“His Eye Is On The Sparrow”: Jazz in the Sailors’ Church, Ramsgate

Ian Turner and Peter Leonard

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31

What better way to introduce this very special interlude during the 2017 Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle Festival which brought back memories of previous Seaside Shuffle Sailor’s Church sessions led by our magnificent jazz musician and dedicated Christian,
Trefor Williams, absent this year due to illness. So this feature
is for you, Trefor, raising prayers for your wellbeing.

Kate, Trefor’s wife, requested that the following message from her be passed on to as many people as possible.

Trefor with Max Collie’s Rhythm Aces, Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle 2011

Trefor ‘Fingers’ Williams
As many know Trefor is unwell. Due to his M.S. and other medical matters he has had a series of relapses. He suffered three periods in hospital after which it was clear that he needed more medical help and treatment than could be provided at home. He is now resident at Saltwood Care Centre, Tanners Hill, Hythe, CT21 5UQ, where is in safe hands and receiving good nursing care. 

He spends each day in bed, as content as possible and relieved of pain. He is coherent, enjoys a laugh and speaks of many positive past times. Tref just needs reminding occasionally, to get the ball rolling, and he then enjoys a chat.

The home is positive and Tref has had many close friends and relatives visiting and supporting him through this time. Local musicians and punters have been calling in and his Church has been a blessing, visiting regularly. They surprised him last week when two of his congregation arrived unexpectedly followed by a group of thirteen or more who crowded into his room. The Pastor had brought her keyboard and the first hymn was How Great Thou Art.

As many know it was a popular number played regularly at Church concerts all over Europe by Phil Mason’s New Orleans All Stars and sung by Christine Tyrell. It brought back memories for Tref. It couldn’t match the improvised harmonies of live jazz, but the melody and words evoked cheerful emotions and a few tears.

Thank you to so many who have been concerned for Trefor’s sake and mine, sending cards, emails, messages etc. He’s in good hands. As Tref always says, “Onwards and Upwards”.

God bless you all.
Kate Williams x.

Fans so missed Trefor and Kate at Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle this year, all the more so because of their consistent support since the festival was founded in 2011. Jazz&Jazz included “A Very Special Message” for them both earlier in July.

More of Trefor’s Favourites
The Sailor’s Church interlude included several more of Trefor’s favourite jazz spirituals including
“The Lilly of the Valley” and “Lucky Old Sun”. Thank you, Peter Leonard (trumpet), Ian Turner (Trefor’s father-in-law, clarinet), John Stuart (banjo) and Chris Thompson (bass), for your
wonderfully empathetic renditions.

Peter M Butler
Editor & Proprietor Jazz&Jazz

(Photos & YouTubes © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz)

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  1. bob hatcher says:

    Thanks Peter for letting me know this VERY sad news I have seen and enjoyed Trevor playing for many years, will be thinking of him and his family.


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