Fond tributes to Kerry Manning, a popular figure on the Chichester folk scene

Kerry Manning
Kerry Manning

More than 200 people from across the country gathered for the service of thanksgiving in Chichester for one of the stalwarts of the city’s folk scene

Kerry Manning, aged 67, died suddenly and unexpectedly. He was the co-organiser and publicity officer of the Chichester Folk Song Club and had corresponded with the Chichester Observer for many years in this capacity.

Initially as a solo guitarist and singer, he joined the club in 1991 but in later years he could be found also leading the club band playing concertina, melodeon, bodhran or fiddle – a multi-instrumental talent admired by all. He also sang at the club, and at clubs and festivals nationwide, as half of the duo Marker with his partner Marilyn Campbell. Kerry was also a Victory Morris Man, dancing with the Portsmouth side and leading them as their Squire and, in recent years, their Foreman.

Marilyn said: “It was these men and their musicians that played key roles in his service of thanksgiving, held at the Chichester Crematorium.”

More than 200 of his friends converged.

“All spoke of a true gentleman, a wonderful musician, a trusted colleague and a devoted, loving family man. His wake afterwards, at the club’s home pub The Chichester Inn, was the celebration event he would have chosen and loved – with indoor Morris and step dancing, beer-drinking, songs and tune sessions lasting well into the night. Everyone gave him, as he would have said, a grand send-off.”

Marilyn added: “The folk scene will be the poorer for his loss but the music, dance and song will go on – for he would have it no other way.”

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