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Obit: Hank (Phillip Mansell)-Harlow folk club-2010

GUEST,harlowpoet 09 Jul 10 - 05:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jul 10 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Oktoberfest 79 Veteran 16 Nov 11 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,harlowpoet 16 Nov 11 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,999 16 Nov 11 - 04:16 PM
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Subject: Obit: Hank (Phillip Mansell)
From: GUEST,harlowpoet
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 05:04 PM

I received the sad news from his wife today, that Hank passed on a couple of weeks ago.

Hank was the former organiser and MC of Harlow folk club when it was based at the Square, Harlow in the late eighties and early nineties. Some people who were involved in the club either as audience or performers may remember him well.

He was a real character. A kind person who nevertheless managed to end up in many scrapes during his life. One of my favourite stories about him is when a booked performer at the club, who will remain nameless, mentioned in his act that he'd done time in Aylesbury Prison. Hank immediately piped up that he'd in there as well and what governor did he have? They ended up having a reunion while the bemused audience looked on.

We were drinking buddies for many years and I was best man at his wedding in 2006 when he had moved to the East Midlands. We lost contact after that but I gather that he still attended folk clubs occasionally.

His wife told me he had a heart attack and it was a quick end.

God bless you Hank


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hank (Phillip Mansell)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 05:43 PM

I remember any time anyone mentioned him at a session after he drifted away, it always seemed to end with us singing Has Anybody Here Seen Hank. Here are The Waterboys singing it, and I'm listening to them as I write this.

I ain't here for to do any business
(I got nobody special to thank/I'm not looking for glory or thanks)
I'm trying to find
a friend of mine
Has anybody here seen Hank

Well he's sure to be wearing a Stetson
he's as long and as thin as a plank
He's got a fistful of charm
and a gun beneath his arm
Has anybody here seen Hank

Now he ain't in the back of a limo
and he ain't in his bed
He ain't in jail
he ain't out on bail
He ain't getting out of his head

I don't care what he did with his women
I don't care what he did when he drank
I want to hear just one note
from his lonesome old throat
Has anybody here seen Hank

Has anybody here, has anybody here
has anybody here seen Hank

You always learn stuff when people die. I never knew his name was Philip - Hank suited him much better. Thanks for letting us know.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Hank (Phillip Mansell)
From: GUEST,Oktoberfest 79 Veteran
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 05:28 AM

I came across this thread yesterday.

I first met Philip Richard Mansell, known to everybody bar his mum as "Hank" in 1978, when we both worked at the Law Courts, in the Strand. Hank was already well known as a local character, his fondness for "A pint of bitter-in a jug, please", and hot curries were known to most who worked in the Law Courts, or who drank in the nearby pubs (in those days the two were practically synonymous). Hank's diet of beer and curry did not make him popular with everybody, on one evening he literally cleared the front bar of the George in the Strand, with the exception of the Glaswegian barmaid who stood at her post when all save her had fled.

The nickname "Hank" (from "Hank L Bush") had been bestowed a few years earlier, when he had worn an enormous beard which in his own words had "Taken over my face". I did see a photo of the said beard, and indeed it was a shocker. His Arsenal season ticket bore the name "Mr H L Mansell", and after a few beers he would often vocalise Arsenal songs. I write "vocalise" since to write that he "sang" the songs would be inaccurate.

His career in the Law Courts came to an end when some of his colleagues sent a round robin to the chief clerk complaining about his "personal habits" i.e his farting. Hank got his revenge a few months later, when he gate crashed their Christmas Party and drank most of their beer.

In 1979, Hank & I were among a party of eleven who travelled in a minibus to the Munich beer festival. Hank left home in such a hurry that he forgot to pack a change of clothing, which was unfortunate since he became so drunk the first night that he made a mess of himself, and was seen the following morning walking around the campsite wearing just his raincoat, socks, and shoes.

It has been mentioned that Hank got himself into a few scrapes, most of these were due to sheer bad luck. One example was one night after a particularly heavy evening, he fell asleep on the tube & woke up at the end of the line after the last train going home had left. He decided to stay the night, but woke up around 0300 feeling cold. So he began walking up and down the platform rubbing his hands together so as to keep warm. Unfortunately, some insomniac old biddy in a house next to the railway line was looking out of her window & saw him, she promptly rang the police, & Hank ended up with a conviction for Trespass. On another occasion, Hank was at the Cambridge Beer Festival with some of his London friends when he was arrested by undercover police looking for drugs. The irony was that Hank was probably the only person in that group of people who did NOT have anything on them.

The last time that I met Hank was in 1982. I have wondered for years what became of him, and whilst I am sad that he is no longer with us, it is nice to read that he found a good crowd of friends, and he had a happy time.

So long Hank, and thanks for all the good times & great memories.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Hank (Phillip Mansell)
From: GUEST,harlowpoet
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 04:12 PM

Thanks for sharing that.

Another particular story is when a booked artist came into the bar at the Square Live Venue in Harlow, stepped over a drunk person on the floor and asked the barmaid where the organiser was. 'Down there' she replied.

Last July one Sunday afternoon/Evening we gave Hank a good send off at the Lion pub in Eastwick, Herts and he'd have loved to be there.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Hank (Phillip Mansell)
From: GUEST,999
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 04:16 PM

Reading these stories about Hank, I wish I'd had the opportunity so spend a few days with him. Sounds like my kinda guy. Rest well, Hank. I understand they keep the taps open where you're gone.


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