Ruskin House’s Labour and Trades Union club had a special guest on Monday night, when Peggy Seeger attended the unveiling of a portrait of her in the Mandela Lounge.
Seeger is one of the leading figures in folk music in America and Britain of the last 60 years. The American lived in London for 30 years, in exile from McCarthyism in the United States, and at a time when she was in a relationship with Ewan MacColl. Famously, MacColl wrote the classic ballad First Time Ever I Saw Her Face on meeting Seeger.
Seeger gave an impromptu performance of a few songs for the Croydon Folk Song Club on Monday, and undertook to come back to perform a fund-raising concert for the Ruskin House Restoration Fund.
This prompted memories of a previous fund-raising gig that Seeger, together with MacColl, had performed at Ruskin House in the 1970s for striking electricians.
One of the club members, Tina Davis, told Inside Croydon, “Peggy was impressed with the ongoing refurbishment of the Georgina King Lewis Library and meeting room on the first floor, and she also admired the bar with its posters and banners and the Mandela picture in the lounge.”
Details of the Seeger fund-raising event will be published in due course.
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