Tributes for singer Woody
Tributes have been paid to a popular Exmouth grandfather, who has died aged 67.
Barrie ‘Woody’ Woodward, who lived in Rolle Street, was a well-loved figure in the town’s drinking holes as a colourful character and entertainer.
He worked as a docker, and then as a painter and decorator, but was best known as a singer, initially with his band Barrie Shane and the Graduates, and then as a popular guest star with local groups.
A huge Elvis fan, he had a Heartbreak Hotel sign in the window of his flat, which is now being installed at The Bank pub to mark the place he used to sit.
His daughter, Stacey Howarth, said: “He was very well known in the town – everybody loved him.
“He didn’t like any friction, and never had a bad word to say about anybody.”
Woody’s sister, Diane Toms, said: “He was a loveable character. He didn’t like any fuss, but everybody knew him and spoke to him.
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“The Bank, The York, and the First and Last were his drinking holes and, if there was any music on in any of them, he would always be asked to sing.”
Fellow musician Pete Bendall said: “Sometimes, being on stage with him was total lunacy, but the entertainment was great and everybody in the audience loved him.
“Sometimes, when he did his sessions, he wouldn’t know the words to the songs, so he’d either make them up, or sometimes just go ‘beep, beep’!”
Friend Reg Greenough said: “Even when we went on holiday, if it was somewhere we’d been before, all the barmaids would run down the street shouting ‘Woody’s back!’, and he would be welcome in every bar, singing every night.”
“He was a marvellous man – a really good character.”