A last time at Stortfolk, Thursday 4th May 2017

Jon and Hilary McNamara (no relation) have given long and dedicated service to the promotion of folk music in and around Hertfordshire for over forty years. Sadly, as the lease runs out on the Royal British Legion club in Windhill, Bishop's Stortford where the club takes place, it looks like Stortfolk will be closing in July this year.

With this as background, it was lovely to be invited to play in the club’s final season last Thursday. Jon and Hilary have been very supportive of Na-Mara over the past decade and it was lovely to see them both again. It was similarly nice to see three separate groups of our friends there having travelled from London, Rochester and Cardiff(!) to see us perform.

Jon kicked the evening off with one of his trademark humorous music hall ballads, then other floor singers came up and performed, warming the audience up very well. The banter has always been of the highest quality at Stortfolk.

Our own performance was well received in what is the intimate setting of a side room in the clubhouse and the feedback at the break was very encouraging. The second half followed a very similar pattern but, this time, with additional input from a singer from Lancashire who sang some very funny songs indeed. Again, our second half went well and our new material was well received with audience members then proving very generous in purchasing Na-Mara CDs.

Thankfully, we had the chance before departing to pay our own tributes from the ‘stage’ to Jon and Hilary for their longstanding promotion of folk music and traditions in the county before saying a personal thanks to all of the friends that had travelled to see us.

Many thanks to Jon and Hilary for this invitation to perform one last time at Stortfolk and we wish them both well for a long and musical retirement. I know they both have plans to bring folk music to the town and, if these come off, we would love to support that venture.