History

History of Folk Clubs in Barnsley by Dave Lawson;

A  Local History:-

The first folk club in the Barnsley area was the one held at The Alhambra in Barnsley, a pub which was demolished about 40 years ago, but which was situated very close to the town centre at the point where the roads to Pontefract, Doncaster and Sheffield met. The club was started by Tony Heald, a local teacher, and ran until about 1970. It was here that Dave Burland, Derek and Dorothy Elliott, Tony Capstick and other locally well-known performers first played.

Around this time, Dave, Derek and Dorothy started a Saturday night club at the Centenary Rooms, and clubs were established at The King George Hotel and The White Hart Hotel. There was also at some point, a club or concerts held at the Bowling Alley in Barnsley.

In the surrounding area there were at various times clubs at The Cock Inn, Birdwell, The Strafford Arms, between Dodworth and Hood Green, at The Cherrytree, High Hoyland, The Kings Head, Hemsworth, The Red Lion, Wath, The Rockingham Arms, Wentworth, The Dillington, Worsborough Common and The Ackworth Hotel, Ackworth. A very popular and successful club took place at The Rockingham Arms, now removed to Maltby and they often have top guest artists on.

In about 1977 a successor to the first club was started at The Wheatsheaf Hotel, at Townend, this being the only remaining club in the town itself, and this club remained there until The Wheatsheaf was demolished in 1992, ironically, to make way for a new road. At that time the club moved to The Shaw Inn, Racecommon Road, where it remained until 2010.

The Barnsley Folk Club celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1987 at the Wheatsheaf, it being generally regarded as being the same club which had originally started at The Alhambra back in 1962, and in 2012 celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Trades Club.

An annual Barnsley Folk Festival was held for a number of years, at a number of different venues, and was quite a large weekend event while it was held at the Barnsley Civic Hall, a very much scaled down event described as a singaround was then held at the Shaw Inn under the auspices of the Barnsley Folk Club until 2011.