At the Railway we are fortunate not only to have our Residents, but also numerous Singers' Night regulars of widely varying styles. Apart from the ubiquitous guitar, some of our regulars play banjos, squeezeboxes, tootle-tubes of various shapes and sizes, bodhrans, even the harp, the dulcimer and the Northumbrian pipes - and now, Flemish Pipes!
Some singers prefer to sing unaccompanied (sometimes just because they can't be bothered to learn the chords!!), where others are grateful (Howard!) for all the accompanimental help they can get!
It is difficult to 'pigeon-hole' our regulars, which is why many of their names will appear more than once. Such is the richness and diversity of talent - we have fine instrumentalists who are also excellent unaccompanied singers, and some clever folk who write their own material.
Sadly, on Thursday 23rd January 2003, we were all stunned to hear of the tragically sudden death of one of our most popular contributors, Trevor Morton. We will miss you, Trevor.
It is quite normal for performers on a Singers' Night to carefully rehearse their chosen offerings, only to have the whole thing come crashing down as nerves take their toll. It's at such times that people realise adrenaline is brown... Trevor even parodied Cyril Tawney's song 'On A Monday Morning' to reflect what can happen 'On A Thursday Evening'!
So who are these people?
Our unaccompanied singers include Joan Gallimore, Charlotte Peters Rock (who writes most of her own poems and songs), Alan (our very own Shantyman), Yvonne, Helen, JJ, Ann, Geordie John, Reg (who specialises in songs about death and destruction!!), occasionally Brian (though he usually plays guitar), and Rob (if he is sober enough!!).
Singers who usually play guitar include Don (with wife, Heather), Stewart, Rick, Lesley, Bernard, Ed, Terry McKenna, Dave Pugh, Richard, Julie, Colin, Howard, Sean, Brian, Mike, Mark, Richard Peach (who is also a very mean fiddler!), and occasionally Rob. Nic and Lyn come all the way from Crewe; Lyn sings, occasionally playing mando-lyn(!) or 12-bar autoharp, and Nic accompanies her on banjo or guitar.
Our Julie is usually seen surrounded by blokes - her husband, John, who used to come to listen but now plays along on mandolin, and her backing group, Colin and Bob the Bass.
A lively atmosphere is guaranteed when Loose Elastic make an appearance - Dangerous Brian on 5-string banjo or bongoes, and Partially Paralytic Pete on guitar, harmonica and mandolin. They can also be seen propping up bars at various other watering holes... their FRACaS (Folk Roots ACoustic and Singalong!) at The Puss In Boots on Buxton Road, Macclesfield on the first Tuesday of the month is a must!
Our poets are Charlotte, Helen and Rob - with Fred, his infamous slug (who else but Rob could rhyme 'dyspepsia' with 'curl up next to yer'!?)!! Don is also a prolific songwriter.
Tootle tube players include Clare and Lesley, both of whom seem to have access to rather a lot of interesting plumbing, plus Colin and Bernard. Recently Rod and Daniel have proved to be an awsome combination duetting on whistle.
We can now boast a truly international flavour with the welcome monthly visits from Sylviane who hails from Flanders! She has a beautiful set of Flemish Pipes, disguised as Shaun the Sheep (of Wallace and Gromit fame), and plays them delightfully. She currently works in the vicinity of John'O'Groats, and visits friends in the Lymm area once a month - so we benefit, too.
Squeezebox players include JJ on D/G melodeon, Helen on 48 bass piano accordion and D/G melodeon and Bernard on 120 and 48 bass piano accordions (sometimes with Rob's 'help'!), English and Anglo concertinas, and various melodeons.
Dave Merritt can always be relied upon to provide interesting tunes on mandolin and other related instruments, including an intriguing Portuguese lute called a Laud (pronounced 'loud', and it is!). We also have our very own Marmalade Club Band - a motley group of ladies who meet for breakfast at Clare's house on Saturday mornings to practice tunes for Thursday - Helen, Lesley and Clare.
Derrick and Heather are a double act that defies description! Derrick's mouth moves, and produces the words, but we think that script writer Heather operates him with her foot - if not at the Railway, certainly on the way home!! Apart from Heather's scripts, Derrick also regales us with Stanley Holloway/Marriot Edgar monologues, and the odd Les Barker ode...
This page will be updated fairly regularly, keeping you informed about new faces who appear and giving you updated information about each performer. We also hope to include personal profiles on those performers who will submit to interrogation! Anyone who wishes to contribute is more than welcome to do so.
It is possible that we could include a photograph or two with each profile, but no-one will be included without their prior consent.
As so many people pass through the door on numerous occasions, it is inevitable that someone will have been overlooked... I'm sorry if I've inadvertently left anyone out - let me know, and I'll correct the omission!! If you've been included and would rather not be, that's fine, too! The same rule applies to any of my tongue-in-cheek rude remarks!!