Auld Triangle 1972 - 2007
(by Angela Barker)

Angela Barker

The following poem was written and performed by Angela on the last night of the Folk Club

 There’s a famous folk club at Westhoughton, that’s noted for music and song
Where Auld Triangle’s been singing for thirty-five years, how can anyone sing for so long.
There’s not many folk have that stamina or commitment, I’ll tell you that flat,
But there’s two here tonight who have done it, raise the chorus for Michael and Pat. 

These two have been singing since Noah were a lad, Orrell Rugby Club was their first venue,
Where Auld Triangle were christened as they hadn’t a name and only one song on the menu.
They’ve not done it alone, there’ve been others, who have given these siblings a hand,
And over the years Auld Triangle’s had more line-ups than t’ Albion Band. 

The opening night for this Folk Group was no sell out, I couldn’t say that
Even though they were blessed with a world famous chap, Norman Prince was with Michael and Pat.
He served his apprenticeship well with our group, and then, if you’ll only believe us,
When he’d learned everything our heroes could teach, he went off and formed Houghton Weavers. 

Jim Berry, Pat Ryan and then John and Phil, Steve Robinson’s also another,
Pat Ryan returned with Ken Howard in tow and all played with our sister and brother.
They played the Red Lion for twenty long years then Karaoke Night killed the Wild Rover,
Could this be the end of our Friday nights out, no - our heroes won’t let it be over. 

So the Golf Club became the new venue, with no jeans allowed - that’s a fact,
We’d gone up a peg and become upper class - then Barrie joined Michael and Pat.
Beef butties and mugs of hot coffee, cheap beer, that’s the name of the game,
Graham Cooper backed up in absentii and Westhoughton Folk Club achieved fame. 

Then Clive joined the group and the line-ups unchanged, quadrangle’s the shape and it’s grand.
Though when Martin and Elizabeth came out to play it looked just like Pat Batty’s Band.
But there’s more names to cite, like Toni and Ken who’ve sat on the door every week,
There’s Ian, the sound man, who’s also Mike’s son, how much fame can one family seek. 

We’ve Eileen & Jack who’ve come since day one and on the Committee we had Pat and Mike’s Mum,
There’s collectors of glasses and stackers of chairs and those who make sure the jobs all get done.
The audience should get a mention, without us it might be quite dull,
Specially the season ticket holders whose bums mean the seats get quite full. 

We’ve had all the top acts in the country and all of them’s frightened of Pat,
When she raises her finger and says "just one more", not one of them argues with that.
But tonight it will be the last time that she’ll call out for just one more song
As Auld Triangle is retiring and tonight they will sing their swan song. 

So join in the chorus with gusto, raise the roof as oft times before
And when their last song is over let’s call out "encore" for one more.
So thanks to all Auld Triangles who’ve entertained us throughout these long years
And especially this Final Triangle, who deserve all our plaudits and cheers. 

But the biggest and best cheer’s for Michael and Pat, these siblings so great and so dear,
As the last notes die out at Westhoughton Folk Club I’m sure you might just shed a tear.
Though now we should all raise our glasses to thirty-five years of good craic,
Of music and song and laughter and fun, fond memories for us to call back. 

So the Folk Club is closed at Westhoughton and the story is over - that’s flat,
Here’s a health and a toast to all the above and especially to Michael and Pat.

Take me Back to Westhoughton Retirement Do