The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54463   Message #842918
Posted By: The Shambles
07-Dec-02 - 05:42 AM
Thread Name: Can YOU help The Blue Bell session?
Subject: Can YOU help The Blue Bell session?
With the talk of possible exemptions in possible new legislation, it is important that we do not lose site of what is presently happening and who is suffering now, with little or no legal justification under current legislation.

The licensee of the Blue Bell, Helpston, Peterborough is now facing possible prosecution for just allowing a long-running gathering of unpaid customers, making traditional English music.

Killed by the PEL system 2

Full details of the local efforts and what you can do to help can be found on the following site. Look for the 'flashing' link called Pellets.

This from Alan Wood who organised the session and is determined to prevent the licensee from prosecution.

>b>E-mail from Alan Wood. Header: Bluebell, Helpston - emotive stuff, this music.
19th November 2002

I was going to keep my head down for a few days and let others sound off but some of last night's exchanges gave me a concern that the 'wheels were coming off'.

I'm directing this missive at you to answer some of the specific questions which you asked about the background to the Helpston saga, and also to comment on the issues which you raised on the 18th.
I think the answers may be of interest to a wider audience, particularly if the Bluebell story and worries about the future Licensing Laws are merging into a blur and the focus is being lost with some of our Peterborough readers.

Firstly, no other musical events take place on a regular basis at the Bluebell to the best of my knowledge. Visiting morris sides and the annual Clare Society gathering are the only other times when anything spontaneous of a folk music / entertainment nature might occur.

My chief aim in pursuing the Bluebell case is to try and ensure that the licensee does not get prosecuted.

The opening paragraphs of Bosworth letter 1 is a plea for leniency, if a misdemeanour has occurred. I am asking people to join me in making this plea. The Peterborough Folk scene should have the opportunity to register their feelings and make a protest if they think it appropriate.. If sufficient members of that community don't come forward then I think we will be perceived as irrelevant.

Secondly, I would have no intention of running further sessions at the Bluebell unless a PEL ( or its future equivalent ) is in place.
If a PEL is granted to this pub then we would ask to go back. I don't know if the landlady is likely to apply - I'll ask her when I get the opportunity ( hopefully in the next few days - she is proving elusive. )

Thirdly, the local definition of 'performers' is not known to me. I would welcome some research into this if anyone has the time and energy to root out the Councillors who sit on the Licensing Authority.

I am fully in agreement with your sentiments about the possible folly of going head-on combat with Council employees. The officers may be digging in, but so far we have no evidence that the Councillors are supporting them. Karen's feedback seems to suggest the opposite. The situation may change, but I can't tolerate the prospect of Sue Furness climbing the steps of the Magistrates Court totally deserted by the local folk community. Emotive stuff, this music.


If you care for music and this concerns you at all, will you please help?