Red Lion Folk Club
Rosemary Waters -friend and volunteer from the Red Lion Folk Club & Kings Heath Sports and Cricket Club
I knew Kevin for many years firstly through the folk club and then when I joined the Cricket Club. I was friends with his close friends Ken and Gail as well and we were on Cricket Club committees together and volunteers at the Red Lion Folk Club as well. I went to a few concerts over the years with the three of them and Ken and Kevin would share who did the driving. Several times I came back with them in Kevin’s car (and also had lifts at other times) and each journey was different and unpredictable as I was never sure which way he would go and it was often a different way. I remember once being only a few minutes’ drive from my home when he turned left and went a very round about way before dropping me off 20 minutes later. His style of driving was often a bit erratic with sudden swerves round corners as if he had just decided to go that way and he often drove one handed. A car journey with Kevin was never dull!
Kevin was a keen photographer and several of his photos are on display at the door at our Folk Club spanning many years. He was also a collector of cameras and seemed to carry several of them with him wherever he went. He always tried to get as close as he could to stages so was well known at folk clubs and festivals as he aimed for the front row frequently so close as to appear to be under the nose of the person he was taking photos of.
If you asked Kevin to do anything or suggested he did something, the reply was often I will do it soon or I don’t need to do that now. It often didn’t get done but that was his way. He helped with raising money for the specialist nurse who ran the Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme at the QE and I saw him chatting and carrying a charity bucket on a day when I had an appointment. He had taken Ken with him and heard later he had taken him to Bromsgrove Folk Club in the evening. Ken was recently diagnosed as having dementia and Kevin is largely responsible for ensuring he ate regularly and that he had the care he needed and made sure his GP saw him. He valued the friendship he and Ken shared and made sure his friend was ok.
He will be missed for many reasons by many people and it is so sad that the dreams and hopes he had for 2020 will not be realised.
God bless Kevin
Gail Sheldon and Ken Watson – close friends (the Red Lion Folk Club, Kings Heath Sports & Cricket Club, Kings Heath Archery Club)
What can Ken and myself say about Kevin and our friendship with him. Too much to pack into a few words but I will do my best.
Ken and myself knew Kevin for over 30 years between us. We were all members of Kings Heath Archers – A section of Kings Heath Cricket & Sports Club. We taught archery at various fetes together and had a lot of fun. We were on the Entertainments Committee there. He enjoyed selling tickets on the door, manning doors etc.
He loved his folk music, particularly Maddy Prior. Ken and Kevin persuaded me to go to the club to see Alias Ron Kavana some years ago. Whilst I was there Jim McPhee asked me whether I would do the membership renewals at the club and I said I would. I then joined Kevin and Ken on the door for many years. We had some great and memorable times.
We enjoyed several folk festivals together. We also went to a lot of concerts together. (Fun times!!)
Whenever you travelled anywhere with Kevin you had to ask him to arrive 15 minutes before he was due (which we ribbed him about constantly). He took this in his stride and when travelling we never came back from the venues the way we went originally. Kevin was not a great timekeeper which was part of his character.
He had a barn dance for his 40th birthday before I knew him. Ken told me that he nearly slipped over on the dance floor at Kings Heath Boys School as the floor was polished so well. Kevin thought this was quite funny and they both had a chuckle.
There was a time before I knew him when Kevin and Ken were on their way back from the Waterworks Jazz Club, Kevin was pulled over by the police for drink driving as he was driving erratically and swerving. He had only had one pint of lager. They were not amused as Ken nearly ended up walking home!
Kevin was a very kind, caring and genuine friend and we will both miss him very much but we have a lot of happy memories of our friendship together. He was quite a character and we will never forget him.
Rest in peace dear friend. God bless.
Gail & Kenxx
Chris Irving – (Bromsgrove Folk Club & Festival volunteer and the Red Lion Folk Club retired volunteer)
Kevin will be missed by so many. He was one of the fixtures and fittings at the Red Lion Folk Club who you will have seen manning the door. An enthusiastic regular at the local Folk Clubs in the area and a keen follower of many of the Folk Festivals throughout the year. Kevin was a keen photographer, recording the "Folk Club Events" and Festivals that he attended. He was also a "Toxophilite"... a member of Kings Heath Archery Club. Kevin will be missed by all...........
David Derricott – good friend and fellow photographer. (Red Lion Folk Club and other places)
It will seem strange turning up to the Red Lion Folk Club and not be greeted by Kevin “on the door”. He was there when I first attended in the 1990s and could always be relied on for a big grin and a cheerful word. His loyalty to the club over so many years has been exceptional, and he has been a cornerstone who will be much missed by all his friends at the Red Lion.
We also met up at many of the local music festivals, where Kevin, armed with a bag full of cameras would queue for long periods to ensure a front row seat and thus, better pictures. Those queuing with him were never bored. Kevin would talk with them about all manner of subject until they were allowed into the venue – conversation never wavered; Kevin saw to that! I personally, have had many a verbal battle with him, he would fight his corner and rarely back down, yet never once did we fall out.
He was a generous man. Until recently I ran a drama group and Kevin travelled some distance to photograph our shows. It was with his pictures that I was able to produce photo books of each production. He never sought praise, he was just happy to have been able to help and his enthusiasm to do so gave those of us in the group who knew him, a real lift.
Yes, not seeing Kevin in all the old familiar places will be very strange. He will be remembered with great affection by his many friends.
Jane Wharton – good friend & always looked out for him (Red Lion Folk Club and other places)
Kevin had an incredibly unique philosophy for life, summarised in the two answers he gave to all of life’s problems, ‘I will do it’ and ‘It’ll get done.’ When saying these two favourite phrases, Kevin really believed he would get around to doing all the jobs he had put off and get round to sorting out stuff, but I used to tell him he lived in Walter Mitty fantasy land.
Things never did get sorted or tidied or mended! Living like this served Kevin well in some respects. He never looked at the pitfalls or difficulties that lay ahead but accomplished things that I certainly would have to think through and plan very carefully.
He went to visit his cousin in Switzerland, an aunt in Ireland. He drove through Paris in the rush hour. He went the length and breadth of the country for concerts, thinking nothing of driving for two or three hours to hear a favourite artist (of which he had many) and then back home. I remember him travelling to a gig somewhere distant (a two-hour journey), parking his car in a side road and then not being able to find it again at the end of the concert! The local police picked him up and spent quite a time driving him around until they found it. I think Kevin got home about four in the morning! And generally, this is what happened.
There always seemed people around to lend him a helping hand. Which was fitting, as Kevin himself was a kind and generous person. He went above and beyond what many others could do in offering practical support to a friend suffering from dementia. He remembered small things, peoples’ favourite artists or films and would often share his extensive (but very untidy) collection of DVD’s and Cd’s with others. He took photos galore and would send them on a Cd to the artist concerned. He volunteered in so many small ways to help that often went unnoticed, but he had a genuine desire to do whatever he could for others.
I’ve never known anyone like Kevin and I shall miss him.
Bob and Lynne Holmes – fellow volunteers at Red Lion Folk Club
Bob and I got to know Kevin a few years ago when we started helping out on the door at the folk club with him. He was always a welcoming presence and loved to chat with members, guests and artists alike.
He loved to share his experiences of the films he had seen and music events he had attended. We got lots of useful recommendations from him.
He was a caring, helpful friend and we will miss his good humour and friendliness.
Howard Lowry – Clent Village Hall music/folk club (organiser)/regular at the Red Lion Folk Club)
Kevin was a lovely guy who loved the world of folk music and his knowledge and his love of the artists and their material was there for all to see. He loved chatting at gigs and concerts where his enthusiasm shone through and I was pleased he was able to support and encourage me with my Clent concerts. I also learnt of his love of cricket, he enjoyed visiting Edgbaston but above all I'll miss him at the Red Lion. He was such an unsung hero at the Red Lion, on the door for 40 years, frequently not getting in to see the acts and more recently collecting glasses to take down to the bar. What a wonderful man!
Love to all his friends and family