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
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 choice.
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 nights).
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
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 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 to benefit.
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.