Mike Turner: 14th September 1945 to 19th November 2021
Lyn Turner writes:
“It is with great sadness that I report the death of my husband, Mike Turner, who some may remember as Mike Turner-Bisset. He lost his battle with cancer after a long illness.
“Although we met through ceilidh dancing, Morris was his first love and it weaved its way throughout his life. Wherever he relocated anywhere in the country his first priority was to find and join a local Morris side.
“As a young man he lived in Norwich and made his first foray into the world of Morris by joining Kemps Men and Golden Star Morris. A move to Lancaster saw him joining John O’Gaunt for the year he was there.
“On moving to London and being unable to find a local side, he got together with some friends and Downes Morris was born. It is good to know that they still meet today as a reunion Cotswold side known as Downes on Tour.
“A move across the country to Exeter saw Mike joining Great Western, the side with whom he danced the longest and the side he never left even though physically distanced. During this time he was an integral part of the many performances at Sidmouth Folk Festival especially the extravaganzas at Late Night Extra ceilidhs.
“Mike reluctantly left Great Western when he moved with his family to live in Watford. There he joined both Chiltern Hundreds and Redbornstoke.
“When he made his final move to Newbury he was invited to join Berkshire Bedlam. The highlight of his time with them was performing a sword dance of the Elizabethan era in ‘Flame’ at Sidmouth in 2003. He felt like he was flying through the dance but unfortunately his enthusiasm left him with an achilles injury that remained a problem, preventing any more dancing.
“As he was reluctant to leave the Morris family which had been the rock on which he built his life, he changed roles, this time morphing into a musician and learning to play the melodeon with Old Speckled Hen.
“Mike will be remembered by the Morris world as a kind and gentle man who stayed in the background but could always be relied upon to be where he was most needed.
“Mike was a Morris man before he was my husband and that’s how I think he would like to be remembered.
by Lyn Turner of Old Speckled Hen North West Clog Morris of Oxfordshire
Donations in his memory went to Sue Ryder nurses: https://www.sueryder.org/