Squeezing in to The Old Ship


The Old Ship once again proved to be a very popular venue. As there were no diners, it was suggested that we use the dining area, just off the main bar. After Karen had done her usual job of rearranging the furniture, everyone who was there at the time was crow-barred in and we got started. However, Simon and John arrived a little later, so were left in exile in the main part of the bar and probably felt somewhat excluded. Sorry to them for that - next time we’ll spread into both areas.

A big welcome to Dave B for his first visit. It’s a while since we had a banjo at the club and was it was good to hear him play The Boys of Bluehill and The Fairy Hornpipe on it.  He later showed his versatility by playing Parson’s Farewell and Portsmouth on recorder and then the 1700’s dance tune Jenny Pluck Pears, accompanied by a surprised Alan on guitar.

It was nice to see Paul again. He played two sets of tunes on the melodeon: Rico’s & Swiss and the jigs Uncle’s & St Lawrence jigs. In between, he sprung a surprise by singing Will Ye Go To Flanders My Molly-O. This lovely interpretation was one of the highlights of the evening. 

It being out of term time, we had the benefit of Alison’s fine voice. She sang Arise and Pick a Posy, Working on a Railroad for a Dollar a Day and A Long Time Travelling Here Below, with accompaniment from her own duet concertina and Dave’s guitar. Dave started by adding some local interest with The Wycombe Caning Girls’ Song. His version of Dave Metser’s Ripple Away had the usual suspects joining in on the choruses. He had sung his own song, Gone Too Long For Returning, at Henley last week, and made a big impression on those of us there (despite the background noise). At Dave H’s request, he repeated it in quieter circumstances and was equally well received. From his place in exile, Simon played a set of tunes starting with The Lass of Richmond Hill.

Roger R is becoming a regular (at least when we’re at the pubs with good beer) and started with Fathom the Bowl and followed later with the very long, funny & popular Chinese Restaurant.

We seem to hear a new song from Dave H every week - this week’s was christened Crusades and is well timed for the upcoming St George’s Day. His other contributions were Plough & Sow and Smoking & Drinking.

Roger M had mentioned that he liked John Kirkpatrick’s marathon Belinda Brown, so Rosie dug out the songbook gave us an unaccompanied version. Later, she and Alan took us to the 1960’s with Sony Bono’s Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down). Their tunes were the reels The Musical Priest & Star of Munster and the jig My Darling Asleep.

We’ve heard The Jolly Beggarman from Karen and Roger for several weeks in a row now as Roger has encouraged Rosie to tag The Wise Maid onto the end. Following the successful rendition this week, we can manage without it for a few weeks now. Roger played Varsoviana on the guitar and sang a song (the name of which I can’t read from my notes) with a tune by Holst. Other songs from the evening were Innocent Hare, Man in the Moon and Let Union Be (Dick), Cornish Lads (Steve and Karen), Country Life (Steve), Follow the Heron Home (Karen and Roger) and the unusual You Will Burn (John).

The chalkboard at The Old Ship is now advertising the St Georges Day evening (23rd April), with English music (from us) and a special English menu of Beef Cobbler, Lancashire Hotpot, Toad in the Hole and yet-to-be-confirmed vegetarian and gluten-free options. Based on this week’s turn out, we can expect to fill the pub again, so booking for food is advisable. The regular suspects will get an email soon.

Back at TJ O’Reilly’s next week, where we’ll have more space, but significantly worse beer.

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