They’re the Heywood Cowboys
They run the north's number one country and western night - and they haven't missed a night in 42 years.
Mavis and Jack Lee, of Bamford Road have been putting on acts at Hobo's Retreat, their country and western night, since 1968. And although there have been numerous name and venue changes, they've battled against all the odds to keep the night going for over four decades.
However, the couple freely admit that they started running the club entirely by accident.
Jack, 84, said: "We went down to The Kingsway in Rochdale, which was run by Mike Harding. We'd gone along with our gear, on the basis that if we did a turn we'd get in for free. Mike hadn't turned up, so the landlady asked if we'd run it instead. And we've been doing it ever since.
" Following that, the couple began a five year tenure of The Fisherman's Folk Club, at Hollingworth Lake, again by accident, and the night has shifted guises ever since. It's current incarnation, the Hobo's Retreat, currently resides at the Reform Club on Tower Street every Thursday night.
Mavis said: "All the performers say they enjoy playing here because our audience listens to the music. At other clubs they get up and line dance, but at ours everybody listens.
" The pair started out as a musical duo, performing old bluegrass tunes by artists such as the Carter Family and Jimmy Rogers. Nowadays, Jack keeps the night racing along as compere, telling jokes and doing comic monologues, while Mavis is in charge of booking the acts.
Mavis said: "We get some great acts on, such as Tim McKay and Katie Rhodes, and we're always looking for new talent.
" Jack nods in agreement, saying: "We had the Swing Commanders on a couple of weeks ago and they're just incredible. They love playing the club and it was a great atmosphere.
" Mavis adds: "We've had some brilliant times over the years, we used to go away for weekends together camping in the Lakes, the whole lot of us, it was such fun.
" There's just one more thing we need to know - where did that name come from?
Mavis laughs, saying: "I rang up the Advertiser to put an advert in for the club when we first started here and they asked what the night was called. And I just said 'Hobo's Retreat', completely off the top of my head. I don't know where it came from."
Although they might sometimes seem as if they're just muddling along, with their dedication and love of music, it's surely no accident that Jack and Mavis's night is so long-lasting and so loved by performers from across the country.
Hobo's Retreat takes place every Thursday night at Heywood Reform Club on Tower Street, with entry costing between £3.50 and £4.50. For more information, either about attending or performing, call 01706 622638.
The Hobos Retreat