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Coppull Folk Club have now moved from the Alison Arms, Coppull, to:

The Unity Club, Cross Street, Standish, WN6 0HQ.

The next sing around is on Monday 1 July 2024, 8-11 pm, and every Monday until further notice.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Maria and Phil 



It is with regret that the health and family commitments of the organisers, and the difficulty of raising the necessary funds in the current economic climate, have compounded to make it impossible for this festival to go on in its present form.

We would like to thank all the tenants of the Alison Arms Pub for allowing us to host the festival, all the artists who entertained us over the years both at the festival and the fundraising concerts, all the sound engineers, the local rugby club for the camping facilities, and the many festival goers who supported our weekend and made it happen. We have many happy memories.

PS The Monday night sing around at the Alison Arms continues.

Ken Scally, Kevin Brady, Maria and Phil Regan


Coppull Folk will have no sing-around at the Alison Arms during November.  The next sing-around will be on Monday 4 December   8-11 pm.

Maria and Phil

THE A D COOKE BAND CONCERT 29 September 2023

We all had another brilliant night of live music.  Mervyn Rimmer’s  melodic set of traditional folk and modern songs with excellent  guitar accompaniment and Ken Scally’s humorous Lancashire chorus songs, done in Ken’s inimitable style, paved the way for the AD Cooke 5 piece band.  

This was a very difficult gig for them to perform without Leanne but they wanted to and very much did her proud.  Leanne was so fondly remembered with tales of her humorous antics and musical talent and was not forgotten.   Her beautiful photo was displayed on the stage with them and although they obviously found it very difficult, they felt they had to do this gig for her as Leanne wanted them to do it.    They were surrounded by their many friends and went for it. 

What a magnificent gig!  The upbeat full on sound and AD’s beautiful, confident, velvety singing voice filled the room and they performed song after song.  There was laughter,  there was poignancy, there were sad songs, happy songs, there were interesting stories about how AD got inspiration to write their songs and there were the vary talented backing musicians who just gave their all.  It was obvious that they were just one big family who loved playing together to make that magnificent sound.  Leanne they did this for you.   You were not and will never be forgotten. 

This band are so talented.  Andrea sang, played the guitar and wrote all of the songs except for one.  She is a confident performer with a wonderful voice.  Netty plays tenor guitar and melodica and ably assisted Andrea with her beautiful harmonies.  Dave’s bass guitar playing and Craig’s drumming added quality to the backing sound and Pat’s lead guitar was just superb especially when he did his solo parts.  Gerry Kennedy was invited to play his mouth organ in one of the numbers.   Leanne used to play in his traditional Irish music group.  Tim Marris  was also invited to play his fiddle in another. 

Tim Marris did a wonderful job on the sound.  It wasn’t easy accommodating 5 different  instruments and two voices.  Well done again Tim.

Thank you to all the artists, and to Ken Scally for being MC.  Thank you to the support staff and to all of you who came to support the night.




Friday 29th September at the Standish Unity club. 

Tickets  £5

The AD Cooke Band

We welcome back this band who gave us a  brilliant set at our Festival 2022 closing act.
This band are on the festival circuit and you don't see them much in Wigan.  They are not to be missed.  Andrea on Guitar and lead vocals,  Netty on Tenor guitar and Vocals, Leanne on Mandolin and Vocals, Dave on Bass and Craig on drums. Superb Harmonies and fantastic musicians. 

Message Ken, Kevin or Phil for advance tickets.  £5

Please support your local festival.





 Friday 9 June JAN HOUGH supported  by Ken Scally

The weather was glorious as the camper vehicles and cars rolled in.  Witchy arrived with his food van.  Tim and Ann and friends were busy setting up the sound.  Phil was sorting the lights and Alice and I sorted the chairs.  Old and new friends gathered around the pub and that lovely friendly atmosphere was there once again.

Jan Hough supported by Ken Scally opened the festival.  Jan delivered a dynamic performance to a very full house.  Her varied set from  self penned funny’s like ‘the little spider in the bath’ to ‘Jolene please take my man’; to more serious songs about current topics like climate change, as well as some covers, were very well received.  There was a lot of laughing and chorus singing.   She had the audience gripped with her powerful and clear voice, wonderful use of the bodhran, guitar and ukulele,  and patter.   Ken Scally’s excellent mandolin playing accompaniment was an added bonus.   Well done Jan.  Your energy and enthusiasm and delivery was excellent.   We loved your set.

Friday night TIM HILTON

Tim  Hilton of ‘One Hand Clapping’ is a consumate performer and  delivered the charismatic performance that we have all come to love.   He had so many requests and he had to abandon his set list and sing the songs we love to hear him sing,  ‘From Galway to Graceland’,  ‘Raglan Road’, ‘Grace’, ‘This Town’, etc.  Tim played  at the very first  Festival here in a group called Boxtie  so Ken Scally who was also in that group,  accompanied him playing his mandolin with many of the songs.  As the set progressed, we had many reminiscences.  It was like an audience with Tim.  Sometimes he let us sing and he stood back, as we all knew the words.  He sang from the heart with his powerful voice.  Like a fine wine Tim just gets better.

All these artists were ably helped with the wonderful sound quality that Tim and Ann provided.   Thank you Tim and Ann for all your hard work, and thank you Jan, Ken and Tim for giving us a great night’s entertainment.

The session in the bar continued the great music and was just brilliant.  Thanks Brendan and Janet and your staff  for all your hard work.  You are working non stop all day and night providing us with such a welcome venue and bar facilities.

 Saturday 10 June afternoon - THE KEN SCALLY SHOWCASE

Acoustic Dukebox from Standish opened the Saturday afternoon concert.  This experienced duo delivered an up beat set of singalong songs from the 60’s and 70’s like ‘ Piano Man’ and ‘Mr Dreamseller’.  Dave Cavey played bass guitar and was the lead singer whilst Jeff Darbyshire played guitar and mouth organ and sang the harmonies.   They made a great lively sound. 
The Brunnin of Howfen Mill written by Ken Scally and Lawrence Hoy was a combination of music, poetry, prose and drama about cottage  workers revolting against the new power looms that were installed in Westhoughton.  The mill was attacked and burned and 5 rioters (including a small child) were hanged and 9 transported to Botany Bay.   This was a big presentation with 8 people on stage.  John Pearson was a powerful clear narrator.  Sheila Hinds and Jan Hough dressed appropriately for the time acted their parts brilliantly with song and verse.   Steve Higgins, Dave Gaskell, Ken Scally, Lawrence Hoy all played and sang various songs and had acting parts.  Bernard Cromarty was the judge and his accordion playing added a great sound to the chorus songs and incidental music.  This was a great history lesson delivered well.  A lot of thought and hard work went into this production and it was appreciated by the large audience who stayed to listen in the sweltering heat.    The rousing ‘We shall overcome’ concluded the show.   This is Ken and Lawrence’s third production and we learned another piece of very interesting local history.   Well done to you all.  It was really enjoyable and a very worthwhile project. 

Thank you to all our performers for a great and varied afternoon’s entertainment.  Ken Scally’s showcase is always a great event.

Thank you Tim and Ann once again.  It was not easy to mic up 8 artists on stage with a wide variety of instruments instruments and you did it brilliantly.


 Saturday Night 10 June DANDELION TRAIN

Dandelion Train opened the concert and we were treated to a class act.  They have a unique sound with amazing guitar and mouth organ accompaniments from Gerry Kennedy, great guitar and voice from Steve Higgins and beautiful melodic singing, whistle, flute, and low whistle tunes plus cajon box percussion,  from Sue Kennedy.  We were being transported to somewhere else on the planet where everything is gentle and perfect.  Then Mother Nature decided to produce a thunderstorm with a cloudburst that was so loud, that it stopped the lovely sound.  The water ran off the Carpark into the tent and we sat in a small lake until the water quickly drained away.  Another first for the weather problems that we always get at Coppull. 

This did not deter Dandelion Train who took us back to that lovely place that we were in very quickly, and they just got better.  There were many choruses  well suited to a folk audience with beautiful musical interludes.  Gerry played the ‘King of the Fairies’  brilliantly as well as many other fast tunes that demonstrated his guitar wizardry.  He was ably assisted by Steve’s  excellent guitar accompaniment.   Gerry is also a whizz on the mouth organ.  Steve’s version of  ‘There’s never enough for the poor’,  was such an apt song for today’s life in the UK and was very well received.   Sue varied her singing with whistle and flute interludes and was accompanied by the wonderful guitar harmonies.   Their versions of ‘Will you go lassie go’ and ‘Speed Bonnie  boat’ were beautiful with the Audience singing along.  Thank you Dandelion Train for a beautiful musical experience.

Saturday night  VISION THING

Vision Thing had to follow this excellent set and they stepped up to the mark immediately with their first number ‘Coming Home’.  Shelley’s (Cherlene Walmsley) outstanding  voice with accompanying deaf sign language, was  backed by Pete Cunliffe on guitar,  Martin Wilson on bass guitar, Paul Cunliffe on harmonium, and the haunting fiddle playing by David Windsor.  They produced a full, melodic, confident, together sound like an orchestra.  They had set the bar high and kept the momentum going all night as they played and sang all of their own compositions apart from Shelley singing Sandy Denny’s ‘Who knows where the time goes’.  Pete Cunliffe’s poetry and song writing skills and singing knows no boundaries and he has crafted this group around his words to produce this creative and innovative band.  Shelly’s rendition of A Woman like me’ written by Pete for her (and also on that CD) was just brilliant.  It was great to hear old favourites like ‘The Trysting Tree’, ‘Magic Hour’, ‘Silver Darlings’, ‘There is a seam’ and many more written by Pete.  I can still hear the amazing bass guitar and the haunting violin harmonies, backed by Pete’s clever guitar chords and Paul’s  melodic harmonium which pulled the sound together.  Shelly was outstanding.   Her beautiful voice can be strong, controlled and soft to suit her songs and her diction is excellent.   Vision Thing were in top form and I think they knew that by the  sound of the appreciative audience. 

Both of these groups were at the top of their game tonight.  We are so lucky to have heard them. 

Tim Marris and Ann Mace helped by Graham and Alice Fletcher had a busy night sorting out the sound for both groups  and it was excellent.  Thank you for all your hard work for most of Saturday. 

Thank you Brendan and Janet and all your staff for your support with the bar facilities,  Linda Armstrong for managing the daytime session and Andy Shute and Witchy for the lovely food. 

Thank you to all the artists who help to make Saturday such a memorable live music day and to the large numbers of people who came to listen and enjoy the atmosphere

 Sunday 11 June OPEN MIC

The Open Mic event was very popular and we had a big variety of excellent performers from Steve Winstanley’s medieval stringed instruments to Bad Grandad’s  (Dave Gaskell)  rendition of Sultan’s of Swing, to the colourful and melodic songs delivered by AD Cooke and Netty (Jannette Hunter). etc etc.  It went in for over 3 hours. 

Everybody sounded great.  Thank you Tim Marris and Ann Mace, and Graham Fletcher for sorting the mics.  Thank you Ken Scally for organising that marathon. Open mic.

Sunday Night  HAZY JANE

Celia  Ketchell and Rosie Clegg opened Sunday evening’s concert to another full house.  Both Celia and Rosie are strong singers  in their own right and so took turns in being the lead singer and their clever harmonies complimented every song they sang.  The musical instrument accompaniment, with Celia on piano or  guitar and Rosie on banjo or guitar,  demonstrated their together musicianship.  We had some of Celia’s self penned songs such as  ‘Coming out of lockdown’ and  ‘You’re never too old’.  These cheerful upbeat songs with lovely introductions, had us joining in the choruses and singing along.  Rosie’s appachian banjo style accompanied many of her Americano and bluegrass songs songs and the harmonies lifted these songs to a different level.  I particularly liked  ‘Milkman’ and ‘Hey mister blackbird’.

Thank you Celia and Rosie, you were a confident, polished and class act, and delivered a very entertaining set to a very appreciative audience. 

Sunday Night  JON BRINDLEY and farewell

Jon Brindley was the final act of the weekend and together with his wife Mary treated us to an outstanding performance.  Jon was on fire and displayed his talents in so many ways from self-penned quiet reflective songs to loud cheerful dittties to piano jazzy bluesy numbers.  There were a few singalongs with the words twisted to make them funny, as well as folk classics such as ‘Early morning rain’ and  ‘Green grow the rushes  o’.   These  were interspersed with rambling tales, some of which related to the songs and some not, but they were all original and highly entertaining.  He had Sunak sailing down the river in a kayak, a wonderful reflective but positive song about climate change ‘The brightness of the dawn’, a song about blood (or red wine??) delivered in a foreign Dracula accent with facials and animation to match, etc etc.  We never knew where he was going to take us next!   Each journey was so different.  The brilliant guitar, piano and piano accordion accompaniments were always spot on to match the songs. 

He introduced Mary from time to time, duetting with her ukulele and his guitar, letting her sing harmonies to some of his songs and vice versa.   Mary added a very colourful presence and her mainly uptempo solos such as ‘I can shimmy’ were done with gusto and panache.  Jon and Mary were very together and complimented  each other with ease. 

They were just a class act.  There was such a lot of work involved in delivering such a wonderful set with so many different and beautifully written, thoughtful and funny self penned music and songs.  Jon is a talent that knows no boundaries and we are delighted to have the privilege of seeing him again and being appreciated by a wonderful audience.  You could hear the silence as he drew us in and took us to his magic places with such a beautiful voice and wonderful varied accompaniment.  Then we would be treated to a loud off the wall number like Sunak’s Kayak and Dracula’s blood, or to a beautiful folk singalong.  He had us charmed. 

Thank you Mary for being such a great complimentary talent to your musically gifted other half.  Thank you Jon  for putting your heart and soul  and everything else into that brilliantly crafted set.  It was a privilege to have been on that journey with you.

Again Tim Marris, Ann Mace were tested with the sound work.  Hazy Jane changed instruments several times and Jon moved from guitar to piano to accordion often.   Thank you for all your hard work all weekend and to Alice and Graham for helping them.  You all worked hard and the sound was excellent.

Thank you to all the artists who came and entertained us so well.
Thank you to Brendan and Janet and staff of the Alison Arms who worked tirelessly to provide us with a friendly venue and well needed refreshments all weekend.   Thank you to Ken Scally who did an excellent job of getting such a good line up of artists and keeping the show on the road.   You were brilliant.  Thank you to Andy Shute and Witchy for all the lovely food.  Thank you to the Peter and the staff at the rugby club for providing camping facilities and Ken for the stage..  Thank you to all the other helpers, the raffle ticket sellers, the people who donated raffle prizes, Phil Regan and the tent team, who worked so hard on Thursday and Monday.  Thank you Coronet Hire for the chairs. Thank you to Ken Scally and Kevin Brady for selling fund raiser tickets so that we could even make this happen.  Thank you world for the 99% of beautiful weather.  Lastly thank you, the  audience, for coming and listening and creating the friendly atmosphere that this festival always enjoys.  It was another brilliant weekend.  



     Coppull free folk festival proudly presents

An evening with

 The Houghton Weavers

Friday 12th May 2023 at 8.00 pm



With Support Acts 


Mervyn Rimmer                                                                       

Contemporary folk and acoustic                                                

Singer Songwriter       




Lawrence Hoy

Singer Songwriter


Tickets are £10.00 available from

Ken Scally 01942 732728, Kevin Brady 01257 400650,

Phil Regan 01772 432691

Facebook Coppull Folk.


The tickets are not available from the Unity Club

Proceeds in aid of Coppull Free Folk Festival - 9-12 June 2023 at the Alison Arms, Coppull.







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