Wow! What a great, fantastic weekend was enjoyed by all present,
especially as we had a number of members joining us for the frist
time in Guy Clover from Cornwall, Tony Martin and ex-patriot from
Italy, and Alan Blundell from Essexand these were joined by
Alan and Sandra Hodges from Wales, Aileen Hughes from Glasgow,
and Ann Theriault from the USAwho we met for the first time
in America in October. So, together with Daniel and Maria from
Portugal, and Brith and Arild from Norway we had a truly
International companywith a common love in Ricky Nelson.
all met up in the Lismore Hotel Friday afternoon, and after a
lovely meal met in the function room set aside for us and just
chatted and listened to Ricks music until well after
midnight. Saturday was a free day to do some sight-seeing, where
some took the opportunity of looking round Canterbury and
its awesome Cathedral before meeting up once again for the
the meal, John Hutchinson once again did our annual quiz quite
admirably, and then everyone just seemed to want to talk and look
at photo albums and the like, and then Guy and Arild got their
guitars out that they had brought with them (remember, this was
the first time they had met) and after 30 minutes of
practicing together in the now empty dining room,
they entertained us for maybe an hour or so with a host of ricky
songs. It was GREAT.
year old father-in-law was with us once againhis 3rd time
now (as was the mother-in-law) and as usual he was usually the
last to go to bed!! But everyone loves his and hes well
part of the family, and singing along with us.
Julie and Andrew had organised a day trip to Hever Castle, the
birthplace and home of Anne Bolyn on of Henry V111s wives,
and that was a really special treat enjoyed by us all, and the
trip pased all too quickly.
dinner, everything was cleared away for our evenings
entertainment in the shape of Darrel Higham and the Enforcers.
This was the first time I had seen them let alone hear of them,
and boy were they GREAT! - absolutely fantastic. They play pure
rockabilly of early/mid/late 50s music, and their
interpretation of some of Ricks songs was fabulous. They
played two spots, and I think it was two encores.
told later that Darren had been playing the guitar since he was
12 years old (with apologies if Ive got that wrong), and it
certainly showed. A true professional, a superb singer, and an
outstanding guitar player. WHAT A PERFORMANCE. Credit must also
be given to one of the finest Slap Bass players Ive ever
seen, and a superb drummer to boot. It turns out that they are
due to play a date only some 20 miles from me later from me, in
Lytham St Annes in a few weeks time, so we aim to go and see them
While the lads
enjoyed a well earned rest with a pint or two, Guy and Arild set
up to do a repeat performance of the previous night, and provided
us with some great entertainment. In fact, I remember looking to
my left while they (and the rest gathered) were singing Garden
party, and there was Darrel standing a few feet away in a small
group, singing away with the rest of us, complete with pint in
So too were a
group of Julie and Andrews friends who had joined us for the
evening. They were all part of Julie and Andrews
gang from their rockabilly-swing dance classes, and
BOY could they all dance. Superb, as was the excellent
discoa truly memorable experience for all.
Anyway, I digress
a bit. Guy suddenly went up to Darrel after singing Garden Party
to ask some quick advice from him about how to play a particular
chord, he had only been playing the guitar a few months. Darrel
(and the other two guys) were very supportive and appreciative of
Guys and Arilds efforts, and the bass player even
came up and did a couple of numbers with them, and then Darrel
came up for one on the drums, and THEN ended ups backing them up
on bass!! (see picture below), and one of Julie &
Andrews friends went on the drums with them.
This to me is what
good music is all about. REAL musicians just want to
jam and play (and enjoy) music as often as they can.
Rick always used to enjoy these kind of jamming
sessionsand it was so spontaneous and honest. Well done
Darrel and well done your group and well done Guy and Arild and
everyone else. We really enjoyed it. Thankyou.
A Special vote of
thanks here to Julie and Andrew for all their efforts, not just
for this years, but for last years also. Its just a
shame that business commitments have regretfully meant that they
will not be able to organise these in future. They want me to
pass on their thanks for all the support they have received and
for the HMV vouchers. But they are delighted to know that Harry
Kershaw is back with us and will be organising next year's
get-together. This was announced on the Friday night to a
tremendous reception, so we eagerly await it.
done yet as we all got together to pose for the annual group
photo. What a motley bunch we all are, as I think you will agree,
but a more loving, friendly bunch of people I have yet to meet,
and I hope that this biased report may encourage some
more of you to join us for the first ime. As I have said, it was
very encouraging and special to meet with those joining us for
the first time.
All too soon the
weekend was over, and next morning it was time for us all to say
our farewellswell almost! Syl and I had decided to travel
home via Windsor and stay there for a couple of hours. Alan and
Sandra decided to do the same on their way back to Wales as did
Christopher Aston on his way home to Cornwall, so it was a convoy
of three cars that set off from Folkestone and arrived an our and
a half later in Windsor where we enjoyed a walk around and lunch
in a great little restaurant, before FINALLY saying our
farewells........... until next year.