It is always nice to welcome a new face to our music nights. It’s also nice to welcome performers who travel some distance, often from the other side of the country – even from the other side of the world!

There were three new faces tonight and whilst none of them crossed continents to get to us, two of them did travel some seventy miles. But what was most noteworthy was the fact they had cycled… all the way from Telford.

Bill Malkin

Dave Hopkins and Rob Hubbleday (above) were on a stop-over in Ruthin whilst on a cycling holiday which would take in Bangor and Dublin. I had this picture in my mind of them peddling away with their instruments strapped to their backs but that romantic notion was soon dismissed by the fact their wives were following on by car.

The Telford duo entertained us, appropriately enough, with a travelling song, “Wagon Wheel”, and the Loving Spoonful hit “Daydream”.

The other ‘new face’ belonged to Chester musician Bill Malkin. Bill sang two of his own songs: “The Big Picture Painter”, inspired by photographs his sea-faring father had brought back from Japan at the end of the second world war, and “Scrappy Dave and Wiley” written following a visit to a wolf sanctuary in Canada.

Our visitors had joined us on a typically busy evening, with fourteen other performers, mainly from our core of regulars but also including blues singer Raphael Callaghan (right).

After doing her own spot, Penni Neale was kept busy accompanying Enid on guitar and duetting with Neil Martin on a beautiful version of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”.

The rest of our regulars turned out a superb mix of songs, as always. The room was ‘comfortably full’ and a good time was had by all.

Tonight’s roll call: Chris Birchall, Richard Ruthin, Lynda and Tom Degney, Raphael Callaghan, Richard and Wendy Eastwood, Cath Bryan, Pete Kirkham, Bill Malkin , Joe Lyon, Mike Hastings, Dave Hopkins , Rob Hubbleday, Neil Martin, Penni Neale, and Enid Toft.