In June 1969, a group of young people met together at Spode House in Rugeley for a weekend of folk music and song with John Baker and Ken and Naomi Alexander. In August they met again to produce a "Folk Mass" for broadcasting on national radio. They enjoyed the experience so much that they decided to make it a regular event, and thus the "Spode Folk Weekends" were born.
By May 1970, Derek Style had joined the team and
the program included singarounds, English and American folk dancing,
sword and morris dancing and song swapping sessions (there were very
few tape recorders around at that time).
Spode House, a conference centre run by the Dominicans, closed in 1986, and the "Spodefolk" moved first to Sutton Coldfield, then to Dehon House on the Wirral, and now it is firmly established in Savio House in Bollington, near Macclesfield in Cheshire.
Over the years it has become a tradition to end our
Saturday night ceilidhs (it's not hard to spell ceilidh if you practice
deilidh) by singing the Leadbelly folksong "Irene Goodnight", and somewhere
along the line we stopped being Spodefolk and became the "Irene Goodnight
Newcomers are always made very welcome. We are a friendly bunch and the corridors of Savio ring with laughter (and singing) when we are there. The food is excellent, the beds are comfortable and the company is genial.
Email me if you would like to know more.