Paul Gunningham In Memorium
ukcider members pay respect to Paul Gunningham, who died in May 2007
Sad news: Paul Gunningham died Tuesday morning. I heard this through Janice Sim (whom I don't know), who also gave the following for more information: http://www.peteatkin.com/cgi-bin/mv/YaBB.cgi?board=offtopic;action=display;num=1180476690;start=0#0
As posted a while back, Paul had been in a very serious road accident in March, which had left him with broken bones and head injuries. He had been recovering, slowly but surely, and had hope of mostly recovering, but was taken by a heart attack while still in hospital.
For those of you new to this list, Paul was tirelessly helpful to people trying to learn about cider. He had compiled a comprehensive list of cider producers in the UK, found a good list of available books on cider, and had also written various pages about "scrumpy" and perry. See http://www.scrumpyandwestern.co.uk ...which will also give you the flavor of Paul's writing! Essentially all of this came before the ukcider wiki.
Folks here tended to know Paul mostly or entirely through his writings on ukcider and email exchanges...where he was always ready to share info and advice, and was also genuinely pleasant to hear from. Even without meeting him in person, you got a good feeling about him. This was the sort of contact I had too--countless email exchanges over the years, but we only met Paul and Frankie once, for a few hours at Dereck Hartland's farm and cider/perry operation in Gloucs near Tirley, thence to the Boat. One of those memorable afternoons of meeting nice, interesting people and exchanging so much information and so many ideas. And now...sigh...
He was a multi-faceted person and most of us here saw mostly just the cider facet...although he often mentioned the Wurzels on the list here. Paul was very much a fan of the Wurzels (among other musical interests), to the extent he'd written the liner notes for the 2001 Wurzels anthology "The Finest 'Arvest of the Wurzels". Their rather campy rural songs and image fit well with the high-spirited feeling for cider. You'll note that the last info about Paul showed up in side comments on a site about other lesser-known music.
I know that some of you have heard the Wurzels far too often in the sole context of background for some radio/TV piece about cider, trying to play to that rural image. But set that aside for one little while. Beg or borrow a copy of "Drink Up Thy Zider" and find a good dry West Country cider (yes, scrumpy). Gather a few cider folks, put on the song, and lift one last glass to Paul. We're gonna miss him.
Dick Dunn email@example.com Hygiene, Colorado USA
This is very sad news to wake up to. I hope that messages of condolence can be passed on to Pauls family, from ukcider members who had the pleasure of knowing him, even if only through duscussions online. Perhaps Dick's message could be used as the basis of a memorial on the wiki.
I agree. It was absolutely tragic to hear that. I never met Paul in person but we corresponded by e-mail a bit over the years and I can thoroughly endorse everything that Dick says about him. Our little group, and I'm sure the world in general, will be the poorer for his passing.
Very sad, we never met but spoke on the phone a few times during Cider guide days and emailed. I always assumed we'd meet up one day, Paul was keen to try a Fruit Shark.
UK Cider should plant an apple tree for Paul perhaps?
I, too, am saddened at the news of Paul's death. I only knew him through ukcider, but I appreciated the way he took over Dr Gillian Grafton's Real Cider and Perry Page and made it such an excellent facility. I hope that someone else will carry on Paul's good work.
>UK Cider should plant an apple tree for Paul perhaps?
An excellent idea.
It's hard to come to terms with the idea of a sudden death after a period of recovery from serious injury. Very sad indeed.
I met Paul face to face only once, but we had plenty in common to talk about as well as the cider. It was at the Pig's Ear ( beer ) festival in Stratford, I don't know when , at least five years ago. We shared the problems of being redundant from computer programming at the time, and an appreciation of the music of Pete Atkin. I believe Paul played in a band which performed covers of those wonderful songs from the 70s with the lyrics by Clive James.
I haven't looked for when Paul last posted to ukcider but I checked out 'Midnight Voices' and here he is talking to the singer just a few months ago on 28/02/07
Secret Drinker MV Fixture **** Paul Gunningham, MoM Posts: 207 "Is there any news on Pete's plans to re-record some of the songs from the original albums? That seems to have gone a bit quiet lately. I thought maybe the 'Desert Island' poll might have been the basis for this. Pete, any news? Cheers Paul p.s. Wow! 200?! Never!
Very, very sad to hear of this. Like many others, I assumed Paul would pull through and be back on his feet and on-line soon. A real shock and a great loss to the real cider and perry community. My thoughts go out to his wife and family.
We are planting two more trees this autumn - I will ensure that they are planted in his memory and to honour his work for "the cause".