Win Winstone: Norwich morris dancer made MBE aged 95.

A grand old man of the Norfolk folk music scene and the city's best known Morris dancer, Win Winstone, has died peacefully aged 98.

His efforts to keep a musical tradition alive by teaching countless generations was finally recognised in the 2009 New Year Honours' List. Norris William Winstone, then 95, was appointed MBE for services to folk music and dance in the county.

Win, as he was always known, was then still playing the melodeon with the Norwich-based Kemp's Men Morris dancing team.

He had moved from London to Norwich in the 1930s, where he quickly made an impact on the musical scene.

And he was featured in the Evening News in May 1940 as a member of the three-strong Norwich guitar combination entertaining service audiences at concerts in the city, playing a Hawaiian electric guitar.


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A teacher at Nelson Street School and also at George White School, Silver Road, he taught Morris dancing to many pupils over the years.

After many years of determined independence, he moved into a residential home in Sprowston just a couple of weeks ago. There fellow members of Kemp's Men – a group he helped to form – staged a special display to welcome the new resident.

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Win had first taken up Morris dancing in 1928 and taught himself the melodeon by ear.

Then in 1953, a Morris dancing group was set up by a small group of enthusiasts in Norwich, partly to enjoy English traditional dance.

It was this group, including Win, which formed the new club, naming themselves in honour of Will Kemp, colleague of Shakespeare and fellow shareholder in the Globe Theatre, who danced from London to Norwich in 1600.

Over the years, the grandfather and great-grandfather had a major influence on the traditional music.

'Our one certainty, however, is that we will all continue to know and love him through the magic of the Morris which he has inspired in all of us and which meant so very much to him,' said Peter Mayne, squire of Kemp's Men of Norwich.

A funeral service will be held at St Faith's Crematorium on Friday at 11am.

Michael Pollitt

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