Roger Paul

Screenshot 2015-02-12 11.59.35It was ten years ago that Tinners’ Morris was founded. A motley crew of older men met up at South Zeal’s Victory Hall to experience Morris and see if Mike Palmer’s patience was sufficient. Since then, we’ve had new members join and some leave. This year we’ve lost one of our founding members.

I remember Roger Paul as the one who always knew so much more about the moors than me, and who always had a twinkle in his eye. He was experienced and wise when it came to walking, and always knew the best routes from one place to another. He’s been retired for a while, but when he was working, he was a quantity surveyor. I can see how this affected him, because he was the main provider for our Morris side. I used to call him the Sergeant Bilko of our team. He was the scavenger. He would go hedging with friends and return with vast numbers of hazel sticks for us to use dancing. Once, when we learned the Iron Bar Dance from Ockington Morris, it was Roger who knew a guy who could provide solid bars and cut them all to size. Roger was our fixer.

His skill didn’t lie merely in providing solid materials. No matter where we went, Roger found out where the beer tent was. He would scurry from one spot to another, haggling with the managers of the beer tents, negotiating to get a pint for each dancer (and musician) if they wanted us to perform for them. And they always did. He had that blend of charm and cheekiness that overcame all objections. Once, he saw two television presenters and persuaded one to give up her lunch and come and participate in a dance with us. To our surprise, she did! No one could refuse Roger when he was on a roll.

He was not only a founder member of the morris side. Some years ago he was also one of the earliest members of the Dartmoor Society, and participated in all their events and fund raisers. Roger always gave a lot to other people and to the causes he believed in.

After a long illness, Roger passed away peacefully last week. He’s going to be hugely missed at every Morris dance, at the Royal Cornwall Show, the Okehampton show, and especially all over the moors he loved so deeply.

Goodbye, Roger.

Screenshot 2015-02-12 12.00.09

4 Responses to “Roger Paul”
  1. Tracey Marie says:

    So sorry to hear this news, Roger Paul sounded like a great character, but when you are next out I am sure he will be with you in spirit. Enjoyed reading this tribute to him.


  2. Hans van der Boom says:

    So sorry to hear you lost a guy who obviously was so much more than a just good friend.


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