Bothy 50

During the weekend 24th 25th 26th April 2015 we celebrated 50 yrs of the Bothy Folksong Club.

‘Folksingers Off To Flying Start’ ran the headline in the Southport Visiter in late April 1965, heralding the start of a new era in town when the Bothy Folksong Club opened at the now-demolished Railway Hotel in Chapel Street.  Maybe you were there? Maybe you’re still coming along, for here we are all those years later gearing up for our 50th Birthday with a golden year of events...... Clive Pownceby ( see full article below)

The original Bothy Folk Group L-R

Tony Wilson, Stan Ambrose, Dave Boardman, Christine Jones.

An early flyer from the late 60’6

Details for the run up to & the 50th weekend celebrations.

Sunday 19th April 2015

John Kirkpatrick  at the Bothy Starts our Birthday week........

Monday 20th April

Monthly music session at the ‘Guest House’ Union St.

Friday 24th April

Ceilidh at St John’s Hall, Wright St Southport with Hekety with caller Roger Downing * Sold Out *

Saturday 25th April

Afternoon, Music & Song session in the ‘Guest House’ Union St.

Southport Swords & Argarmeles Morris dancing around Southport

Free Concert in The Wayfarers Arcade, Lord St,

Wayfarers approx running order

11.00 Pete and Friends

11.15 Southport Swords

11.30 Nev Grundy

11.45 David Hirst

12.00 Argameles Clogs

12.15 Bill

Break ...............

2.00 Bev Sanders

2.15 Raphael  Callaghan

2.30 Southport Strings (Sarah Marks

2.45 Southport Swords

3.00 Ray  Rooney

3.15 Chris & siobhan Nelson

3.30 Cllive Pownceby

3.45 Bothy Chorale

4.00 Finale  .

 Evening, Party at The Mount Pleasant Manchester Rd. Free but must have advance tickets, (inc buffet).

Sunday 26th April

Afternoon Concert with Roy Bailey & *Grace Notes at The Park Golf Club

* (Janet Russell will now be appearing instead of Grace Notes, following the sad passing of Maggie Boyle).

 Sold Out

Sunday 26th April

Evening Concert with Allan Taylor, Pete Coe & Steve Tilston at the Park Golf Club Sold Out

The Bothy has spawned various offshoots over the years..........

Southport Swords

Argarmeles Morris

Southport Mummers

‘Folksingers Off To Flying Start’ ran the headline in the Southport Visiter in late April 1965, heralding the start of a new era in town when the Bothy Folksong Club opened at the now-demolished Railway Hotel in Chapel Street.  Maybe you were there? Maybe you’re still coming along, for here we are all those years later gearing up for our 50th Birthday with a golden year of events.  That initial press piece went on to detail how it was ‘standing room only’ with ‘latecomers turned away’ and whilst we can’t guarantee that level of activity every week, it’s fair to say that the flying start with ‘Folksinging more popular today than it has been for some time’ (Southport Visiter again) has been built upon and nurtured, making the Bothy one of the longest running Folk Clubs worldwide.

Outgrowing the room at the Railway, and for 38 years operating at Birkdale’s Blundell Arms, a move was made to the former Shelbourne Hotel on Lord Street but since 2007 the Park Golf Club near Hesketh Park has been our base.  

The academic concept of Folklore generally is a fairly recent one, dating from the mid-19th century and different people have divergent ideas about what constitutes a folk song as such. Suffice to say that the term can embrace many styles from traditional ballads through self composed singer/writer material, unaccompanied, electric – a consistent definition is elusive! Let’s just say that the continuing fashioning and refashioning of the music by those who perform it gives its ‘folk’ character and that without this evolution you have mere museum pieces.

The Bothy has always featured the different strands in its choice of booked artists and Resident singers; - this eclecticism has kept the flame alive for so long. We may be famous as the club that turned Paul Simon away for not being up to much (a bit exaggerated that one, but not entirely without foundation!) but we have employed Barbara Dickson on occasion and if she’d like to come back for £18 again, she’s very welcome!  

We continue to thrive and whilst retaining die-hards from the ‘60s,

to attract newcomers week after week. Thank you for your support if you’re one of the former and why not join their number if you’re one of the latter and enjoy the live atmosphere of a true Southport institution? ..... Clive Pownceby

Here is a list (not in order & by no means complete) of the guests we have had in the past 50 years............

Ewan McColl & Peggy Seeger, A.L. Lloyd, Shirley Collins,(& Dolly),  Hedy West, Caroline Hester, Trevor Lucas, Micheal Cooney, Peter Wood, Roy Harris, Sean Cannon, Canny Fettle, Sara Grey, Barbara Dickson, Nic Jones, Mike Harding, Mike Whelans & Ali Bain, Bernard Wrigley, Martin Carthy, (& Dave Swarbrick), John Doonan, Lean Rossleson, Alister Anderson, Tom Gilfellon, Johhny Handel, Colin Ross, High Level Ranters, Cyril Tawney, Bill Caddick, Watersons, Young Tradition, Pete Bellamy, The Dransfields, Magic Lantern, John Kirkpatrick, Jaquie & Bridie, Pete McGovern , The Taverners,  Terry Gould, Isla Cameron, Jimmy Mc Beath, Louis Kileen,  Mc Peake Family,  Nigel Denver, The Yetties, Christy Moore, Dave & Toni Arthur, Tim Hart & Maddy Prior, The Clutha, Simon Prager & Steve Rye, Alan Taylor, Don Partridge, Jon Raven , New Deal String Band, Lea Nicholson, Gasworks, Rab Noakes, The Gaugers, Mr Fox, The McCalmans, Finbar & Eddie Furey, Jack Hudson, Decameron, Mick Maloney, Tom Anderson, Hanna Hutton, Royston Wood, English Tapestry, Tim Lyons, Strawhead, Bob Davenport, Archie Fisher, Chris Foster, John Howson & Barbara Bennion, Jo Ann Kelly, Bob & Carole Pegg, Sydney Carter, Swan Arcade, Harry Boardman, Gary & Vera, Tim Laycock, Fred Jordan, Dick Gaughan, Alison McMoreland, Steve Ashley, Hot Vultures, Bobby Eaglesham, Fiddlers Dram, Bob Cann, Roy Bailey, Tony Rose, Bob Fox, (& Stu Luckley), Peg Leg Ferret, Tufty Swift, Frankie Armstrong, Peter Bond, Dave Goulder, Pakie Byrne (& Bonnie Shaljean), Paul Downes & Phil Beer, Jimmy Crowley, Nick Dow, Donal Maguire, Dave Burland, Pete Coe (& Chris), Muckram Wakes, Dave Evans, Paul Metsers, Jez Lowe, Martin Wyndham Read,  Jim Mageean & Johhy Collins, John James, Gerry Hallom, Pyewackett, Alan Bell Band, Bernie Parry, Graham & Eileen Pratt, Jim Couza, Allan Taylor, Stanley Accrington, English Tapestry, Cosmotheka, Rae Fisher, Bryony, The Kipper Family, Stormalong John, Dan ar Bras, Ashley Hutchings, Pete Morton, Johnny Chopppin, Duck Baker, Andy Irvine, Brian Peters, Janet Russel, Clive Gregson & Christine Collier, Mike Silver, Robib Dransfield, Paddy Tunney, Steve Tilston, The Wilsons,  Maggie Boyle, Grace Notes, Roger Wilson , Steve Turner, Tom McConnville (& Pauline Cato), Keith Hancock, Gordon Tyrall, Sally Barker, Artisan, Chris Wood & Andy Cutting, John Pearson, Cockersdale, Huw & Tony Williams, Hughie Jones, Chris Smithers, Chris Newman & Mai re ni chathersaigh, Chris While (& Julie Mathews), Garva, Ken Nicol, Kelly While, Show of Hands, Tom Lewis, Pint & Dale, Bill Prince, Garva, Sisters Unlimited, Eddie Upton, Quartz, Robb Johnson, Kate Rusby & Kathryn Roberts, Coope Boyes & Simpson, Lester Simpson, Ben & Joe Broughton, Kevin & Ellen Mitchell, Helen Watson, Robin Laing, Damien Barber, Kieren Halpin, Tom & Barbara Brown, Bill Whalley & Dave Fletcher, Dave Webber & Annie Fentiman, John Connolly, Jane & Amanda Threlfall, Debbie McClatchy, Tom Napper, Tom Bliss, Benji Kirkpatrick, Ed Rennie, Cloudstreet, Tanglefoot, Jon Brindley, Dana & Sue Robinson, The Witches of Elswick, Lynne Heraud & Pat Turner, Quicksilver,  Judy Cook, Bryony, Mick Ryan & Pete Harris, Anthony John Clarke, & regular friends Blue C & John Pearson, Scolds Bridle, George Papavgeris, Duncan Mc Farland, Bridget St John, The New Modern Idiot Grunt Band.......... And many more.

Golden Oldies

Send in your memories


Pete Rimmer & Paul Reid

L to Rt Mark Dowding Harry Boardman & Clive

Mr Blundell’s Alms Ceildh Band

Stan Ambrose & Geoff Speed


Stan Ambrose, Dave Boardman & Tony Wilson

Back Row :- Rick Scott, Frank Sellors, Sue Fox, Raphael Callaghan, Jim James,

Sitting :- Tony Wilson & Dave Whitehead

Jim Kanneen (with Guitar), Frank Sellors, Sue Fox & me. Anyone know the other two?

Featuring Pete Munz & Cathy Stewart singing, Jim James (guitar) Mick Rimmer Bass, & Clive? Fingering ear.

Southport Swords at The Blundell

Southport Swords at The Scotch Piper (I think)

Bothy moves to the Shelbourne with, Chris Nelson Bev Sanders, Pete Rimmer & Clive Pownceby

A few photos from the celebrations .....

More to follow......