Tribute to John Nettleton

EXMOUTH is mourning the death of a much-loved Exmouth Shanty Man, who loved singing with a passion and organised the renowned Carols on the Quay. John Nettleton, 58, of Clipper Wharf, died unexpectedly on Monday, April 13, of what is believed to have been a heart attack.

EXMOUTH is mourning the death of a much-loved Exmouth Shanty Man, who loved singing with a passion and organised the renowned Carols on the Quay.

John Nettleton, 58, of Clipper Wharf, died unexpectedly on Monday, April 13, of what is believed to have been a heart attack.

He was set to sing at a Shanty Men concert on the same day, at Manor Gardens, but was taken ill that morning.

He and wife Cath had celebrated 34 years of marriage at the weekend and had performed at Topsham Folk Club on the Sunday night.


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Wife Cath said: "We had spent a lovely weekend together, the entire family was in Exmouth for bank holiday weekend so everybody was around when it happened - it was so sudden though."

Tributes have begun pouring in for a man whose second love in life, after his family, was singing.

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Born in Sheffield, he served in the Crown Prosecution Service for 34 years and was transferred to Exmouth in 1993.

He met wife Cath at a youth rally in Sheffield, where at the age of 12 she fell in love at first sight with the 17-year-old John.

Mr Nettleton was very involved in the community.

He was a compere of the Topsham Folk Club, a member of the Happy Feet walking club, an official of Budleigh Salterton Football Club and in the Budleigh Salterton Male Voice Choir.

He left the Budleigh choir though, when he joined the Exmouth Shanty Men a year ago, under his stage name Cutler Legov.

Happy Feet Walking Club chairman Ian Dowell said: "After most of our walks we always ended up in the Saddlers, in Lympstone, and he would entertain us with his songs in the bar. There will be a massive gap in all our lives at the Quay."

Artistic director of Exmouth Shanty Men Martin Nicholls said: "From the minute he arrived, he brought a shining-light voice like polished silver.

"He brought an energy and love for folk, especially shanties, to the group and within days it felt like he had been there since the beginning."

Topsham Folk Club compere John Stephens said: "He was a compere for several years and took a great part in the group. He will be sorely missed by everyone."

Exmouth Shanty Men will be releasing an album dedicated to him in May and a concert will be organised in his memory.

John's funeral will be held on Friday, April 24, at 2.45pm, at Exeter Crematorium. The family have asked for only family flowers and donations to go to the RNLI new lifeboat house appeal.

READERS' TRIBUTES:

Cath and the family would just like to say how grateful we are for everybody's thoughts, kind wishes, flowers and cards. The response to John's death has been overwhelming and would have made him very proud. All of your kind comments have been a great comfort to the family.

As above funeral is at 2.45pm on Friday 24th April at Exeter Crematourium. Afterwards at the Globe Hotel, Topsham for a good old sing and fitting send off. We're overflowing with flowers at home - completely out of vases - so please keep any flowers for yourselves. Also no flowers for the funeral (they made him sneeze) - instead donations to RNLI Exmouth Lifeboat House. Many thanks

Gareth Nettleton

So shocked and sad to hear the news about John. I used to work with John at the CPS, and as it was my first 'proper' job straight out of Uni I was a bit green around the gills, but John was very encouraging and helped me gain more confidence to take on new projects. I will always respect him for all his words of encouragement and great sense of humour, but not for the double vodkas he made me drink at my leaving do! I had managed to catch up with John again over the last few years by sharing the odd train journey home from Exeter, and once i'd managed to get him to take off his ipod he used to tell me all about his latest holiday, the band he was going to see, and what his boys were up to (he always sounded so proud). I will miss those chats and bumping into him in the pub when a band is on. A really top guy - he'll be sadly missed.

Steph Barnard

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