A Tribute to Albert - Pete Southworth

Dear Albert
Wisdom and wit
The two words that fit
That dear pal of ours
Name of Albert
A proud man indeed
With a motor bike knee
Who would help anyone with their problems
A god fairing man
A family man
Generous in every way.
With his soul mate Diane
They travelled the land with guitar and voice they would sing
His other love in life
Was his old motorbike
That beautiful blue Honda goldwing
Miss you already lad
Pete Southworth.        June 2020

RIP Albert

Our dear friend Albert passed away peacefully on Friday 26 June.   

Albert had a zest for life, and living, and fun and we will all miss his jokes and patter.   Our folk club and festival will never be the same without you Albert.  You will be missed big time.

Our deepest sympathy to Diane, Alex, Haley and all your family.  Like you, we all have many fond memories.

May Albert Rest in Peace.  


Was he man or Greek god?
That head looked more in keeping
with Michaelangelo than Wigan.
And what of the laugh,
the twinkling, mischievous eye,
the beguiling accent?
An accidental Odyssius,
wrecked on the shores of time,
reincarnated in Wigan.
A complex character, full of contradictions.
Was he angel or hell's angel?
Sometimes even he didn't seem to know,
although he seemed to carry a wealth of wisdom
picked up in the school of life.
Turned his hand to most things.
Only one Achilles heel - his singing voice,
and even that grew on one over the years.
Always a big presence, a people person,
an amiable companion.
What better epitaph for any man?
Phil Regan   June 2020


To all the supporters of Coppull Folk Festival from the Folk Clubs, Sessions and open Mic’s.


Owing to the uncertainty of the lockdown and the upheaval in the pub trade over the corona virus and government policy, the Coppull festival committee and the Alison Arms management have had no choice but to postpone the 2020 festival until further notice. We have been hanging on in hope but feel there is too much uncertainty in this present climate. Thank you for supporting us over the last 23 years hopefully we will contact you when the festival has the go ahead. In the meantime stay safe follow the guidelines and hopefully we will all meet when this pandemic is over.


Love and best wishes to all our musical friends

Ken Scally, Maria Regan, Phil Regan and Kevin Brady


The free folk festival at the Alison Arms, will be on

Friday 12, Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June 2020.


Thank you to all of you who supported our fundraisers and raffle  to enable this free festival to happen.  Thank you to Mavis and Ron who allow us to use their premises for the weekly sing around and the festival weekend  We have a fantastic line up of artists and look forward to seeing you all at this popular event.  More information re: our artists will be in the Festival 2020 section of this website SOON!



Friday 12th June


 7.45 -  8.45 pm       Copperfaced Jack

 9.00 - 10.00 pm      The Pelican Babies

10.15 -11.15 pm       Rare Old Times


Saturday 13th June


Guitar Workshop

12.30 -1.30 pm        Bad Grandad's (Dave Gaskell) Guitar workshop


Afternoon Showcase

 1.45 - 2.45 pm        Young Performers Showcase with

                                              The Wigan Open Mic Group

 2.45 - 4.15 pm        The March of Peterloo -

                               written by Ken Scally and Lawrence Hoy

                               with  The Wigan Music Ensemble

                               (Ken Scally, Lawrence Hoy, Tim Marris,

                               Bernard Cromarty, John Pearson, Sheila Hinds,

                               Steve Higgins, Dave Gaskell,

                               Lish Kay Murray, Jon Peet)


 7.45 - 8.45 pm         Mail Train

 9.00 - 10.00 pm       Dandelion Train

10.15 - 11.15 pm      The Gestures


Sunday 14 June


   2.00 - 4.30 pm        Mega Open Mic




  7.00 - 7.40             Bad Grandad

  7.45 -  8.45            Kim and Wayne

  9.00 - 10.00           The Andrea Cooke Band


Sound supplied by Bill and Lesley Sproson of Westminister Sound Engineering, Leyland


Folk sessions in the bar Friday, Saturday and Sunday until late.


Well we had another great music night last night at the Unity Club, Standish. Thank you to all our guest artists. Pete Southworth opened the concert with some great Dylan and Donovan classics and lovely self penned song about his childhood which we all could relate to. The Pelican Babies - Lee Nixon and Mark Connell, treated us to a delightful set of mixed classic and self penned numbers with slick voice, harmonica and guitar harmonies. Playing the didgeridoo and singing was an talent in itself. The Bram Taylor Band - Bram Taylor, Nick Peak and Dave Howard delivered a set with warmth and energy, and created a marvellous musical blend which was complimented by Bram's rich and melodious voice and humorous asides. His closing number 'DejaVous, next time around' was an apt end to a great night. Dave Gaskell was our sound man and put his heart and soul into making sound excellence. Dave has always been stalwart supporter of our festival and we are always grateful for his help. Thanks to Dave, to all our artists, to you the wonderful audience who came to support us, to those of you who sold tickets and donated raffle prizes, and to Ken Scally who masterminded the whole concert. We can now look forward to the Free Coppull Folk Festival 12,13 and 14 June 2020

 Pete Southworth




The Singaround at the Alison Arms will not take place on


Wednesday 25 December 2019 or Wednesday 1 January 2020


FESTIVAL 2020 DATES ARE 12, 13, 14 JUNE 2020


Next fundraiser concert is The Bram Taylor Band on Friday 7 February 2020 at the Unity Club, Standish.  Admission £6


Wayne Connah and Kim treated us to an hour of wonderful singing, harmony and guitar playing last night. They captivated the audience with their varied set ranging from folk to blues to jazz and deserved to be sharing the stage with the amazing Ken Nicol.

Ken is just a guitar genius and did many instrumental tunes that sounded more like a trio than a solo performance. His songs were varied with a strong rag time influence. Wendy accompanied him with two tunes and we had a few ukulele specials.

Central to this evening was the sound man Dave Gaskell aka Bad Grandad. Every word and every guitar note was perfectly clear from both acts. Thank you all for providing such a high class music night and helping us with our fundraising.

Thanks to the appreciative audience and to Ken Scally and his team for making it happen.

Congrats to the winners of our Xmas draw. The £100 went to Lancaster and the hamper will make its way up to Scotland! The third prizes went locally.



Ken Scally is a talented singer songwriter author, and a wonderful performer and entertainer. He opened the night dressed as the Fat (thin?) Controller with a selection of well known train themed songs, some with a Lancashire link.  Ken was also our MC for the night and introduced the first of our two local groups - Mail Train. 

Terry Bailey, Peter and Francis Moore and Jan Hough make up this innovative group.  Terry writes most of their songs and is a whiz on the banjo and guitar.  Peter plays the guitar, has an amazing voice and enhances the group with his amazing harmonies.  His son Francis is an innovative bass guitar player which along with the banjo keeps the background music rolling along.  Jan Hough, a seasoned all round entertainer adds to this musical ensemble with her amazing vocals, ukelele, guitar, bodhran and drum playing.  She even entertained us with a poem "Exterminate" in a strong Liverpudlian accent.  Together these experienced musicians make a great sound, varying the tempo and tone with combined instruments and voice, with different songs and tunes,  and we enjoyed their set very much.

Then came Dandelion Train.  This is another new group made up of mainly local accomplished artists - Steve Higgins, vocals, banjo and guitar, Gerry Kennedy, mouth organ and guitar, and Sue Kennedy, vocals, flute, whistle and drum.  They drew us in and wowed us with their musical virtuosity from the haunting flute to the amazing guitar work to the mouth organ with fast reels, as well as fabulous vocals from Sue and Steve.

This night of music was made possible by our sound controller, Dave Gaskell alias Bad Grandad.  Dave is an amazing musician in his own right and always a  great supporter of our club and festival.  It wasn't an easy job to manage so many instruments and voices all at the same time and make them sound so good.  You did a sterling job Dave, well done and thanks for your help.  

Thanks must also go to Ken Scally our Festival Organiser and MC and to Kevin Brady.   Between them, they promote all the concerts and sell tickets and do a sterling job.  Thanks to all the people who donated raffle prizes and to you the wonderful audience who turned up on the night to enjoy the lovely music.  Finally thanks to the artists who made the night possible.  You gave us an amazingly varied night of music and song and we all enjoyed it.  

Maria Regan 



Friday night saw the gathering of the folk clan despite the lashing rain and cold. It was so good to see the tent full with many regular attendees and many new faces. At 8pm the Gestures burst into song and we were uplifted and elated, clapped along and sang along and forgot about the appalling weather outside. These four young entertainers with their lively delivery, good harmonies and great instrumentality were fun and just enjoyed themselves. They sang many well known singalongs like ‘Mary Lou and American Pie’ in between their versions of current popular songs. The audience immediately warmed to them and joined in with clapping g and singing, as their vitality was infectious! The combination of washboard, bass and acoustic guitars and ukulele worked. This young skiffle band were amazing and set the scene for what has been a wonderful weekend.

Bandersnatch had a hard act to follow but these four quality musicians delivered a completely contrasting set of upbeat music with numerous flashes of instrumental brilliance. The strong vocals from Ian and Ed, close harmonies, and a good choice of material gave us a varied set ranging from folk rock and blues to gentle ballads. Ed’s delivery of ‘the Broken Years’ was very moving. Ian’s guitar playing and singing was outstanding and used to great effect. Norman’s bass and Dave’s banjo playing and close harmonies, gave the lift to make the music just roll along seamlessly. Their music creativity keeps getting better and we were totally absorbed by their set. They were a class act.

Bill and Leslie did an excellent job on sound. Thank you to them and to the Gestures and Bandersnatch for a wonderful night’s entertainment.



Bad Grandad opened the Saturday afternoon concert with his excellent guitar playing and singing. Copper faced Jack entertained us with their amazing self penned topical songs which ranged from global warming to war and life. ‘Beyond the Seas’ penned by Lawrence Hoy was a lovely mixture of theatre and music performed by 6 well known artists in their own right - Bernard Cromerty, Bram Taylor, Tinker Dave Howard, Pauline Blackburn, Steve Higgins, Ken Scalley and Lawrence Hoy.

Cobalt Tales opened the Saturday night concert with a lively set of self penned well delivered songs which the audience loved. Nidd are a young trio that gave us musicianship at its best playing traditional music from Ireland, Canada and England interspersed with the odd song. Their warm delivery and musical excellent deserved the double encore. Thanks to Bill for proving the excellent sound and to all the artists who made Saturday such a great day. And, it’s now stopped raining!!



The Open Mic Session delivered some fantastic talent to a packed tent in the afternoon.

Pauline Blackburn treated us to a set of mostly her own work and a few songs her mother Joan (RIP) wrote.  She gave a confident and competent performance with her magnificent voice and strong guitar work.  Her songs were varied and reflected her caring pleasant personality, from the horrors of war, to love, to being carefree and close to nature.  She finished the set with two of her mother’s favourites and delivered ‘Old Cobbled Road’ with poignancy – many of us were in tears.  She captivated the audience from start to finish with her warmth and sheer powerful delivery.

John Brindley lined the stage with a fiddle, piano, piano accordian and guitar and played all instruments with virtuosity throughout his set.  He took us on a journey of mainly self penned songs about his life and the love of his life – Mary.  These songs were sung from the heart and were so engaging.  He had all of us on board with his unique voice, clear diction, versatility, musicality and delivery.  John also sang requests such as the Galway Girl (accordian) Vincent (piano) and the Deportees (guitar) and at one stage played 8 Irish reels without stopping on his fiddle.  There were the usual off the cuff clever and funny asides.  The final song was Vera Lynns ‘Till we meet again’.  So apt and so well delivered by a completely unique and accomplished performer.

Ken Scally said that his set was worthy of the highest stage in the land.  Susie Bird’s comment was ‘They were channelling a higher state’.  I think our audience would fully agree.  Thank you to Pauline and John for a fitting end to our festival 2019.

Thank you to Bill and Leslie Sproson for providing the excellent sound and the lovely fairy lights.  All artists commended them for it.  Thank you to Ken Scally who MC’d all weekend and who managed to get such a wonderful varied line up.  He has done a sterling job.  Thank you to the Coppull Team and helpers who worked so hard all year to raise funds to pay the artists, and who helped to set up the tent and take it down again.  Thank you to Mavis and Ron and their team who provided the venue, the second tent and stage, and  worked so hard to give us refreshments and food all day and night.  Thank you to all the people who supported our fund-raising concerts and raffles and donated raffle prizes.  Without you, this weekend could not happen.  Lastly thanks to all the lovely people who came to the Alison and provided the camaraderie and friendship that make this wee festival unique.  I think we can all say that FESTIVAL 2019 was a big success.