April 6th 2018 (54th anniversary party)

A packed house of people busting a gut to enjoy themselves and stuff their faces with butties had turned out to help us celebrate 54 years of Rhyl Folk Club (beware of cheap imitations).

Jeff was still having major problems with his shoulder and announced that he was now engaged to the lady German doctor who had given him his prostate examination, as she had had his ring on her finger (thank you to someone at the back for that one). His set included “Get your hands off her”, many of us will still remember Ted doing this while simulating some sort of sexual activity, utilising a pair of borrowed ladies shoes as a prop.

Adrian sang a song about Robin Hood, but sadly not the “Richard Greene” version; excessive graphic violence.

Keith Price, our favourite scouser, had pawned his guitar midweek to raise the bus fare to be with us. I took pity on him and said he could borrow mine, possibly not a good move with someone from Toxteth. He did a Hank Williams song about a wooden Indian (the ones who took scalps on a Saturday morning at the Odeon, now called 1st race or native American or something pc.). He then picked up his fiddle and did a song without words, sometimes called “a tune”.

Me next. It’s always difficult to follow someone really talented, so it was a relief to find I was on after Keith. “I’m Gonna Be” at least gave some of the audience the best workout they’ve had for months.

Geoff Skellon had brought a 50 odd year old guitar made by his brother, but didn’t play it. He had a handful of schoolyard songs from Lancashire, which had me crying in my beer as I was transported to my childhood in N.E. Lancashire in the arse end of what was, still is and always will be a dirt poor area of Britain.


Always try to live in a marginal constituency. Burnley was always a rock solid Labour seat, so a Labour government would never spend any resources there as the votes were guaranteed, and the Tories would never spend money on the flat cap wearers who train whippets and light their farts and would rather have a prostate examination than vote for them. Rant over.

Alun sang one of his mam’s favourites, “Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn”. Beautiful. At one point I was afraid he wouldn’t get through it.

Mike had to follow that. The only song to be able to come close had to be his version of “Who knows where the time goes”. I don’t like being nice about anybody, but… .What a talent.

An extended break followed, with a table full of food and a cake. Ruth asked me to light “the candles” while she took the photos. Didn’t tell me that the tall ones contained material capable of a self sustained chemical exothermic reaction did she? Singed my eyebrows! With Ruth and Val sacked as number drawers, the task fell to Glenys and to be fair the raffle prizes seemed more evenly distributed. Snowball rolls over to 2000p next week.

T Gwyn settled the now very raucous crowd down with Betjeman’s “Indoor games near Newbury” – only mild suggestions of a sexual encounter.

Geoff Durno was a bit transatlantic with “Paradise” (Mr Peabody’s coal train) and “Do they have guitars in heaven?”. No.

Andy Gallagher also brought back memories of the latter stages of the club’s time at “The Bee” with “A pub with no beer”  and in the case of the Bee, no light bulbs or toilet paper.

Geraint had travelled up from Twickenham to be with us. His first song mentioned “Montgomery” – will there be a club weekend away this year? Hopefully, but I don’t know. I need to have a get-together with Alun and Wendy to organise a treasure hunt, probably taking place in June. “Wild World” featured the talents of the aforementioned Mr Jones on accordion.

Rather than put a selection of turns to eat up the last 20 minutes, EmCee decided that Keith needed the practice and made him do three before we all finished with “Wild Mountain Thyme”.

54 years of the club now clocked up, but if you look through the photos, although some have aged well, you won’t see many of pre- pensionable age. And where are the women?

Here’s Keith.


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