| When Danny and I got together more than 14 years
ago, we both were already heavily into Country Music. We both
had already started our own clubs (Danny started the White Horse
CWC in Saltcoats and I had started the Stagecoach CWC in Irvine!),
so it made sense to combine our efforts. We started our Western
Wear Business, travelling round the Clubs and Festivals. Danny
was hand-painting everything in sight i.e. the backs of shirts,
jackets, T-shirts, backdrops etc. etc. Remember that was in the
days when computers were unheard of and the things Danny turned
out were quite a novelty. (Believe it or not, some are still around
today!!) We did this for 4 years, before giving it up because
by then there were a lot of people selling the same kind of stuff
and it was a big struggle.
During our time of travelling round the clubs up and down Scotland we found out which Band was playing were and people got themselves into a habit of phoning us if they wanted to know which Band was playing where.It was our good friend John Selvey (who now is the president of the White Horse CWC in Saltcoats) who suggested to us to type these things onto a sheet and try and sell it! This we did and hey presto - that was the start of the little book. In those days it was in the A5 size, much handier to keep in ones bag etc.
As time went on we got more and more information which people wanted to broadcast, Bands wanted to advertise and before we knew it the book had between 80 and 90 pages in it. It was nicknamed the 'Bible' because it kept everyone moving around Scotland and people studied it intensely to find the best event for their taste.
Little has changed about that since then!In the early days everything was done in the house: I typed everything, things were cut out and glued into the relevant places, photographs were glued into place, then we photocopied everything on our own second-hand photocopier: 99 pages one side and 99 pages the other side! Then these pages were folded into half and then stapled together! Anybody who came visiting was roped into helping, I am sure people were avoiding us at times!!The next step was going to the local printer to get a colour front added, the rest was still done in the same way, eventually the printer did the lot, we just got everything ready. Unfortunately the price for the printing went up and up, in due course we discovered that the A5 size was a specialised size and therefore more expensive. We were advised to change size to the present A4 size, because it would work out a lot cheaper! We have now been with the 'Largs Printing Company' for a number of years and they have done us very well. (They are very patient waiting for their money - thank goodness!)In the beginning we published every 3 months, but by popular request we changed to bimonthly a couple of years ago. Thankfully this was very well received. I am now getting a lot of requests to change to monthly.
Unfortunately at the moment I would not have the resources to do so, but you never know what the future brings!Well, here we are, now the Magazine is being sold through most clubs in Scotland and Ireland, we have an extensive Mailing List, which also includes Canada, the USA, Germany and even Australia. Over the years a lot of our customers have become friends, a fact we are very proud of. We are always pleased when people phone just for a chat.The Magazine now is in its 13th year - who would have thought it!
Over the last couple of years times have been very hard financially, mostly due to the fact that people are not paying their bills when they are due, pushing us further and further back! We were at our wits end and then a magical thing happened: Some bands got together and we had a couple of great dances to raise money to help get the Mag. back onto its feet. Our most sincere 'Thanks' go to: "The Steve James Band; Boots 'n Saddles; Rambling Fever, the Dez Walters Band; Montana Moon; Stateline and Willie Evans and his magic Country Fever." A big 'Thank you' also go to the Grand Ole Opry, Flo, Carol Cooney, Willie McPhie and Diablo and Paddy. Then of course the biggest 'Thanks' must go to all the people who turned up, it was a joy to see everyone! Without any of those people mentioned none of these events would have been possible.
The next thing was a phone-call from May from the BCMC. She informed me that herself and Roy of DERI-Promotions were giving us a holiday to raffle at the Ayr Festival in October. Roy and May have supported and used the Mag. since it started all those years ago, and May explained that they simply could not be without it! I was speechless - which doesn't happen very often! A most sincere 'Thank you' to you both!
Really, to get that kind of support from so many people is quite something!
..but that was not all! A few weeks after that a cheque arrived with a letter from the Texas Rangers CWC in Bilston. A Raffle had been held at their club-night and the money raised also was given to the Mag. Well, I was left speechless - again!
Between all those different things well over £2000 has been raised and I am convinced that without it, we would not have a Magazine today!
A lot of people have called or written to say that they are worried about losing the Mag. Thankfully people are getting better sending in their money, and even though we are not completely out the woods yet, things are looking a lot brighter! We will certainly fight on to keep things going! We owe it to the people who have supported us over the years!Come back and visit soon, kind regards