The weekend started with John Budworth, a very powerful and charismatic performer, who unfortunately was struggling with a throat infection, but we were still very impressed.  His guitar playing coupled with many of his own songs set the scene for so many good acts that were to follow throughout the weekend.  Merry Hell then provided their unique experience of creative and performing excellence - they are just SO good. Mind you, there was a last minute crisis as Virginia was stuck in a traffic snarl up and nearly didn't make it - the whole group were on their GPS phones trying to direct her through the back lanes to Coppull. 

Saturday saw our old friends the Straw Dogs performing in the afternoon with their usual feel good factor, and then we were entertained  by several  performers from the Crown Club.  Their Crown Extravaganza act was very varied from folk to blues and soul music, and this wealth of talent produced some fantastic  sets.    

The evening started with another set of old friends, Turnpike, performing as a three piece, and excellent as always.  However, half way through their set, the heavens opened, like Monsoon strength, and Turnpike had to carry on performing at the back of a deluge of water which cleared the front three rows of listeners, and flooded the rear stage area. The thunder of the rain on the tent would have phased most people, but Turnpike soldiered on and finished their set in fine style, like the pro's they are. When Greg Russel & Ciaran Algar came on next, they were looking distinctly apprehensive (Greg was wearing wellies to insulate himself from electrical emergencies ), but the rain eased off, and they gave us a magical concert. The power and maturity of Greg's voice and guitar work is so beautifully counterpointed by Ciaran's virtuosity and musicality on the fiddle -  that  effect is just magical, and their ages put together hardly make 40!  Where are they going from here? (They are already so good that its difficult to see how they could improve with age. )

 Sunday gave us better weather most of the day, and the ever popular open mic session in the afternoon was oversubscribed, and featured some really good acts. Pauline Blackburn started the evening session, and gave us some hauntingly beautiful songs. Pauline just gets better and better, and her new guitar really complemented her singing.  She is a very creative and original talent, and deserves wider recognition - maybe she should promote herself a little harder.  Finally, One Hand Clapping came on to finish the evening in their own inimitable style, and were as good as ever, even though they had already done a long gig that day.  Tim and Chris really blend well together, and it’s great to see Tim back at the Alison where he used to perform all those years ago when he was just starting.

 To conclude, our thanks to Bill and Lesley from Westminister Stage Engineering for the great sound and the unstinting time they put in, to Mavis and Ron of the Alison for providing the welcoming venue, plus one of the tents and the stage, to Ken for the loan of the stage, to Maria for all the IT work, poster creation and printing and raffle organisation, to Ken, Mervyn and Kevin for their crucial roles in the fund raisers that made it all possible, and to everyone who helped put up and take down the big tent, and helped in so many other ways.  Lets hope we have the health and energy to do it again next year.

Phil Regan

























8 pm                     Jon Budworth


9 pm                      Merry Hell


11.30 pm              Session in the bar


1.45 – 3 pm           Ken and  the  Strawdogs


3 – 4.30 pm          The Crown Open Mic Showcase


8 pm                       Turnpike


9 pm                       Ciaran Algar and Gregg Russell


11.30 pm               Session in the bar


1.45 – 4.30            Open Mic Session


8 pm                       Pauline Blackburn


9 pm                       One Hand Clapping


11.30                      Final session in the bar



6th, 7th, and 8th June 2014
At Alison Arms Pub, Coppull.


Phil 01772 432691

Kevin 01257 400650

Ken 01942 732728

The wonderful and dynamic Merry Hell open the Festival on Friday night so we look forward to a lively set.  www.merryhell.co.uk

On Saturday night we welcome Ciaran Algar and Gregg Russell, the BBC Young Folk Awards winners 2013 and BBC best newcomers to Folk 2014.  They are a magnificent pair  and have wowed audiences all around the country for the past year. www.russellalgar.co.uk


One Hand Clapping (Tim and Chris) close our festival on Sunday night.  They have already given us a memorable night at our last fundraiser concert and we look forward to more of the same.

Other acts are the wonderful Little Miss Pauline Blackburn, singer songwriter Jon Budworth, Turnpike, the Strawdogs and the Crowne Open Mic Extravaganza.

More information SOON!


People started coming from 6.20 pm to ensure they got a good seat at the sell-out concert.   Ken started the show with a brilliant set of “Lankie” tales and songs, suitably attired in his “Lankie” flat cap.  This continued to be the theme of the night.  Steve followed with his melodic renderings of songs and stories of Wigan and environs.   His excellent guitar work and delivery are always a delight.  Phil ended the first half with two of his favourite songs and got the crowd ready for the main act.  All of these talented artists could run a whole concert in their own right but they had to make way for our main guests.

The Houghton Weavers lit up the stage with their slick delivery of stories and jokes, and carefully chosen songs with choruses, that we all knew.  So the audience was involved right from the beginning.  In the second half, their repertoire consisted of songs chosen by the audience, - “You shout out the name and we will sing it”, and they did.  There was a strong “Lankie” theme in this half. This demonstrated not only their confidence, but why they have been going for so many years delighting audiences to sell out shows.   They finished the night by inviting all the artists on to the stage to join in a rousing version of “Will ye go lassie  go”.  They have a unique ability to leave their audiences with a feel good factor and did just that once again.

Thank you to Ken, Steve, Phil and the Houghton Weavers, thank you to the back-up team who work diligently to make the concert such a success, and thank you to you the audience for supporting us.  We now look forward to the main event – the Free Festival at the Alison Arms on 6th, 7th and 8th June, 2014. 




Another great night of live music was enjoyed by all.

Mervyn opened the show with his musical lyrics and top notch guitar work.

Then came Queen Jan who lived up to her name with her dynamic and musically inventive set, featuring the bodhran, guitar and ukulele.  She radiates power and confidence and good humour, and we always enjoy her performance.

One Hand Clapping finished the evening with a terrific set which alternated between high energy and soulful melodic songs.  Tim and Chris are a great duo and complement each other brilliantly with fiddle and guitar.  They were on great form and obviously enjoyed themselves.  This enjoyment was infectious and had us all dancing by the end of the evening.

Thanks to Mervyn for the sound which was brilliant as always, to Ken the MC, to those who donated raffle prizes and helped to sell tickets, and to you the audience for making the night a great success.  Let's hope that the Houghton Weavers concert on April 18th is just as good!




Another great night of music making, thanks to all who helped - 8 November 2013.


Coppull Folk’s fundraiser was a wonderful night of live music.  Talented regulars Ken, Jim, Steve,  and Mervyn did us proud with their melodic sets .   Bryn provided some brilliant guitar accompaniment to Steve and Jim, and a few people even remarked that the main guests Gary and Vera had a very hard act to follow!  However Gary and Vera got into their stride with their Lanky jokes, stories and songs and had us all laughing for most of the night.  Thanks to all who performed, to Mervyn who did an excellent job with the sound, and to you the audience who came from near and far to support promoting live music, and, the next Folk Festival  at the Alison Arms in June 2014.