We had a lovely time at the Irvine Folk Club anniversary dinner. We eat lovely steak pie and desert and then presented Joyce Hodge with the Landmark Award! You can watch the video below. Here is the text of Simon’s speech.
There must have been something in the air in 1966! The Traditional Music and Song Association was formed following a concert in Blairgowrie and Stan Robertson and friends formed the Eglington Folk Club. I’m sure they never thought that we would be here tonight celebrating 50 years of the club. I’m sure they never expected crowds of over 100 people queuing to get in to listen to stars like Billy Connolly, Rab Noakes, Hamish Imlach, Danny Kyle and Tich Frier. What dedication its organisers have shown over the years and congratulations to the amazing Joyce Hodge who joined in 1968. You wouldn’t think talking to her that she has been with the club 48 years!
The Eglington and now Irvine Folk Club is not just about booking the stars though. They offer many local people their first taste of live music and also give musicians performance opportunities on the road to national and international prominence.
It’s not easy being a folk club nowadays and it takes true dedication and a want to make a difference to communities to keep them running. We are so lucky in Scotland to have people like Joyce and her committee who work hard to keep their clubs going through difficult financial times. I am very proud to be here tonight representing Hands Up for Trad to present the institution that is Irvine Folk Club with our Landmark Award. 50 years – what an amazing achievement and I can’t wait to see what is going to happen in the next 50! Here’s to Irvine Folk Club.