Musician served with Colne Orchestra for half a century

Flautist Roger Aspden played with the Colne Orchestra for 50 years
Flautist Roger Aspden played with the Colne Orchestra for 50 years

A musician, who played with the Colne Orchestra for 50 years, has died after a brave and dignified battle with cancer.

Roger George Aspden joined the orchestra as the first flute when he was just a teenager.

During five decades with the orchestra one of the many highlights included playing alongside his sister, concert pianist, Cynthia Barker.

And Roger’s proudest moment was when his wife, June, attended one of his concerts in her role as Mayoress.

The couple had been married for 46 years.

Ill health forced him to step down from the orchestra in 2009.

Colne born Roger, who was 75, inherited his talent for music from his mother Hilda, who played the violin, and his father Cyril who was a cellist.

As a boy Roger, who lived in Brierfield, was so committed to his craft he would cycle from his home in Colne to the outskirts of Manchester for his music lessons.

And despite his skill and talent, Roger never felt he was good enough to teach his daughters, Helen and Elizabeth, insisting they had separate music lessons.

He was extremely proud of the success they both achieved in rising to the rank of squadron leader in the Royal Air Force.

Roger was very well travelled and had visited most of Europe and also North America, Russia and the Middle East.

A great animal lover he also took great pride in taking his two beloved Yorkshire Terriers out for a walk.

Roger, leaves his wife, daughters and also grandchildren Tristan, Matthew, Harriet and Jessica.

A funeral service was held on Wednesday.