I didnt feel able to write earlier but here he is a just small comment.
I first met Johnny Collins back in the late 80s he was the first shanty singer doing bookings that I came across at Uxbridge folk club later was lucky enough to talk to him in between stints as the singing Chef at Stanford in the Vale folk I realised that my early repertoire was based around the singing of the man himself he was very helpful in giving the guidance that led me to focus on singing shanties and songs of the sea. A few years ago I was booked at the San Francisco free folk Festival. When I got the contracts it had me down to do a sea shanty workshop -not knowing that this meant in the American sense of a themed session I thought I would have to do give a researched talk on the background to shanties, not something I'd previously attempted. I mentioned my problem to Johnny in passing at a gig and he immediately offered any of his materials or information from his performances so I could use it. this was just typical of the generosity of the man. I'm sure all of us have many stories about Johnny but out of all the times of fun and songs this one for me epitomises what a wonderful man and friend he was and how his love of music shone through in all he did.