We had a great festival 2022.  It was so good to see so many people enjoying themselves and creating the friendly and homely ambience that this festival has.  Thanks to Brendan and Janet and the team for the use of the pub premises and all the hard work that goes with servicing a festival, to Andy for the lovely food, to Phil and  the Rugby club for accommodating the camper vans, to Ken for the stage, to all the magnificent artists (photos to follow when I get them sorted), to all you lovely people who support our festivals every time - many who travel long distances, to Mervyn Rimmer for the excellent sound, to Ken Scally for being M C and getting all the wonderful artists to come, and lastly to the committee and all the helpers who worked on the fund raiser concerts, getting the tent sorted, raffle tickets, etc.  This excellent teamwork left us all with that ‘feel good factor’ AGAIN.  A job well done. X

Day 1 Friday Evening concert

Tonight the wind stopped rocking our tent, and the we had a full house.   The Pelican Babies opened our festival and entertained us with beautiful harmonic singing and guitar playing and of course the didgeridoo made an appearance.  They were followed by Rare Ould Times who played a  foot tapping energetic mainly Irish music set,  enhanced by Tim and his state of the art red fiddle. 
The session in the bar was lively as well. 

It was so good to see that so many friends have come back again.  



Day 2  Saturday Afternoon Concert ‘Ken’s Extravaganza’

Bernadette and Graham - ‘Trouble at Mill’. Opened our afternoon concert with a very entertaining set and got us all laughing and joining in singing their comical songs.  Luke Geraghty and Tommy Jones followed with some modern self pens and a few Scottish and Irish songs.  It was great to see a  enthusiastic and energetic performance with drive and musicality from the younger generation.  ‘The March to Peterloo’ written by Ken Scally and Lawrence Hoy was a musical drama presented on stage with a cast of 10 musicians, actors and singers.  It was a very moving and informative piece of theatre which was delivered with passion and  commitment and was enjoyed immensely by the large audience.  Thank you to all our artists for a very successful afternoon.






Day 2 Saturday Evening concert

This opened with the fantastic Mail Train playing to a well deserved full house.  They are a slick, talented, musically together group with a great sound and original songs.  We enjoyed singing along to their choruses, and I am sure they knew by the crowd participation and enthusiasm that they were appreciated big time. 
Then we had Demdykes Cat.  Karen Grandal-Park wowed us with her amazing voice with songs that were sung from the heart.  She was ably accompanied by Ava Greenall with fiddle playing that was sensitive and perfectly  attuned  to Karen’s voice.  
Finally we welcomed back Cobalt Tales - Pat and Nuala.  We laughed a lot and listened to beautiful serious songs as well, accompanied by Pat on the guitar and Nuala on bass guitar and whistle.  We had lots of stories and reminiscences of Wigan and the ‘We are the women’ anthem brought the house down!  - AGAIN!  They were on top form. 
Well done and thanks to all of you for making our concert such a success.  Thanks to Mervyn Rimmer for the great sound and to Ken who was a great MC and managed to put this lineup together.





Saturday 3 Sunday Afternoon - Open Mic

We had a total of 22 artists which became another great concert.  Thanks to Ken for being MC, and to Mervyn who provided the sound (not easy for so many artists) and was so patient and running over time to ensure everybody who wanted to perform did.

Day 3 Sunday Evening Concert

This was a colourful and lively occasion.   The tent swayed to the music on Saturday night, tonight it just rocked!

Bad Grandad is a magnificent guitarist and demonstrated this throughout his set.  His songs were varied and well delivered with plenty of humour - ‘Privateers, Diddleloldladyo, my brain’, and finished with his brilliant version of the Sultans of Swing.   He fully deserved this solo spot and got a great reception.
The Pauline Blackburn Band turned up the tempo.  Bad Grandad continued his wonderful guitar skills.  Steve Winstanley made his amazing 5 string, no fret, bass guitar  just sing up and down the fretboard - he is another guitar whizz.  Bill Helsby complimented them with fantastic drum/percussion playing.  The star of the show was Pauline herself with her amazing voice and  guitar.   Her backing group of musical wizards just lifted her singing of her self penned songs to another level.  ‘Ride on’ and ‘Old Cobble Lane’ were just amazing and Pauline should have been very pleased with her performance and the audience reaction.
The A D Cooke 5 piece band then turned the tempo up a few more notches with a drummer, a bass guitar player, two backing singers - Netty Hunter playing a tenor ukulele and melodica and Lee-Anne Jones playing mandolin, and finally A D herself playing guitar.
This was a colourful, lively, up-beat set full of humour,  with Andrea fronting the band telling stories and singing her own songs.  Netty and Lee-Anne complimented her amazing voice with wonderful instrumental and vocal harmonies.  This was a dynamic  and entertaining performance and their enjoyment of doing it was very obvious.  Their smiles were infectious as they had us bopping along and joining in with laughter and song.  They are a very together group and were just brilliant.  This was a fitting end to an absolutely wonderful  weekend of live music, friendship and camaraderie.  Thanks to everybody who made it happen and to everybody who came.  These festivals are just getting  better.

Maria Regan



10, 11, 12 JUNE 2022


After a lapse of 2 years, we are delighted to announce that preparations are well underway for this popular FREE music festival.  It's 25 years since it started in 1997, so keep the date free and we'll post the line up of artists very soon!


KEN SCALLY—Events Organiser -  This is Ken’s third year of getting the Artists for the fundraisers and festivals.  He is an all round entertainer and, author of plays, poems, books and songs, focusing on life in Lancashire in the olden days.  He has worked hard at getting this fantastic line-up for our Festival.

VISION THING -This 5 piece group will open our festival.  They produce harmonious and beautiful thoughtful songs and music, many of which are their own compositions.  Pete Cunliffe (Vocals/acoustic guitar)  is a prolific songwriter.  Cherlene (Shelly) Walmsley  (Vocals), has a powerful and distinctive voice.  David Windsor (Violin)  plays a 100 year old violin through a variety of effects producing "a tone and texture to die for".   Paul Cunliffe plays keyboard, guitar, low whistle, bodhran. Chris Thompson - electric bass has recently joined the line up.  They have 3 CD’s to their credit so far and won several awards and are a joy to listen to with their haunting music. 

PELICAN BABIES - Lee Nixon and Mark Connell are making a welcome return to our festival.  They are an acoustic duo performing mainly original material encompassing folk/pop/blues, with clever catchy voice, harmonica and guitar harmonies.  Hopefully they will bring their didgeridoo and demonstrate their mastery of this amazing instrument.


RARE OULD TIMES - Lawrence Hoy (vocals and guitar), Steve Higgins (vocals guitar and banjo) and Tim Marris fiddle)  always deliver a lively set of self penned songs and Irish sing alongs.  They are sure to get you all singing and foot tapping on Friday night.  


TROUBLE  AT MILL -  Bernadette and Graham Dixon play an eclectic mix of favourite old Lancashire and  self penned folk songs.   Their stage stories and gags will have you laughing and singing along.  They are true entertainers.


 TOMMY JONES  AND LUKE  GERAGHTY - Tommy (from the band Quaintest Show on earth)  is exploring the Lancashire tradition and Luke is exploring his Irish roots and together they produce an interesting music combination.  We look forward to their set.

BAD GRANDAD—(Dave Gaskell) is an avid supporter of our club, concerts,  and festival.  He has a fantastic mastery of the guitar as demonstrated in his version of the 'Sultans of Swing'.   He has a wide repertoire of ‘interesting’ songs and delivers them with humour and panache.

 THE MARCH  TO PETERLOO - written by Ken Scally and Lawrence Hoy, is a combination of music, poetry and drama depicting this time in history 101 years ago, when Calvary charged into a crowd of at least 60,000 ,who had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.  18 people died.  THE WIGAN FOLK AND WORD ENSEMBLE—Ken Scally, Lawrence Hoy, Tim Marris, Bernard Cromarty, John Pearson, Sheila Hinds, Steve Higgins, Dave Gaskell, Jan Hough. Stephen Knowles, will perform this.  It will be an epic presentation.


 MAIL TRAIN - Stuart Hartley (banjo and vocals), Peter Moore (guitar and amazing vocals), Francis Moore (bass guitar, vocals) and Jan Hough (percussion/ukulele/ guitar/songwriter, and seasoned all round entertainer), are an innovative group.  Together these experienced musicians make a great sound, with combined instruments and voice and sing many of Terry Bailey’s songs well as their own. They welcome audiences singing along to catchy choruses and refrains.  Their new cd is worth listening to.

DEMDYKES CAT -  Karen Grandal-Park  (Guitar/Vocals) and Ava Greenall (fiddle)  compliment each other musically, and deliver self penned songs and stories about the Pendle area.  They’re sure to mention witches!

COBALT TALES - We welcome back experienced songwriters and entertainers, Pat and Nuala .  They deliver songs from the heart with their powerful vocals and engaging harmonies .and are witty and engaging on stage.  They will be a fitting closing act for Saturday night.

THE PAULINE BLACKBURN BAND –Singer/songwriter/Acoustic guitarist, Bad Grandad guitarist extraordinaire/singer, Steve Winstanley/bass guitar. Bill Helsby/drums.  Pauline has an amazing voice and delivers folk rock music as well as reflective songs as demonstrated in her album.  We look forward to welcoming her back with her new support band.

THE A D COOKE BAND—will have your feet tapping with their mix of original and classic cover songs (done a little different).   A D (singer/songwriter/ voice coach/performer is joined by Netty Hunter (ukulele/melodica) and Lee-Anne Jones (mandolin/celtic whistle. Their songs are about life, love, fun and happy times, with a bit of humour and cynicism and will guarantee a lively finale to our festival 2022






We are delighted to let you know that our singarounds will recommence on Monday 4  October 2021 from 8-11 pm at the Alison Arms.  Please note the different days and times. Thank you to Janet and Brendan, the new managers of the pub, for letting us go ahead after an 18 month gap.  Looking forward to seeing you all sometime soon.

Maria and Phil


16 MARCH 2020


Due to the Goverment directive this evening, we regret to have to inform everyone

that the sing around at the Alison Arms will be cancelled from now until further

notice. Be safe. Maria and Phil.

Mavis and Ron are leaving

We are so sorry to have to tell you that Mavis and Ron are leaving the Alison due to being treated appallingly by their pub employers, and especially at this time after such a horrific year.

We were so delighted when they came to the pub 9 years ago and allowed us to continue the club. They have played a major part over these years in enabling us to run our singarounds for 52 weeks of the year, and putting on our festival each June. Mavis always put on lovely food at break time free of charge, and not only organised the extra staff and alcohol stocks for the festival, she and Ron provided the second stage tent, and with her staff, worked tirelessly for the whole weekend. The lovely ambience created at the Alison was down to their sheer hard work.

Read more ...Mavis and Ron are leaving


Goodbye and Rest in Peace our good friend AlbertDiane. xx