The Valley Folk Club meets in Glais on various Fridays every month. We try to use the 1st Friday each month for Open Nights and the 3rd Friday for Guest Nights. These sometimes move to accommodate the guest or other events at the Rugby Club. When there is a 5th Friday in the month, we either have an extra Open Night, sometimes with a Showcase, or a 50/50 Guest Night with 2 acts each doing one set. PLEASE SEE THE DIARY PAGE. It is updated frequently.
On OPEN NIGHTS a warm welcome is extended to everyone to sing, play, recite or just enjoy. We sometimes allow a short set showcasing visiting performers. (Please make contact to arrange this)
GUEST NIGHTS Usally 2 x 40/45 minute sets with floor spots before each set. (These should be pre-arranged as time is limited.)
"50/50 NIGHTS" often feature local talent when 2 acts do one set each.
Evenings usually start at 8pm.
Open nights are £3 (to cover room charge) Guest and special nights can vary from £5 - £8 and this will be posted on the diary page.
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and Valley Folk Club, Pontardawe-Archive
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VALLEY FOLK CLUB ARCHIVE
POTTED HISTORY 16th May 2007 (Updated November 2018)
For more than 50 years The Valley Folk Club in Pontardawe has been hosting folk music nights at various venues in and around Pontardawe. The Cross Inn, The Dynevor Arms for a couple of spells, The Royal Oak, Rhyd-y-Fro and two periods at The Ivy Bush Hotel. This has been its base ever since 1984 making 32 years at The Ivy an achievement in itself. The club visited The Victoria Inn for one night only and also spent a memorable night at The Moose Hall when the guest was world famous ragtime guitarist John James. Alltwen Community Centre was used for ceilidhs and some guest nights.
Over the years, guest artists have been many and varied including poets, theatre groups, magicians, storytellers, solo musicians, duos and groups, from here and indeed the world. Some of those were already famous, some were just starting out and for some The Valley Folk Club was their first inroad into folk music in Wales. Max Boyce was at one time to be found entertaining audiences there. Many who attended the club have become performers themselves, guesting at other clubs and festivals both here and abroad. The Valley Folk Club quickly gained a reputation as a popular place for artists to play.
The club has promoted concerts bringing folk music to larger venues in the area and of course acted as the basis for the internationally renowned Pontardawe Music Festival which takes place once a year in August. Welsh traditions including "Crwmpyn John" and "Hunting the Wren" have been researched and performed and at other times material written by club members themselves was given the stage.
Over the years the club has seen its ups and downs but it is significant that it has survived for so long. It has been a stepping stone for some, a stage to show off their talent for many and has provided the inspiration for people who might otherwise have not taken up a musical instrument or dreamed of singing or writing. For many it has also provided a social circle and the chance to see and listen to live performance. Of course the club would not have survived some forty years without the volunteers who have worked to keep the doors open and the very loyal support of audiences who made the club such a success.
The exact starting date for the club is shrouded in mystery but it is thought it was around 1967 / 68. The club is hoping to gather together and archive as much as possible of its history. It would be great if everyone who has been to the club over the years would take part. Do you have any pictures, posters, leaflets or tickets stashed away in your cupboards? If so we would love to have a copy. If the answer is no, don’t worry we want your memories of visiting the club whether it be once or hundreds of times. If anyone has any knowledge of the starting date please let us know as soon as you can.
GJ & CS
LINKS Please let us know if you would like be included in our list. We welcome web sites relevant to the folk club, folk music, Pontardawe etc.