THE funeral has taken place of a legendary figure in the brass band world.

Members of Besses o’ th’ Barn Band and the world-famous Black Dyke Band performed at Dr Roy Newsome’s service which was held at Bury Parish Church on Monday.

And just two days before his death following a long illness, the 30-strong Black Dyke Band played in the garden of his Belmont Drive home as Dr Newsome watched from his bedroom window.

Dr Newsome (pictured), aged 81, leaves a wife Muriel, and two sons, Neil and Martin. Following Monday’s funeral service, a private committal took place at the East Lancashire Crematorium in Radcliffe.

Throughout his long and illustrious musical career, he forged associations with a number of brass bands, but principally Besses, based in Whitefield, and Black Dyke.

Up until his death on October 10, Dr Newsome had been musical adviser to Besses and his association with the band had spanned around 30 years.

Born in Elland, Yorkshire, he became a cornet player with the Elland Silver Band at the age of six. In later years, he took up roles as musical director, conductor and writer.

He became the only man to have conducted four different bands to the British Open Championships and was also founder of the National Youth Brass Band. For many years he presented the BBC radio programme “Listen to the Band.”

He eventually crossed over the Pennines and settled in Bury 22 years ago. For many years, he was a music lecturer at Salford University and, following his retirement, a research fellow.

Dr Newsome conducted the Black Dyke Band during the 1970s. His son, Martin, said: “Dad had a long and fruitful relationship with Black Dyke and also worked with other bands all over the world.”

Matt Bailey, chairman of Besses o’ th’ Barn Band, said: “Dr Roy was our musical director from the mid to late 1970s through to the mid ‘80s. Two years ago, he became our musical adviser. Next year is the 30th anniversary of our last British Open win, directed by Dr Roy.

“During his years with Besses, the band won many major titles and were at the forefront of banding. Our gratitude for his work with the band can never be fully put into words.

“He was a pleasure to work with and always gave his time willingly for a band that remained dear to his heart. It has been a pleasure to work with and learn from such a legendary figure.”

Hundreds of mourners, including brass band representatives nationwide, attended his funeral where Black Dyke and Besses performed pieces Dr Newsome had specifically requested during the planning of his own order of service.