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George Papavgeris
MV Friend
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everyone a hero

   

Posts: 16
Paul's last secret drink
« : 29.05.07 at 23:11 »
Quote

At 8:30 this morning Paul Gunningham, aka Secret Drinker here on this forum, died from a heart attack.  He was already in hospital since (I think) the 24th March, following a horrendous RTA that left him in a coma initially.  After a few weeks he came out of his coma, then a little later he managed to breathe unassisted, then he started to move his fingers and one foot a little, then he managed to whisper the odd word - like asking for water, which he sipped through a straw.  He was improving steadily all the time, and many of us who followed his progress willed him on and had hopes of a full or at least near-full recovery eventually, when the heart attack struck this morning.
 
He played guitar in the group Tam Lin and had become a friend, turning up at several of my gigs in the Home Counties over the last 3 years.  Alan Hewson, one of his best mates and also a member of Tam Lin, asked me three weeks ago if I could write a song for Paul on his behalf, as he really liked the guy but had never told him how much he appreciated his friendship, at least not in so many words.  Last week I sang Paul's song for the first time at a Mudcat (international folkie website where both Paul and I were members) gathering; and on Saturday again for another group of Mudcatters including several who knew him in person.  There were tears and heaps of good wishes for his recovery.  But it was not to be.  I will sing Paul's song from now on, in his memory.  RIP, Secret Drinker...
 
Can you hear me, mate?
I would have been here earlier, I'm sorry I am late.
The motorway's a bitch today, the car park's in a state.
Can you hear me, mate?
But you don't want to know about my own problems now,
I'm here and I will stay as long as matron will allow.
And I'll ignore the bandages, pretend it's a disguise.
And I'll ignore the monitor, just look you in the eyes
And I will talk to you
I will talk for you
I will talk of you
 
Can you hear me, mate?
Graeme and Gina send their love, and Sue and Alan too.
The guys in the pub ask every day for news of you.
Can you hear me, mate?
Last night we raised a glass to you and talked about old days
And yes, we trotted out all the tired old clichés
Of how you talk, and how you smile, and how you tell a joke
And Steven was all tearful, though he said it was the smoke.
And we drank to you
Yes, we drank for you
We drank of you
 
Can you hear me, mate?
I am embarassed and that's why I seem to hesitate, but
There's something that I need to say to you, that cannot wait
Can you hear me, mate?
I could have told you long ago, I should have done and all, for it
was you that had the accident and I the wakeup call.
So I'll just say this one thing now, don't mean to be a bore:
I loved the times we had and I look forward to some more.
I will sing to you
I will sing for you
I will sing of you  
 
George Papavgeris
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George P
Keith Busby
MV Fixture
****





   

Posts: 160
Re: Paul's last secret drink
« Reply #1: 30.05.07 at 00:50 »
Quote

Bad news, George. I'll raise a glass to Paul tonight.  
 
And let's all wish bon courage to Frankie.
 
Keith
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Commit THAT to Your Fragrant Memory!
Ian Chippett
MV Fellow
*****


In the clear at over fifty-five

   

Posts: 330
Re: Paul's last secret drink
« Reply #2: 30.05.07 at 08:47 »
Quote

Awful news. I first met Paul at Buxton and a few times subsequently when he came to Paris and he was such a nice chap. We corresponded on a daily basis for a long time about the Wurzels, Pete, and this and that. It's nice to think that Paul got launched on a part-time musical career in the folk clubs because of his involvement with the Beautiful Changers. I'll raise my glass to him tonight too even if it doesn't contain Scrumpy...
 
Ian C
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Pete Atkin
MV Deity
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Posts: 464
Re: Paul's last secret drink
« Reply #3: 30.05.07 at 10:56 »
Quote

This is shocking, wretched, meaningless, awful.  We -- none of us -- can afford to lose people like Paul.
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Carole
MV Fixture
****





   

Posts: 115
Re: Paul's last secret drink
« Reply #4: 30.05.07 at 11:37 »
Quote

We first met Paul, and Frankie, at Buxton in 1998. I remember Jenny Cotterill coming up to us at the reception in the Opera House Conservatory saying there was a chap outside called Paul Gunningham who didn't have reception tickets, but would it be OK if he paid his money now and came in? He'd been so delighted to get tickets for the show he'd completely overlooked the reception. But to ask if he could come in, and not just bluster his way in was so like Paul. He was a genuinely nice guy. He and Frankie could always be relied upon to support any event we organised, and there was always a thankyou card from them afterwards. This is a very sad day indeed.
 
Carole, Steve and Alexis
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David Morgan
MV Feature
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Posts: 53
Re: Paul's last secret drink
« Reply #5: 30.05.07 at 17:46 »
Quote

I never met Paul, but his personality shone so clearly through this forum that I feel I knew him. So sad.
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Simon Reap
MV Fixture
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Toggler to the few!

   

Posts: 101
Re: Paul's last secret drink
« Reply #6: 30.05.07 at 18:20 »
Quote

I remember Paul well from the Changers - a delight to run the sound desk when he was performing.
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Kevin Cryan
MV Fellow
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I love Midnight Voices!

   

Posts: 1111
Re: Paul's last secret drink
« Reply #7: 30.05.07 at 21:01 »
Quote

I didn't  know Paul personally, but, as David rightly says, his personality shone so clearly through his contributions to the forum that I too felt I did. Of course, I now feel saddened that I did not get at least one opportunity to meet him. It's so tragic that someone who has so much more to give should be taken from us in this way.  
 
All my sympathy tonight is with the the bereaved family. We have lost someone we would have liked to call a friend, they have lost something more.
 
Kevin Cryan
 
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Jan
MV Fellow
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Posts: 304
Re: Paul's last secret drink
« Reply #8: 30.05.07 at 22:38 »
Quote

He was good company, it was always a pleasure to meet Paul and Frankie at gigs.  
And he loved being one of the first MV Fixtures, (was he THE first?) followed by a typical offlist worry that he might be posting too much to MV. I suggested he carry on exactly as before, as a fount of Atkin knowledge his stuff was always welcome and interesting both on and off list.
I'll miss him.
Jan
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Gerry Smith
MV Fixture
****





   

Posts: 222
Re: Paul's last secret drink
« Reply #9: 31.05.07 at 03:45 »
Quote

This is terribly sad news. I met Paul on numerous occasions at Pete's gigs and MV events over the past ten years and it was always a pleasure to see him. I feel that I knew him far better than I did in reality largely due to his many and invariably good natured postings, right back to to the early days of MV (a quick search shows Steve welcoming Paul to MV in posting MV1414 on Sunday 30th August 1998).  
 
I shall greatly miss his input to this forum and seeing him from time to time 'along the way'.  
 
With condolences to Frankie and family.
 
Gerry
 
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Out playing the saxes
Murray McGlew
MV Feature
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I love Midnight Voices!

   

Posts: 55
Re: Paul's last secret drink
« Reply #10: 31.05.07 at 12:12 »
Quote

I only knew Paul from his postings, which I always enjoyed. He was obviously one of nature's gentlemen. You people feel like family after all these years, and I am terribly sad that we have lost one of our regulars.
 
My heartfelt condolences to family and friends.
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BogusTrumper
MV Fellow
*****


You alone will be my last adventure

   

Posts: 282
Re: Paul's last secret drink
« Reply #11: 31.05.07 at 13:28 »
Quote

One of the oddities of message boards is that you can get to know people you have never met.  This news has stunned me, and Paul and I never met.
 
Deepest condolences from across the pond.
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And so goodbye, my lady of a night
Leslie Moss
MV Fixture
****


Marmite Soldier

   

Posts: 161
Re: Paul's last secret drink
« Reply #12: 31.05.07 at 18:27 »
Quote

This is just awful news. I heard from Carole that he was badly injured but that there were good signs of progress, then I went abroad for work and have only just checked the Forum for the first time in a fortnight to learn the worst.
 
I first met Paul across the wires like the rest of the Voices, and had the pleasure of meeting him in person many times at MV events and as a fellow-member of the Beautiful Changes. He was such a great guy.  We had such fun together during rehearsals.  
 
I am absolutely gutted and my heart goes out to Frankie.
 
Leslie
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bobtaylor
MV Friend
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Posts: 19
Re: Paul's last secret drink
« Reply #13: 31.05.07 at 18:33 »
Quote

How saddened I am by this horrible news. Like many at this forum, I never knew Paul,
and what we learned of him through his postings here has obviously left a big impression.
It is almost eerie that we feel this collective sadness for someone we never met, but the sadness is very real.
I can only echo the sentiments expressed by all the previous messages, and send heartfelt condolences to all his family and friends.
Bob Taylor.
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Is this headache from his crosswires on my brow?
Kevin Cryan
MV Fellow
*****


I love Midnight Voices!

   

Posts: 1111
Re: Paul's last secret drink
« Reply #14: 31.05.07 at 20:41 »
Quote

This few snippets seem to me to sum up the Paul whom I'd like to have known, but whom I  only knew him only through this forum.  But I will remember him just the same.  
 
________________________________________________________________________________
Paul with Julie Felix
 
"Paul Gunningham provided the opening entertainment when Julie Felix performed at the Baldock and Letchworth Folk Club in Hertfordshire on 7 March 2007. "
Julie Felix Scrapbook
 
 
Re: MV gigs - post here
« Reply #18:
08.03.07 at 10:20 »
 
 
on 02.03.07 at 13:04, Secret Drinker wrote:
Quote:
 
I'll be supporting American folk singer Julie Felix, for her gig at Baldock Folk Club (she's currently on tour here). I expect many of you are old enough (like me) to remember her from the Frost Report, etc. back in then 1960s. Anyway, wish me luck - I'll need it  

 
Well, it went pretty well, I'm glad to say! Julie was excellent, and seeing her took me right back to the 1960s. She still does some of the old protest songs, with her version of Blowing in the Wind rewritten with mentions of Bush, Blair etc. But she does a lot more, including some Spanish Mexican and Cuban songs. She's a lovely person too, and it was a pleasure to meet her - she was kind enough to thank me publicly for my set. Sorry, just had to mention it - something to add to my 'folk cv' alongside Pete!    
 
I had Laughing Boy on the setlist but I'm afraid I ran out of time - I'll put it at the top of the list for next time    
 
Cheers  
Paul
________________________________________________________________________________
 
Thanks for the memory.
 
Kevin Cryan
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Carole
MV Fixture
****





   

Posts: 115
Paul's funeral
« Reply #15: 02.06.07 at 12:30 »
Quote

Frankie has asked me to give the details, in case anyone would like to attend. It will be on Thursday, 14th June at 13.15 at Stevenage Crematorium (on the Hertford Road).
 
Carole
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BogusTrumper
MV Fellow
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You alone will be my last adventure

   

Posts: 282
Re: Paul's funeral
« Reply #16: 02.06.07 at 22:37 »
Quote

on 02.06.07 at 12:30, Carole wrote:
Frankie has asked me to give the details, in case anyone would like to attend. It will be on Thursday, 14th June at 13.15 at Stevenage Crematorium (on the Hertford Road).
 
Carole
 

 
Is there a charity suggested for donations?  Or an address for flowers?  I can't make it over the pond, but would like to do something.
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And so goodbye, my lady of a night
Ian Sorensen
MV Feature
***



A King at Sunrise

   

Posts: 38
Re: Paul's last secret drink
« Reply #17: 03.06.07 at 01:11 »
Quote

It's devastating.  
 
Paul was always the most agreeable company and I can't believe I'll not enjoy his company again. At the risk of offending my fellow members of the Beautiful Changers, I always thought Paul was the best musician of us all, and could turn his guitar to any song we attempted, whether PA or not.
 
Every sympathy to Frankie, and I too will raise a glass to his memory.
 
Ian Sorensen
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Carole
MV Fixture
****





   

Posts: 115
Re: Paul's funeral
« Reply #18: 03.06.07 at 09:52 »
Quote

In answer to your question Bogus, and for anyone else who might like to know - from Frankie:
 
We are collecting for a memorial seat to be placed in one of Paul's favourite spots - donations c/o the funeral directors, family flowers only.
 
David J Binks
96 Walsworth Road
Hitchin
Herts
SG4 9SU
 
Tel; 01462 444910
 
Carole
 
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Richard Bleksley
MV Fixture
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My time has come to find a better way

   

Posts: 164
Re: Paul's last secret drink
« Reply #19: 03.06.07 at 10:53 »
Quote

Just back from a week's holiday, too tired to do anything much last night after nearly ten hours at the wheel, I've just checked in this morning to be devastated by the dreadful news about Paul.
 
I did actually meet Paul, if only the once, and now I feel I was fortunate to have done so while I had the chance. At the pre-gig sclonch at the Café Rouge in Sheffield last year, I was sitting with my wife and son right at the end of a long table, feeling a little out of it (I'm not terribly accomplished socially), when Paul rose from his seat and walked down the table to greet me and engage me in conversation. Within a minute or less it felt like talking to an old friend. How could I not like him?
 
I'm hoping that those who knew him better than I did will be smiling to themselves at this point and saying: "Oh yes, that was Paul. How typical."
 
It seems so senseless, so arbitrary, so unfair that someone so warm-hearted, good-humoured and likeable should have been snatched away in his prime.
 
I was the one who acquired the Gunninghams' tickets to the St. Georges' gig. Now, however good the performance may be, the occasion will be marked for me with an indelible poignancy.
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