Grey Cock Folk Club

The Grey Cock Folk Club was started in 1966 by members of the Birmingham and Midland Folk Centre.  It met every Sunday evening, and the first public performance was on 26 February 1967 at the White Lion pub in Horsefair.  An iconic programme was printed and circulated several times a year – click here for some examples.

The club’s intention was ‘to present traditional folk music of high quality and contemporary work using traditional forms’.  Drama, dance and film were included as well as music and song, and each club evening was recorded – click here for a list of guests and residents.

Photos taken at the club in the 1960’s show resident singers Charles Parker, Joan Smith, Pam and Alan Bishop, Roy Palmer, Doreen and John Fryer, Barbara and Douglas Miller, also guests Sandra Kerr & Ron Elliot, and Bridie Gauntlett.   A full list of residents and guests in the early years can be found in the history of the club 1966-1976, written by Mike Turner on the club’s 10th anniversary.

The club had several venues, moving to the Crown in Hill Street in 1976, to the Victoria in John Bright Street in 1979, and back to the White Lion in 1982.  Sadly the licensing laws changed in 1983 and the upstairs room there was no longer available.  After a short spell at the Star Club in Essex Street the club moved to the Wellington in 1984.

Photos taken at the club in 1986 – not such good quality, but showing resident singers Mogs Russell, Kevin Murphy, Mary Pratt, John Watson, Marion Oughton, Dave Rogers, Spud Murphy, Pam and Alan Bishop, Malcolm and Margaret Imhoff, Nin Giddings and Maggie Whetnall, plus some floor singers.

The club’s final venue was the Wellington in Bromsgrove Street, and it finally closed in 1987.  Recordings of club performances were deposited in Birmingham City Archives and have been digitised.  An index can be found in the MS 4000/5/3/5/4 section of the online catalogue.