Tuesday 21 July 2015

Folk in Skipton

Monday night in Skipton is Folk Club night at the Narrowboat. Every time we've visited a folk club or session on our travels it seems we've found a different combination of instruments.

It's years since I've seen a folk harpist – I think the last time was at a Kathryn Tickell concert in Penzance in the 90s. Last night was a singers' night, and there was a good mix of performances. It was thoroughly enjoyable, as such evenings usually are. I did one or two songs with my guitar, and our friend Margaret from Edinburgh was prevailed upon to do a poem in dialect, with lots of expressive action.

There was also a group of holiday makers from Scotland who helped the whole evening to go with a fizz and were very appreciative of it all.

Next morning we set out a little later than we should, and it was Margaret's first time at a tiller of any sort. Considering how windy it was, she quickly convinced us she was a natural.

We had several swing bridges to negotiate, and at one of them we found ourselves in the company of a day boat of holidaymakers who, extraordinarily, recognised Margaret and called across. Turned out they'd worked together on young people's camps in Scotland. So we dropped her off with them for a while between two bridges so they could catch up.

And then we caught up with a wide-beam full of the Scottish contingent who'd been in the folk club the previous evening.

We were coming to the first lock that both they and another wide beam of hirers had ever encountered, so we went up first, and my best beloved was glad to show them the ropes.

She must have done a pretty good job since they all turned up in Gargrave later, safe and sound.

I'd like to edit the local adage and say there's nowt so wonderful as folk.


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