Death of Pendle Youth Orchestra stalwart Malcolm

Malcolm Blamire

Malcolm Blamire

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The funeral of a man whose name was synonymous with the Pendle Youth Orchestra for many years will take place this week.

Malcolm Blamire was born in Barrowford in 1943 and as a child his family moved regularly.

At the age of 15 he started work as a market gardener in Thornton Cleveleys where he had started playing musical instruments at the age of 11.

Having joined the Norman Memorial Youth Band in Blackpool before starting work, he later worked at Leyland Motors so that he could join their famous brass band and he enjoyed a few years playing music at the highest level.

Malcolm then moved to Barnoldswick to work at Rolls-Royce and joined Barnoldswick Brass Band.

At the age of 27 he joined the army as a junior bandsman and this led t0 10 years in the King’s Regiment with postings in Germnay, Colchester, Honk Kong, Cyprus and Northern Ireland.

Malcolm thoroughly enjoyed his 10 years with the King’s Regiment but after being involved in two explosions in Northern Ireland he had to leave the army as his hearing deteriorated.

While in the army he attended the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall in Twickenham where he gained teaching and conducting qualifications.

From the army he returned to Barnoldswick and Rolls-Royce where he continued to play with Barnoldswick Band while taking on the part-time role with the Pendle Youth Orchestra.

He later became conductorn and built up an orchestra of 80 children aged from eight to 21.

During this time, the orchestra won local music festivals and provided the pit band for local musical theatre productions with Malcolm also providing the musical arrangements.

With Malcolm at the helm the orchestra also enjoyed successful trips abroad to Holland, France and Germany and took part in many local fund-raising events in Pendle and Burnley.

While leading the youth orchestra, he also had spells conducting both Nelson and Barnoldswick Bands and then opened his own music school, Pendle Music, which was becoming established when ill health struck and the school had to close.

Shortly after the school closed, Malcolm moved to Cornwall in the hope of better health and once again became involved in brass bands, playing first for Liskeard Band and then St Pinnock Band.

He also started another small village band and went in to the village school to help the pupils play their instruments.

After further health problems he moved to Leicestershire and finally relaxed, downsizing to a broadbeam boat and enjoying marina life.

His health worsened last year and after contracting another cancer he died, aged 72, at the end of last month.

He leaves his wife Anne, daughters Fiona and Alison, stepchildren Joanne and Mark and eight grandchildren.

A funeral is to be held at Loughborough Crematorium on Friday, February 12th, at 1-15pm

Family flowers only however donations to Leicester Hospitals Charity and all money raised will go specifically to their bile duct cancer unit.

Contact Alison on 07799537128 for further details.