Sandy Still

Rod Hall

Allen Miller

Jim Jack

FOURUM Folk

Rod Hall

Double Bass

Mandolin

Guitar

Harmonica

Vocals

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Rod, the bass player, has only been with the band since 1995. He joined them for a practice then and they have been trying to get rid of him ever since - even giving him wrong directions for gigs - but he still turns up!


Rod was born in Harrow but came to Richmond when he was six as his father was in the army at Catterick. Eventually the family moved to Liverpool and, after leaving grammar school, Rod joined the merchant navy and then Trinity House as a lighthouse keeper, serving on many rock lights including Bishop’s Rock, The Lizard and Wolf Rock - the most remote lighthouse in England.


It was on Christmas morning 1966 on Wolf Rock that a French fishing boat sailed alongside the lighthouse and hailed Rod and the other 2 keepers. They climbed down onto the set-off, a line was thrown to the them and, upon hauling it in, they found a net containing three bottles of French wine and a large sea-bass. Entente cordiale indeed! Later that night when the radio transmitter was switched on for the coastguard’s report, the emergency mayday channel was jammed by drunken French voices singing “A minuit fait un reveil” Each Christmas since that date Rod remembers those French fishermen, and Charpentier’s music has never sounded quite so sublime as it did that evening.


It was while serving as a keeper that Rod taught himself classical guitar and music theory. Coming ashore, he became a music student at Bletchley Park, studying guitar, mandolin and double bass. Rod’s bass is English, Early Victorian, and during the 1920s it was owned by the double bass player in the Buckingham and District Light Orchestra. Each week he would cycle for rehearsals from Stony Stratford to Buckingham (a distance of eleven miles) with the bass strapped to his back! When Rod was given the instrument it was in a number of pieces, some large, some, regretably small. It was destined to be used as kindling wood! It is now mostly back together, thanks to Milners and Hallowes, instrument restorers, although bits are still held together by gaffer tape. As an old lady said to Rod as he staggered through Richmond Market Place on the way to the Georgian Theatre one evening: “I hope that when you get to wherever you are going someone asks you to play that thing!”

Wolf Rock Lighthouse

Rod on the lighthouse in 1966

That French boat on Christmas morning