With great sadness we have to announce the passing on Christmas day 2020 of one of our earliest members, a stalwart of local Folk Dance, John Goddard, Dancer and Friend to us all.
John Goddard was a very early member of Chanctonbury Ring Morris Men, having joined in 1954, only a year after we formed.
It is a remarkable coincidence that his son Sean is our current Squire, guiding us through these strange times, and he takes up the story now with this tribute to his dad…
John Goddard 1926-
After a short illness and subsequent Covid-
John was one of those people who was active in Sussex folk dance after World War Two until his death. It is people like my Dad who help set the repertoire and formation of the Sussex folk-
Along with fellow callers Hal Wallis and Don Lewry, he was instrumental in starting the Keymer Folk Dance Club in 1950, which celebrated its 70th year in 2020. In 1956, he started the Burgess Hill Folk Dance Club, and was a well-
In 1954, he joined the then newly formed Chanctonbury Ring Morris Men. He maintained a life-
Always keen to get others involved in folk dancing activities, he regularly coached members of the Girl Guides, Girls Brigade and Woodcraft Folk for their folk-
Even late in life, John was known for his sprightly dancing. He specifically liked the English and American dances which were popularised in the 1950s, and was an expert in getting as many rotations as possible out of a swing in the music available!
When the famous 1954 photograph of CRMM which was in ‘The Times’ that summer was recreated on May Day 2010 John took the role of the Hobby Horse Rider.
We will all remember him for his placid and gentle nature, and his regular attendance on Wednesday evenings in the summer, walking around the edge of the dance collecting from onlookers in the trug. At our bigger events and on sunny summer evenings at country pubs we will miss him.