Monday, August 09, 2010

South London Folk Clubs in the 1960s

Folk music in London (and elsewhere) is going through one its periodic revivals, with banjos and mandolins flying off the shelves of the capital's music shops.

Over at folk music site Mudcat they've been discussing the London folk clubs of the earlier 1960s revival, and a few SE London venues get a mention.

In the early 1960s, there was a Friday night folk club at the Railway Tavern on Catford bridge, and a club run by the Young Communist League in Forest Hill. Seemingly, 'There was often a sing song in the Three Tuns, Blackheath... a fine 'alternative' pub in those days'.

In 1967/68 venues for folk clubs included the "Rising Sun" at Catford, the "Mansion House" in Deptford, the two "Tigers Head" pubs (Old & New) in Lee Green, and a club called Tramps & Hawkers at a pub on Blackheath Hill. This may (or may not) have been at The Green Man at the top of Blackheath Hill, where a club was held in the mid-1960s with notable guests including Paul Simon. The pub has long gone, replaced by housing in Alison Close (according to Edith's Streets, developed in 1972).

There was also at some point (early 1970s?) the Quaggy Folk Club somewhere near Manor Park.

As with all SE London musical histories, would be interested in any memories of these or similar places.


Sarah Crofts said...

The Three Tuns was the birthplace of Blackheath Morris who are now based at the Ashburnham Arms, Greenwich.

The Rising Sun, Catford, was empty and boarded up the last time I went past.

Dave Styles said...

There was also The Melting Pot Folk Club which started in Streatham at the Manor Arms and continued at various venues including The White Lion in Streatham High Road. The principle house musicians were Bob and Ros Allen and various floor singers appeared dependant on who was there plus a main guest each week. This was run by the Streatham branch of the Young Communist League. The club closed long ago and Bob and Ros now reside in France. However it is still fondly remembered by many people some 4o years later.