Trevor Morton died on the afternoon of Thursday 23rd January having suffered a massive stroke.
For those people reading this who did not know Trevor, he was our resident poet and raconteur, with a very dry wit and an even warmer heart. He is already missed.
Ironically, he had been due to run the Singers' Night that became a celebration of his life. Although we were all numbed by the news, we managed to turn the night into a fitting tribute to a truly great man.
Don has started a small book of fond memories which will be presented to Shirley, his widow. We'd rather not call it a 'book of condolence', although we hope Shirley and the family will find comfort in it. The book will be available during the next two club nights for anyone who has not already had the opportunity to write in it.
Don spoke about Trevor, recalling the early days:
I first met Trevor at Salford Tech where we shared a staff room. After a year or so I started a small folk group with friends Mike and Tessa. We were joined by two rather attractive female students and one day Trevor approached me and asked how he could join in. He said he couldn't sing, which proved not to be true because he couldn't sing in time but if I followed him he was alright. So I said he would have to write something and perform with his speaking voice. Within a week he had come up with something like 'Grimshaw's Corner Shop' which immediately gained him entry to the group, even with a special role which went on to grow and eventually see him doing BBC TV's Look North for 6 weeks.
The rest as they say is history. He continued to write his own stuff and at the same time accumulated a wealth of stories prompted by his love of the English Language, humour and most all people. As a result he became a well loved and welcomed at many a folk gathering from the North West down to Cornwall where they considered him to be 'one of them' and not 'an emmet' (Tourists are referred to by the Cornish as emmets - a slang term for ants).
His greatest contribution was probably to the Railway Folk Club where he was well and truly 'the resident poet'. Someone else may inherit the role but he became a legend whose shoes no one will ever be really able to fill. Such is the loss of a true gentleman and talent who always was the first welcome and encourage new members and never had a bad word to say about anyone.
Trevor's Funeral was at the Crematorium, Whitehouse Lane, Dunham Massey, Altrincham on Wednesday 29th January at 12.30pm, and took the form of a happy celebration of his life
Instead of flowers, donations were invited for the Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve. Trevor greatly enjoyed this wheelchair-friendly wild life sanctuary, and the donations will hopefully provide enough funding so they can extend the paths to make the bird-watching hide wheelchair-friendly as well.
In October 2002, Trevor recorded some of his poems and monologues, which were released on CD. Any remaining copies of this CD, plus a book, are being sold and the proceeds will be added to the Brandon Marsh fund.
Don Davies led us in the tribute to Trevor at the Crematorium, which started with Bernard singing 'Fiddler's Green', the John Connolly song which was one of Trevor's favourites. Don spoke in quite fine detail of the great man we all knew, and Trevor himself (on CD, of course!) recited his poem 'Coppice Pit' - his first ever, and so fittingly his last... inevitably, the curtains closed, and we all sang 'Rolling Home', led by Bernard.
Thanks must go to Don for delivering such a well-balanced celebration of Trevor's life. It was a sensitive, but not sickly-sweet summing up of his memories of a very close friend, which must have made Shirley and the family feel very proud. Certainly it was evident that the warmth of love surrounding her at such a difficult time was greatly appreciated.
We all left the crematorium (eventually!) and made our way to the Railway, where we sat around chatting, eating and drinking for a while, until the time felt right to have a good old sing-song to send Trevor off in great style. Don had written a song, and Helen had written a poem, which were very appropriate and well-received. There were contributions from many of the club regulars, and we were pleased that Tony Gibbons was able to join us. It would be inappropriate to list through all those who contributed, but they all deserve our heartfelt thanks.
Yes, many tears were shed. But, as Helen so aptly put it in her poem 'Do you have to be so morbid? Can't you raise a little smile?!' It is certain that those would have been Trevor's own words had he been physically present!
18th October 2002
28th June 2002
13th June 2000