It falls to few to suspect that their words will endure, even after their death; but it is likely that the works of folklorist, Roy Palmer, will be read for as long as the English language is spoken.

Mr Palmer died last week, on February 26, aged 83.

In an age of modernity and technology, Mr Palmer, who lived for many years in the Dymock area, and later in Malvern, delighted in ancient tales of ghosts, legends, witches, goblins and the "otherness" of the British Isles.

His publications were many and important, including

Herefordshire Folklore and The Folklore of Gloucestershire.

Mr Palmer was also the editor of The Oxford Book of British Ballads.

With publication came considerable recognition for a modest and unassuming man.

In 2004, he received the Gold Badge, the British Folk, Dance and Song Society's highest honour, for his work on folklore.

Mr Palmer at the time had been a member of the BFDSS for over 30 years, and he had been on the editorial board of Folk Music Journal for 20 years.

Mr Palmer said, upon hearing of the award: "I was very pleased. Some of the previous recipients are very distinguished people. It's the highest honour, so I was thrilled to be offered it."

The award was presented at the Cheltenham Folk Festival, at which Mr Palmer was a frequent lecturer.

A friend, Peter Smith of the Autumn in Malvern Festival, said of Mr Palmer this week: "He was the real thing, quiet and very unassuming. People like him never die, because they leave a legacy of words that will endure.

"As an author, his books are held in high esteem and both the Cambridge and Oxford University Press together with Faber commissioned him to write on English social history, folksong, folklore and country life. Poets, forgotten footpaths, secret rivers and the folk dance and song of Britain were Roy’s abiding interest and delight. Earlier on, J.B. Priestley was an enthusiastic reader and reviewer of his books."

Roy Palmer was born in Leicestershire and won a State Scholarship to Manchester University.

He qualified as a teacher and later became Headmaster of the Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School in Birmingham.

He took early retirement in order to concentrate on writing and lecturing, and earned himself an international reputation.

For many year he was well-known in the Ledbury area as the Chairman of the Friends of the Dymock Poets.

In later years he came to live in Malvern where he continued researching and lecturing.

Mr Palmer broadcast for BBC Radio and Television and lectured both in Britain and abroad.

He is survived by his wife and artistic collaborator, Pat, three sons and seven grand children.

Mr Palmer's funeral will be private and the details are not being made public.