Steve brought along Jane, who told us some of her fine stories. Simon's friend Chris came along for the first time in years and even made his singing debut. And Henry, who himself hadn't been to the club for a year or two, brought his "entourage" of young ladies. Yes, this sort of behaviour is absolutely to be encouraged.
Colin took his now customary position as MC and while Mike was present at the start, he didn't stay long enough to sing. After a short debate about the order in which people arrived, Colin asked Steve to start off the proceedings. His first song was Just As The Tide Was A-Flowing (Roud 1105). This is a May song ("One morning in the month of May"), which he hoped to excuse by saying he hadn't visited us in the previous month. Simon had no such excuse when he later sang The Galway Shawl ("...one pleasant evening in the month of May").
Henry explained his absence by saying he had been living in another part of the country for a year (Essex I believe) and it also transpired that since his last visit he had lost a large part of his left thumb, which made tuning his guitar quite difficult. All of his songs were of his own writing, subjects included the siege of Leningrad, an incident when someone called the police to a Rastafarian who possessed a machete (the policeman who came out was apparently quite pleasant) and the Guinness share-trading fraud of the 1980s. The last song Henry saw as a gift, since the affair involved among others Patrick, 3rd Lord Spens, so it had to be a rewrite of Sir Patrick Spens!
Terry wasn't too keen when Colin made a request of him, but he kept his clothes on anyway and sang Gary and Vera Aspey's The Phantom Flasher (which was what Colin really asked for after all). Simon, who had to follow that with his first song, apologised to June, the only lady in the audience at that stage, and sang his best riposte to Terry's song with Big Bamboo. Jane said that on the contrary there were no "ladies" in the audience - I assume she was simply suggesting that her mind was broad.
Jane's most personal story of the evening involved "three three loves of her life" which we were told were all walking sticks, and were all lost in various circumstances.
Chis, an occasional visitor and friend of Simon, made his singing debut in a low-key way with Frère Jacques. He sang it in English and French. Simon suggested that we should have sung it as a round but Jane said it was notoriously difficult to get folk clubs to sing rounds. She obviously had some experience of trying.
Colin sang Ralph McTell's The Girl From The Hiring Fair, which Simon noted was from the repertoire of our late friend, Ray Croll, so he went on to sing another of Ray's songs: The Smugglers' Song (Rudyard Kipling).
The evening song was closed in proper valedictory style by Terry, who sang Eric Bogle's Leaving Nancy.
Here's a selection of these and other songs sung during this session.
(Number of people present - 10, of which 7 performed)