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Marcus Morris PDF Print E-mail
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Written by John Eager   
Sunday, 31 March 2013 00:00

Celebrating Marcus in image, in song and invention.

Few people shine as brightly as Marcus did and leave this world with such a strong impression.  Marcus is remembered by his friends for his wit, intelligence, inquisitiveness and for his resourcefulness, thoughtfulness and invention.  He was cerebral while he was also caring, but first and foremost he was a gentle, gentle man.

Marcus with drink

Marcus’s wit was encapsulated as writer of the satirical ‘Ledbury Socialite’ - a yearly self-published pamphlet that accompanied his intimate Burns Haggis Nights.  Marcus loved the odd occasion, whether it be a boozy Paddy’s Day, wassailing in the orchards, the Newent Onion Fayre or the annual night hike to Midsummer’s Hill with the usual candidates Dave Thomas and Mark Stephenson.  And it was all the better if it involved a tipple or two.

Marcus with A Month of Sundays

Marcus loved music and was a regular at the Prince of Wales Wednesday sessions.  He also accompanied Angie Hughes and played bass guitar for the Fylthe with Bryn Chegwidden, Angie Webb and Rob Murray-Mason, and mandolin with A Month of Sundays with Nick Trigg, Adrian Whiles and Andrew Findlay.

He shared both bands with guitarist Eric Porter.

Marcus had much of the creative input into the Fylthe’s medieval design:

“With a name redolent of the dirty foulnesse and rank ordure of yore, surely there be dark spirits abroad, flying vile things which through the land rove, sly winks, grimaces and many a creepy tale to be told - a bit like the time John Dowland got a bit of ergot in his muffin.&rsdquo;

Marcus with the Fylthe on Ledbury Portal

Marcus was a surprisingly active chap.  His preferred mode of transport was the bicycle and you would often see the Mongoose chained to the railings outside the Prince of Wales.  If I needed to talk to Marcus, this would be my first port of call - I was rarely disappointed.

Marcus was also a trained scuba diver and often visited the Red Sea to go diving and shortly before his death he and his partner, Sue Wayland, spent a diving holiday in Thailand.  Although Marcus had been nervous about going - I think it might have had something to with the lack of real ale in Phuket - he enjoyed the holiday of a lifetime.

Marcus scuba diving on Ledbury Portal

Marcus was a keen fundraiser for SARA (Severn Area Rescue Association) - the charity he presumably thought might one day have to rescue him from some watery tight spot.  He was also a regular Movember non-shaver helping to raise funds for the prostate cancer charity.

As already mentioned, Marcus was a keen publicist writing on Facebook, his own blog - the Secret Laboratory and the Ledbury Portal.  Marcus was the founding creator of the Ledbury Portal alongside, myself and Tess Barnes.  Without Marcus the Ledbury Portal would never have been launched.  As a citizen journalist he would use the pseudonym The Shadow:

An Interview with the Shadow

Our Second Winter

The Day with no Sun

Klein Klub

Wassail, Wassail, All Over the Town...

Stereotypical Stereoscopy

Local musicians flock to celebrate Herefordshire CAMRA award ceremony at the Prince of Ales

Sun Dogs

Marcus was also a videographer - filming and editing videos of local live music performances as well as his own amusing and quirky ideas that he uploaded to his own blog and to his YouTube channel:

Marcus’s blog - the Secret Laboratory - was all about ‘how not to give up on busted shit’.  The results are often hilarious and inspiring madness and inventions.  From the Secret Laboratory - here’s a taster and one of my favourites:

Triboluminescence of sugar

“Hello again.  I’ve been really lazy recently.  Well, not really lazy - I’ve been busy doing other stuff for other people, so I’ve neglected the Secret Laboratory recently.  I don’t even have a project for this month yet.  I’m going to have to come up with something...

Marcus MorrisAnyway, just to fill the gap, I thought I’d introduce you all to a really easy technique for observing the phenomenon known as triboluminescence.  Yes, this is my own method, I didn’t nick it from the Internet.

Triboluminescence is an optical phenomenon whereby light is generated when chemical bonds are broken.  So how do we do that then? Here we go...

Go out and buy a packet of generic "Extra Strong Mints".  You know the kind I mean.  They’re hard, white and about an inch in diameter.  Make sure they’re fresh and dry - this doesn’t work with soggy old mints.

Bear with me here.  Take your mints to bed.  Make sure everything is really dark.  Hide under the duvet to make sure it’s really dark.  I don’t mean just fairly dim, I’m talking pitch black, the kind of dark I imagine must have existed before the Universe was born.  The kind of dark that doesn’t even have space attached to it.

Stay in the dark for five minutes or more, keeping your eyes open.  Your eyes will struggle to accommodate the dark but they will fail because it’s really dark, right?  You now have super-sensitive eyes, ready to detect the merest stray photon.

Take a mint from the packet and hold it ’twixt both forefingers and thumbs.  Stare wide-eyed at the point where you judge the mint to be (you can’t actually see the mint because it’s really dark, right?)

Keep your eyes on the judged location of the mint - this phenomenon is fleeting.  Snap the mint in half smartly by rotating your hands outwards to bring the broken faces uppermost.  In other words, you’re snapping the mint towards you, not away from you.

The Freedom BootDid you see the flash? What colour did you see?

That was triboluminescence of sugar, brought to you by The Secret Laboratory.  You can eat the mint now.  Sleep well.

Warning: Eating mints can cause tooth decay.  Always brush your teeth before falling asleep after observing triboluminescence of sugar under a duvet at night.”

Follow the Secret Laboratory link for DIY Cork Extractor, Anti-Tardiness Event Console, Reclaiming your Toothpaste, Crapulite - Building Material of the Future, the Freedom Boot and much more inspired and crazy resourcefulness.

Left: The Freedom Boot Marcus made for stamping Tom Waits covers for his band the Fylthe.

The video that ends this celebration of Marcus was recorded in his favourite pub the Prince of Wales, with his much loved band the Fylthe in his final month.  Filmed by myself and edited by Marcus.

Marcus’s last gig was with A Month of Sundays in Presteigne on 29th March 2012.
The following day he suffered a fatal heart attack.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 March 2017 17:56
 
 

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