The 45th season saw the welcome return of Finest Kind from Canada and a first visit to the club of Brian Dawson, a sprightly 70 year old from Lincolnshire. Both of these guests did totally different, but equally, enthralling, nights.
We also celebrated the club’s 45th birthday year with specially designed T-shirts, sweat shirts and fleeces and, in March 2009, started to record a CD called "45 Years of Song". The CD consists of songs that have been sung regularly at the club during its 45 years of existence, including the song "Teeside Bridges" written by Eric Gooding in the 60s for a BBC song competition. All the songs are sung by the current residents and committee of the club and are intended to mirror exactly what audience hear at the club. Unfortunately it took longer to record and edit than expected and was finally launched in December 2009.
During our 46th season a few of the guests we booked were a little different. These included Irene Shettle and Ralph Jordan, with their unique show about the life and songs of Lucy Broadwood, and Pepper’s Ghost who returned for a second visit to the club. Their incredible magic lantern show of Victorian glass slides was accompanied by suitable songs and music. The Claque bought back a lot of memories (for those still able to remember) of the Songwainers and Isca Fayre, guests that the club booked regularly in the 60s and 70s. We also booked Brian Dawson for the first time and heard how he has personal links to a lot of the folk songs collected in Lincolnshire.
Our 47th season started with Cloudstreet, followed fairly closely by Column Sands. In November we had a musical play called “The Ancient Legacy” written by Eric and Eileen Payne. This was an evening of songs, music and sketches about the Green Man, combined to take us through the seasons of the year, and was an excellent production. We also had a similar evening in January when Life and Times performed their “Where The Working Boats Went” production. Both of these played to full houses and attracted a lot of interest. May saw the second visit of Finest Kind to the UK and, once again we had a full house and were treated to some incredible harmonies.
During the summer break the club opened up for a night to accommodate Tom Lewis who bought a party of Canadians and Americans from “across the pond” for a holiday tour encompassing folk festivals, clubs and the sights of the UK. The guests for the night were Quicksilver and some of the visitors also did floor spots.
Our 48th season kicked off with some great guests, Bill Whaley & Dave Fletcher, Bob Fox and Strawhead, to name but a few. We booked a lot of old favourites and also slotted in some ‘first-timers’, including Dan & Bonnie Milner, Cupola Ward and Pilgrims’ Way, all of whom played to full houses and were great entertainment.
Following the summer break away we galloped into our 49th season with the inimitable Benny Graham. A late offer from Karen Tweed, Carolyn Robson and Kevin Dempsey for a guest night was grabbed with both hands, gave us a room bursting at the seams and an incredible night of music and song. Unfortunately, one of our ‘nights with a difference’, The Merry Tiller, had to be cancelled due to snow, but the show was rebooked in July and was great fun. We also managed to book The Tea Cups, who gave us a great night of songs, humour and wonderful chorus singing.