I hope I express the sentiments of the followers of traditional folk music around the world and people from many other walks of life in mourning the death of Bob Copper.

I started attending folk clubs in the Brighton area more than 30 years ago.

When my interests became more focused on the traditional clubs at the Springfield in Brighton and the Lewes Arms in Lewes, it was not long before I came across the Copper family of Rottingdean.

Their songs had been passed down through the family for several generations.

These four people were highly approachable and Bob was so knowledgeable about farming life in the old Sussex days which he described in such a delightfully entertaining fashion that this (then) stroppy teenager was all ears.

As the years passed, my wife and I were fortunate enough to make Bob's acquaintance on several occasions and share songs in his convivial company.

He was a wonderful listener as well as a great storyteller and his family's songs are still sung all over the world wherever traditional songs are still sung.

At his 89th birthday party, when the well-loved singer and author Shirley Collins announced it had been decided to award Bob an MBE, somebody shouted, "It should have been a knighthood", whereupon Bob replied, "Be patient. Be patient."

Sadly, he died only four days after the MBE was bestowed but that sums up the waggish humour of the man.

In Bob Copper, we have lost a great author, singer, raconteur and, most importantly, one of life's gentlemen.

-Jonathan Mitchell, Uckfield