Tucked away in leafy South Oxfordshire is one of the county’s most unlikely musical success stories.

From its home in an intimate village hall, Nettlebed Folk Club regularly pulls in the very biggest acts – names who would usually play venues many times its size.

On Monday this folk institution, founded in the village in 1975 by a group of folkies from Maidenhead when their local pub landlord moved to Nettlebed’s now-defunct Bull Inn, celebrates its 40th anniversary. And it is marking the occasion by pulling in some of the people who have helped make it what it is.

The party is headlined by Paul Downes and Phil Beer – who have been performing in Nettlebed since the 70s, and reform specially for the show.

Phil Beer, who is club patron, is better known as one half of duo Show of Hands.

They will be joined by Feast of Fiddles, who actually formed for a gig at Nettlebed more than 20 years ago; Irish band Craobh Rua; and local heroes Jackie Oates, Megan Henwood, Kith & Kin and Bruce Gomersall.

The club, a former BBC Folk Club of the Year award-winner, has also hinted at some special surprises on the night.

The club’s Mike Sanderson tells us: “From a small start in a tiny bar holding 40 people, the club quickly established itself as one of the folk scene’s major circuit venues.

“It moved in 1991 to its present venue at the Village Club after the closure of the Bull Inn. However, the opportunity was taken to change gear as the new venue held 200 people.”

He adds: “The club is a volunteer run, non-profit organisation and takes over 12 people to keep it running smoothly. The acts that are staged encompass the different types of traditional and contemporary music and song from the British Isles, with occasional acts from Europe and North America.

“Most major British folk acts have appeared, names like Fairport Convention, Lindisfarne, Steeleye Span, Ralph McTell, Altan, Cara Dillon, Richard Thompson, Show of Hands, Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick, and Martin Simpson – to name just a few.”