About the Nonsuch Folk Club 
Bishops Waltham Social Club, Bishops Waltham, SO32 1AR 
Email for information: nonsuchfolkclub@yahoo.com
Phone enquiries to 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 folk club was initially started in Winchester at the Black Boy pub by Bill Long, who encouraged local folk singers to display their individual style in a relaxed environment. Adopting the traditions of the time, the club name reflected the location at which it was based. Despite the popularity and success at the Black Boy, changes of pub management enforced the migration of the club, first to the Riverside, then the Railway in Eastleigh, and later, on to Bishops Waltham.

In the early days at Bishops Waltham, Bill and his other co-organisers were unhappy with changing the club name just because of a relocation of venue, and sought another apt, ‘neutral’ title. Coincidentally, Bill had been reading about the historical descriptions of Henry VIII’s lost palace, located between Ewell and Cheam in Surrey. The King had a sumptuous palace constructed there, completed in 1538, to celebrate both his 30 years reign and the birth of his first male heir, who later was to become Edward VII. He wanted the palace to be a glittering demonstration of his extravagant Tudor power and engaged the finest European craftsmen to build it.
Henry stated that “None such would match it in the world” naming it
'The Nonsuch Palace’.
An early eminent visitor observed that no building in the world was as grand :-
‘This which no equal has in art or fame,      Britons deservedly do Nonsuch name.’

The palace was considered to be one of the finest architectural wonders of the world, and 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 King Charles II. Ironically, the Palace was rarely visited by any Monarch, has little remains, and is now covered by 700 acres of grassland.

After discussions of possibilities, it was agreed to change the club name to The Nonsuch Folk Club, which had the advantage that it could be used wherever the club was operating.

Some people have suggested that the name may have derived from one of the Royal Navy ships, HMS Nonsuch. The first ship bearing that name began life as a galleon in 1555, and was renamed the Nonsuch after a rebuild in 1603. There have been 11 such ships in service to the navy, the last one being scrapped in 1949 but, so far, no links have been discovered between the Royal Navy, Bishops Waltham, or the club, to support this hypothesis.

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