It is hoped that we have a good roll up for our birthday celebrations on the 21st of July. Thirty-five years ago John Battle and I approached the Waratah Mayfield RSL Club with the idea of forming a country music club. We had previously been associated with the Terrace Country music club, which operated out of a Hall in Raymond Terrace, but thought a club closer would go well.
The club advertised in the Newcastle Herald, and over a hundred people turned up, some of which are still members today. A committee was formed and we decided on calling our club the Steel City Country music club the person who put forward the name was Marg Black, Marg and her husband Al were great entertainers and enjoyed performing at our club for many a year.
Our complete music system was made up of my big old bass amp, which performers played and sang through, this we made do for a couple of months when we purchased our first amp, yes the same old one that did us for many a year. We went onto run monthly Sunday shows at the club, bringing special guest artist as well as using up and coming artist from our newly formed club. Some of the special guest we used have still remained friends to our club like Aubrey and Martin Beggs, Wayne Horsbourgh, Jenny Harris are just few of the many that came into contact with us.
We became the first club in the area to run a Talent Quest of which we had a Male, Female and junior section. Of course our first male winner is none other than our own Brian Appleyard.
Over the year we have had a number of moves with our club. We spent two years at the RSL met one night at a hotel, then onto the tennis club, from there to the Wallsend Soccer club the club We held a couple of Festivals there and it was the first time meeting a young Rod McCormack, who has remained friends ever since. Eventually the club went into liquidation there so it was once more on the move. We are now based at the West Wallsend Workers Club. It is a nice area, with a stage just the right size and if you happen to fall off the stage it’s not to far to fall only about a foot. So if you haven’t made it out since we made our last move do yourself a favour and come along and see us some time. On each Tuesday night start around 7pm.
Our very first Newly Championship will start with our first heat 3pm Sunday 16th of August this is open to all comers Juniors, Seniors, Veterans, Duo’s or Groups the only clause is you must accompany yourself or you can even use a backing track each contestant’ is required to do two songs, with the first three place getters going into the final to be held on the Sunday 8th of November at our festival. Oh yes judging for this part of the quest is by audience, so bring all your friends along. There will be further heats third Sunday of September and November. If you miss out on a place you may enter any of the next two heats with the last heat having a wild card entry into the final making it up to ten. After the heats we will have a concert with our own artist plus a special guest each month. Oh yes entry into all sections of quest is free, also free entry for the public into the quest.
So make sure you download entry form for our Newly championship, as well as prize money there is nice trophy for the winner, sure to something to be proud of, and have bragging rights for years to come.
Our 35th birthday was a great night for all who attended I think the club that is our host The West Wallsend Workers Club wouldn’t mind if we had a birthday to celebrate each Tuesday night. We had to restrict our performers to just the two songs no one seemed to mind. Also a great job of backing by Footloose and our old friend Rick Clarke filled in on lead guitar for the night.
Over our many years we are proud of the many charities that we have been able to help out. Our ten years of concerts with Gina Jeffreys and friends for the Leukaemia foundation. There have been Fire, Flood and drought appeals we have been involved in as well as numerous other local charities our members and artists have been involved in. We are proud of our artists that we have helped foster along the way, of course Catherine Britt was one of them, Catherine as we know has another battle on her hands with breast cancer I’m sure she will show the same tenacity that she showed with first how she was determined to play guitar, How her fingers bled and how her
Father had to hide the guitar to give fingers time to mend. We would also like to give a cheerio to Graeme Sharpe, Peter Simpson and Wayne Metcalf who are having their own battles with the dreaded desise.