Son Townsend

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Son Townsend, morris dancer and singer, Bampton, Oxfordshire; born 24th May 1914, died 24th December 2008.

Son Townsend was the last link to the old Bampton Morris and his death, on Christmas Eve 2008, marks the end of an era. Although all his life he was known as Son, Sonner or Sonny he was born Thomas Albert Townsend on 24th May 1914, his father Albert kept the Elephant and Castle in Bampton which was the HQ for the Bampton Morris. He first danced at Whitsun in 1925 aged 11, on the 'instruction' of his grandfather, Thomas Porlock, one of three brothers who danced in the last half of the 19th Century. Many of the old team were related to each other and Thomas Porlock was married to Elizabeth, sister of Harry Radband, one time team Squire, and she was also aunt to William 'Jinky' Wells.
His Bampton dancing was from the old team days of the Tanners before the team split up in the late 1920s. He was fascinating to talk to about those days. After the Second World War the two teams came together for a short period, but then in the 1950s Sonny helped Arnold Woodley rebuild the old traditional team and he was the Clown for Arnold's team for many years. He remained close friends with him until Arnold's death. He kept up his dancing until well into his eighties.
from obituary by Barry Care, Musical Traditions, 30.12.08

He can be heard singing In Woodstock Town on the Veteran cassette The Horkey Load Vol 1, VT108.