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Don Partridge - Farewell

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Uploaded on Oct 8, 2010

The funeral of Don Partridge, King of The Buskers, at Woodvale Crematorium, Lewes Road, Brighton, England on Monday 4th October 2010.

Playing "San Francisco Bay Blues" to greet the arrival of Don's free-spirited hearse are Vic Ellis, Stompie, Chucklefoot, Woody Woodham and Alan Young. (Apologies, I'm not sure who's on jews harp. Perhaps someone could say. Thanks. Update - It was Lawrence Glaister - thanks to alanabit for the info). Don's coffin had his familiar snake design on the lid, similar to that often on his drums, and was quite magnificent. I failed to photo it. The legend associated most often with Don's drums "Inter Galactic Overlord of The Wide Open Spaces" was along both sides of the coffin above a painting of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs as seen from Seaford Head. It was carried into chapel by family members accompanied by piper Dave Hodge who at the end appropriately played "The Minstrel Boy".

The order of service was very skillfully conducted by Barbara Hayes who was keen to find room for as many as possible inside the chapel. With every nook and cranny taken, the service was also relayed outside for those who couldn't quite get in. As Barbara observed, Don always liked strange and unsual people, and here we all were. Jerusalem, Don's favourite hymn, was never sung with such passion.

The unique service was a mixture of laughter, sadness, reminiscence and long applause for every speaker. Alan Young told of the early days when he and Don went busking for the first time and the old traditional London buskers regarded them as a threat, but the legendary street-singer Meg Aikman showed them the best pitches to busk.

It was lovely to hear Don's first wife Mona speak of that famous snakeskin jacket and to be briefly taken back, by names and stories, to the mid 1960's before Don became a pop-singer. Stewart, Don's younger brother, reminded us of when Don flew off Hammersmith Bridge wearing a pair of home-made wings. For the first time we also heard the other side of that story because sometime later when unfolding and pitching his tent, he found large sections of canvas missing. Don had quietly cut them out to make the inner sections for his wings. Other stories included the family returning home to discover the rear fence missing after Don had a barbecue, and finding clay all over the record player after the turntable had been used as a potter's wheel.

Each of Don's family members, many having travelled from Sweden, placed a single rose on the coffin. All spoke from the heart with such eloquence and passion it was a very personal and moving service.

A wake celebrating Don's life was held at the Bay Tree Inn, Seaford.

Links:
--------
NEW BOOK "Don Partridge and Company". See Rod Warner's page
http://soundsandtexts.blogspot.com/se...

Don on Top of the Pops (6th June 1968)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bym6J_...

Don busking at Tunbridge Wells in 1993
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4zKqW...

Don recounts how Stockholm introduced a new law, the "lex Partridge".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_Fq1P...

Another video of the fumeral and wake with Chucklefoot's tribute to Don
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAVc9o...
Videos of the wake showing Alan Young and others
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYoXQQ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObOsTl...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPSF4r...

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