As we approach the Mersea Session’s second birthday, it is sad to report the death of one of our few founder members, Ian Seager.
It was a near-empty Coast Inn that hosted our first session in October 2009, when Ian drove all the way from Chelmsford to attend, with Fred Field from Tollesbury. We had a pretty sparse evening until the doors burst open and in walked the Ragged String Band, and the party started.
Ian spent much of the winter months in Malta - he didn’t ‘do’ cold - but when he was at home, he was a regular at Fred’s United Brethren Tuesday evening session in Chelmsford. Before he retired, Ian ran a successful office cleaning business in Chelmsford, employing over 50 people at one point.
Ian said some very kind things to me about my playing and about our session. He declared one particular session, about a year ago as the best session he had ever been to, and I’m not aware that accolade was topped during his last year. He was very kind to Juliet and me in facilitating a short break in Malta last spring, where we stayed with his great friend Joe Grimshaw, but we were to be Joe's last visitors, as he died a short month later, which greatly saddened Ian.
Ian really loved his music-making and played his Polkawerk melodeon with great drive and enthusiasm. Although an infrequent visitor to the Coast session, he is greatly missed at the United Brethren, and it is the mark of the man that the fund that his friend Fred Field has set up in memoriam, which will go the stroke unit at Broomfield Hospital (which looked after Ian so well during his last hours), has topped £270 at last count. I have put in a contribution from his friends at the Coast Inn.