TRIBUTES have been paid to a former member of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band who died earlier this month.

Fred Partlett was a member of the band for 35 years from the 1950s until he retired in the 80s, serving as a cornet player, bandmaster and librarian in that time.

Born in Grimethorpe in 1984, Fred was a talented sportsman who played football for his school team and was due to go on trial with Barnsley Boys before he suffered an injury and was told he must never play football again or risk losing his leg.

A spokesperson for Grimethorpe Colliery Band said: “In his late teens Fred was invited to join Royston New Monkton Colliery Band as principal cornet.

“He was with Royston when he married his school sweetheart Jessie in 1955 and he continued to play with them for another year or so, until he was asked to join the Grimethorpe Colliery Institute Band as principal cornet.

“In 1959 he won his second national title at the National Quartet Championships playing with Brian Toyne on cornet, Ron Cox on tenor horn and Benny Lowery on euphonium.”

Between 1976 and 1982 Fred visited a number of countries including Austria, USA, France and Australia with the band, and perhaps most notably won the Rothman’s Brass in Concert competition where the prize money was £1,000 - the most prize money awarded at that time for any contest.

Fred continued to play with the band in a variety of roles until he retired in the late 1980s.

Described as a ‘gentleman’ and a ‘wise’ man who was well-respected by all who knew him, Fred died on November 17.

His funeral will take place at St James Church, Barlborough, on December 7 at 2pm.