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In 1971 Brian Langtry opened the Wombourne Folk Club at the Mount Pleasant Pub in Bratch Lane Wombourne near
Wolverhampton. With Brian acting as organiser and resident singer the club prospered which, just before Christmas 1971,
prompted a move to larger premises at the New Inn Pub a qurter of a mile up the road. Regular floor singers Graham Green and
Ken Ash, quickly supplemented by Dave Whalley, joined Brian to form “ Giggetty Plonk “ who took over resident artist duties.
The Club booked guests most weeks using a mix of local talent- Dan Fone, Bill Caddick, Michael Billington, Nigel Jones, John
Richards, John Raven, The Puritans, Rosie Hardman, Ian Campbell and Malcolm Stant - and touring
artists such as Barbara Dickson, The Humblebums with Billy Connolly and Gerry Rafferty, Mike
Harding, Richard Digance, Alex Campbell, Tony Capstick, Noel Murphy and others.
Giggetty Plonk morphed into plain old “Giggetty” sometime around 1973. The inspiration for the
name change being Giggetty Lane where Brian lived at the time. A rather ghoulish connection is
that Giggetty is derived from Gibbut, an old word for gallows, which were at one time, it is
alleged, to be found at the end of the Lane.
The Goup began to write their own material focussing upon songs about the Black Country- an
area often described as “ all those towns and villages situated on the 30 foot coal seam”. It
roughly encompasses Dudley, Cradley Heath, parts of Wolverhampton, Walsall and West
Bromwich. A growing local interest in all things Black Country ( stimulated in part by the vibrant
enthusiasm and energy of the Black Country Society ) saw offers of bookings at a wide range of events, clubs, village halls, theatres and other venues. The
Group quickly developed an enthusiastic following for their off the cuff remarks and humour, accessible music and a high degree of
audience participation. Alongside songs espousing the beauty, history and quirks of this special and culturally rich area of the
Midlands were to be found rousing folk tunes the likes of ` The Wild Rover`, `Whip Lamboree` and `Lord of the Dance`.
The Group formed its own show- The Giggetty Black Country Show- which featured the cream
of the local guest artists and comedians such as Anuyk and Ayli, Dolly Allen, Tommy Mundon,
poets Ron Burns, Harry Harrison, Jim Williams and Geoff Stevens, historian Winston Homer and
more latterly the superbly talented Dandy and Black Country stalwart Lizzie Wiggins. The Black
Country Show enjoyed phenomenal success and was to continue in various guises throughout
the next three decades playing large and small theatres, village halls, schools, town and civic
halls, golf, cricket, football, tennis and rugby clubs and many more venues. Gradually over the
years the Show travelled further afield but always retained its links and love affair with the
spiritual home that is the Black Country.
The Group`s first radio appearance was in 1973 when Birmingham Local Radio presenter Chris Phipps, who later went on to work
on the iconic `Tube` TV show, invited them to sing live in the studio. Subsequently they recorded a radio documentary `Dawn to
Dusk in the Black Country` with Chris and enjoyed regular appearances on
his show over the subsequent 3 years.
The first of some 80+ Giggetty TV appearances occurred in 1976 when local
poet and historian Harry Harrison championed them with BBC Midlands
Today at that time anchored by the legendary Tom Coyne. Throughout
the rest of the 70`s, 80`s and 90`s Giggetty wrote and performed songs
on local and national TV including Noel Edmund`s Saturday Superstore,
It`s a Knockout, BBC Pebble Mill at One, ATV Today, Central Today and
other local and national programmes which called for a Black Country
flavour. Additionally they composed many specially commissioned song
for occasions and events as diverse as Bonfire Night, Christmas, the
mystery of the Black Country Phantom, and the collapse of the Birmingham- Wolverhampton main road as a result of mining
subsidence. They also composed music for several TV documentaries, wrote TV intro/outro songs, several radio adverts and
jingles and became regular contributors to commercial radio stations particularly Wolverhampton`s Radio Beacon for some
The Group gigged their way through three decades at the rate of 100 appearances a year. The last original member, Brian
Langtry, retired eventually due to health reasons in 1997.