I agree with my friend and colleague Warwick Slade about Wimborne, but as someone who returned to the 'folk scene' after a long absence (playing 'barn dances' in a folk band for fifteen years isn't being part of the scene!) I was struck by a num from their seatber of differences from the heady days of the 1965-1975 period. Firstly, the 'singaround' format, where everyone takes a turn, rather than getting on the stage or standing up in front of everyine to do their 'spot.' Secondly, it's common for people to have their words in front of them - when did the law change to allow this? Thirdly, most clubs in this part of Dorset are monthly (Wimborne's one of the exceptions) and are usually in very rural locations. Unknown in 'my time', when the Wessex and Free Xpress were Bournemouth based,and the other local clubs were also in the towns, e.g. Dorchester, every Thursday. Now Dorchester is a monthly (singaround) club. All enjoyable, but not what I think of as 'proper' clubs.
I agree with those who make the 'generational' point. I was always struck by the similarities between folk the trad jazz boom of the late 50s/early 60s. A generation took up a musical style and many stayed with it throughout their lives. I was originally a jazz musician (well...guitar and banjo in a trad band) before gravitating to my natural home, folk, and when I used to go and hear our local hero, Gerry Brown and the Mission Hall at a local hotel, I saw many of the people who who'd been stalwarts of the jazz scene in Bournemouth 45 or more years ago. Coming back into folk song, I found many people who I'd not seen since about 1975.