Potterne residents are mourning the loss of Michael Hiscock, the popular local figure who ran the village’s folk festival and helped create the annual Mummers play.

Michael sadly passed away after a fall whilst on holiday in Kent on March 16. He was 84.

In tribute to her father-in-law, Tanya Hiscock praised him as “a true gentleman who will be greatly missed by all”.

She added: “Mick was a popular character both locally and in the folk world. He was a quiet and unassuming man, but at the drop of a hat he could sing a song from his wide repertoire of folk and Irish songs. His favourite was Maggie Mae, he loved singing it at festivals and would even stand and sing it when travelling on a coach.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Michael Hiscock, "a true gentleman".Michael Hiscock, "a true gentleman".

Michael was born in Portsmouth in 1937. His early love of music began when he was encouraged to sing by his parents, who were also fans of folk. He signed up to go into the Army in 1958 and left with an exemplary record in 1970.

“By this time he had married and his passion for singing was quickly resurrected and he went to the forefront of the festival scene working for and singing at festivals and folk clubs across the country,” said Tanya.

“He also trained to be a mechanic and worked amongst other places at the popular Blue Star garage (now Kwik fit) in Devizes.

“His passion soon saw him running his own folk festival in Potterne for more than eight years to great acclaim and where he propelled some of today’s folk stars onto bigger platforms around the UK. His singing saw him perform with The Expanding Waste Band and Tinkers Bag and with the very well-loved Potterne duo Bob and Gill Berry.

“Along with Bernard Baker, who taught at Potterne School, he was the instigator of reviving the Potterne Mummers whose annual Christmas play was performed in pubs around Devizes and ended at the George and Dragon in Potterne.”

The Mummers group raised thousands of pounds for charities and 2022 would be its 50th year. It is hoped that the Mummers’ play will be staged one more time this Christmas, in tribute to Michael.

Tanya added: “Mick’s hobbies included Morris dancing, walking and research into churches and local history. He was a keen handyman and he helped to set up the family kitchen manufacture business Marque IV in 2007.”

Michael is survived by his sister Jennifer, daughter Jackie and son Paul and their families. His funeral will be held at Semington Crematorium on April 26 at 11.30am, casual dress.