Oak, ''Welcome to Our Fair'',
Topic Records, 12TS212 (1971)
Oak, ''Country Songs and Music'', Musical Traditions, MTCD327-8 (2003) (includes tracks from
''Welcome to Our Fair'' and other archive recordings)
* Tony Engle (voice, anglo concertina, fiddle, bones.
* Danny Stradling (voice, tambourine)
Stradling (voice, melodeons)
* Peta Webb (voice, fiddle)
They met in the 1960s in Kingston upon Thames where Rod Stradling ran a folk club. The Stradlings moved to Camden Town
in 1968 and became involved in running another folk club in Islington. Engle and Webb also moved to North London soon afterwards.
During 1970, while his wife Danny was pregnant, Rod Stradling played together with Tony Engle as a successful duo and as part
of The Garland, replacing Mel Dean. After the birth of their son, the Stradlings and Engle and Webb joined forces as Oak and
had soon performed at most of the folk clubs in the London area.
They were asked by Bill Leader to make an LP for his
Trailer label, but as Engle worked for Topic Records, he felt obliged to offer to record for them first. To his surprise,
the offer was accepted and ''Welcome to Our Fair'' was recorded on May Day, 1971. The record caused enormous interest and
the band played 163 gigs in the 18 months between the record's release and their final performance, on 19 December 1972.
Rod and Danny Stradling went on to form The Cotswold Liberation Front, which later
became The Old Swan Band. After a few years they left. Rod Stradling recorded with the English Country Blues Band, the English
Country Dance Band, Tiger Moth and Edward II and the Red Hot Polkas. He is currently the editor of ''Musical Traditions'',
a highly respected magazine whose archives are now available online.
Peta Webb, whose individual vocal style was influenced
by Irish traditional singers (especially Margaret Barry, Sarah Makem, and Sarah and Rita Keane), recorded with Scottish singer
Alison McMorland in 1980. She made a solo album ''I have wandered in Exile'' in the 1981. In the early 1980s she and Tony
Engle were members of Alan Ward's Tex-Mex band The Armadillos. She also formed her own band, Webb's Wonders and has recorded
with the Watersons and, in the 1980s and 1990s as part of Sisters Unlimited. She performs as a resident singer at the Musical
Traditions folk club in London; she is also an Assistant Librarian of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp
House, headquarters of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
Tony Engle has produced many classic folk recordings
for Topic Records, and played on several of them as a session musician. He is now managing director of Topic Records.