The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #69261   Message #1187685
Posted By: Steve Parkes
18-May-04 - 10:02 AM
Thread Name: Obit: Julie B (April 2004)
Subject: Julie: a brief candle
I've been trying to put my thoughts together; it's been more difficult than I'd imagined. Towards the end of 1999 I'd mentioned to a few colleagues that I was looking for a singer to team up with. I already knew Julie to say hello to, but it was a surprise when she came up and volunteered; I had no idea she sang. Hearing her sing was even more astonishing: she had such a clear, bright voice.

We only had time for a single appearance together when she was forced to spend several months off work with what was then thought to be repetetive strain injury (RSI), brought on by using a computer keyboard. People kept asking me "where's the lady with the lovely voice?"

Eventually she returned, and Julie began joining me at Bedford Folk Club. There she discovered a love of traditional music: she dug out her old fiddle, bought a new recorder and a new guitar, and started going to music sessions; she even helped found the lunchtime weekly Folk Club here at the Open University. I'm no great shakes as a musician, so I never saw her at any of the sessions. Well, my loss was everyone else's gain, and I was really very happy to know my erstwhile protegée doing so well.

I'll let others fill in the other details; I'll just say that she made friends everwhere she went, and dazzled everyone with her warmth, charm and exuberance. She was known and loved in almost every folk club and session in Buckinghamshire and the surrounding counties, not to mention Hull and Beverly, where she was a familiar face -- and voice -- at festivals.

Recently she'd been off work again. This time, her illness was recognised as lupus, an autoimmune disease which tends to attack the joints and lead to arthritis-like symptoms. But right up to the last, she was her old cheerful self. It sounds trite, I know, but she really did light up the hearts of all those she met. God bless you, Julie.