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Obit: Brixton Bert (2002)

vectis 17 Nov 02 - 02:23 PM
Dave Bryant 18 Nov 02 - 04:51 AM
GUEST 18 Nov 02 - 05:15 AM
auntie wend 18 Nov 02 - 06:17 AM
auntie wend 18 Nov 02 - 10:12 AM
auntie wend 18 Nov 02 - 10:54 AM
vectis 18 Nov 02 - 07:13 PM
GUEST 19 Nov 02 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,Sam 19 Nov 02 - 11:43 AM
Dave Bryant 19 Nov 02 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,Brother -in-law Alan 19 Nov 02 - 03:43 PM
Clinton Hammond 19 Nov 02 - 03:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Nov 02 - 08:50 PM
vectis 20 Nov 02 - 06:08 PM
auntie wend 20 Nov 02 - 10:26 PM
Rick Fielding 20 Nov 02 - 10:34 PM
GUEST 21 Nov 02 - 06:37 AM
breezy 21 Nov 02 - 06:47 AM
GUEST,vectis 22 Nov 02 - 06:38 AM
Dave Bryant 22 Nov 02 - 08:30 AM
vectis 22 Nov 02 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,Jean 24 Nov 02 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,dave@davetoye.com 24 Nov 02 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,Malcolm and the Soken Molly Gang 24 Nov 02 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,majoyes@aol.com 24 Nov 02 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,Richard Bridge 25 Nov 02 - 04:14 PM
vectis 25 Nov 02 - 04:49 PM
Dave Bryant 26 Nov 02 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,Joe 26 Nov 02 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,dave@davetoye.com 17 Jan 03 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,Jungle Jim 17 Jan 03 - 09:17 PM
GUEST,Guest Keith 13 Jun 10 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,Mark Stevens 13 Jun 10 - 07:26 AM
Alan Day 13 Jun 10 - 11:02 AM
Waddon Pete 13 Jun 10 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Andy 06 Jan 12 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,GMGough 06 Jan 12 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Jay 09 Jun 12 - 01:01 AM
The Sandman 09 Jun 12 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 09 Jun 12 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,Mike Mcormack 28 Sep 15 - 05:15 AM
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Subject: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: vectis
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 02:23 PM

Brixton Bert (Reid) died in the small hours of this morning. He'd been ill for a while.

Bert was one the stalwarts of the London folk scene in the late sixties and early seventies although his main passion was blues.
Bert was still singing and playing until recently in Essex. He played with Travelling Folk at Broadstairs most years but missed this year through ill health.

I am going to miss him and I know that many others will too.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 04:51 AM

All of us who knew Bert are going to miss him a lot. There's going to be a face missing both down here at Travelling Folk, Elsie's etc. and also in The Royal Marine up at Walton-on-the-Naze. Bert could be a cantankerous old whatsit at times, but it was all a front and made him all the more loveable.

We've all known about his illness for some time and Wendy has kept us well-informed of his condition on the thread about the Benefit Night which will of course now become a tribute to Bert.

My condolences go out to his children and also his sister Doris, who I met on the weekend before last.

Finally I would like to record a message of thanks to Wendy & Bill Simon who have done so much to try and ease Bert's last months. They have helped contact relatives, accommodated Doris and Rod for a time and were with him at the end. When I spoke to Wendy yesterday, she hadn't had any sleep for 35 hours ! Let's hope that she's had a chance to rest before she comes down for Wednesday Night.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 05:15 AM

I will really miss the old reprobate. I hope he's in Fiddlers Green enjoying the bottles of rum hanging from every tree.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: auntie wend
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 06:17 AM

Billy and I are going to miss Bert very much,we all knew him as a fellow folkie and a big part of our musical social scene,but as a personal friend he had the biggest heart.He could be gruff and frown at you but he eyes were twinkling and that funny old grin was always there!He spent many Christmases with us and became part of our family,in the past few days I have found out that many youngsters had Uncle Bert in their family too.At summer Bar b q's in our garden he was to be found dangling little darlings over the fishpond,and rolling round in a wrestling match on the grass!He celebrated his 70th birthday with a big party here and many friends from all over the UK shared the celebrations,in my visitors book that evening he wrote"load of rubbish!"
My brother Tony and I were talking about our memories of Bert last night,Tony recalled a Felixstowe festival where Royal Marine won the chorus cup,mainly due to Bert,who was a living jig doll dancing on an outsize board!
I am going to miss him,but I like to think that as he left Bill and I on Sunday morning, Lonnie was waiting for him and they are playing in the best skiffle group ever!
As with many true friends he was supportive in difficalt times in a quiet private way.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: auntie wend
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 10:12 AM

Berts funeral will be at 11.45 on Monday 25th November.It will take place at the crematorium at Weeley (near Clacton on Sea) Essex.
We hope all his friends will be able to be there and join us afterwards for some music to celebrate his life.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: auntie wend
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 10:54 AM

This is from Martina and Dicky Peters in Walton On Naze We have been visiting Bert regularly over the last few weeks on average every couple of days.We used to take him down to the canteen for a smoke and coffee with his favourite rum! The last visit to the said canteen he was still eyeing up the nurses!
We were with him at the Nursing Home on his last day and into the early hours Until about 4.30 a.m Sunday. Strangely, when we left Bert we knew had already gone, too.
Dicky has angina, and, as we had already spent 13 1/2 hours there, and he had to drive home through the fog, we regrettably left.
On phoning Wendy when we got home, she said there was no change, Then, 5 minutes later the phone call came-dear Berty had finally slipped away peacefully.
We want to say Bert was so brave and dignified, so strong, that he made it easier for us to support him through those last hours. Dicky and I join with Wendy and Bill to say Bless you, Bertie, it was an honour to share your last hours. You will always be in our hearts. We will miss you.ALL OUR LOVE-DICKY AND MARTY.XXXXXX


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: vectis
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 07:13 PM

About 7:30am one weekday morning at at Broadstairs Festival I heard someone call out a cheery greeting
"Morning Bert. You're up early"
"Up early be buggered. I'm just going to bed!"

Ah:-) Happy days.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 09:51 AM

He was a sarcastic old bugger but great fun to play with. He will be remembered


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: GUEST,Sam
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 11:43 AM

Having known Bertie since I was a young tot and spent many a happy time with him I know one of my memories will bring a smile to many a face!

About seven years ago I received a call from my Uncle Tony to tell me a film was to made in Polstead and did I want to go along with him and Hazel to audition for a bit part.

Oh, yes! So off we set with combed hair and a sparkle to make our fortunes. Along the way (probably in the Marine) we bumped into Bertie who said he would come for the 'crack'. All the way there he said he didn't know what the fuss was about and we would be lucky to get in. Having queued for a couple of hours the director scanned the line of hopefuls and suddenly pointed in our direction. "Whooha" said Uncle Tony, "I think we are in". But it wasn't us he was interested in it was Bertie and many an occasion afterwards he would proudly declare "They didn't want you youngsters, they know a "Skiffler" when they see one". And so Bertie will always be on film in his turn ups and trilby hat playing in a band :-)

Much love Bertie
Sam & Dave xx (The Shotley Two!)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 12:10 PM

Hi Sam, it's nice to hear from you on Mudcat - have you any idea what the film was ?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: GUEST,Brother -in-law Alan
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 03:43 PM

I was fortunate to marry into the Reid family back in 1956. I married Bert's 'Big Sister' Julie and he was my best man. I first met him in 1951 and in those days we were both stuggling to learn to play the guitar. Having at last conquered 'the three chord trick' we thought we wouldn't be long before we saw Lonnie off. I well remember those days when we banged away at two dreadful old guitars with Bert's dear Mum on the tea chest base and the rest of us singing at the tops of our voices and thumping washboards to drown the pauses in changing chords!
   As time went on we unfortunately drifted apart and we last saw Bert at a funeral of an elderly Aunt Nance. I suppose our worlds had become so different. Sadly Julie died two years ago, and sadly I won't be able to be there next Monday as I have not long been out of hospital - but I will be there in Spirit.
   Let us hope he will soon be with Julie and dear sister Kitty

                Alan


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 03:49 PM

Never heard of him... sounds like I missed a real character...

Got any recomendations of music of his I should look for?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 08:50 PM

There's a track or two on a tape put out by Walton Folk Festival which I've got a copy of somewhere.

I've got a notion that Bert's somewhat idiosyncratic approach to tuning might not have gone down too well with friend Clinton...

Sadly missed. So long Bert. As James Taylor put it "I always thought that I'd see you, one more time again."


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: vectis
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 06:08 PM

"somewhat idiosyncratic approach"
That's why I had to let him tune my guitar whenever I tried to play with him.
Now I know.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: auntie wend
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 10:26 PM

Just got home from the celebration concert in Eltham.What a wonderful evening,so many old friends,brilliant music,lovely supper--thanks Linda!We sang all the way home on the coach,it was really great to see Bert's old mates from Kent meet the new ones from Walton,but more important,it was really lovely to see Bert's Daughter Jackie and son Tony meet us all .They had been though a harrowing day down here , drove back to Surrey and must have turned round to drive back to Eltham.I am sure the concert was a great help to them.
Thanks to David who picked up my idea and "ran" with it,he really worked hard to get the evening organised.
I hope we see many of you at the funeral on monday,you are all welcome afterwards at our house for a buffet and then Keith at the Royal Marine will make us welcome for some music.

It got quite silly on the coach home (as it does in the wee small hours!)My brother was in Quiz mode,however did not have all the answers...so,,anyone know what happened to Micky and Griff?And just what songs did Nina and Frederik sing? Sorry about this but I shall be awake all night wondering!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 10:34 PM

Is the implication that he played "out of tune" or used strange tunings?

Sounds like a great character.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 06:37 AM

No. Talented enough to play an out-of-standard-tuning guitar and play it in tune.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: breezy
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 06:47 AM

The Worm song? n and f
Pleased to hear Bert's tribute went well, well done Dave.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: GUEST,vectis
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 06:38 AM

Travelling Folk sang the Farewell Shanty in tribute to him last night. Great sound and a lot of moist eyes in the house.
Most of us could imagine him propping up the bar with a pint and a cigarette singing along with us. Someone commented thaty he would be watching us from "up there". The rest of us were not so sure that "up there" was appropriate given that "In Heaven there is no beer".
Bert would have enjoyed the craic.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 08:30 AM

Ah - but is there any Pusser's Rum ?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: vectis
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 08:57 AM

Only in Fiddlers Green.
Unless you know different.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: GUEST,Jean
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 12:01 PM

In answer to all the questions about whether or not there's any beer in heaven - the answer is yes!! Bert's friend Paul Chapman would have had a brew waiting for him. When we raised a glass to Bert on Sunday morning I had a very comforting feeling that both Bert and Paul were propping up a bar, smiling down on us and raising a glass in return. We'll miss you Bert but you're in good company.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: GUEST,dave@davetoye.com
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 02:03 PM

Bert was along time friend of mine – 30 years plus and we did a number of gigs together over the years. He was always turning up at my gigs as well and I usually persuaded him to do a guest spot without too much trouble. Some of you may not know that he was a qualified electrician and he not only did he re-wire my house he did my mothers too! They both took a week or so and Bert stayed at my house and we used to sit up to the early hours praising and running down the various luminaries on the folk scene.

I was always an admirer of Bert's own material and in February 1985 I arranged a recording session at my house. He wasn't the type of performer to excel in a studio type recording so I got some beer in and rigged up some mikes in my living room. Bert and Les (Bert's girlfriend) turned up and after a few beers we recorded an informal session whilst Les and I chuckled in the background. This consisted mostly of Bert's original songs, or parodies of well know folk songs at which he was brilliant. Apart from a few copies (which Bert sent to his friends and family) I did I did nothing with the recordings (other than nick one of his best songs – Indigestion Blues) until I re-mastered the original and produced a demo CD for Bert at Broadstairs in August 2001. He was dead chuffed to be on CD! I asked him to suggest a playing order for the songs and give me any feedback regarding the recording before I had it duplicated. Needless to say that was as far as it got!

I am giving the masters to Jim Ward to produce a run of CDs and if anyone would like a copy please send me an email and I will let you know when it will be available. I will convert some tracks to mp3's and put them on the web shortly.

Dave Toye 01403 266850 or 07710412118 dave@davetoye.com


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: GUEST,Malcolm and the Soken Molly Gang
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 04:43 PM

I have very pleasant memories of chatting to Bert over a pint or two in the Marine but the lingering memories must include his version of "Frankie and Johnnie" and his perfomance as the Jig Doll at Felixstow. When asked how he played the blues he would dismiss the skill with a shrug and say "I just do it". In the last year he joined in our Molly dancing gang and provided a bit of a bass note on an ancient brass instrument. Bye, Bert thanks for your company.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: GUEST,majoyes@aol.com
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 05:00 PM

I'm along way from Walton on Naze now as I sit here in Falmouth -remembering.
I only knew Bert from the Marine for a short time but his reputation went ahead of him. A true gentleman -at least to me! - and a sensitive and clever musician. I am remembering the Sunday morning 'practices' of the shanty choir. He would always be there -supportive and on the ball despite Sat. nights.
I heard his guitar playing only on special occasions - he didn't seem to need to seek attention - his thumb?
I really wish I could be at the funeral tomorrow - I can't be. Please give him my love...
Mary Ann


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 04:14 PM

Cor Dave, that's the same song Jacqui and I did at the wake itself. Co-incidence, or what?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: vectis
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 04:49 PM

Good funeral, Bert would have been chuffed at the turn out. Not many dry eyes during the "farewell shanty".
Well done and thanks to all those who organised it.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 26 Nov 02 - 05:59 AM

Yes - it was definitely "Standing room only" for the last of us who entered the chapel. The recording of Paxton singing "Annie's Song" brought back some memories - but I heard several people saying that they reckoned Bert sang it better.

Thanks to Wendy and Bill for providing the customary drinks and buffet after the service and also to "The Royal Marine" for providing a venue for the session after that - it was still going when I left at 8.30.

I'm sure that Bert would have been very Chuffed with his send-offs on Wednesday, Thursday and Yesterday.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 26 Nov 02 - 07:52 AM

Bert's funeral was very moving, especially Wendy's eulogy. Would very much like to say thanks to Wendy and Bill for supporting a full-scale invasion of their house and turning the event into a splendid send-off for Bert.
Most people remember him for his music and sense of humour but for me it was his amazing help with my house move four years ago. On the eve of the move, I was chatting to Bert at a Travelling Folk do and he casually offered his labour to help if I needed it - we then had a few more beers and forgot all about it. When I got home that night I realised the full magnitude of the work involved and called him at home to accept his offer, leaving a message on his answerphone. At about midnight he called back and asked if he should bring his tools!
The next day he was there bright and early and 5 of us (Bert, Jean, Richard, Cathy and I) then proceeded to work for the next 12 hours moving my house. When I saw some of the loads he was carrying single-handedly I started worrying about his heart operation but in his usual way he just laughed it off and kept on regardlessly until we had finished. He still had more energy than the rest of us put together!. We all ended up in a pub in Brasted at the end of the day enjoying a meal and lots more beers and literally I couldn't have done it without him.
We were able to reminisce about that day over many a beer but I was pleased to be able to thank him properly with a splendid night out at the Maidstone Music Room where Johnny Silvo, Diz Disley and another old friend of his (whose name I forget) were playing a blues & skiffle gig. Afterwards Bert went up and spent an hour or so re-living all the 'good old days' when he was on the circuit with them all. It was wonderful just to listen and admire.
I'll miss the 'old sod' as will many.


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Subject: Brixton Bert CD
From: GUEST,dave@davetoye.com
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 03:51 PM

You can buy Bert's CD from http://www.countrybranch.co.uk/


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: GUEST,Jungle Jim
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 09:17 PM

There is a 'Remembering Bert' evening at 'Elsies' next Friday, 24th Jan. The CD will be on sale.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert
From: GUEST,Guest Keith
Date: 13 Jun 10 - 05:18 AM

I ran the Royal Marine from 1995 to 2005 and hosted many folk events including Berts wake and regular Shanty Crew sessions, to call them practice sessions would exaggerate the quality of the singing. Bert played the role of the Troksyite Continual Opposition with colourful quips about the gaps in our presentation. He also penned a song in our (dis)honour top the tune of Fiddlers Green.

They're signing their shanties in old Walton town
the music's so scanty its getting me down
In their tee shirts of blue and they're not like me and you
and to tell you the thruth they're a strange blooming crew

Chorus
Dress me up in me shanty crew tee shirt
No more in the bar I'll be seen
Just tell me old crew mates
I'm having a few mates
so were thinkin of Bert as were sinking em down

I wish I was rich cos I'd buy an old boat
I'd put them aboard and I'd set them afloat
Then I'd drink to their memories when the boat has gone down
In a quite pub in old Walton town

Dress me up in me shanty crew tee shirt
No more in the bar I'll be seen
Just tell me old crew mates
I'm having a few mates
so were thinkin of Bert as were sinking em down

They're singing their shanties in the Royal Marine
and take it from me it's a terrible scene
They dont know the verse and the tunes even worse
Its a proper cats chorus if you know what I mean

Dress me up in me shanty crew tee shirt
No more in the bar I'll be seen
Just tell me old crew mates
I'm having a few mates
so were thinkin of Bert as were sinking em down

what a very strange, do they're a funny old crew
singing shanties in my ear, while I'm drinking my beer
I'd give up my place if I were a king
and I'd lock them all in it, till they learned how to sing

Dress me up in me shanty crew tee shirt
No more in the bar I'll be seen
Just tell me old crew mates
I'm having a few mates
so were thinkin of Bert as were sinking em down


Keith Frost


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert (2002)
From: GUEST,Mark Stevens
Date: 13 Jun 10 - 07:26 AM

I knew Bert, too. He lived here and drank at the same local pub.
Think I wrote my reminiscence somewhere ..


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert (2002)
From: Alan Day
Date: 13 Jun 10 - 11:02 AM

Bert was a regular visitor to The Black Horse Nuthurst as was Dave Toy
The one song I remembered was his favourite "The Band played Waltzing Matilda" he was a real character and I remember him clearly
Al


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert (2002)
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 13 Jun 10 - 11:47 AM

Does anyone else remember his group? It was called "The Guild of Ancient Shoe-Repairers!"

He was the genuine article.

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert (2002)
From: GUEST,Andy
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 09:57 AM

By chance I Googled Bert this afternoon and found this thread. I remember him well from his frequent appearances at the Croydon folk club then at the Waddon Hotel in the late 1960's and early 1970's.
Very sad news, but it does sound like he had a great send off.
Now to try to get the CD.
Regards
Andy


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert (2002)
From: GUEST,GMGough
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 01:59 PM

I bought my copy of Bert's CD from Jim Ward at
http://www.countrybranch.co.uk/

RIP Bert
let the midnight special shine it's light on you


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert (2002)
From: GUEST,Jay
Date: 09 Jun 12 - 01:01 AM

I recall meeting Bert in 1970 when he bought my Messerschmidt KR200 three-wheeler bubble car which was garaged at the time. I just googled his name and found this thread and he was a popular guy. Does anybody know if Bert managed to get the little car going or if he ever drove around in it?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert (2002)
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Jun 12 - 05:46 AM

i rember him playing with steve rye who was a great blues player, i aklso swa him do numerous floor spots in kent london area, clubs like farningham, that s how good the clubs used to be floor spots from brixton bert , geoff dale, steve rye etc


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert (2002)
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 09 Jun 12 - 04:46 PM

Dont forget Joanne Kelly, Steve Kelly, Bob Hall, and Simon Praeger and various members of the Groundhogs. Happy Days!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Brixton Bert (2002)
From: GUEST,Mike Mcormack
Date: 28 Sep 15 - 05:15 AM

A true character indeed and definately a one off. A sad loss to all that knew him i met bert most probably first at the nags head wandsworth. and it was'nt long before i was helping out and standing in on the tub base for another old friend ken who also sadly passed away a few years back, no doubt they are both now crashing out something in fiddlers green and laughing at us all. it was bert and joan that started me off in folk music and led to me buying a double base as well as keeping and using berts old tub base and gave me several memorable years in his band (the ancient shoe repairers!!!or a lot of old cobblers)as well as a few other jug and folk bands that i will never forget. bert would never buy normal car i can remember the bubble car followed by an old citroen cv which we had to tow back to redhill. like others i found this on google but will always remember bert with a smile a sad loss indeed.


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