Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 170 - November 2014


So.  Sunday Brunch came and went.  Much fun was had by all and if you missed it, but want to see it, it can be found on You Tube, providing you live outside the United Kingdom.  Go to Google (or whoever) and simply type Kimber's Men on Sunday Brunch - You Tube.  First time on National TV; hopefully not the last.


Secondly - probably only appropriate if you live in America - The New York Folk Song Society have kindly decided to publish my song about PETE SEEGER (Just another folk singer) in the next issue of their journal; apparently early next year.  I'm extremely grateful to them for exposing my song thus.  I had hoped that Sing Out would be interested, and to encourage them I even sent them a CD shortly after Pete died.  They were obviously too busy to reply because I never heard a word.  Ah well they are the finest folk song magazine in the world and they are probably inundated with stuff they don't have time to listen to.  Understandable really.


Here in Britain UKIP is gathering strength.  It should be an interesting general election next year.  The Conservative Party keep on shooting themselves in the foot.  The latest announcement is that they intend to install a fast rail link system between Leeds and Manchester cutting a long tunnel through the Pennines.  It will cost billions and billions of pounds (some say 77 billion) and save 20/30 minutes on the present journey.  Excuse me.  Billions and billions of pounds to save 20 minutes.  Brilliant idea.  The Conservatives tend to think it will attract northern voters.  But the Tory's never cease to amaze do they? 


I'm not sure how I will vote next May.  I suppose I will have to vote for someone otherwise I can hardly make criticisms of the next incumbents.  For most of my life I voted Labour; even did a concert in Hebden Bridge to raise both awareness and funds to help promote Blair the first time around.  Gave the party every penny.  Oh dear what a mistake!  I've sure made a few in my life haven't I?  It seemed like a good idea at the time until Blair decided to join the loony American President and attack Iraq.  But I've been down that road too many times in the past.  Won't bore you any further.  Well I can't vote Conservative and I will never vote Labour again in my whole life.  So I suppose I'm left with the dear old Liberal Democrats.  But that I fear will be what is commonly termed 'a waste of a vote' - so if I'm going to waste my vote by not voting either Conservative or Labour I might as well vote for some nondescript loony standing on his own. 


Indeed it might as well be me!


Apparently in order to become a 'validly nominated' candidate, which means my name will appear on a ballot paper, I need to submit a completed set of nomination forms together with a deposit of £500 to the (Acting) Returning Officer before 4pm on the deadline day for nominations.


As a 'validly nominated' candidate I will be entitled to free postage for one election communication to electors in my constituency, as well as the use of certain rooms to hold public meetings.  Might get a few hootenannies going?


Every candidate must have an election agent (but I can be my own agent). This is the person responsible in law for the proper management, particularly in terms of finances, of my election campaign.


So do I simply waste my vote; or waste my vote and £500?  Watch this space.


I would appreciate some letters of support and encouragement here; particularly in suggesting a name for my Party.  I've come up with "SAVE THE WORLD WITH SONG".  I thought of "MAKE YORKSHIRE INDEPENDENT" but I suspect there will be a few more of those and frankly I don't have the time for Cabinet Meetings.


Oh.  And by the way.  I will happily receive donations, however small, if I do decide to stand.  If the big boys can get donations, why can't I?  Anybody want to pledge?


Come on!  There must be someone out there as daft as me.



Fixture List for Kimber's Men and Joe Stead



Nov 15th (KM) Private gig in Halifax.

Nov 22nd (KM) Samlesbury War Memorial Hall, Lancashire

Nov 23rd (KM) Tosside Community Hall , Lancashire

Dec 6th (KM) The Workshop, Back Victoria Street, Halifax. HX1 5SU

Dec 11th (KM) The Red Deer, Sheffield, South Yorkshire.




Jan 17th (KM) Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax.

Feb 7th (KM) Coronation Hall, County Square, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 7LZ

Feb 20th (KM) St Barnabas School, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2EY

Feb 21st (KM) Catsfield Village Hall, East Sussex TN33 9DP

Feb 27th (KM) Provisional date for village hall in Wiltshire

Feb 28th (KM) Provisional date for village hall in Wiltshire

Mar 13th (KM) The David Hall, South Petherton.

Mar 14th (KM) Spring Arts Centre, East Street, Havant, Hampshire, PO9 1BS

Mar 21st (KM) Heron Theatre, Stanley Street, Beetham, Cumbria LA7 7AS

May 15th (KM) Shepley Festival

May 16th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Northumberland.

May 17th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Northumberland.

May 23rd (KM) Met Studio, Gatehouse Theatre, Eastgate Street, Stafford.

May 28th (KM) Ostend Festival

May 29th (KM) Ostend Festival

May 30th (KM) Ostend Festival

May 31st (KM) Ostend Festival

Jun 12th (KM) Mylor - Venue to be confirmed

Jun 13th (KM) Falmouth Festival of the Sea

Jun 14th (KM) Falmouth Festival of the Sea.

Jul 25th (KM) Shammick Acoustic’ Pack o’ Cards, Combe Martin. EX34 0ET

Jul 26th (KM) Village Pump Festival, Westbury, Wiltshire - Provisional

Sep 1st (Joe) Rochdale Masonic Buildings. Richard Street, Rochdale 2pm - Robeson.

Sep 26th (KM) Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall - Provisional

Nov 20th (KM) Market Theatre, Market St, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 2AQ

Nov 21st (KM) Rhosygilwen, Rhoshill, Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire. SA43 2TW

Dec 6th (KM) The Bothy Folk Club, Park Golf Club, Park Rd West, Southport








Hi Joe


It's good to hear from you, thank you for letting me know and I will certainly make sure to tune in. I will tell the family too.


I am sad to hear about your health. I wish you well and I know the very best thing that you can do is to keep on keeping on, for I truly believe that a positive inner attitude turns health around far more than we can imagine.


We are all well thank you and there are two forthcoming weddings, Amber's in December and Tim's next March. So as you can imagine the pace and excitement is building up now! But we all acknowledge that those days will be hard without Christie, for he is unforgettable always.


It's great that Kimber's Men are doing so well, that's a very busy gig list and I'm looking forward to Sunday morning TV!


Take care of yourself and 'break a leg' for Sunday's show.


Lots of love,

Gill Ross (Hennessy)





That was a powerful performance of personal pontification! Those mindless presenters (who all talk at once so that you can’t decipher any of their drivel) certainly met their match when you kicked off on your rant!  They would have learnt a lot about shanties too, if they had a brain between them… Hey and tell the Men the singing weren’t bad either!

Tony Day (Exmouth Shantyman).



Hi Joe,

Thanks for the email. Yes, "Ramblings" continues to arrive without fail and continues to be greeted with enthusiasm. At least I think it does.

Isn't it wonderful how your career continues to soar when so many of your peers have retired, or have been retired?  You never cease to amaze.  I wonder, given all your creativity and your skill with words, if you had ever entertained the idea of writing poetry or novels?  Or, given your performance skills, writing plays?

I enjoyed the TV clip and congratulate you again.  It was fascinating to see the panel at first entertained and then both gripped and impressed as K.M. turned it loose.

Good tunes to you.

Best to Nora,

Charlie Reilley - Philadelphia



Hi Joe

I recorded the TV programme at the weekend and enjoyed your short performances.

You all handled the situation very well and I thought you in particular as the spokesperson did a really good job. In fact I think they should give you your own TV programme – wouldn’t it be great to have a programme dedicated to folk and maritime music?

I would like to add that I think Michael’s voice is now working really well within the group and there is a fine balance between the five of you.

Mary sends her love and she is making progress with her broken ankle. As soon as she is able we will try to get along to a few of your concerts.

All the best

Peter Brooker



Hi Joe,

Great to hear from you again.

Thanks, the leg is getting back to normal, slowly, after 10 weeks of hopping, limping and wobbling about!!!

Anyway, Pete and I tuned in to “Sunday Brunch” this evening, (I think Pete watched it earlier as well).

I don’t think you should recruit those two presenters to the Band, they do absolutely NOTHING to the overall sound. I don’t think they should give up their day jobs. You all came over very well, perhaps not as strong/loud in depth of volume as you normally sound, (if that makes sense)! It was good to watch and the presenters seemed genuinely interested in hearing about the origins of sea shanties.

So, when is your next TV appearance, had we better watch this space …………

Take care Joe and I hope to see you all again soon.


Mary Brooker




Dear Joe,

I just got to this after hacking my way through a jungle of end-of-quarter, pre-election spamming from worthy causes and allegedly worthy politicians, howling, clawing at my legs, and begging for a pittance from my pittance. (I once calculated that if I gave everyone who asked the amount they asked for, Marilyn and I would be wandering the streets barefoot, wearing dirty burlap sacks in no time.) I finally chose to put an end to the madness on Friday by putting mail blocks on the repeat offenders, and miraculously the load on my in box has dropped by about 75%.

Anyway, since today is the 28th and long past your originally scheduled appearance I was wondering if the program(me) will be streamed on the Web on 10/19, and if there's a link for it. If so, I'll try to tune in -- though I guess "tune in" is another dated term in these days of the Internet.

As if the first round wasn't bad enough, it seems like we're wandering back into the Mideast Snake Pit again. Lessons deliberately unlearned, smothered by the old American gung-ho attitude of, "we'll get it right . . . this time!" The President's assurances keep reminding me of that great old Tom Paxton song:

And Lyndon Johnson told the nation,

Have no fear of escalation,

I'm trying everyone to please,

And though it isn't really war,

We're sending fifty thousand more,

To help save Vietnam from Vietnamese.

Permanent War Economy? What? What? Who said that?

Anyway, time to get on with the rest of the day. The Packet is planning on doing another Christmas Vespers celebration at John Street Methodist Church, our home since South Street Seaport began having its troubles, and it's inspired me to try to write a nautical Christmas song, through the eyes of a young apprentice on his first trip out. (My grandfather on his first trip out aboard a timber ship from Norway, was shipwrecked in a storm on the Liverpool bar. It didn't stop him, though.) Wish me luck!

All the Best,

Jan Christensen

PS: I hope you liked my CD -- Gus told me you'd purchased it on CD Baby. Thanks!



Hi Joe

Enjoyed every minute of your singing on Sunday Brunch. Great to see you all again. Keep us posted with future appearances.

We don't mind getting lots of reminders. Some of us need them

Best wishes

Chris and Mark (Duffin)




That was a good appearance (well, three of them) - nice and jovial and, as usual, the

presenters warm to it. I'm always struck that 'live' is so much more vocally forceful and, hopefully, some might turn up to the gigs based on what they saw.

I thought the balance was good, too. Actually, surprisingly so for TV. Although, having said that, you seemed to be balanced for 'one voice' where, live, you can pick out individual ones.

Great job.

Lee Smith




To all Kimber's men, managed to catch you all and it brought back good memories of your time in Cliffords Mesne .  Congratulations and well done, hope to see you and all before too long.

Jeni Street xx




Thanks for notifying me.  I'm not a natural TV watcher but remembered to put it on this morning. 

You sounded good, a lot better than the inane chatter round the table.  I'm hoping to see one of your Spot On performances but it's a busy weekend.

Sue Watkinson at Aughton Village Hall

Hi Joe

Thoroughly enjoyed your performances on C4 on Sunday. You kept the interviewers firmly under control!!!!

Hope you get some good bookings as a result of the programme.


Geoffrey Bone.  (A friend of 65 years).



Hi Joe,
Nice email.  Have we not seen you legless?

Nice load of gigs there. Showing me up. I need to get my finger out too. Back to your friend in the email.

Hope we meet again soon.

Ian Bruce xxx




Your "Ramblings of an Old Codger" are always a welcome breath of fresh air. Keep em' comin', Mate.

Dolan Ellis

Arizona's Official State Balladeer







An elderly golfer comes in after his round of golf at the new course and heads straight to the bar and restaurant area of the club house. As he passes through the swing doors, he spots a sign hanging over the bar that reads:


COLD BEER: £ 3.50
HAND JOB: £ 35.00

Checking his wallet to be sure he has the necessary money, the old golfer walks up to the bar and beckons to the exceptionally attractive female bartender who is serving drinks to a couple of other sun-wrinkled golfers.


She glides down behind the bar to the old golfer.


“Yes?” she inquires with a broad smile. “May I help you, Sir?”


The old golfer leans over the bar and whispers, “I was wondering young lady, are you the one who gives the hand-jobs around here?”


She looks into his eyes and with an even wider smile, purrs, “Yes, Sir, I certainly am.”

The old golfer leans in even closer and whispers into her left ear,  “Well, then, be sure to wash your hands real good, because I want a chicken sandwich.”






Ron Gardner sent me this link of five masculine moments. (Thanks Ron)

I found it amusing otherwise it wouldn't be here...........

















5 Masculine Moments


Click here:

5 Masculine Moments





























Keep smiling, keep singing,


Joe Stead