Newsletter 0903 Last month's Newsletter

Hi Everybody, Long time - no newsletter !

Sorry about that but as we knew we would not be at 'The Mariners' in August there seemed little point really! This means that we have lots to get through this time around.

First and foremost, the elusive CD !!! - IT'S FINISHED and being produced as we speak. I most certainly AM NOT going to speculate as to when the CDs will be available but it will not be long now, and you will love it. - It IS right and it IS good you have my word on that, and it IS worth waiting for I promise you. It will make excellent Christmas presents for your family and friends to boot !!! 21 tracks all for 10.00! (Not bad eh?)

As you know we have new 'host's' at 'The Mariners'. Anne and Phil have gone into retirement. A new landlord is now in place and I'm told that they want to keep our 'First Saturday' open for us, although the first Saturday in November has been cancelled at 'The Mariners' so we are going to have this monthly evening at The George Hotel, South Molton ( Web site shows all details)

Okay, now for things Past, Present, and Future.

Since I wrote the last newsletter we had Tom and Barbara Brown on 7th June together with a goodly audience. For those who came I think they will all agree that it was a really good night One of the best for a while in fact. Good audience, good company, and good singing as well.

On 20th June we made our second visit to Reed Hall at Exeter University. We were invited back for a repeat of last years very successful night, raising money for the National Trust.

The 28th June saw us on the 'Kathleen and May' - It was really good, and I for one was so surprised that we were able to seat 70 people in the cargo hold and still room for more !!! So make sure you come the next time we are there folks.

At 'The Mariners' on 5th July we were without guests once again.(More about guests later) Our local supporters, and singers, came along and we had a 'Cracking' night.

The 12/13th July saw us at the Swansea Maritime Festival meeting up with old friends and meeting some new ones. I recall the group 'Stormalong John' from Liverpool that started singing shanties the year after we did. They gave some excellent performances and we sang a ' few ' with them as well. It is always a good festival and even some of our loyal fans were there to cheer us on. It showed all of us how much our format has changed over the years and widened our horizons as far as music and singing is concerned.

We did our annual 'Stint' for Services for Open learning (SOL) on 17th July at the Instow Yacht Club entertaining teachers from foreign parts, mostly from Eastern Europe. They always seem to enjoy these evenings and we always get to hear folk songs from their own countries as well which we always feel is fantastic. - Certainly it helps to bring all our different cultures together in the mutual exchange of music and song.

Moving on to the 19th July, we did another trip to the Midlands, this time to Redditch to raise funds for the RNLI and it went well. Last time we went to Bromsgrove raising funds for the local hospice. AND they will be giving us 3 or 4 dates for next year as well. Certainly we have a growing band of followers up there which feels good but the travelling up and back the same night is a bit much really. - We don't seem to get back home until 2.30 a.m totally 'knackered' after the show, and the driving of course.

The concert at Woolacombe village hall on 1st August with 'The Yetties' and Tony Beard from Radio Devon was a super evening . We had hoped to raise 1,000 clear on the night but in the end it was just over 500. Still, even that is better than a 'kick in the pants' I suppose. Thank goodness for Tony's group of intrepid walkers. They walked across Devon from coast to coast and were sponsored to the tune of 1,500 which was brilliant. We must not however forget our fantastic band of regular supporters who support us at the vast majority of such events. Certainly our successes are largely down to you Good folks SO THANK YOU ONE AND ALL In total we were able to give the Childrens Hospice South West 2,000 That's two thousand pounds !!! (A lot of 'Mazuma' in any language)

I had a bit of a surprise on the 5th August - Terry Nicholls who once played guitar and mandolin with us came for a visit. He and his family are looking well. Terry is now living back in Yorkshire and is a school teacher ("Not another one" I hear you say !!!) It's okay really - Terry teaches English and Rupert teaches music ! It looks like Terry and his family will be down in October to stay with me for a few days. I've asked him to try to make it for 'The Mariners' on 4th October if he can, and I've also asked Sue (Terry's wife) to bring her Keyboards along with her. - I reckon we could have some fun that night. If he is unable to make it for the 4th October then we will no doubt have a special evening for him (and us) somewhere or another.

Next in line we had a little concert in Barbrook Church on 8th August to raise some very necessary funds. It's only a little church but the place was full and the acoustics were incredible to say nothing of the excellent grub (Tony was happy!)

Some of you missed a really good night at Woolacombe village hall with Bernard Wrigley. Without doubt he is the funniest man I know and his performance was first rate. He won a lot of new fans that want him back here sometime soon. The only draw back was we weren't able to get an alchohol licence so we had to make do with soft drinks or 'bring your own booze'. No matter, it still went well and we have gained some new friends into the bargain. Can't be bad...........

We have Ian and Sally Gunn to thank for getting all the drinks wholesale for us and on 'Sale or return' to Barbrook Post Office THANK YOU Sally and Ian, it was much appreciated.

Next comes The Present. Saturday 6th September we have Fred Wedlock with us at 'The Mariners' Fred was at 'The George Hotel' a couple of years ago as most will remember. This time, by popular request we have him at 'The Mariners' which is good news as far as I'm concerned. Fred is an excellent entertainer. It's a good while ago since he was actually in the 'Top Ten' with his song 'The oldest swinger in town' ( I remember it well - or was it my Dad that told me about him ?) More than likely you will be reading this on the night Fred is here so you will see and hear for yourself the entertaining talent of this man. This then will be the last guest we will have for a while, possibly until March next year. This is intentional because of YOU our supporters just want to see us !!! Very flattering of course, and very gratifying to know that you hold us in such esteem ! We need your support in all our we do. We love playing and singing for you, and now we need your talent as well so, if you play, sing, or just listen we would like you to come along and sing or play for us sometime. This is also a great opportunity to introduce some new friends into the fold. Bring someone along with you please.

This next year will be our 9th year at 'The Mariners' - We started in the pub restaurant which grew to an audience of around 25 people. Because we then seemed to be encroaching on the restaurant bar, Phil the previous landlord, had the back skittle alley made larger for us. We now average 75 people. Sometimes that goes up to over 100. Not bad eh? With your help lets see if we can get that figure to an average of 100 - You are the only ones that can do this.

Now The Future. Nothing much happens now until the 1st October when we are returning yet again to play at 'The Yetties' club in Sherborne. We will be hiring a coach so if you would like to come along with us then please let Kathleen know 'Pronto' Remember that we leave Fairview car park in Barnstaple at 5.00 pm and return to the same place at about 2.00 am the following morning. As on previous occasions the Fish Shop next to the venue will be opening specially for us that's if you would like 'Fish 'n 'Chips' when you get there. Hearts of Oak pay for the coach although there will be a small fee of some sort on the way back. That, dear friends, will be left to Gladys and Kath. - Get your names down ASAP Please.....

We will once again be back at 'The Mariners' on 6th October for another 'Hearts of Oak' musical evening. --------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Bideford Folk Club
Still meet at
(Behind the Pannier Market in town)
Everyone welcome especially if you Sing, Play, Say or just listen

Autumn is here and Winter beckons. It was a good Summer though. It will soon be time to start thinking about Carol Concerts and the North Devon Mummers. And Christmas of course !!!

As soon as we get the Mummers dates we will let you know the actual dates and venues. The next Newsletter will probably be in November so we should have all the information by then.

Certainly our last night this year will be on 6th December and we then miss January as usual. By November we should have our arrangements for 2004 at 'The Mariners' confirmed................

If you have not done so already then check out our website for all current information concerning 'Hearts of Oak'. That's :-

'Hearts of Oak' at the 26th Annual Dartmoor Festival

Thank you dear friends for all your help and support. I've said it many times I know, "Without YOU it just wouldn't happen" especially when you support our many charity events everywhere - It's always good to see you, and we are always interested to hear what you have to say and all of us value your help and advice.

All our very best to all of you. - See you all next time,

John Parker on behalf of us all thats :

Tony Piper, Ian Hudson, Rupert Kirby. Gladys Bosence, Alison Casey, and Kathleen Davey.


For all further info contact Kathleen on (01598) 760354 Alison on (01271) 813352 or John on (01271) 374286 or email us.