Rhyl Folk Club was founded on Good Friday 1964 in the Palace Hotel Rhyl. It romped along there for 6 months but then a simple twist of fate occurred. The Rhyl Jazz Club folded and so the back room of the Bee and Station Hotel became free and the Folk Club upped sticks, guitars, banjos etc. and moved in. This was to be the home of the Folk Club for the next 34 years. The very first guest that appeared at the Bee & Station was the legendary Alex Campbell  who (for the princely sum of £25.00) astounded everyone. He was the first person that the audience at Rhyl had seen that actually scraped a living from folk singing, and the first person who had captivated them with his sheer presence.

During the 1960’s the club thrived, as did most Folk Clubs. With such artists as Martin Carthy, Bert Jansch, Bernard Wrigley and the seemingly ever present Alex Campbell. Every Friday it was guaranteed to be full with the audience spilling over to the adjoining room on guest nights. Looking back it was quite a treat to see people straining their bodies so they could see through the serving hatch into the main room.

The seventies saw a very slow but gradual decline, with the club switching nights from Friday to Sunday. This didn’t help so back to Fridays it was. The club still managed to put on guests when affordable and still afforded the opportunity for budding singers to come and display their wares.
The 80’s saw the resurgence in folk music with the club reaping the benefit. By now the resident band Common Time were holding the club together, with special treats from Mint Julep. As the 80’s progressed the residents had become Beez Kneez, eventually a six-piece band that made a hell of a noise, and pulled the audiences in.

As the years turned into the 90’s the established guest nights still continued with once again the likes of Martin Carthy, Wizz Jones, Bert Jansch, Dick Gaughan, and John Renbourn. Talent new to the club also started to appear such as Steve Tilston and Maggie Boyle, Tom McConville, Coope, Boyes and Simpson and Pete Coe. With a heavy heart the club had to leave the Bee and Station in the late 90’s, there was no beer. They moved across the road to ‘Costigans’ where it saw resurgence in attendance. Costigans had beer to sell… Every Friday the Singer’s nights continued unabated and now we were seeing more new-to-the-club artists The John Wright Band, Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby, Robin Laing et al.

During a short period at the Football Club, the individual who had been doing the day to day running stood on the stage and declared that Rhyl Folk Club was dead and he would be running a completely new club with a different name. At this point, all the people who had been at the heart of our club, organising and singing for the past years walked out and continued to be Rhyl Folk Club, briefly at The Sun and then at Tynewydd.

The club has met once a week almost continuously, come rain, hail, shine, no audience, no beer, double bookings, wrong guest bookings, ever since that Good Friday in 1964. There have been a myriad of guest artists from the great and the good to the purely outstanding, and it must be said on one occasion plain awful. The Singers Nights have brought on some excellent local talent.

In the 21st century and still going strong at Tynewydd Community Centre ;  come along – you’ll enjoy it!

Acknowledgement must be given to the people who have kept the club going since 1964. John Prys Williams, Dick (Van Ruthin) Davies, Ted Robshaw, Keith Price, Hadyn Smith, Brian Bull, Darryl Morley, Dave Costello, Alun Jones, Jeff Blythin, Mike Hand,  Roy Thomas, Margaret Hions, Campbell Finney, Rick Tynan, Tom O’Rourke, Barbara Bell, Mint Julep, Common Time, Beez Kneez, Rum Bum & Concertina and all the current committee. Apologies to anyone who feels they should have been included.



3 Responses to “About”

  1. Mike and Sheila Says:

    And also not forgetting the contributions of webmaster John ( the school dentist )

  2. Ian Davies Says:

    Greta reading this! One point – Pete Coe wasn’t new to the club in the 90s. I booked him and Chris back in 1975, I think it was. 🙂

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