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Bob Patten

It’s some measure of the impact that Bob made on others that, had the East Devon crematorium chapel been three times larger, it would scarcely have been large enough for those attending. He had planned the ceremony himself, and with his customary humour, had us leave to the strains of Leonard Cohen’s That’s No Way To Say Goodbye.

Barry Bridgewater

I am sad to report the death of Barry Bridgewater on 18th March 2018. Barry lived in Denby Dale and as a young man had been invited to the Holme Valley Beagles hunt where he took a big part in the hunt singing, something that would eventually lead to the LP, A Fine Hunting Day, produced by Bill Leader. Barry’s picture was on the cover. The other area of the country where after hunt singing takes place is the Lake District, and Barry often visited friends up there, calling it his second home.

Ted Poole - 1925-2018

On the 6th March, a couple of months short of his 93rd birthday, Ted Poole died. It's difficult to write those words, but it's even more difficult to believe them.

Ted and Ivy Poole started Swindon Folksingers' Club in January 1960, and ran it up until 2004, when they handed over the reins to Eric Stott. That's right. The club is still running, after 58 years! What's more, Ted and Ivy continued to attend, and continued to sing at the club, every week, until very recently.

Liam O’Flynn - 1945-2018

Just as we were going to press we heard the sad news of the death of master uilleann piper, Liam O’Flynn at the age of 72. Liam, from Co Kildare, played the pipes from the age of 11, learning from legends such as Leo Rowsome and Seamus Ennis.

Rollo Woods

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Rollo Geoffrey Woods, who died on 29 January 2018, at the age of 92. A thanksgiving service was held in Swanage URC on 9th February, and a further celebratory event will be held on April 7th from 3pm at Swanage School. All who knew him are warmly invited to attend.

Bob and Kathy Drage

Bob Drage sadly passed away just before 5.00p.m. on Sunday 10th December 2017 having only been admitted into Pilgrims Hospice on Friday. Bob was 67 in August and had been ill with cancer for a couple of years. We were all shocked exactly a week later on Sunday 17th December to hear that Kathy had also died alone at home. Bob and Kathy had been together since they were teenagers and had seldom, if ever, been apart. We think Kathy died of a broken heart.

Bert Draycott - 1930-2017

Bert Draycott of Fishburn in County Durham passed away a few days before his 87th birthday, peacefully at home on 29th September 2017.

Tom Paley - 1928-2017

The veteran guitarist, banjo and fiddle player Tom Paley passed away in Brighton on 30th September at the age of 89. Born in New York in 1928, he moved to California during his teenage years. But the draw of New York was too much for Tom, so after studying mathematics at Yale University, he returned to his home town.

Mikk Skinner - 1953-2017

Mikk Skinner passed away on Saturday 24 June at the age of 64. Mikk was born in Bristol in 1953, but he spent most of his life in the Nottingham area. He was a popular character in sessions around Nottingham. A talented guitarist and singer, Mikk was also a fine cajon and low whistle player. His greatest passion was accompanying fiddle players on guitar, and he would often attend FiddleOn events including the walking and fiddle weekends in the Cotswolds and the Isle of Wight. One year he went to Blazin’ in Beauly in Scotland, where he spent a whole week surrounded by over 100 fiddle players. At these events Mikk would often play music right through the night, only going to bed at daybreak.

Vin Garbutt - 20 November 1947 - 6 June 2017

It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of Vin Garbutt. Vin’s heart problems over recent years have been aired in public, mainly from the mouth of Vin himself whose hilarious routines about his medical experiences should surely be available on prescription. Laughter is a great tonic and a medicine which Vin dished out like a pharmacist on steroids. Following recent heart surgery for valve replacements, Vin appeared to be making a good recovery, with some initial setbacks. But then shock at news of his death hit people hard. This isn’t an in-depth summary of Vin’s life - those records and tributes exist elsewhere - rather it is a fairly random collection of thoughts and observations from myself and others.