Remembering John the Fish

23 Feb

John the Fish, photo by Greg Martin : Cornwall Live

Our lovely friend, John Langford, affectionately known as John the Fish, died last month and the celebration of his life was held last Saturday. The hall was absolutely packed with people wanting to show their love for this very special man.

Beautifully decorated coffin Photo by Sue Ellery-Hill

On the display table of memorabilia. Photo Sue Ellery-Hill

Live music Photo by Sue Ellery-Hill

John has been spoken of with love and admiration in all the media from our local papers and news site, Cornwall Live,  to Radio 3 where he was mentioned by Petroc Trelawny and his rendering of a Cornish folk song, “Little Eyes” was played.  He was best known as a folk singer and that was how we first knew of him when in the 60’s he’d be the resident singer at the Mitchell folk club where my younger brother would go to play. His name came from his earlier days when he was a fisherman in Newlyn.  (See the newspaper cuttings below)

John became a Humanist Celebrant as you will have read in the Cornwall Live article. His work was greatly appreciated and when we met him and Carrie recently at a Ralph McTell concert, we were touched that one of his couples came over to make themselves known and to thank him.
My parents knew John and Carrie from the beginnings of the Cornwall Humanists group so when my Mum died in 1993, we turned to the Humanists to conduct a non-religious ceremony for us. Another friend conducted the Ceremony and  John sang John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ for us all at Mum’s request.
When we returned to Cornwall in 2008, John asked me to join the Celebrants and was my much-valued mentor as I began to conduct wedding and baby naming ceremonies.

Learning about Baby Namings by watching John at work

At one of the dinners we used to have with John and Carrie and other friends, I made a little thank you gift in the glasswork that I love doing. It was to celebrate John’s time as a fisherman.

The next two photos, which will need enlarging, are of a lovely interview done by Steve Hunt some time ago and tell you much of John’s his own words.

What follows is a brief quotation from the article in the West Briton 2nd February. It’s a lovely summary of this much-loved man.


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8 responses to “Remembering John the Fish

  1. Letty Macdonald

    March 23, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    I am very sorry for your loss. We (Robert and Letty Macdonald) saw John and Brenda only twice— at the Norwich folk festival in ‘71 and at The Piper’s Folk in ‘73 — They were unforgettable and irreplaceable.

    • mybeautfulthings

      March 23, 2023 at 9:51 pm

      Thank you for your lovely words. I will pass them on to Carrie.

  2. Carrie

    February 24, 2023 at 10:36 am

    Thanks Sally for a lovely remembrance of John & his life.

    • mybeautfulthings

      February 24, 2023 at 4:41 pm

      It was a privilege to have known John and to have been there last Saturday. See you soon.

  3. beth

    February 23, 2023 at 11:11 am

    a lovely tribute and I’m so sorry for your loss

  4. Kim Ridgeon

    February 23, 2023 at 10:51 am

    A fascinating read. A wonderful life. I only ever saw him once performing with Brenda Wooton.

    • mybeautfulthings

      February 23, 2023 at 6:36 pm

      His was a very full life and he was a lovely man. 🙂


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