The Royal British Legion Club,
Eversley Road (A327), Aborfield RG2 9PR

Every 2nd and 4th Thursday in the Month, ‘American’ Style Country Music

From Start to Present Day

It was back in the spring of 83 when several members of the then local country music club decided that the quality of entertainment they were being offered week after week by their club was sub-standard, and that many of the top country bands at that period were not being given the chance to appear at the club. With this in mind it was decided to form a new club which would engage all the top professional bands in the UK, and when possible put on any touring American artists that would be within their financial capability. It was to be a weekly club, and the venue was to be at Wokingham Town Football Club. The name of this new club was to be the H-BAR-C, named after the famous brand of imported American western wear, which at the time was top of the range.

Roland & JuneThe first gig took place in May 83, and the band was the Chris Dale Band. During the following years bands like Colerado, Raymond Froggatt, Hillsiders, Sarah Jory, regulary played the H-BAR-C along with American artists Rattlesnake Annie, Jimmy Lawton, Heather Myles, Wendal Adkins, Jim Glazier, Joe Sun, George Hamilton V, Pinto Bennett and fiddle player John Permenter. In fact John played his first gig in the UK at the H-BAR-C back in Dec 93 after we had first met him backstage at the Moe Bandy theatre in Branson, Missouri, whilst on the annual British Country Music Association trip. John had expressed a desire to visit and play in the UK, so it was arranged, and now he is a regular visitor, making two or three tours a year, playing the H-BAR-C often.

Although involved right from the start, the full responsibility of the H-BAR-C was taken over in 92 by Roland and wife June, after their friends June and Paddy retired and moved to Scotland. With the footbal club getting deeper and deeper in debt, despite financial help from the H-BAR-C it was inevitable that the venue would soon be lost, and this finally came about in the summer of 99, when the footbal club was sold for housing development. The footbal club themselves amalgamated with a small village side called EMBROOK and did not possess a function room suitable to stage live band entertainment, so the hunt was on for a suitable venue. Visits to various golf clubs, football clubs, village halls, community centres etc proved fruitless, then out of the blue came a call from the Bracknell Sport & Leisure Centre. On inspection the venue had nothing in common with Wokingham, but it had almost everything that we were looking for

So in we moved, Wokingham's loss was Bracknell's gain. However after 8 years at the leisure centre the relationship began to wear thin with the management so we decided to move on to a venue more suited to our needs, and we now meet every 2nd and 4th Thursday in the month at the Aborfield British Legion, which is back in the Wokingham area. We are now in our 35th year, and have put on almost 1,800 country music evenings, and we can still proudly say that the H-BAR-C is still regarded by many as the No 1 honkey-tonk in the Southern Counties, and we intend to keep it that way. If there is any doubt why not pay us a visit and find out for yourself.

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