Peter Taylor taught at Dymchurch Primary School for thirty years and always played for their annual Maypole dancing and for the staff’s Scottish Country Dancing.
It was a fellow teacher at the School, Brian Lever, a former squire of East Kent Morris Men, that persuaded Peter to come along and play for the Side.
On the 21st June 1958 East Kent Morris Men toured around the Kentish Countryside. They went to Tenterden, Great Chart, Biddenden, Appledore and St Mary’s Bay. This was the first occasion on which they were accompanied by their new Fool, Mr John Messias.
On the 20th June 1998 EKMM and Woodchurch Morris accompanied by friends carried out an anniversary tour. With John in fine form, we visited some of the same places and met many people who remembered John from his previous visits with the side over the years
John, our fool for 43 years, died in September 2001. A central figure of our performances all this time, with his bowler hat, red nose and ready wit, he will be missed. Not only by the side but by those members of the public to whom he was as much a part of the morris as the dancers, the music or the horse.
Dancer with White Horse Morris Men for some years, former squire of East Kent Morris Men and lately of Headcorn Morris, Peter Thomas died on the afternoon of Sunday 16 October 2011 in the Ashford Pilgrim’s Hospice.
He is finally at peace and out of pain after a twelve year battle with colon cancer. For the previous three years he was in almost constant pain or discomfort, but stayed strong, courageous and dignified throughout, encouraging others to face the fear and get themselves checked out. A cousin described him as a gentleman and a gentle man.