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Rocking Rob ready to call time on running South Yorkshire folk club

Rob Shaw with some leading perfomrers (ex-Steeleye Span member Martin Carthy, who taught English folk melodies to a young Bob Dylan and Paul Simon)

Rob Shaw with some leading perfomrers (ex-Steeleye Span member Martin Carthy, who taught English folk melodies to a young Bob Dylan and Paul Simon)

ONE of South Yorkshire’s unsung heroes of the music world is to take his final bow.

Rob Shaw is stepping down from the Rock Folk Club after almost 40 years.

Over the years, he has been responsible for bringing thousands of the folk scene’s leading performers to the county to entertain tens of thousands of music lovers at the club’s weekly concerts.

The club also received the highest accolade when it was voted folk club of the year at the BBC Folk Awards and is acknowledged among artists as a standard-setter for other clubs.

For more than 30 years it operated at The Rockingham Arms pub, Wentworth, but has been based at Maltby’s Wesley Centre for the last few years.

However, on Friday, Rob hands over the reins of the club to a team of volunteers who aim to keep the club rocking.

Rob, who lives in Swinton, said: “I have loved my time at the Rock but I am now in my 39th year here and reckon it is time to move on.

“For years I have been getting home from work and spending a couple of hours every night on club business – everything from negotiating with artists’ agents to writing biographies for publicity material.

“New technology, such as emails, has made some of the work easier but it is still time-consuming.

“I am looking forward to going to concerts in future and simply enjoying the music, rather than worrying about the quality of the sound.”

Janet, and long-time Rock helpers Adam Morawski and his wife Lynn, are also stepping aside after this Friday’s show, which will be headlined by Johnny and the Prison Didn’t Help Boys.

The club will be run in future by Rob’s brother Colin and John Willis.

 

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