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2016 Obit: Ray Downes

GUEST,Rugface 03 May 16 - 05:15 AM
Bruce from Bathurst 03 May 16 - 11:00 AM
Bugsy 03 May 16 - 11:32 PM
GUEST,SG 04 May 16 - 05:35 PM
Waddon Pete 05 May 16 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,Derek Graham 01 Apr 17 - 02:36 PM
Bruce D 01 Apr 17 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,Al Barnes 18 Nov 17 - 02:31 AM
GUEST 18 Nov 17 - 09:31 AM
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Subject: Obit: Ray Downes
From: GUEST,Rugface
Date: 03 May 16 - 05:15 AM

The world of folk music lost a fine singer, club/tour organiser and all-round good bloke on the evening of May 1st, 2016. Ray Downes fronted the East Midlands band "Bedlam" in the 80's and 90's before returning to Australia where he had previously lived. He was a well-known figure in the Perth/Fremantle area where he presented a folk show on local radio. He also organised tours of Australia for British-based singers.
In recent years he had returned to his native Cumbria where, despite recurring health problems, he continued to enjoy the outdoor life and to sing and entertain as only he could.
A big man with a big voice and a big impact on all those who met him, Ray left behind a number of recordings with Bedlam in the U.K. as well as "Hobson's Choice" in Australia; we can still listen to that marvellous voice even though we can no longer enjoy his company. He will, no doubt, be leading a cracking shanty session up yonder - good on yer, mate !


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ray Downes
From: Bruce from Bathurst
Date: 03 May 16 - 11:00 AM

Ray's was a familiar face at Australian festivals.

While I was helping to run our local Folk Club, Ray worked hard to promote touring artists from the UK and his contribution was important in spreading the word.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Ray Downes
From: Bugsy
Date: 03 May 16 - 11:32 PM

This is the Obit I hoped I'd never have to read.

Ray had been battling an extremely aggressive cancer for years, and most of us thought he had it beaten. However, the bastard disease reared it's ugly head again and, eventually, had its way.

He was an inspiration to those of us who have experienced and survived the cancer curse.

He was a good mate, a fine singer, a brave promoter and an all round good bloke. I'll miss him.

Rest in peace, Ray.

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: 2016 Obit: Ray Downes
From: GUEST,SG
Date: 04 May 16 - 05:35 PM

Ray was a mate: it was a pleasure and a privilege to sing with him as a member of "Bedlam" as well as playing for "Aussie" bush dances. The reunion tours when he returned to the U.K. each year were great fun, as was visiting him in Oz. I can't really believe that he is gone and that we will now be denied the chance to sing together again; that may sound selfish, but it perhaps suggests how much he meant to so many of us.R.I.P. mate, at least your suffering is over.


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Subject: RE: 2016 Obit: Ray Downes
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 05 May 16 - 08:36 AM

This is sad news. My condolences to all those who know and love him. I have added his name to the "In Memoriam" thread.

RIP

Peter


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Subject: RE: 2016 Obit: Ray Downes
From: GUEST,Derek Graham
Date: 01 Apr 17 - 02:36 PM

Just come across this sad news. Ray and I were at Nottingham Teachers training College from 1961/64 where a group of us ended up singing in a group on the same bill as Robin Hall and Jimmy MCgregor for a one night show at college. After college we all went our separate ways until the advent of the internet when we contacted each other, usually once a year at christmas. Really sad news R.I.P. Ray


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Subject: RE: 2016 Obit: Ray Downes
From: Bruce D
Date: 01 Apr 17 - 05:00 PM

I too miss Ray's Obit.

I knew Ray slightly, as part of the WA's folk scene in the late 70's when he sang with Blackthorn. Our connection was that we shared the same surname.

At a National a few years ago, he was kind enough to give me a CD version of Blackthorns cassette "Footsteps Home" a tape I enjoyed for many years until it died of over use and old age.

Bruce D


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Subject: RE: 2016 Obit: Ray Downes
From: GUEST,Al Barnes
Date: 18 Nov 17 - 02:31 AM

I knew Ray back when we both were at NTTC in 1963 64. At the time he was my best friend. He invited me to his house in Cumberland where we hiked the hills, watched peregrine falcons dive and feed their young. We stole live salmon from a nuclear facility. Neighbours said it couldn?t be done. Ray?s mum said ?well done boys? She made us individual steak pies, the best meal I ever ate. His dad and brother were there also.   I am so sorry I did not keep up. I now live in Western Canada in the summer and Southern California in the Winter. Green Hills, Blue skye, great northern ale. RIP Ray. Al? You can give this email to anybody who knew Ray back in the early days as long as they are not selling anything.
Al BarnesSouthern


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Subject: RE: 2016 Obit: Ray Downes
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 17 - 09:31 AM


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