About the Nonsuch Folk Club
Bishops Waltham Social Club, Bishops Waltham, SO32 1AR
Email for information: nonsuchfolkclub@yahoo.com
Phone enquiries via Lyn on    01730 858953

The Nonsuch Folk Club has established itself as a friendly, welcoming folk club on the local scene. Currently established in

Bishops Waltham, it has suffered the vagueries of most folk clubs to find a base at which to enable other like-minded

folk music enthusiasts to listen, sing and perform 'live' music.

The Nonsuch was initially formed in Winchester at the Black Boy pub by Bill Long, who encouraged local folk singers

to display their individual style in a relaxed atmosphere.

Despite the popularity and success at the Black Boy, changes of pub management enforced the migration

of the club, first to the Riverside, then to the Railway in Eastleigh and later to Bishops Waltham.


In the early days at Bishops Waltham, Bill and his other co-organisers often declared that they were irritated

by having to keep changing the club name just because of a change in venue and sought another apt, ‘neutral’ name.

Coincidentally, Bill had been reading a historical description of Henry VIII’s lost palace, located between Ewell and

Cheam in Surrey.The King had a sumptuous palace constructed there in celebration of his 30 years reign and the birth

of his first male heir, who later was to become Edward VII, and as a glittering demonstration of his extravagant

Tudor power.  He engaged the finest craftsmen to construct the ‘Nonsuch Palace’ which was named so because he was

determined that “None such would  match it in the world.”

A visiting influential visitor at the time declared that no building was as grand and commented:

‘This which no equal has in art or fame, Britons deservedly do Nonsuch name.’

Considered to be one of the finest architectural wonders of the world, it stood for 150 years until it was sold

and completely demolished in 1682 in order to settle the gambling debts of the mistress of the later King, Charles II.

Ironically, the Palace was rarely visited by any Monarchy and now has little remains, being covered by 700 acres of grassland.

It was thus agreed to change the name to the Nonsuch Folk Club, which could be used wherever the club was operating.

Some people suggested that the name may have derived from one of the Royal Navy ships, HMS Nonsuch, but no links

between the Royal Navy, Bishops Waltham, or the club, has been discovered.to support this hypothesis.


Although the current venue at the Bishops Waltham Social Club may not be the ideal location to run a folk club,

the club members still try to maintain the original intentions of providing somewhere to listen to live music,

by mainly local people, in a cosy, relaxed, atmosphere.