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Obit: George Withers 29 June 2009

GUEST,Big Fan 01 Jul 09 - 04:43 AM
Fred McCormick 01 Jul 09 - 04:50 AM
Surreysinger 01 Jul 09 - 04:51 AM
GUEST,George Henderson 01 Jul 09 - 05:32 AM
SylviaN 01 Jul 09 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,Gadaffi 01 Jul 09 - 06:10 AM
MartinRyan 01 Jul 09 - 07:04 AM
BB 01 Jul 09 - 07:36 AM
Dave Sutherland 01 Jul 09 - 08:29 AM
Vic Smith 01 Jul 09 - 12:16 PM
Tradsinger 01 Jul 09 - 12:37 PM
GUEST 01 Jul 09 - 02:05 PM
GUEST,flyingcat (moira) 01 Jul 09 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,jim mac farland 01 Jul 09 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Andymac 02 Jul 09 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,Jerry O'Reilly 02 Jul 09 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,Guest 03 Jul 09 - 06:58 AM
GUEST 04 Jul 09 - 01:41 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 04 Jul 09 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Corinne 05 Aug 09 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,Margery Hookings 23 Sep 09 - 05:49 AM
BB 23 Sep 09 - 04:41 PM
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Subject: Obit: George Withers
From: GUEST,Big Fan
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 04:43 AM

For those of you who have not been otherwise informed, unfortunately George Withers has sadly passes away. He was an inspiration to many and his humour, gentlemanly manner, songs and his singing will be sadly and greatly missed by many. Our thoughts are with Avril, his wife and of course Roger their son.


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 04:50 AM

Oh God, another one. I met George on quite a number of occasions and always enjoyed his company. A very nice bloke and a very good singer.


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers
From: Surreysinger
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 04:51 AM

Oh that was NOT what I wanted to hear first thing this morning. I met George many times at John Waltham's Dorset singing weekend, and elsewhere, and always looked forward to his twinkling smile and his singing. I have fond memories of his conquering the Sunday afternoon audience at the National a few years ago with his song about the MBE ... wicked stuff ... and one or two of his humorous songs in the garden of the Trooper in Stourton Caundle. A lovely man, and a lovely singer. He'll be much missed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 05:32 AM

I met him when he was a guest at Inishowen. WIll really miss his singing. An excellent voice. Symoathies to his family and wide circle of friends.


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers
From: SylviaN
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 05:42 AM

Yes, a really lovely man indeed. Wicked sense of humour, but such a gentle person. I spent many a festival having a chat with him.

My heart goes out to Avril and Roger.

Sylvia


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 06:10 AM

A true gentleman! In the difficult years of Sidmouth FolkWeek when I foolishly suggested that we keep going The Volunteer sessions as 'in the tradition', I always wrote to him asking him to turn up on 'West Country Sunday' if he was on the programme or not - and he always did!

In the late 1990's, he wrote a song in tribute to 'The Volunteer' and had it framed. Unfortunately, the original was lost, but Reg Vicary who sometimes helps out behind the bar has a copy which he lent to me. It's a bit dated now since some of the people named in it aren't really festival regulars, but I'll see what I can do with it.

Martin Carthy will always remember George for his song 'MBE' ruing the fact that he himself didn't get one! Perhaps he should!


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers
From: MartinRyan
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 07:04 AM

Yes, I too recall a gentle man and fine singer in Inishowen some years ago.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers
From: BB
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 07:36 AM

Oh, that's so sad. One of my favourite singers, and a real gentle-man. A real loss to our West Country, as well as everyone else who loved to listen to him.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 08:29 AM

Very sorry to hear of this; condolences from all at Traditions at the Tiger.


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers
From: Vic Smith
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 12:16 PM

This from David Sutcliffe

News from deepest Somerset is that sadly George Withers passed away last night Mon 29th after a long period of illness. He was 85 and up to 6 weeks ago was still attending social functions in our village in Isle Abbotts where he farmed for so many years. He read some of his poetry and was good company as ever.

His wife Avril is not able to contact all his folk friends but asks me to ut the word out. He was much respected as a singer and kept singing till the very end.

A service of thanksgiving will be held on Wed July 8th at 2pm at Horton church near Ilminster. No further info at this time.

Regards

David Sutcliffe


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers
From: Tradsinger
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 12:37 PM

Sorry to hear the news. Can't believe he was 85 - he always looked and acted younger. Another link with the old tradition gone.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers 29 June 2009
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 02:05 PM

Goodbye to George, a fine man and a fine singer. My sympathies to his family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers 29 June 2009
From: GUEST,flyingcat (moira)
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 04:06 PM

I'm so sorry to hear that George has died. He was as everyone else has said, a lovely man and he'll be missed. give our love and bestthoughts to Avril and Roger. Moira and Malc


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers 29 June 2009
From: GUEST,jim mac farland
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 04:11 PM

what a gentleman and a great singer, a real loss to traditional singing.

Our sympathies to Avril and Roger from all in Inishowen


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers 29 June 2009
From: GUEST,Andymac
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 04:22 AM

Sorry to hear this, I also remember George from Inishowen and loved his gentle humour and manner.. As said by Tradsinger, another link gone...

Andy


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers 29 June 2009
From: GUEST,Jerry O'Reilly
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 10:43 AM

I've only just logged on to discover this very sad news. What sad news! As has been said already, a really nice man with a great store of songs which he made "his own" I always enjoyed any time spent in his company, either in Sidmouth or in Inishowen.


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers 29 June 2009
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 06:58 AM

Excuse me please for intruding in this fashion but I used to hear a man named Withers sing in a pub in Walthamstowe called the "Royal Standard".
It was a Sunday morning "cabaret" style show and I wonder was this the late George Withers ?


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers 29 June 2009
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 01:41 PM

The funniest moment ever was George singing his MBE song at The National Festival a few years ago standing on the same stage as Martin Carthy MBE!

Eliza Carthy nearly fell off her chair laughing as indeed did the entire audience.

Precious moment. He appeared to be a lovely man with some cracking songs to share.
    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers 29 June 2009
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 01:44 PM

I have to move this up from the other thread, as it's such a wonderful poem! Hope 'doc.tom' doesn't mind. :0)


RE: The re-Imagined Village
From: doc.tom - PM
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 03:16 PM

George Withers, that great old Somerset singer died last week. George was also, like his father before him, a poet. This seems an appropriate thread to post one of George's poems (which was also the title track of his CD) as a memorial.


THE LAND REMAINS (George Withers)

I remember - I remember the place where I was born;
'Twas full of cows and heifers then, and sheep and pigs and corn.
But the country scene is changing; the folks are changing too,
And farming's very different from the farming that I knew.

No geese are on the village green, no ponies are on the moors,
No cock crows on the dunghill now, the hens are all indoors,
The school's become a second home, the pub is closing down,
And the village shop just can't compete with Tesco's in the town.

The dairy herd is long dispersed, the quota's out on lease,
And the farmhouse sold to clear the debts and please the mortgagees;
And Father drives a lorry now, and Mum does B&Bs
In a semi on the new estate beyond the churchyard trees.

And there's new folk in the old place now; I don't know what they do,
But he's something in computers and a real nice fellow too.
They come to village functions; she's joined the W.I.;
They've not much clue as to what to do, but it must be said,they try!

Now the garden's graveled over - it's a TV gardener's dream
With flowers in terra cotta pots and a switch-on wildlife stream;
The rockery's a mockery of what was there before,
And the polystyrene staddle stones - well, they're the final straw!

No rows of spuds and carrots now, no runner beans and peas,
No cabbages, no rhubarb, no children climbing trees.
There's a four bi' four for Daddy and an Audi for his wife;
There's lots of Country Living - but no real country life!

But dawn still rises in the East, the sun still sinks in the West;
We come, we try, we live, we die, we work, we eat, we rest,
But love or hate the system, whoever holds the reins,
Let others learn - we've had our turn - and still the land remains.


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers 29 June 2009
From: GUEST,Corinne
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 01:23 PM

I'm pretty late reading all this but it came as such sad news when I heard - although not unexpected - that I didn't have the heart to log on and read. I have so many fond and personal memories of George and a typed copy of one of his monologues: "I must go down to the Loo again" - but Avril wouldn't forgive me if I published it here - she didn't approve of it and George would only recite it when she wasn't present! Missed this June in Milborn Port, and will be missed at all such future gatherings; still the land remains.


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers 29 June 2009
From: GUEST,Margery Hookings
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 05:49 AM

Hi there

Thanks for all your kind words. I was George's niece and was pleased to have written a piece about him in the Marshwood Vale Magazine last year. I reproduced it online as a tribute to him. You need to paste this into your browser: http://tinyurl.com/lae7ya

If you also go to www.farmradio.org.uk you will also find an interview I did with George a few years ago and another piece, including his songs, that was used as a tribute after he died.

It's our village harvest supper here in a few weeks' time and I have a slot in the entertainment section. I can sing but don't have George's talent, that's for sure. So I will be reading his poem The Land Remains.

Margery


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Withers 29 June 2009
From: BB
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 04:41 PM

And what better epitaph for George. I love that poem!

Barbara


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