It was another lovely evening in the company of the Hoy-at-Anchor Folk Club yesterday.
A glorious day, a great folk festival, the seaside, meeting old friends and making new ones – that is what we had yesterday on our trip to the south coast to play our part in the magnificent Broadstairs Folk Week.
We set off early to be at the Music Zone in The Charles Dickens School campus in good time to prepare for our afternoon workshop on tunes from the Celtic regions of Spain and France at 2.30pm and arrived with enough time to have a sarnie and set the room up.
Up early the next day for a transfer to Forsthaus Willrode. As he was throughout our stay, Jan was there to transport us two hours to a beautiful and newly restored hunting lodge on the outskirts of the town of Erfurt. The house is walled and circled by a moat meaning that the inside area forms a very natural open air auditorium.
After weeks of planning, we set off on a sunny Tuesday morning to travel to Stansted for our flight to Nuremburg to begin our involvement in the Wipfel Rauschen (Rustling Treetops) East meets West festival in Thuringia in Germany.
There is great comfort in visiting old friends and, after our enjoyable adventures to new locations, there was a different kind of delight in seeing many familiar faces amongst the audience at another excellent night with the Chesham Folk Club.
We have now played Chesham Folk Club a number of times and the club’s wonderful community feel is evident to all. They have club members who have been coming together to sing and perform for many years. The club is very welcoming to its guests and the exchanges between members are often hilarious.
Fortified by an excellent sleep and a monumental breakfast with family, we hit the road from Pudsey around lunchtime to get across to Much Wenlock to take part in the Festival at the Edge. The journey was agreeably uneventful and we turned off the M54 for Much Wenlock and the festival site around three in the afternoon.
The start of our long awaited festival weekend actually began by spending a bit of time making sure that all was in order for our next but one adventure for five days in Germany at the end of July. Having checked ourselves and our instruments in to our flights to and from Nuremburg, we had a light lunch and started off up the A1 to perform at the Hull Folk and Maritime Festival.
To the casual eye, modern day Croydon, with its mid-rise office blocks, its fancy shopping centres and its busy commuter station, feels like many towns in south-east England. It is interesting then to note its various links with the Spanish Civil War.
It was both an honour and a delight last night to participate in a moving evening of music and storytelling in the Trinity Fare Cafe in Dartford on the evening of Day 4 of the annual walk organised by the Refugee Tales organisation.
As it has been in years past, it was a great honour for us to be invited to perform at the Annual Commemoration event for the International Brigades, held by the IB Memorial Trust at Jubilee Gardens last Saturday lunchtime.