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Tributes paid to Mr Brass Band

PUBLISHED: 06:30 19 September 2014

Ron Larkins, who died aged 87.

Ron Larkins, who died aged 87.

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Known as “Mr Brass Band” for his love of music, Ron Larkins of Burgh Road Gorleston died of a heart attack on September 12 aged 87.

Known as ‘Mr Brass Band’ for his love of music, Gorleston’s Ron Larkins who played in local bands for more than 30 years has died aged 87.

Ron, of Burgh Road, Gorleston, died following a heart attack on September 12.

The talented musician had played in brass bands since he was 15 and had been with the Great Yarmouth Brass Band for more than 30 years, where he played the E-flat bass tuba.

He was a young boy when war broke out and he was evacuated to Nottingham from the coast. The rest of his family moved to By St Edmunds where he later joined them and had a chance meeting which would change the rest of his life.

He was a teenager and working as a delivery boy for a bakery and his round included a doctor’s house, where the cook would always answer the door to collect their order.

One day in 1943 however, the cook wasn’t there to meet him and instead it was an 18-year-old girl called Madeleine, who looked after the doctor’s children.

Ron’s sister Brenda Leggett, 77 said: “From then on, that’s history. He was only about 15 and they have been together ever since.”

Youngest daughter Marion Clarke, 60, said her father always joked about that chance meeting that led to 67 years of marriage.

“He always thanked Hitler for bringing them together,” she said.

He joined the Army at 18 and left after six years, and took a variety of jobs before becoming a postman, a position he would keep for 33 years.

But his love of music always endured and Ron played at three Edinburgh Military Tattoos and even at Holyrood Palace in Scotland for the Queen.

Fellow musicians at his beloved Great Yarmouth Brass Band (GYB) said they were saddened by his death.

Prinicpal corner player Penny Gilbert said: “Although absent from the band for a couple of years now due to illness, Ron continued to attend GYB concerts whenever he was able, and just last week a baritone was taken to his house as he had told us how much he was missing playing.

“Ron will be very sadly missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and family at this time”

Ron was best known in the community for his kind nature, said daughter Christine Burgess, 62.

“He was just so well known, he was very friendly and such a gentleman. He was so kind to people and a devoted family man.”

He is survived by wife Madeleine, daughters Pamela, Christine and Marion, six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

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