I visited Sale in 1994 for their 21st anniversary celebration and it has taken me all these years to go back! It is a different venue, almost all are different faces and of course, different organisers.I have to say though that it is just as good if not better! The venue is the Timperley Traders club and I was immediately at home in this small but totally sparkling venue.
The branch organiser is Alan Newton and he welcomed the Yorkshire travellers (Vice-President Andy Poppleton, Peter Pollard, Tom Stratford and Malcolm Wood) in with genuine warmth. With so many familer faces around the room we felt immediately at home.Taking the door charge and selling raffle tickets was Debbie Lee with husband Dennis organising the draw. A raffle, I might add, that was almost the equal of Kitty Barratt’s famed Blackpool raffles!
THE SOUND MAN
Westhoughton’s Gary Hampson was on the sound desk and I couldn’t help but notice that Gary was always ready with the sliders on the mixer if perhaps a uke needed a little boost at the point of the song when the solo occurs. It is so nice to know (especial with my poor hearing) that the sound man is looking after your best interests.The entertainment was the same as at all the other branches that I go to, brilliant! Everybody both young or old, novice or expert, gets the same encouragement and warm applause and it all really does help to put the performers at their ease.
BERNARD’S NEW INSTRUMENT
One really nice moment was when chatting with good pal Bernard Gallery, who proudly showed me his latest purchase, a beautiful Abbott instrument which was formerly owned by the late and much lamented Alan Southworth. What a wonderful way to cherish the memory of Alan. I am so pleased that the instrument found its way into Bernard’s hands, which means that it will be seen and heard everywhere that Bernard plays.
MY NIGHT WAS COMPLETE!
A cup of tea and a bun at the interval was gratefully received and with the added attraction of the always entertaining Anthony Mason, my night was complete! There was even a mini archive display, part of which was the historic letter from committee member (in 1973) John Guy which declared that Sale was now the first branch of the Society.A visit to the Timperley Taverners Club on the second Friday in the month is to be highly recommended. The Yorkshire lads all returned home with the happy thought that they would be coming back regularly in the future.Over the years branches come and go but under the stewardship of Alan Newton, I feel sure that the Sale branch will be here for many years to come maintaining the proud boast that they were the first, and still the foremost!Peter PollardApril 2018