In late 1970, I began working as a civilian aircraft engineer at R.A.F. St. Mawgan, near Newquay employed by Airworks, an Aviation Services Company, sub-contracting to the M.O.D. From here I began to visit the famous old Folk Cottage which had relocated from Mitchell, near Truro, to the Church Hall at Rose, near Perranporth. Along with my old friend Joe Lappin, also employed by Airworks, and performing as a duo called ‘Poteen’ – we were welcomed and quickly accepted by this very friendly, open hearted community. Our repertoire was mostly gleaned and copied from the Clancy Brothers and The Dubliners though there were some gentler songs from the writings of the celebrated Scottish Bard, Robert (Rabbie) Burns too.
Poteen were also invited to perform at some non-folk club venues like Village Halls, Social Clubs, Working Men’s Clubs and such and, if the resulting gigs were not always strictly in line with our declared folk ethnicity and roots, they did seem to be enjoyed with evident delight by all those who came and attended our performances. Enchanted perhaps by Joe’s forthright and rumbustious style and my all too often highly irreverent and sometimes very inappropriate ‘comedy’. To say that we enjoyed ourselves – and immensely too – would be a major understatement! Joe however lacked my passion and commitment for the partnership and the regular rehearsals and research required so we soon parted as musical collaborators, but we remained staunch and life-long loyal friends.