Sent: 12 November 2007 12:24
Subject: Re:SEFAN:2007-11-10:01 Death of
Jack Hamilton 09-11-07
Begin forwarded message:
Date: 12 November 2007 11:23:17
Subject: Jack Hamilton and
Please find attached our press release about Jack – the
Friday 16 November at 14:30 at
West Peckham village church – no flowers – just donations
Broadstairs Folk Week passes away.
the man who founded one of the most successful festivals in England has passed
away aged 88 at his home in West Peckham. He had been ill for some time and died
on Friday 9 November.
It was his
vision and conviction that the beautiful seaside town of Broadstairs would be
the perfect setting for a Folk festival that led to the first Broadstairs Folk
Week in 1965.
was a dancer, an expert in English folk tradition and passionate about the
music. His talents included calling for dances; playing the double bass as well
as Morris dancing and being a skilled Social dancer. One of his party pieces was
entertaining with a Jig doll.
He played with
bands the Southerners and the Rigadoons in the sixties and seventies and was
involved with the English Folk Dance and Song Society in keeping alive the folk
tradition and was awarded the Gold Badge by the society in recognition of his
achievements. He also published books on steps and techniques.
There are many
people in the town and beyond with very happy memories of the early Folk Shows
in Pierremont Park which showcased English traditional dance and troupes from
around the world.
A succession of
local people helped Jack to organise the festival and eventually a committee
emerged, with the structure that is in place today. Jack loved Broadstairs and
it was his second home and even after he was no longer directly involved in the
organising, he would visit to enjoy the atmosphere.
He may not have
approved of all the changes to the festival over the years, especially the focus
on amplified music concerts but he understood the need for Folk Week to broaden
its programme in order to survive.
One of the
best-loved elements of Broadstairs Folk Week is the Torchlight procession
through the streets which Jack used to lead wearing his trade mark Top Hat and
carrying a ‘wand’ ( a stick).
He returned to
do this in 2005, the festival’s 40th anniversary and
led the procession in his wheelchair followed by a giant effigy of himself
dressed in top hat and wearing a ‘tatters’ coat made of photographs of the 40
years of the festival.
Week director Jo Tuffs said, ‘Jack was loved and respected by everyone who
worked with him and the town of Broadstairs has an awful lot to thank him for.
We will all miss him very much.”
Tricia Hamilton, his wife and son Roy and daughter Jane.
Contacts - Jo Tuffs or Kim Headley
– 01843 604080
Week takes place from 8 – 16 August 2008.
Penny Allen - General Manager
Anthony John Allen - Chair of the board
SOUTH EAST FOLK ARTS
Charity registered in England and Wales No:
Company Limited by Guarantee No: 5114495 registered in
89 Hollingbury Park Avenue, Brighton, BN1
Tel. +44 (0)1273 541453
Fax. +44 (0)1273 554189