonderful hospitality. We passed on the very tempting flapjack. Big thanks to all the people who came along to support us and who greeted us so warmly.
Friday 4th April and tonight we are at a new venue for us. We are over at STOURPORT ON SEVERN for the Fellowship Club. They all seem to be looking forward to it and the room is soon full. Great to see Pat and the Gang….they always support us when we do this area. Also nice to see friends from the Heightington gigs. Hope you enjoyed my unaccompanied “You’ve got a friend” which I know you like to hear.. We had a lovely evening there. Big thanks to Tony for his Rustic Character Ramblings and funny stories which really warmed the audience up at the beginning of the evening.
Over at WOOTTEN WAWEN again this evening. We were only here a couple of weeks ago for the sad occasion of Derek’s funeral. He and June always came to the gigs here. So distressing to see June walk in alone. It is a hard and a brave thing to do so soon after such life changing grief. Especially hard to watch comedy. Thanks as usual to the crowd who all turned up to support us and who always have given us such a wonderful welcome. Thanks to Dave for looking after us. Big thanks to the ladies who bought my hand crafted jewellery. I have sent off a donation to the Chernobyl Children’s Charity with my earnings from my new hobby.
This afternoon we are on our way to REDDITCH to the PALACE THEATRE for the last of the Black Country Night Out gigs.
We all found it with no problems after Allan had spent the week googling maps and cursing. Then he had a Eureka moment and rang the Theatre for help. Got there early and went for a coffee with Peter Lee and Gail. The Palace is a beautiful Theatre to work. Not a big audience but a very appreciative one.
We went out in the break to speak to two of the Staff …Johnny and Doreen Jones.
Amazed to see how many people we knew who had come along. Great to see Janet and John and friends and the party from the Harbourne Club. Big number from Johnny Jones party who we had met. Big thank you to all. Sad to see the end of our short tour. It all worked out well. Audiences seemed generally very pleased with it and we all had a good laugh backstage.
Last gig before a bit of a break. We are over at BEWDLEY at the Mercure Hotel for the Old Carolian Lodge No. 7599. It is the Ladies Spring Festival and Cabaret Evening. The Worshipful Master is Bill Wiltshire, who we have worked for before. Bill, has invited us on behalf of him and his wife, June to entertain the Brotherhood.
We are on with an act called Ambience who are three guys and a lady. They are very friendly and obviously firm favourites with the group who will be dancing to them after our Cabaret spot. The audience soon relaxed and by all accounts enjoyed the show.
Many thanks for the kind words from the people who came up afterwards to chat to us. Glad it was a success.
Thursday 24th April and this morning it is fine and dry as we set off to re-kindle our friendship with the BRIDGNORTH LADIES FLOWER CLUB. They are meeting at the Village Hall at WORFIELD. It is a lovely building and just over the main road was once the Wheel of Worfield which was a popular Steak House in the lat sixties and seventies. We used to bring my Mum and Dad out to it for family birthdays. Happy memories. We know the Flower Club as we have worked for these ladies several times in the past.
Today they are having a flower arranging demonstration, although, to call it that does it an injustice. Nigel Whyles is a Flower Designer and is arrangements and designs are very beautiful and very spectacular. He is very warm and friendly and has a great manner which the ladies love.
Lovely to meet him and work with him. It was good to meet up with the ladies again and catch up with their news. They invited us to the very tempting lunch they had prepared.
Thanks again to Maureen for inviting us and to everyone for their friendly hospitality. Brilliant day! We really enjoyed it.
Tonight is Friday and we are local which is fortunate as the weather is awful. Wax macs at the ready. I loved the sign on the less than perfect car park to the club. A particularly deep hole had filled with water and next to it was a “NO Diving” notice. We have been doing the CHASE CLUB for a number of years now so we know the audience well. Good to meet Jo behind the bar who welcomed us in and was very friendly.
Tight corner squeeze but a great crowd. Angie had kindly made us a picnic for the interval so we tucked into sandwiches,pork pie, scotch eggs and crisps. Big thank you for being so thoughtful. Some new and younger faces these days but they seemed friendly enough.
Always late when we get home because we stay talking so long after we finish. Thanks again as always to Mike, Angie, Antony and George and the rest of the team for another good night. Sorry all but photos were a disaster. This one is from last time.
Saturday afternoon and we are re tracing our steps of 45 years ago to BENTLEY METHODIST CHURCH where our friends Janet and John were married.
At their invitation we are here to help celebrate the 50 Years Anniversary of the Church itself. They have planned a vintage afternoon tea party with high tea and all the trimmings. Everywhere looks nice.
It all looked very English and each time I glanced over I saw another cream scone or sandwich disappearing in the vicinity of Allan’s mouth. Had a lovely chat with two of the older church going ladies Sally and Edith and got to meet Jan and John’s grandaughter Libby. What a little star! So well behaved. Nice relaxing afternoon which hopefully they all enjoyed.
Wednesday morning bright and reasonably early and we are due to perform at FAIRLAWNS HOTEL . We are entertaining the WALSALL RETIRED TEACHER’S ASSOCIATION and their partners. We usually work for them at the Terrace in Brownhills but unfortunatley it has suddenly closed and left lot of unhappy people, particularly brides, trying to get another last minute venue.
Kathy organises these events and has worked with the Fairlawns management who have taken on the booking. The staff here are all very young, but very helpful, smart, efficient and above all very friendly. We arrived early and set up on the balcony which was perfect. We spent the next couple of hours sitting in the wonderful gardens while they had their meal. The hotel and grounds are very well maintained. Free coffee and soft drinks . We got ourselves a sandwich and sat out there relaxing. Perfecto!
Good to meet up with some of the crowd again for a chat. All in all I think they were pleased with the new venue and the afternoon.
Friday afternoon and we have a very early start to get over to PEOPLETON in Worcester. We all have a meal before we start so we like to get there and get set up so that we can chat to people when they come in. I slept all the way to arrive…..still tired and with a stiff neck.
John and June are our friends in Peopleton and we have known them for may years now and visit the village every couple of years. We love coming here. The village is so beautiful and the people are so very friendly. We always look forward to it. As always good food and good company. Great to see Johnny and Doreen again. They must be gluttons for punishment. Thanks to you and your jolly crowd for coming again. Also a big thanks to John and June for my wonderful bouquet and for Allan’s bottle and for being such good friends to us.
This evening we are local. We are paying a return visit to PENKRIDGE MEMORIAL HALL for the Levedale Ladies’ Circle. We had a great night with them last year so I hope we can do as well for them tonight. Pam and the ladies have done well with the tickets and the Hall is looking welcoming. Great crowd again. Big thanks to them all for coming once again for being up for it and thanks to Pam and the ladies for our yummy chip supper. All the proceeds go to Age U.K.
Wednesday 7th May and we are setting off for BIRMINGHAM in heavy rain. This is an afternoon gig for ex employees of the TRUSTEES BANK. They are holding the get together at THE EATON LODGE HOTEL on the Hagley road. Annette is our contact. When we arrive we are a bit dismayed to see there is nowhere to set up the equipment. Allan has a bit of a girly panic but it is all soon sorted.
Robert who is in charge soon gets cups etc. moved and clears a table for us to put the amp on etc. They very kindly asked us to join them for the wonderful meal. We have both been members of the Trustees Bank since we were 16 so we were almost family. Annette is a very funny lady and kept us well entertained during the lunch.
We had only been booked to do a short spot but it all went very well. The people were great and quite a few of them came up to say how much they had enjoyed it. Thank you so much for the bonus which we will be sending on to a charity. It will most likely go to our next chosen charity which is Parkinsons U.K.
Already Friday again. Another early start for a gig over at KIDDERMINSTER GOLF CLUB. Jo is in charge and is very helpful as Merv. is away on a cruise. Much impressed until we found out he is actually on a canal somewhere!! Miss his happy face though. Great to see our friends from our holidays in Maspalomas. Such a pity we can’t go back to the lovely hotel we all used. Thomsons in their infinite wisdom have turned the Maspalomas Princess over to Scandinavians. It is overrun with blonde hairy hippy types with three kids under ten each and double buggies. Their amazing freebies and concessions, along with a seven year contract signed by parent company Tui means they are there in great numbers. The Brits have been virtually squeezed out. Mealtimes were like a school canteen with unsupervised 5 year olds pawing the buffet food and putting it back . Shame on you Thomsons for not notifying anyone of this dreadful transformation. I digress……… Kidderminster was a million miles away from these horrific memories of a week spent there in my bedroom with food poisoning. The audience were great and I sold enough of my CraftyDandy earrings to make a donation to Parkinsons U.K. Thanks for the ladies for supporting me and this charity. As always big thanks to the Kidderminster Crowd.
Saturday evening and we are local. It is a return to BOLDMERE, SUTTON COLDFIELD. We are at the CARPENTERS ARMS which is a Religious Centre. Clive is the Manager here. He is a really nice guy and so helpful. Him and his friend, Vaughan who is over from Cape Town help us in and out with the gear and look after us. Such a pity that the audience are not coming in great numbers to the events that are being organised. Like so many places the older members are finding it too much of a challenge. Sadly this will be the last concert evening for the forseeable future. Big thank you to the people who did attend and who were such a lovely supportive group. All the best to Clive and Karen and the members for the future.
It is May 17th and the start of a very busy week for us. We have a nice event tonight. We are at a double Birthday celebration just down the road from us at BURNTWOOD. Andrea and Martin are the couple who we met some time ago at Hammerwich. Our only worry is that they are much younger than us which means the audience will be. Oooah!! Let’s hope their friends and family are prepared to accept two old codgers wittering on about old age and how wonderful the sixties were.
So good to catch up with Dave and Adrienne Black whose birthday we did at Hammerwich. Adrienne despite being very fit and attractive recently underwent a major operation to donate a kidney to her son. She is an amazing lady. After a year of exhaustive tests to determine suitability it was not totally compatible and so sadly his body rejected it and he has had to go back on the waiting list. What a crushing blow for the family after such a testament to motherly love. Yet she still remains upbeat and hopeful. Her husband David is a volunteer worker for St. Giles Hospice.
Hearing all this so close to the sad news of Stephen Sutton’s untimely death and his incredible achievement. Although these are both sad things to hear it is so uplifting to realise how much good there is still in the world. There must be something in the air in Burntwood. Andrea, the Birthday girl was on a a no alcohol night as she was doing the 5km charity event Run For Life at Walsall Arboretum the following morning. Unfair to call these ordinary people because they are clearly not ordinary. It takes special, unselfish people to try to make other people’s lives better without thought for their own.
We had a really good night with them and all of our fears were groundless. It was good to meet up with Phil, the founder member of Flagon, a folk group we worked with back in the old days. Also for Allan an old work colleague, Eunice, who is Andrea’s Auntie, was there. Seems strange to say Allan and work in the same sentence! We all had a big catch up.
Sunday morning and we are preparing for our show this afternoon for the WYLDE GREEN ROTARY. We worked for them only last August at the Garden Centre. Tony Ridge is President and it is his big Luncheon Day. The venue is GROUNDS FARM which is out near the Belfry at Sutton Coldfield. The track to the venue is a bit adventurous but the Farm itself and the setting are spectacular. We have been here before and the people who own and run the establishment are brilliant. The food and the atmosphere here are exceptional. Tony, wife, Jackie ad son Andrew arrive to welcome their guests for the afternoon.
They are a lovely crowd of people and we know most of them fairly well. While they ate their carvery in the beautiful barn we opted for the alfresco option or we’d have talked all through lunch and not looked at our programme. Thank you so much for the carvery it is probably the best we have ever had. Thanks to Caroline for looking after us again. Good to meet her Mum, sister and husband.. Happy, happy, day . Loved it all.
Monday and tonight we are en route to a secret Birthday party over at BECKETT’S FARM, WYTHALL. Our friend Michelle has booked us as a surprise for her partner, Charles who is celebrating his 60th. We usually meet them at the Bryan Ferry gigs or at Earlswood.
Becketts is a beautiful Garden Centre with a Restaurant. We all hid in the side room until he appeared. Luckily Charles is sound of heart and apart from changing colour looked happy to see everyone. Had a smashing sausage and mash meal…..we passed on the faggotts. Since 1978 we have seen more faggotts than any man or woman should. I think he really enjoyed the evening. Happy Birthday, Chas!
Mid morning start to find OAKENGATES THEATRE or as it is called now THE PLACE. Haven’t played here for many years. An old friend of ours, Martin Brookes has asked us to appear on the show which is a yearly thing organised by AGE CONCERN. It is great to see big mate of ours, Graham Leddington who has his working premises quite close to the Theatre. Good of him to pop in and wish us luck.
There are about 500 pensioners in the audience. Some about our age some older, some younger and they have come from the wide area that is Shropshire on coaches and buses. As usual Allan is in much demand by these ladies because they love his curly hair….one even gives it a tug to check if it is real. We had a laugh and a chat with quite a few of them in the interval and on the way out.
We are on the Bill with a beautiful young Asia girl called Hunika Jutlia and she is up for some very energetic Bollywood dancing.
The other duo we are on with are called STRING OF PEARLS and they are Sarah Raymond and Marc Andrews. They do some of my favourite music…songs from the 30s and 40s classic vintage stuff which is really in vogue again at the moment. Catch them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/String-of-Pearls/353567211327958 I just googled String of Pearls and they came up with some lovely film of them on Youtube. They looked fabulous and sounded great. Great attention to detail. I can thoroughly recommend. Lovely people. Great show and an enjoyable afternoon. Got to wear a wraparound microphone like Madonna….sadly no conical bra…just the usual one….the Sheepdog Bra. It rounds them up and points them in the right direction.
No let up for the wicked! Tonight we are over at STOURPORT MANOR HOTEL. We need to get set up ready for action quite early so we set off late afternoon. Terrible journey Took us long , long time because of the shocking traffic on the motorway. No worries though as we set up behind a partition/type sliding door. This is for a lovely lady named Mary Stanway who Allan has had lots of telephone conversations with. He is looking forward to meeting her. It is for the STOURPORT INNER WHEEL. Lovely evening so we took our drinks and baguettes outside while the people were having their meal.
They were a quiet but appreciative audience and we spoke at length to quite a few of them when we had finished Good to now how much they had enjoyed it. Thanks to Mary for the lovely feedback she has since given us.
On a bit of a break after the gig tonight. This is yet another Birthday party…..the third one this week. We are here at LEEK WOOTTON Village Hall for Heather. We see plenty of friendly and familiar faces from gigs we have done here in the past. We are back here in July for a Fundraiser for Cancer Charity.
Heather is a very beautiful and elegant lady. ……tall and slender and very stylish but very warm and friendly. Again this is one of the ladies that Allan will miss speaking to on the phone after tonight. She has kindly offered us the meal which was very good. It was chicken in a white sauce with new pots and spring veg and baked brie and salad. We ate ours on the balcony because we don’t feel it is right to intrude on family gatherings.
That is four meals out this week. Big Fat Humpa Luma!! Quite a few teens and a baby but they were all really well behaved and polite and gave us no problem at all. Most gatherings these days can be a problem for performers and audience alike. We all have to suffer the curse of the Mobile Phone Addicts who start to twitch if they can’t keep playing with their phone or take Selfies or look on You Tube at Funny Cats. But to be fair it is usually kids who see it as the norm. and are not being disrespectful or rude. Lovely crowd. Big thanks to Heather. Have a wonderful Birthday and whatever you are doing ….keep doing it….you look great!
It is the 7th June and we are on our way over to ALDRIDGE to entertain the LEGGE LODGE. This is a Masonic event and the Worshipful Master W. Bro. Terence D. Bayliss and his wife, Joan are welcoming the members of Legge Lodge and their partners for a Ladies Night.
The event is taking place at the Aldridge Lodge which we have worked at many times before. We are working with Gary who is providing the P.A. this evening and will be doing music for the guests to dance until midnight. They are a really good crowd to work for. Nice to see Steve’s Mum and Dad and Joan herself who works along with them in the Music shop in Lichfield. Many thanks for all the lovely comments and to Gary for the use of his equipment. It was good to talk to some of the audience after the show. So pleased that Terry and Joan enjoyed it. It was a big event for them and it is such a relief when all as gone well.
Wednesday morning and we are on the road bright and early to get over to SHIRLEY to the Club where will be doing a show for our old friends the R.A.F.A. Ken has invited us to their new venue. Lovely to see so many familiar faces. Sadly a few missing and some of those there struggling a bit with health problems. Sorry to see Jean not too well but glad she could come and I’m glad she enjoyed it. Her and Ken are a lovely couple. It was a great afternoon and we really enjoyed it. Everyone was so helpful carrying gear in and out. Big thank you for Al’s fish and chips. They are a nice crowd hope the numbers stay up. It is important to have these get togethers.
Saturday evening 14th June. We are doing a return booking at STUDLEY VILLAGE HALL. The lovely Linda has arranged it. Although it is the start of the Football there is a full hall which is great so we crack on to make sure we have an early finish for people who want to get back for the game.
Great to see Allan’s Auntie Margaret. She has just had a knee op….only 3 weeks ago but she has bravely battled on with her zimmer to come and see us. How brave is that! It’s a long time to sit in pain. She is a really nice lady and Allan is very fond of her. Good to chat with Gill in the interval. There were some lovely people there. Big thanks again to Paul for acting as M.C. and nice to meet up with his Mum again.
The gig itself could not have been better. One of those that you wish had been recorded. At the end….. a girl….about 18….stood up and asked if she could say a few words. Totally unplanned. She thanked us and said that everyone loves us and then she said. “I am so proud of you both!” What a lovely thing to say. We were deeply touched because it was so natural and so unexpected. Things like that make a gig really special and make all the hard work worthwhile. I had spent all the night before working out new material. We both went home with a lovely warm glow……..though I think in Allan’s case that could have been heartburn for scoffing yet another box of fish and chips. Linda has booked us again for next year.
Saturday 21st of June and after a few years in the Wilderness we have been invited back to ECCLESHALL. They have been through a bit of a Country and Western Phase but I think they are cured now and have come away from the Dark Side. We know a lot of the audience here as this was a gig we did for many years. Our faithful followers Stan, Pete, Marg and Wendy are sitting on the front row and Stan has looked after our needs. George is acting as M.C for the evening and Pam who used to be our contact is also on the front row so we are surrounded by friendly faces.
Great audience and we all really enjoyed the night. I did exceptionally well with the jewellry I am making and selling for different charities. Allan says soon we can forget the comedy and just concentrate on my earrings.
Big thank you to all of you for coming along and supporting us. It was good to be back .
25th June and it is a lovely afternoon as we set off for ROSS ON WYE. It is a 4.00 start because the journey will probably take about 2 hours and we need to get the gear in and set up before the audience come in at 7.00p.m. We are at a beautiful place called the CHASE HOTEL. The gardens are wonderful…….so relaxing. The audience is ROLLS ROYCE CAR OWNERS so we have cleaned the tooth, had a good scrub and donned the posh frocks to make ourselves presentable. Mike, who is the organiser is a really nice guy. We did a trip round the car park and took pics of all the cars. They were all truly magnificent and so much part of a world that sadly has almost disappeared. We did them an hour of comedy and then as requested we did a dance set. By this time is was 11.0clock but good number of them got up and had a jig about so we all went home happy. Diversions and roadworks on the motorways meant a very late bedtime but hey ho!…..swings and roundabouts.
Saturday evening and we are back in STOURBRIDGE tonight at the SPIRITUALIST CHURCH. We were here with them last year for the first time. What a lovely night we had then. So we are looking forward to catching up with them again tonight. Laraine has organised the evening as she is Chairwoman. She has a strong team of helpers including James, Mike, Geoff and many others. They are Spiritualists and Healers and the Church itself has a warm, calming and welcoming atmosphere. Once again everyone was brilliant. So friendly, so helpful and so ready to laugh. They shared their fish and chip supper with us and they shared their wonderful Black Country hospitality. Big hugs to you all. Hope Laura Jane soon gets over her knee problem. Look forward to seeing you all again next year.
Last two gigs before we take a bit of a break. They turned out to be two of the best gigs we have had in a long time.
Friday 11th July and we are en route to the BLACK BOY at KNOWLE. It is a perfect night for the 5oTH ANNIVERSARY RALLY OF THE BLACK BUOY CRUISING CLUB. People have come from all over the country and everywhere looks really pretty and festive. It is good to see Commodore Keith Yeomans and his wife again. We did their Anniversary Party for them and met all their lovely family.
We also got to meet one of the acts who will be entertaining the crowd in the Marquee over the weekend. Nice guy named Derek R. Harris www.halfcutheatre.com for his details.
Our good friends Alan and Pat were there (see photo). We usually meet them in Lichfield and have a good natter. It was great fun and everybody seemed to enjoy it. I’d forgotten the thrill of getting changed in the car!!Thanks to all concerned for inviting us and making it such a good night.
Saturday night and we are once again on our way to LEEK WOOTTON VILLAGE HALL. This is a fairly regular venue for us. We have entertained several different groups and private parties here. Tonight’s gig is to raise funds for CANCER RESEARCH U.K. It is the chosen charity and the ladies have completed the RACE FOR LIFE Event and raised in the region of £2,665,00. Our friends Carole and Mike have come along from Knowle to support us this evening. They have done their fair share of fundraising over the years for Acorn’s Hospice and Heartlands Hospital. Glad you enjoyed the night.
The ladies have put on a wonderful supper. We started the evening with drinks (champagne) and canapes on the patio before the start of the show. The Black Country Kids done good!
Big thanks to all concerned. Lovely to meet Belinda and the other ladies who looked after us so well.
SAD DAY FOR BLACK COUNTRY COMEDY.
Most of you will know by now the sad news that TOMMY MUNDON has died. He passed away on July 21st in the Mary Stevens Hospice after losing his fight with Parkinson’s Disease. It was diagnosed about 4 years ago but he continued to work until 2012. His last public performance was for the 4th Anniversary of the Black Country Bugle at Cradley Heath.
Tommy has for many years entertained Midland’s folk with his Black Country humour. He started his career doing what he always called “a bit of saftness” in Sunday Schools and at Church Concerts. He then joined a show performing with the West Brothers and Linda Marsh. In the 70’s he was one of the original members of the famous Black Country Night Out with Dolly Allen, Harry Harrison, Jon Raven, Brian Clift and Ray Hingley. They even took the show along with a big group of Black Country fans to Canada where they played several shows. He was a popular figure in the Black Country working for the Local Council. When he was 55 he retired and became a full time comedian. He was much in demand. I have known Tom do 3 bookings in one day. It was amazing where he got his energy from. He was never motivated by money. He always worked hard for local causes. He loved what he did and his fans always knew that.
Tommy was a brilliant live performer. His quirky fast paced delivery as he strode up and down the stage, jabbing his finger and chatting to people at the front was unique to him Nobody went to sleep when Tom was in full flow. His stories and jokes and his local knowledge and history of the area proved invaluable. He was a respected authority on the Black Country and it’s people.
Tom was very much a family man. His wife, Val and his daughter Caroline and husband Aaron and his three grandchildren were very important to him. He spoke of them often back stage and also onstage. He was very proud of them.
For all this he was still quite a private person. We worked on Black Country shows with him for many years….since 1980. He was always a gentleman. I never saw him drink too much or use bad language. He was respectful to the opposite sex and never conceited about his talent. He paved the way for people like ourselves.
We worked with Tom on many Black Country Tours and worked many theatres with him. He had an incredible reception from an audience. He would come off and say “They’m a lovely crowd!” Women always took handkerchiefs to wipe their eyes when Tom was on the show. Those last few years he was very brave. I hope people appreciate how hard it was for him to get up in front of a theatre audience knowing his symptoms could cause him many problems. The late Lee Wilson and Al Smith (Aynuk) were particularly supportive. We all wanted to see him go on forever.
Tommy Mundon was loved because he was the voice of the “ordinary people”. He was their champion and many “ordinary people will feel his loss. He was the Black Country’s Own. He stayed true to his roots.
Dolly Allen, Harry Harrison, John Plant (Ayli) and now Tommy Mundon. The old team back together in Heaven. Be hopes them Angels have got some Big Hankies!! Thanks for all the loffs, Tom! Yow did we all proud!
MORE SAD NEWS FROM THE FOLK SCENE
The same week we had more bad news. Maggie called to tell us of the death of JIM MCPHEE. When we started working as entertainers way back in 1978 there were 3 big Folk Agents/Promoters in the Birmingham area.
Derek and Jackie Grinnell ran Perrott’s Folly Agency. Their biggest club was at S. Phillip’s Old Boys Club, Waterworks Road, Edgbaston. This was the Bell and Pump. Mad Jocks and Englishmen were long term residents. The other two clubs were at Wheaton Aston and The Hurdy Gurdy Club at the Albion in Wednesfield. We worked at the 3 clubs as sometime residents and Derek was our first and only sole agent.
One of the other big names was Les Ward. Les was Jasper’s friend and early management …. Starward. His Starward partner John Starkey ran the folk club at the Cherry Trees, Alcester and Les and Jasper opened the Boggery at Lugtrout Lane, Solihull. Les was also Phil Cool’s manager and tour managed many different acts as diverse as the Pogues and Klaus Wunderlich. Les was a much loved friend of ours and we miss him very much. We worked as residents at the Boggery for 3 years following in the footsteps of Jasper himself and Malc Stent. I was responsible for the Boggery Panto for 3 years….one which we did at the Solihull theatre. Wonderful times!
The third big name in the Folk World was JIM MCPHEE. Jim, along with his wife, Gill, ran the Acorn Agency from his home in Kings Heath. He started his first folk club in the area in 1972 at a Church Community Hall. He named it after his band…Scrimshaw. He later moved the Hare and Hounds on the High Street in King’s Heath. For a while we did the residency on a rota swapping with Chris Rust and Nick Fenwick. Jim acted as agent for many big names like Jake Thackeray, Maddie Prior and her Band, Fred Wedlock, Harvey Andrews …….and we were luck enough to work with them all. Jim was very encouraging when we first started. He organised the buying and delivery of Allan’s 12 String Guild Guitar from Dave Peabody, a Blues Musician in London. He took our first professional photographs which we still love the best of any we had done.
Poor quality photo but the only one I have.
Gill and Jim always held Open House…as did Les Ward (everyone knew where he kept his key). Gill and Jim converted their big attic/loft for groups to stay over between gigs. There were big Church pews, a massive wooden table and lots of home baked and home cooked food. There was always a warm, warm welcome and lots of love. Nobody ever wanted to go home. Everybody sat around talking, singing and eating and drinking. It felt like we belonged.
After a few years at the Hare and Hounds….which sometimes could get a bit wild especially after Nick Fenwick’s free Hot Winter Punch……..the club moved to the Red Lion. Jim ran the club for about 28 years and then in May 2001 he retired from the running and handed it over to new management. In 2006 building on it’s wonderful reputation it won the B.B.C. Radio Folk Award and has gone from strength to strength.
We count ourselves very lucky to have been part of that Birmingham Folk Scene in the 70’s and 80’s. We made many good friends who are still very good friends. Without much in the way of musical or folk credentials they encouraged and supported us.
Jim was the last of these 3 men to leave us. They all played an important part in the Folk Scene for many people …..artists and audiences alike. Their influence was important then and for many years afterwards.
Jim will be laid to rest in Gill’s home village in Derbyshire. For many of us the end of another era.
Our love and thoughts are with Gill and the family.
We went to help give TOMMY MUNDON a good send off today. We took our friend Nicky with us and set off for HASBURY METHODIST CHURCH. We guessed there would be a lot of people there so we got there about an hour an a half before the service was due to start. I must admit it had been very well organised. People were directing the parking and organising the seats. There had been a seating plan drawn up and it worked very well. There had been a private cremation for the close friends and family at Stourbridge Crem. first.
There must have been over 5oo people in attendance. The thing that struck me….apart from the obvious controlled and dignified grief of the immediate family I didn’t see anyone shed a tear. Possibly because Tom and Val had not wanted it be a solemn occasion and because the quality of his life had become poor. In a way sorry as we all were to see him go no one wanted to see him suffer. The event, for such it was, was entitled “Spread a Little Happiness As You Go By”. That was certainly Tom’s creed. Mike Sullivan, Elspeth’s husband played the organ and entertained the waiting crowds with some of Tom and Val’s favourite pieces of music from the musicals they both loved.
There were some lovely Reflections by Welshman, ex Teacher and good friend who was an excellent speaker and painted a wonderful picture of Tom and their times together.
Our friend, Marlene, who worked with Tom on many occasions got up to read a poem she had written at Val’s request called “Spread a Little Happiness”. Marlene has lots of wonderful memories of times with Tom at shows. She is a very funny lady.
There were so many people there who we know and have worked with over the years……. Roy Kent.”Dripper” from Light Fantastic and Finder’s Keepers, Ken Woods with his lovely wife but without the Hoss, John Sparry, Dougie Parker, Richard “Grorty Dick”, Alan Clee from Finders Keepers, Our old mate, Al Smith aka Aynuk and Molly, Mick Bourne, Maggie O’Hara and Peter, Elspeth, Ray Hingley, Jake Elcock, Brian and Ashley Yeates, Graham and Pam Leddington, Tom’s very good friend Bev Pegg and Sheena who had also brought Robert Plant. Led Zepp frontman was a big fan of Tom’s and when we saw him a few weeks back he had been asking after him. Seeing so many people really brought home how many people we have lost over the past few years. The entertainers who were responsible for bringing so much joy to audiences.Really good to see Jon Plant’s wife….Linda. We lost John, aka Ayli a few years back. It was very brave of her it must have been hard for her to come and re-live those memories. There were lots more but only a certain number could get in the main hall and the others had to sit in the adjacent rooms.
After the service we all gathered outside and exchanged memories. The service itself had been uplifting and joyful and we had all remembered the good times. A few of us went back to Ma Pardoes at Netherton for a bite to eat and a reminisce. Graham and Pam, Aynuk and Moll and me Al and Nick. We sat under a framed photo of Aynuk and Ayli and drank a toast to Tom and to John. Graham had faggots in honour of Tom and we had a jolly time and realised we should do it more often “afoore we’m all jed!! ” Aynuk gave Nicky the guided tour as she had never been before and Tim, the Landlord showed us his Gas Mantles in the Bar(an offer we couldn’t refuse). Sorry I had an Alan Carr moment again! He posed for Nick with with his vintage phone. It really is like stepping back in time.
So a bittersweet day. We watched him on Youtube that night and mourned the Loss of a Legend. God Bless, Tom!!
SEPTEMBER 6th and we are starting back tonight after quite a long summer break. Feel a bit rusty in all respects. A episode with my back means I have had to resort to Tramadol to control the pain. This means I am floating somewhere above Strawberry Fields. I should take another one to get me through the evening but as they send me to sleep I shall try to get through with just a heated back belt.
GNOSALL VILLAGE HALL is always our first gig back after the break which makes me feel very guilty as I’m never at my best. They are such a lovely crowd and are so supportive. Lovely to see Lesley , her son, Simon and her Mum again. Thanks for buying our c.d.s. Great to see Dave and his wife and all the gang of friends that they rally together for the event. Thanks to Lyn, the organiser, for Al’s food and for asking us back. I found it very hard to stand in the second half so I hope I didn’t pull too many faces.
Tonight after two sessions at the Pain Relief Clinic and less Tramadol I am a bit more myself. We are heading over in terrible traffic to reach the BONDED WAREHOUSE at STOURBRIDGE. Chris has asked us to entertain the group of Masons who are the St. Peter’s Chapter and who have planned their summer event as a canal cruise on the Blackcountryman. The event itself raised £101 for charity, which without a raffle was very impressive. Some of the organisations they support include the Haven Centre, Well Food Bank and Broadmeadow for Autistic Children
Julian was our boat man. A few of the men kindly helped us to get our gear aboard. They are a jolly crowd and very funny to spend time with. It is a lovely evening and we all just watch the scenery on the outward journey and wave to dog walkers ad cyclists and it is all really good fun and we all behave like a party of schoolchildren…less the biting, spitting and screaming. It was nice to see everyone so thrilled with such a simple pleasure. The Chip Man met us at the Bridge, where in days gone by, Tommy Mundon would get on the boat to entertain on the return journey. Julian came back with boxes of fish and chips . We pulled down the blinds as it was dark by now and everyone tucked into their chip supper. Great fun. After a very tight turn we entertained on the hour journey back and all had a laugh and a singsong. Great evening. Big thanks to all.
Back at the KNOWLE BRITISH LEGION tonight for John Berry. Good to be on with our old friends Giggetty. Not a very big crowd but they were nice people which is what really counts. Lovely to see our old friends Carole and Mike. They have supported us so much over the years and we are really grateful. Good night…… and Giggo got some of the crowd up dancing at the end.
Tonight we are visiting some old friends over at ELMDON HEATH. This is a Friendship Club which we last did for Ralph about 4 years ago. Tonight is a Fish and Chip Supper and also a big celebration as it is Ralph’s 89th Birthday. The people here have always made a big effort to dress up which I think is great. The ladies always look elegant. In an age of comfort dressing it’s good to see someone keeping up some standards. We all haven’t got to dress like the cast of Shameless or Benefits Street because it’s fashionable. Nice evening. Thank you to the people who came up and chatted and said how much they had enjoyed it. Big thanks for our lovely supper that was waiting for us.
This evening’s gig is by way of a celebration of the life of Frank Newberry who was the founder of the DROITWICH SPA PROBUS GROUP. He sadly died just a month away from his 90th Birthday and from the celebrations for 25 years of the group. Unfortunately because of lack of membership this will be the last social occasion for the club.
The event took place at the GRANARY, near Hartlebury. This was a place we had played a couple of times before. It was a lovely evening so we sat out in the garden until the midges started biting. It was a pleasure to meet all the people who had been in touch with Allan during the sorting out of the schedule etc. Great to meet up again with Keith and Peggy who we worked with a couple of times and who were part of the close harmony group RAZZAMATAZZ. The evening was a big success and the audience were very appreciative. Many thanks for all the kind remarks.
BRANSTON VILLAGE HALL is the venue we are heading for. The gig is a fundraiser for Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Arboretum at Alrewas. The Hall looks beautiful and it is clear a lot of work has gone into the night already. Ham/Cheese Ploughmans, Sausage Rolls, Coleslaw, Nibbles and beautifully decorated home made cakes.
This was one of the best gigs we have had for a long time. Nice to meet Janet and John who shared their supper table with us. Gill and the team of ladies worked very hard and looked after us so well. Several people bought our C.D.s and quite a number of people came up to chat to us. I think a good time was had by all. Big thanks for the supper and my lovely bouquet.
Last gig of the week and we are back at BRIDGNORTH GOLF CLUB We are here to help celebrate 125 years of the Club and to celebrate a wonderful 25 years of the Presidency of Elved Thomas. Elved and his lovely wife, Eylis are much loved by everyone there.
Before we started a very talented young man named Toby did some guitar blues type music to welcome the guests before the meal. Good to meet up again with Roger and his wife, whose anniversary it was on the day. Great to finally meet Linda and her husband. Linda and Allan had spoken a lot on the phone about arrangements. She was very attentive to our needs. Such lovely people. We met some very nice people here again and I know that Elved and Eylis enjoyed it because they told me. Thank you to all of you who made it such a special night.
Moving on to Friday 26th of September we are in the Friday night traffic hell en route to STOURPORT to perform at the ELIZABETH MILLS DAY CENTRE in the town there. Our good friend, Pat, has suggested us for the gig and Ann has invited us along. We had met Ann at some of the J.P. gigs. previously. Pat and Gordon and Jackie have been stalwart supporters over the years so it is especially nice to be here with them . We had a smashing night with them and many thanks for Al’s fish ad chips. All our best wishes.
Saturday 27th and it is a long journey for us tonight. Len Tawn, the Mayor of HEREFORD has invited us over to the Imperial Hotel to do his Annual Charity Event. The Mayor’s Charity for 2014-15 is a double cause…SSFA.. Lifelong support for our Forces and their Families and Retail Trust. Lovely evening so the journey was pleasant enough. Hereford, like Topsy has growed and growed and there was lots of traffic and confusion. The confusion coming from our car and the map held in my sweaty palm. We were right in the centre, in the pedestrian area. Len had organised parking through a tunnel/arch at the side of the hotel…through a beer garden/yard at the back. I spent all night worrying how we would get out at the end. Luckily the natives were all friendly, happy drunks as we drove through the middle of them. So despite my fears the car was not kicked in.
The audience were very nice and we had lots of help to get the gear in and out. The panic of trying to find our way out of the town centre resulted in us finding ourselves on the road to Abergavenny and the Black Mountains. Longer journey homewards!!
Thankfully we couldn’t be more local tonight we are at our own village hall in NORTON CANES.It is great to be back here again. Jenny is once again our lovely M.C. Lots of people here that we know which is great. Our friend, Janet has brought a gang of people with her. Nice to meet the guy from Wednesbury. Sorry to hear my old friend from Junior School Days is not too well. Get better soon, John. Good to see so many friends and neighbours here to support us. Makes us proud to live in Norton Canes. Sold a few earrings so I made a donation to the DeFibrillator for Norton Village. Big thanks to all of you for coming along again.
Found these pictures below on the lovely History of Wednesbury Website.
This was when our Headmaster was an ex footballer BILLY ROTTEN. We woz known in Wednesbury as Billy Rotten’s Babbies.
Couple of pictures for John Stokes to remind him of our schooldays together at Tameside Junior School.
What price Health and Safety looking at the picture on the left!
October 3rd and we are at the Best Western STONE MANOR HOTEL, CHADDESLEY CORBETT. This gig has been organised by a cousin of our late friend, Les Ward. Susan has tried to book us on several occasions but we have been working.
The audience is Ex Yardley Grammar School and they call themselves the OY56ers and they are pupils from 1956 who re connected through Friends Re United and have been meeting up each year since then. They meet at various venues around the country. Tonight is a bit special as they have one of their ex teachers here whose 80th Birthday it is. They have a lovely cake with “To Sir With Love” on it.
What a lovely crowd of people they are. We had a lot of excitement when a very angry hornet the size of Darlaston flew in and terrorised everyone. He kept dive bombing us. Somebody suggested he may be a music lover! It was like scenes from a Horror film so eventually the had to fetch the Cavalry in the shape of the MANAGEMENT with what looked like a can of Pledge to polish him. When he had been removed Al informed them they had killed our pet Hornet who we fetch out if we think things need a bit of a lift. Funny how the British love a state of farce better than if things go smoothly.
We stayed for ages chatting to people. The hotel and staff were great and we were well looked after with sandwiches, salad and chips. Our girl Friday was the beautiful Laura who even tried to help me with my Flu Jab Allergic Arm (See Blog.) By Friday it looked as if it had taken on some Alien Life Form which was ready to burst from my sleeve and take over the world. It was pulsing and throbbing with a red hot awareness.
Lovely to meet everyone. Great to speak to the Crafty lady about our beadwork. etc. Thank you to all for getting us through a very emotionally difficult night after receiving tragic news before we left home.
Tonight we are making a return visit to a little village called MORETON. It is not too far from Newport or Stafford. Lots of narrow, twisty lanes but very pretty countryside. Our good friends Jackie and Sue are waiting to meet us at the door and along with Tony Frost. Nice easy access to the stage.
The audience were great and made us very welcome. Had a chat with a good number of them..which for us….is what it’s all about. Again we had excellent sales on the c.d.s . They treated us both to a fish and chip supper and we all had some good fun. Big thanks to everyone for making it a special night.
Sunday and after a breakfast at Costa in Lichfield and a walk round the Cathedral we go back home for a short nap before the evening gig. We are doing a 70th Birthday Bash for our friends, Carol and Alan over at RUGELEY, at ST. THOMAS GOLF CLUB.
We are sharing the evening with another friend of Carols who used to be with Joe Brown and the Bruvvers. He is named Steve Martyn and is an excellent Singer/Guitarist and very amenable to work with.
Lots of narrow boaters who had seen us in the past. Lovely people. Parties can be very hit and miss affairs. We are the choice of the Host which doesn’t necessarily mean their friends and family will like us or listen to us.Luckily they liked us. The night worked well and when we had finished we were able to go and sit with our mutual friends Roger and Barb.
Carol is a lovely lady with a great laugh and we hope she really enjoyed her special night. Love and best wishes.
It is with great sadness that I have to write about the loss of another of our Black Country Entertainment Family. Our dear friend and co-entertainer of almost 40 years left us all without warning on Friday 3rd October.
JACK WEBB, husband of Anne….both of them a part of the long running, popular group GIGGETTY has died. Our shock and our sorrow are beyond words.
Jack and Anne were part of the blueprint for the perfect family. They were to us, a shining example of what a family should be about. Like Allan and myself they had been together since their teens. They have a daughter, Cathy, a son, David, a son and daughter in law and 3 beautiful grandchildren whom they adore. Jack and Anne have spent their lives seeking and achieving family happiness and harmony.
In recent years, Anne’s sister, Susan joined Giggetty and along with friend and long standing member Tony Dalloway they worked together doing Shows and Dinner Dances and 10 years work on “A Black Country Night Out” Theatre Tour.
To us they were much more than work colleagues. They were close friends and we saw them socially on a regular basis.We have all been through many highs and lows together over the years and have always been there for each other. We have many happy memories of our times together.
Anne and Jack had always sung together and they created the beautiful harmonies that made them so popular with audience
GIGGETTY LICHFIELD GARRICK
Jack, an ex Policeman, was always ready to help anyone in any situation. After retiring from the Force, Anne and Jack worked together as Teaching Assistants at the local School. Jack was much loved by Staff and Pupils alike.
Jack was just 61 and had so much still to do with his life. We love them as friends and will greatly mourn his passing. It has created a terrible sense of loss for anyone who knew him.
Our thoughts and our love are with Anne and all of the family.
Friday evening and it is starting to feel Autumnal as we make our way to WALSALL RUGBY CLUB on the Broadway. Paul Daniels has asked us along. We have worked for him at several different venues over the years. This is our3rd visit to the Club. Amazing….Paul doesn’t look any different. He has one of those permanently boyish faces either that or a Dorian Gray Mirror. Paul’s sister Francis has once again worked her magic and produced a great meal featuring her legendary home made faggotts. Good to meet Paul’s wife at last.
Big thanks to the lovely people turned up to support the night and came to chat with us. Also a special thanks to two lovely young ladies named Katy and Emma who sat at the front and who were so well behaved I almost regretted not having children. Wish we had more like them in an audience.
Saturday evening and we are back at SALWARPE VILLAGE HALL for Sylvia and the gang of people who work so hard to put on these fundraising nights to raise money for ST. RICHARD’S HOSPICE. Full house, fish and chip supper and a great crowd. Lovely to meet and chat to so many people in the break and after the gig. Congratulations to everyone for raising £500 for such a worthy cause.
17th October. It is a fine afternoon as we make an early start on our journey to LITTLE HEREFORD. We are going back to BRIMFIELD SPORTS CLUB to entertain St. Michael’s Tenbury and Leominster Masonic Lodges. Liz and Barry have invited us and are both very welcoming when we arrive. After we’d set up the gear I remembered that it was a difficult room sound wise and if the speakers are not well separated they tend to feed back. After a few harsh words between myself and “he who knows as much about a P.A. as a teacosy” we re jigged the room and moved the speakers accordingly. The sound wasn’t brilliant but it was better. Great crowd and sausage and mash helped to stem the tiredness a bit but I feel as if I am getting a flu re-run. I’m hot and shivery ad very achy. Long journey back. So glad to get home.
Tonight we are over at WESTON VILLAGE HALL near Stafford. It looks a beautiful village. We are working in the Village Hall which is a lovely big room with lots of wood and lots of space which is great. Alan and Pat are already there to welcome us to the hall. This gig is for the Church so we are on best behaviour.
The people were great and as this was our first time here they got into the whole Dandy thing really quickly. Allan spent his break with a plateful of sausage and mash entertaining 3 ladies whose table he shared. Many thanks to everyone for making it such a wonderful night.
This has been a very difficult week to get through. After Weston I felt quite ill again on Sunday. Monday was Jack’s funeral which we were dreading but it turned out to be distressing and uplifting in equal measure. The family were all amazing. Cathy and David gave a wonderful speech as did close family friend, John. Cathy and David played a song they had recorded for Jack which was so beautiful. We left the service listening to Anne sing “I’ll Never Find Another You”.
The numbers of people were astonishing. The Headmaster at the School where Anne and Jack work as Teaching Assistants had closed the School as a mark of respect. There were lots of friends from the world of entertainment, many from his days as a Police Officer at Steelhouse Lane and from his Rugby days. Jack’s sister and family, friends and family from France and neighbours and friends from school. It was a truly amazing turnout.
Back at the Hall there was moving backdrop of photographs of the full and happy life they had shared together. Whatever else Jack had done he had made excellent use of his life and although it had been cut tragically short he had not wasted a second of it. The true treasure Jack had found in his life was his soul mate, Anne and together they had created their wonderful family. He never once forgot that or took it for granted. They will help each other through this sadness.
Friday evening and I have got a bad chest infection and some Antibiotics from the Doc. I can’t sleep because of the bad cough. I have had to sit up during the night because the cough is hurting my back and head and I have very little voice. Still the show must go on and I can’t let people down so we head off to COVEN. At least I know I can stay i the back room and quarantine myself and luckily there is a Stage so I needn’t get close to anyone. This is for the Soroptomists and they are fundraising for two separate charities.
It is good to meet Lyn who has booked us and to see our friends Jackie and Sue again. Big thank you to Sue for helping Allan to carry all the gear in……for the second time in a few weeks. It was great to see Peter Lee, our friend from the Black Country Tours. Peter is a stalwart professional He worked for many years as M.C. at the Kings Supper Club in West Bromwich and was singer with the Wolverhampton Sixties Group the Californians whose big hit was Sunday Will Never Be The Same. He is a lovely guy and brings a much needed bit of class to the Black Country Night Out. We had a good old natter in the break.
Got to the end of the gig and because I hadn’t been out in the audience I hadn’t noticed a friend and work colleague from many years ago. It was such a lovely surprise to see Graham Lee and his wife, Joan again. I had worked with Graham at Darlaston Town Hall when I worked in the Public Library there and Graham worked in the Health Dept. above us. I was just 16. How scary! At least we still recognise each other so we can’t look tooo bad.
Considering how crap I felt I really enjoyed the evening. The ladies were very kind to us and the audience were wonderful. Thank you so much for looking after us so well and for being so understanding.
We should have been working Saturday evening but, Thank God, the gig was cancelled. It should have been at Tamworth Indoor Bowls Club where the right hand knoweth not who the left hand is booking. So grateful even though their ineptitude has cost us a night’s work. Felt so ill I was really pleased to stay in.
Sunday afternoon we were over at LILLESHALL GOLF CLUB for Dave’s 70th Birthday. Claire, his daughter, has organised it on the strength of the fact that we did his 60th and he really enjoyed it. I still feel rough and Allan is starting to go down with something now. Apparently Dave has just had the flu injection and like me the flu and not satisfied with that passed it on to all of the crowd of friends has been to Portugal with.
Dave is a really lovely guy and the effort has been worth it because him and his friends and family have really enjoyed the show. It was lovely to meet him again. Hope we get to do your next big one
30th October and 3 very posh gigs are in the offing over the weekend. Tonight we are at HENLEY IN ARDEN GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB for SOLIHULL ROTARY CLUB. It is a big event and there are groups from other clubs here tonight. Monika has invited us to entertain at this important fundraiser. The Charity they are supporting is Blood Bikes. I confess this was something I was unaware of. These people give up their free time, holidays, etc to deliver blood and other necessary emergency medical supplies between hospitals. The bikes are amazing and very expensive and require special training to drive them.
It was good to see the other people who had been an integral part of fixing us up for this gig. Our friends, Michelle and Charles and friends from our school gig days, Malcolm and Nest.
Everyone worked very hard to ensure the success of the evening. Many thanks to all concerned.
Halloween. Allan is worse tonight and doesn’t need to dress up to scare people. Due to get his antibiotics in the morning. So hard to do gigs when you are not up to par. I tried to help him carrying the gear in ad out last night and and I’ve damaged my back again so I’m struggling with pain and Allan is coughing for Englad.
We are at BARFORD tonight which is a lovely village near Warwick and we used to do it quite often but we haven’t been for a while.
I know Allan must really feel ill when he refuses the fish and chips. Oee…er!! The back room is as cold as we remembered so we huddled behind the curtains onstage. What a miserable pair we made but we rallied when we went out and put on the happy face. The audience here is always amazing though. They are so ready to laugh so they got us through by making it so much easier. Many thanks to them all.
Last gig of the run and we are heading in the same direction again. LOWER QUINTON is the venue and it is through Stratford in the beautiful Cotswolds We have been here about 3 times before and we always look forward to it. Joan and Derek are here to meet us and open up the hall. The flu jab question rumbles on. So many people I have spoken to in the last few days have suffered a similar experience and bad reaction after having it. I had mine the end of September and I still feel dreadful and have now passed the virus on to Allan.
As usual the audience are wonderful and we enjoyed the supper and meeting up with friends there again.
On our way tonight to LILLESHALL MEMORIAL HALL once more. We have worked here many times when Dot ad Trevor were Caretakers of the Hall. They were famous for their trestle tables laden with food. Tonight they are here as part of the audience and it is lovely to see them again and both looking so well. Also good to see our friend, Doreen from Allscott. Many thanks to Francis for inviting us over here again. The Hall has had lots of work done and it is looking lovely and very snug. It was like working in a mini heatwave. Very acceptable fish and chips. I snaffled a few off Al and made a chip butty. Great audience we are looking forward to seeing you again next year.
Saturday 8th November and we are out near Far Forest. Don’t you just love that name. I keep expecting to see Bilbo Baggins and the Precious. We are at a village called MAMBLE. We have never been here before but we have done neighbouring villages. A very kind man, Bob, I think, let us in and fetched us a hot drink from over the road where he lived. It was a very pretty hall and had again, obviously had a lot of work done on it.
Sandra was our point of contact and she introduced us and ensured the smooth running of the proceedings. There was a very long break of one hour and 40 minutes where lots of lovely food was consumed. The ladies had all made different puds and there was a choice of 3 hot savoury meals. Hard to get going again but the audience were keen to make a night of it. We met some lovely people there particularly the lady who knew and had worked the folk scene at the same time as us. Late finish and long journey home so us old uns were a bit fragile on Sunday.
Monday evening and we are doing an unusual gig for us. We are at an Indian Restaurant in BRIDGNORTH called EURASIA. We are working for the Bridgnorth Lions. Our friend, Doug Parker has kindly recommended us. The only snag is there is no parking so we have to throw the gear onto the pavement, get it in as fast as we can and part in the town ad walk back. Drizzly night and my recently permed hair went very poodle. We had to wait until they had finished serving and the buffet was moved before we could set up All of the staff were very nice and helpful.
Lovely to see John and Katie from Wednesbury. John was part of our Youth Club days down the Old Park. He was one of Mel Fender’s Spartans who were a very popular local band. Bit nervous as we are still both struggling a bit vocally but they were a nice crowd. Mike Smales and Ken Richardson looked after us. We were offered a meal and I must say it looked excellent but we declined. Then I ate a big bowl of Bombay Mix while I waited. I can’t resist nibbling if it’s there.
Friday evening again and tonight we are local. We are round at CHASETOWN FOOTBALL CLUB for John. This is the 3rd time we have done it and they are a great crowd. We get a lot of people who have seen us at folk clubs over the years. It was lovely to have our friend Mary Cope and her friends Shane and Pauline on the front row. Mary and her late husband, Keith, always supported us well. Good to see our friends from Hammerwich, Derek and Richard. Again they must have seen us so many times over the years. It was great to feel so comfortable and to chat and meet so many people from the past. Big thank you to the two young ladies who sat at the front and were so well behaved. Nice to say Hello. Big thank you also to all of the many people who bought our C.D.s. Hope you enjoy them.
Saturday evening and tonight we are driving out to ALCESTER to play at the beautiful Town Hall there which was built in 1641. It is an amazing building. Only downside is the number of stairs and as my back is bad again I am let off from carrying the gear. Thanks to Nick who is waiting for us and give Allan a hand in. This was after some very suspect attempts to reverse into the wrong space (not the one allocated and coned off….because we are stupid).
They are such lovely people here. They feel like family. They make us so welcome and laugh at everything. It is a very full house tonight. Great to see Cham and all the regulars they really make us feel special. We had an enormous amount of fish and chips and I was still full the next day. Big thank you to all and we look forward to seeing you again next year. Have a wonderful Christmas.
Back in the saddle after a writing break. So busy during December and New Year. Just about starting to catch up. Apologies to anyone who actually reads all this drivel I write. Special apologies to anyone who has been waiting to see their photo. Our photo taking has been a bit spasmodic and some have been blurred some have been too dark some Allan had got the camera pointing at his foot in his general excitement. My favourite is “Oh! the battery is flat…Durrrr!” As I write he is getting ready to set off in search of a “foolproof camera”. One with his name on it.
Trina has invited us over to CHILLCOTT GARDENS in Madeley. A group of the residents from there saw us at the Telford theatre earlier in the year and requested us to go along and do a show. Nice to be wanted. Trina has her hands full just getting us there. Allan, who is still not on speaking terms with his Satnav, is having great difficulties reaching the destination. After many fruitless journeys up and down an industrial estate and me grizzling because I want a wee he has to ring Trina and she has to come out and fetch us.
What a lovely lady she is. She looked after so well all evening. The place itself is great. So many retirement type homes are not geared for shows but this has such a big room. Ideal.
The audience themselves were smashing to us. We met and chatted to some of the residents and their families. Great to meet the lovely Irish couple. Maggie was a very elegant lady. Look forward to seeing you all again next year.
Saturday 22nd November and we are back at GREAT HAYWOOD Village Hall. This is one of our best gigs of the year and we always look forward to it. The people here are just so special to us and give us such a lot of support.
A big thank you, as always for our food and to all the people who bought our new C.D. Commiserations to the couple, Dean and Celine who sat at the front for obvious reasons.
We couldn’t resist taking a photograph and you were such good sports. Stretching and dogwalking the causes of both separate incidents. At least no one fell over your legs…they glowed in the dark. Hope you are both better by now.
28th November and we have new directions to get to EARLSWOOD VILLAGE HALL and although we came perilously close to the Lakes we arrived without problems. Thanks to Jenny for her usual warm welcome and for the drinks, food and flowers that she buy for us.
So good to be here again and see so many friends like Charles, Michelle, Nadine and Patrick and all the crowd that sit at the back with their traditional feast. It gets bigger each year. By the second half things had quietened down a bit and the munching had almost stopped. Thanks to you all again for supporting us and for Mike and Euan who helped us out with the gear.
29th of November and we are so pleased to be back here at LOWSONFORD. Great to see all the familiar faces we remember from days of yore. Sorry to hear Bob can’t be with us tonight we still fondly recall his Christmas carols on the piano. All the best for a speedy recovery. Christmas party night is always special here. I have had to drag Allan away from the Buffet twice. Met some lovely people here tonight. Thanks to Peter from coming all the way from Bromsgrove. Thank you all again for a wonderful evening.
We are starting off the month with a lunchtime gig for CASS.
This is a very important group of people who organise what used to be called the Alzheimer’s Cafe. They are a tremendous help to the people suffering with Dementia/Alzheimers type problems and for their families. They offer help and support in a social setting to discuss problems and meet up for a chat.
Elaine, Jane, Jim and all the other people who organise and help out at these functions are lovely people. This is their Christmas party and we know a good number of them fairly well by now. Always good to see Kath and Malcolm. Malcolm is their resident comedian and has an an amazing backlog of jokes.
We had a lovely time with them and will be seeing some of them again soon at the Burntwood party. Happy Christmas to you all.
We’ re en route to another Christmas gig for our friends, the ladies at WALLHEATH. Jeanette has asked us over to their Christmas party. We have been coming here for years and they all know us well by now. Allan even managed to get his bowl of trifle before he performed…then he managed to persuade them to give him another after the show.
This is always well attended no matter what time of the year we do it. These are the real Black Country lasses and we love them. Great to see my old Wolverhampton Library friend Jill Elliott, as was. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.
A lovely lady named Annie has booked us to perform over at LOPPINGTON. We haven’t been there for several years so there are a few directions issues. We have just got back from a few days in Chester and tonight we are almost back there. WEM looked really pretty tonight. It is quite frosty and dry and everyone is out in all of the pubs and squares and coffee shops all dressed up for Christmas and singing carols. They are carrying lanterns and everywhere looks really festive.
It is the W.I. Christmas party tonight and they have invited the men if they promise to be on best behaviour. We have already been told by one of the men that they secretly call them the Wild Indians!! Everywhere looks pretty and they have hired caterers. It will be a couple of hours so we pop along to the village pub to relax a bit. The Dickin Arms is very warm and welcoming and always makes me wish we lived in a little rural village.
Great gig and met some lovely people. After many dark lanes we got back to the motorway at Telford to find it was closed. We ended up very lost, very grumpy and very hungry in the middle of nowhere. Finally got to bed about 2.30 p.m.
Saturday 6th and we are back at BALSALL COMMON for the SOLIHULL LIONS. Good to see Ross and Barbara again.
Thanks again to Ken and Jill and all our friends from the Sils who come and support us. We really appreciate it.
Thanks again to Mark who despite coming from Manchester coped manfully with the Black Country accent and did a great job as the Master of Ceremonies. Many thanks to the brilliant photographer who took such great photos and made us look almost normal. We shall be putting them on the Gallery. Special thanks to the wonderful audience for making it such a great night.
11th December and a realy rainy night as we set ff to STUDLEY. Elaine saw us in the summer and decided to book us for the Christmas party for STUDLEY WOMENS’ COUNTRY CLUB. This is their 50th Anniversary. It is a big turnout and amazingly just two ladies were responsible for doing all the incredible food for tonight. Elaine and Diane had put on such a feast………. I went back for 2 helpings.
Lovely to see Allan’s Auntie Margaret who had joined the club especially so she could come to this event to see us. She is such a nice lady. They were a great bunch and it all seemed to go very fast. Big thanks to all.
It is very cold tonight as we head for the centre of England…..MERIDEN. This is a Fundraiser for Cancer Research. Mary and Ron, and John and a big group of friends and helpers most of whom we know from the Old Sils are constantly fundraising for this cause.
They all work very, very hard and we are pleased to be back here again for them. Nice to be playing with Steve Best again. He is very popular with the crowd and does some great stuff for them to sing and dance to. Tipton lad so we all spoke the same language. Great guy.we like him a lot.
Big thanks to everyone who, as always, made us so very welcome. Really good people.
13th December and we re getting near the end of our Christmas run. The end is in sight. Brian has invited us back to REDDITCH MASONIC HALL which we haven’t played for a few years. As we were almost there we encountered an amazing sight. It was a Romany Gypsy Encampment. They had the old round roofed caravans and were sitting round a fire cooking their supper in a pot. It looked beautiful with the smoke rising and the frost on the ground and the old Romany lady stirring the pot. Not so good on the way back when their horses had got free and were wandering about on the dual carriageway. Allan wouldn’t stop so I could try to catch and tether them. His response was “We are on a dual carriageway and there is a car up my bum….Stupid!!” Harsh words and a heavy silence all the way home as I worried about their fate.
The gig was great though. Sorry to the young people on the table in front of me. Allan took their photo to prove that we had Street Cred!!…..as if!! The battery was too low so another lost opportunity to “Get down with the Kids!” Big thanks to the man who bought 12 of our Fifty Shades of Saft C.D.s. I hope your staff enjoy them. Thanks to everyone for making it a great night. We look forward to seeing you all again next year.
Getting close now to breaking up for Chrissy!!! Can’t wait! Off to a lunchtime gig just up the road at BURNTWOOD for the Carers Assoc. Christmas party. Malcolm and Kath are here again and Malcolm has remembered all of our jokes from last week so Kath is sitting with her hand ready to cover his moth if he shouts the punchlines. I keep telling him if I need another comedy partner I know where to go. Malcolm has been the poster boy for the Alzheimer’s Cafe. He has been in many Daily papers and even in the German ones. Once a lorry driver he suffered a brain aneurism which short circuited his brain. Now he tells jokes all the the time….and I do mean all the time. Kath, his wife is wonderful and has the patience of a Saint. His back catalogue of jokes is amazing and so is his timing. This is always a really happy gig and the people and their families and all the staff make it it so. They are all very appreciative. Big thanks to Elaine and Jane and Jim and all of the others people who give up their time and do this job so well and with such genuine compassion. It is very humbling.
Last gig before Christmas and we head off to DUDLEY MASONIC HALL to entertain DUDLEY ROTARY CLUB. We have played here many times and tonight Pauline Gregory who is President, and again, who we have worked for many times, has invited us over here.
David Attwood, who Allan has been dealing with is very self effacing and very modest concerning his amazing achievement. Rotary has been working together, all over the world, with the aim…”End Polio Now!” The work they have done and the results were incredible and showed exactly what dedicated purposeful people can achieve to help their fellow man. The figures for polio have dropped by an unbelievable amount thanks to their diligence and unstinting hard work.
David himself did a bike ride between Land’s Ed and John O’Groats during the 7th to the 16th September. He raised in excess of £8.000. Dudley Rotary then added some more money and Steve Job trebled it. The final figure worked out at something like £45.000
We had a lovely evening and we wish all of you a Happy Christmas.
Can’t believe Christmas has come and gone. I have just got my breath back and we are off again. We are headed over to SHIPSTON ON STOUR in the Cotswolds. After several futile attempts to find our venue (Satnav still in Allan’s sock drawer…….. so the Satnav lady….her with the posh voice has probably asphyxiated by now). He will not speak to her except to argue and question her every instruction…why does this sound so familiar? How humiliating we had to call the organiser and be talked in again. Nicky had booked us to come over for a Caravan meet her at the Sports and Social Club. Unfortunately there are two in Shipston and needless to say we had been to the other one first. The lack of light and activity there gave us our first clue! Nice to see so many people there in traditional Black Country Dress……tracksuits and hoodies! Only joking! They looked great with the shawls and black skirts and caps and weskits. Pity we couldn’t get any photos but the lights were quite low. Many thanks to all the guys who carried gear in and out. Much appreciated. Only problem was Allan had blocked in the Chinese Takeaway guy when he had to deliver to Chipping Camden.
Good audience and we knew quite a few from past events. Good luck to the lad at the back playing the Robin with the Troubadours. Nice to meet the ex Mayor of Dudley. Thanks to all who bought C.D s.and for making us so welcome again.
Last gig of 2014 and we are on our way to SHIRLEY CENTRE. Meeting up with friends Nicky and Cliff…….ETERNITY DUO to share the evening. They have asked for us to join them on the show which is great. The crowd there are always keen to come in and get going on the dance floor.
Good to see Nick’s Mum and Dad, who are in fact,our neighbours, Rog and Gill and also Cliff’s Mum and Dad, Ann and Cliff Snr. Lots of familiar faces from past years. Lovely to see our friend Hazel and her husband from Earlswood.
Long night to fill. Between us we did from 8.00 until 12.45 ish with 30 min. break for food. Nick and Cliff had them dancing with the first song and catered for all styles of dance. I hope they all enjoyed it as much as we did. Bit hard for comedy because there is such a big dance floor before the first row of people. Good fun and we all had a great time. Happy New Year to all who came and made it special.
THANKS AND GOOD WISHES FROM DANDY
Wishing you all Peace, Love, Health and Happiness in 2015. We would like to say a big “Thank You” for your continued support. From Hatton Village Hall in January through to Shirley Centre on December 31st it has been a real joy.
We have played 100 gigs 10,000 people over the past year! 72 of the venues we had played many times before.
Many friendships have been made on our travels over the years. It’s always great to meet you and to have a good chat.
Our second C.D……”FIFTY SHADES OF SAFT” went on sale at the beginning of September. It is now on it’s 3rd re-order. As we say in the Black Country….”we ‘cor believe it!” Many thanks to all of you for buying it.
We would love to see you at one of the venues we are performing at in 2015. Check out the Show Dates at the top of the Home Page or give us a call.