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Bathampton Morris Men

Squire

Jack Sleeman

Jack Sleeman 1917 — 1999

Squire of Bathampton 1984—1986

After a long spell in hospital, Jack died on Jan 4th 1999.

He was a ship's writer during the 2nd World War and became a Further Education teacher at Trowbridge College after demob. As a result of his friendship with Ioan Jenkins, then headmaster of Warminster's Minster School and a musician for White Horse Morris, Jack joined that side which had occasional combined outings with Bathampton.

In the mid-60's Jack joined Bathampton, whose programme included the Warminster area. The first major tour which he attended was to Hereford in May 1967 (via Upton-on-Severn, where we performed the Stick Dance). This was before Bathampton was a Ring side.

In 1980 he took over the catering for Plough Sunday evening from Bet Jenkins, following Ioan's death. Soon after that he taught himself to play the concertina – coming into his own on Bathampton's first Welsh tour, when Tony Jackson was taken ill.

1984 saw Jack dance in as Squire at Bathampton's 50th Anniversary celebrations and later that year he led the side at the Golden Jubilee of the Morris Ring at Birmingham.

In 1985 Jack squired the first visit of the Nörder Danzkoppel from Ostfriesland, Germany and friendships developed which saw Jack join the Danzkoppel for their tours in Germany and Sweden. Also, with Philip Lamble, Jack was Bathampton's representative to Bath's twin city of Brunswick.

In 1988 Jack had a yacht built in memory of his only son, Kit, who had tragically been lost at sea in 1983. He invited the side to dance at the blessing of his sloop Kemp's Jig by Revd. Roger Sharpe at Poole.

Jack, a widower since 1971, was also a member of Playford dance groups in Warminster and Westbury.

John Helsdon

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