This Sunday, 7th June, is the 45th anniversary of the first “proper” Falconers band booking; a dance in aid of Talking Books for the Blind, at Eye village hall. We had been playing for the dance club here in Bromyard for a few months beforehand, however. The band was then me, Jim Reynolds (drums); Tony Lloyd (guitar) and Francis Stanbridge (bass). I was the only one playing the tune! Maggie’s first booking was just after Christmas that year, at Putley (a Dave Jones ceilidh). What a long time ago..........

A very poor picture of the original band exists, which was taken at Haselor at a harvest supper, with Bill Astley, in October of that year. A memorable event, as I had quite a severe tummy bug and Bill was prescribing port and brandy. Say no more. Another picture attached shows us in 1984, when we were recording our first LP.

Falconers 1975 web

img484 web

The four-piece band which very many remember, with my then-wife Liz on second box, in fact only existed from 1978 to 1990, when Tony had to stop playing owing to back problems. Sadly, he died some years back. Maggie, of course, had a year away in the USA in 1978/9, and then away in Yorkshire from 1986 to 2001, but we have effectively played together for 30 of those 45 years. Anna Beddows played flute from 1990 to 2006 until family took over; she remains a great friend. It's a great pity we don’t hear her playing any more.

I have done an interesting (well, interesting to me!) time chart of “who played when”, which really surprised me; my memory plays tricks with me and I couldn’t believe, for example, that Tony had left so long ago.

Falconers Timeline Web
(click on the image to see it full size)

45 very happy years of playing; I know I am very fortunate indeed to be playing with Maggie. Heaven knows when we will next play for a dance - or indeed when our club will restart, but I hope it is not too long away when it is safe enough again to be dancing. Safety must come first, so we will be patient.