Roisin White sang Alan Bell's "Here's to you and our time together" at the Glenfarne song session, Leitrim, yesterday evening. All present knew of Alan and his songs, sad news for some of the company just learning of his passing.
I have known Alan and Christine for the best part of fifty years. Unmissable nights at Blackpool Folk Club with the Taverners led on to unmissable years of the Fylde Folk Festival. Both institutions brought singers, groups, bands and dancers to this area, an extraordinarily rich variety of folk and traditional music virtually on my doorstep, for which I will be eternally grateful.
Others have mentioned the long-term and long-distance friendships initiated and re-inforced at Fylde Folk Festivals over the years, in no small part due to the friendly atmosphere appreciated by new and returning visitors, an atmosphere carefully nurtured by Alan.
Working with Alan was a privilege and a pleasure. It was an honour for me to have been involved with the festival over so many years, and in various projects that Alan originated or generously assisted with, or the many Fleetwood Folk Club/Ron Baxter/Red Duster/Earthbound projects which he always made room for in the festival programme. Younger hands are getting involved in his Folkus folk arts project and hopefully Alan's legacy of encouraging and enthusing newcomers to folk music will long continue.
Here's to you, Alan.
Condolences to Christine and Jamie.