Copies of club newsletters
and Tykes’ News articles
#5 December 2018 - Tykes’ News
Thanks to Dave Everett for the following letter in
the winter 2018 edition of Tykes’ News
THE CROPPERS' - 33 years old and getting younger!
August 24th saw The Croppers folk and acoustic music club celebrating its
thirty—third birthday in style at their Friday night venue,The Star, Roberttown.
Over the years, along with traditional and contemporary folk, the Croppers has
provided a platform for all types of music, encompassing country and western, 60s'
pop, rock n'roll, 1940s' standards and blues to name but a few.
Headlining the celebrations on this milestone occasion in the club's history was a
melodic and personable duo who go by the name of Kootch (Welsh for 'warm and
comfortable'), featuring Dean Lilleyman and Beth Aveyard.
Beth we have been aware of for the past eight or so years, when, as a teenager, she
would often perform with her Dad, the superbly talented Pete Aveyard, sadly no
longer with us. Still only in her early twenties, with partner Dean, together they are
making a name for themselves on the local folk scene with their own arrangements
and stylings of both traditional and contemporary songs and ballads, some familiar
and some new, even to the seasoned ear .A standout for me was their version of Alex
Glasgow's plaintive 'Close The Coalhouse Door'.
The concert proved that they have a way of communicating with their audience which
immediately makes everyone 'feel at home'. During the evening, Beth also regaled us
with humorous stories about Pete which brought back many happy memories for
those of us who had the privilege to have known him over the years. It's true to say he
would have been proud of Kootch and their performance that evening.
Over the years, The Croppers has played host to various young traditional folk
musicians and it's interesting to see how they, like Kootch, are carrying on the
tradition but in their own way, still respecting the true essence of what it's all about.
Dave Everett – Winter 2018 Tykes’ news
#4 7th sept 2017
Thanks to Dave Everett for the following letter in the
autumn 2017 edition of Tykes’ News.
The Croppers Folk Club carries on regardless!
When the Black Bull, Birstall (the club’s regular venue) closed in March 2016, the
organisers had just two weeks to find another suitable venue to continue providing
Friday night folk entertainment for the good people of Cleckheaton and thereabouts.
After reviewing several possible venues in the immediate area, the organisers (Eric
and Carol Johnson and Geoff and Tilly Holland) decided on an ideal room above the
Star Inn at nearby Roberttown and one year on, it appears they made a very good
The room is considerably more spacious than previous Croppers venues, with plenty
of comfortable seating, which proved more than adequate when the club held its
recent 32nd Birthday Party Concert featuring the one and only Dave Burland.
Following a proven formula, The Croppers still continues to offer an eclectic mix of
acoustic entertainment including both modern and traditional folk music and
instrumental sets, country, pop standards, rock n’ roll etc, plus poetry and even the
odd monologue or two. Local songwriters have also been known to hone their craft in
front of a Croppers audience.
Renowned for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, the club has, over the past
year, also attracted both guest performers and visitors alike from as far away as
Liverpool, Lancashire and Derby. And as an added temptation, if one would like to
make a night of it, the restaurant menu at The Star comes very highly recommended.
Except for Christmas and the Cleckheaton Festival, the club is open for business
every Friday night from 8.30 to 11.30pm and admission is free (except for concert
20th May 2016
Just a little note to bring you up to date and remind you of some dates for your diary.
Cleckheaton Folk Festival.
We are now almost into June and therefore it will not be long before the Cleckheaton
Folk Festival is upon us. The Festival runs from Friday 1st July to Sunday 3rd July
and therefore, as usual, The Croppers will not be open on that Friday evening.
You will probably recall that last year we had booked Whitney Gin for our annual
“party night” but they unfortunately had to cancel. We are pleased to confirm that
they are now singing again and are able to come to us. We have therefore booked
them to appear on 12th August and will let you have details as to the tickets and
arrangements nearer the night. We hope that as many people as possible can get
here to enjoy a good night.
As mentioned in the last newsletter we now have to pay for the room (£25 per week)
and with the cost of the raffle prizes this means that we need to average about £35
per week to maintain the “status quo”. At the time of writing we have had six weeks
here at The Star and this equates to £150 in room hire and £60 for the raffle, a total of
£210. Over the six week period 129 have attended and the amount taken for the
raffle is £220.50 plus a further “contribution” of £5 making a total of £225.50.
You can see therefore that as people have changed their usual £1 for a strip to £2 we,
or rather you, have covered the weekly cost with a little bit to spare. We therefore
take the opportunity of saying thank you to you all for the increased support.
Eric, Carol, Tilly and Geoff
1st April 2016
Welcome to The Star, the new home of our club. It was quite a bombshell when Mel,
the landlady of The Black Bull, told us that the brewery were closing the pub and we
would have to find a new home. It is fifteen months since we moved into The Black
Bull and from the comments we have received from both frequent and infrequent
visitors the room and atmosphere were “just right”. Whilst we have had to change
rooms we are sure that the usual warm and friendly atmosphere will remain.
Our search for a new venue took us to more than one hostelry and whilst lots of them
were rejected for one, usually small, reason or another we feel that The Star “ticks all
the boxes”. We hope that you agree.
You will probably have noticed but just in case you missed it there is a dining area
downstairs serving meals. During a visit to view the room we, the committee, felt
obliged to do some research and check the food on offer. We can confirm that the
wine was very acceptable and the home-made battered haddock, chips and mushy
peas were very tasty. One of the party felt that for variety’s sake a meat dish had to
be tried and the sirloin steak proved to be most acceptable. We hope to be in a
position, in the not too distant future, to comment on the rest of the menu. One word
of warning, the food is freshly cooked to order and you might, therefore, wish to allow
yourself a little extra time so that you don’t miss Eric’s prompt start at 8.30(ish).
Over the years the club has never had to pay for the hire of the room but
unfortunately this is no longer the case. We have always had the tradition that, apart
from “guest nights”, we do not charge an entry fee and we hope that this will continue.
However, we do have to find the money to pay our weekly “rent” and whilst we can
cover it for the immediate future we might have to consider either increasing the cost
of the raffle tickets or placing a box at the back of the room for voluntary contributions.
Of course, if we manage to sell more raffle tickets either through an increase in the
number of people attending or existing members buying two strips instead of one then
neither of these options will be required. We will keep you informed as we go along.
Whilst writing we take the opportunity to thank you for your continued support and
look forward to many more happy nights together.
Eric, Carol, Tilly and Geoff
Now that we have settled into our new home we, the committee, have been
considering how the club should be run in the future. We do not anticipate any
changes on a grand scale but feel that you should have the opportunity to comment
on the few small alterations that we are considering.
We will be continuing with our “birthday” party night and in addition to booking a guest
we propose that we should have two of our regulars to provide a “twenty minute spot”,
one in the first half and one in the second. The particular regulars will be chosen on a
rotating basis so that everybody who wants to be in the spotlight gets a chance.
As our attendances have increased and hopefully will increase even further it does
mean that we have more of a surplus from the raffle each week. Whilst the funds will
continue to be used to pay for the guest artiste and keep the ticket prices to a
minimum we do feel that we can offer a further prize. This will be a £10 voucher
towards the cost of a meal here at The Black Bull. It will not be offered every week
but on an irregular basis as and when considered appropriate.
Mel, our landlady, has the occasional “charity night” and we feel that it would be
appropriate if on such nights the club was to make a donation to the appeal. It is
proposed that the donation is the proceeds of that night’s raffle, perhaps with a bit of
adjustment to a “nice round figure”.
Finally, we also feel that some of the raffle profits could be directed to a local charity
or suitable “good cause”. Once again, this would not be on a regular basis but would
be, say £50, as and when it was considered that it could be spared.
If you have any comments, in favour or against, then please do not hesitate to speak
to one of the four of us or write them (anonymously if preferred) on the back of this
letter and leave it somewhere to be collected. You might like to confirm whether or
not you would like to do a “twenty minute spot” and also which charity you would like
We apologise for the length of this note but as it is your club and your money we want
it to be run how the majority, if not quite all of you wish.
Eric, Carol, Tilly and Geoff.