On the second Wednesday of every month there is a free evening's entertainment of easy listening music and readings and all members are invited and may bring relatives and friends with them. We marked the eleventh anniversary of these popular monthly events on January 10, 2018.
The idea of a free monthly evening’s entertainment at the Club started in late 2006. Sean Crehan and Alan Haigh had done a voluntary monthly bar duty on a Wednesday evening for many years and by the end of 2006 the number of customers had dwindled significantly. Occasionally, the bar takings reflected the pint that Sean bought for Alan and vice versa but nothing else. Gone were the busy days when bar staff were told their entitlement for their voluntary services was a free drink! Something had to be done. Invitations were sent to many people and the ‘free ‘n’ easy’ Wednesday evenings were underway, starting in January 2007. Monthly entertainments have gone on since then with very few missed events due to extreme weather conditions rendering the Club inaccessible so about 130 free evenings of songs and words have now taken place. Total attendance at these evenings is well in excess of 6000 now and we all hope to continue for many years to come and to welcome many more visitors and encourage lots more volunteers to entertain us.
Many evenings have a theme and sometimes the regular volunteer entertainers are joined by others. For example, the Club’s own Bungalow Band entertains us about once a year. They are an outstanding, eclectic group of entertainers, lively and tuneful and always extremely enjoyable to listen to for vocal and instrumental talent. If you have never heard them, make sure you see our adverts because they will be joining us again soon, but additionally, if you want to hear them practicing, they are at the Club every Thursday evening for an informal weekly session.
Paul Lally organises visits from time to time of sub-groups of a much larger local Barber Shop choir, Hallmark of Harmony, who were UK Champions in 2014 and performed very well in the World Championships held in the USA in June 2015. Such a group is Incline who will join us in April 2018. We also have an annual visit from the Sheffield U3A A Cappella Group (performing in June 2018) and a quartet of musicians, Cellar Vie, who will join us later this year. The Mackers (2 couples) are excellent regular and popular performers also.
As you will gather, the evenings are great fun for participants and audience alike. I cannot complete my notes, though, without thanking the Club member ‘regulars’. Chris Grant and David Hawley are excellent barmen. Female vocalists include Stephanie Dixon, Maureen Finnigan, Monica Grant, Mary Harrison, Anne Hughes, Roberta Kelly and Pat Sleath. We have had only one regular male vocalists - Paul Lally – but have recently recruited a few more, including John Rigby and Andy Walker . Hugh Finnigan plays piano solos and does some accompanying. David Hawley plays organ music on his keyboard from time to time. Readers include Pat Gormanly, Mike O'Callaghan, Jan Oxley, Betty Parkin and Prosper Paul. New talent is always welcome. (Ring me on 0114 2303070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Alan Haigh, March 2018