Academic journal article Folk Music Journal

Ivor Allsop (1930-2012)

Academic journal article Folk Music Journal

Ivor Allsop (1930-2012)

Article excerpt

Ivor Allsop, holder of the Gold Badge of the EFDSS and former Squire of the Morris Ring, died in hospital in Barnsley on 2 November 2012, at the age of eighty-two. The cause of death was given as pneumonia. Ivor was born in Sheffield and as a teenager he became an active member of the Woodcraft Folk. There he had his first experiences of country dancing, taught by Olive and Rhoda Macnamara. A contemporary was Bob Parker who died earlier in 2012. He started work in the steel industry, but his pacifist belief's led to a prison sentence when he refused to register for National Service. He subsequently trained as a craft teacher in primary schools, then retrained as a maths teacher in a secondary school before returning to craft teaching. He met his wife Joyce at the Sheffield teachers' folk dance club.

Ivor was invited to join the Handsworth Traditional Sword Dancers and it was while he was with them that I first met him. My close contact with him began in 1969. I called in on the Sunday morning of the Whitby Festival and was met by him with a passionate plea to play for the Barnsley Longsword Dancers, a side unknown to me. A further surprise came when I was told the required speed-160 steps per minute. After two days' playing for them I was made an honorary member, and this led to a close friendship with Ivor and Joyce.

Ivor was soon in demand as a longsword teacher, both here and in the USA. He was twice invited to Pinewoods and made close contacts with many of the clubs in the USA and Canada. …

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