A CREDITON man, who is known to so many, celebrated his 90th birthday early and in style!

Cyril May, former drummer for many years with The Dartmoor Pixie Band celebrates his 90th birthday tomorrow, Friday, December 15.

Cyril and Hazel May.
Cyril and Hazel May. (submitted)

Cyril has lived in Crediton for many years with his wife Hazel, and today, Thursday, December 14, they will have been married for 64 years.

Cyril often refers to their marriage as his birthday present that year!

Jason Rice, a current member of The Dartmoor Pixie Band, explained: “Cyril joined Bob Cann and the Dartmoor Pixie Band in 1974, originally playing both mouth organs and melodeon before Cyril took over as drummer in 1981.

Jason Rice with Cyril and Hazel May.
Jason Rice with Cyril and Hazel May. (submitted)

“His drumming style was absolutely perfect for country dancing and gave the music plenty of ‘Lift’, which is just the way Bob liked it.

“Playing with the band took Cyril and Hazel to nearly every village hall in Devon and Cornwall, and further afield, even making an appearance with the band on the BBC Pebble Mill programme.

“Cyril loved to dress up and often used his skills as a carpenter to build fancy sets for the stage or a practical joke such as a pretend cake that he would jump out of in front of an unsuspecting audience.”

Cyril celebrated his 90th birthday early by hosting a party, organised by his daughter, Karen and son-in-law Peter, at the Waie Inn, Zeal Monachorum.

Cyril was joined by around 20 of his family and friends for dinner followed by what Cyril described as a “Wingding”. 

Jason explained: “A Wingding is his name for a folk music jam session and, as always, he was right in the middle, playing his mouth-organs or as he says, ‘gob irons’.”

Cyril was joined by some of his old Pixie Band friends, Mark Bazeley (Melodeon), Jason Rice (Piano Accordion), and Rob Murch (Banjo).

Cyril was a big fan of the band “The Yetties” and it was therefore fitting that he was also joined at his party by a former member of the famous Dorset band, Roger Trim, who played fiddle and sang a song.