Jeff Gilpin
Grand Marshall
(RIP 29/12/17)

30/12/17 - Today I had a ’phone call from Joan Gilpin to say that husband Jeff had died yesterday.  Jeff was well known to traditional jazz enthusiasts in Bolton for many years.  He was a committee member of Eagley Jazz Club (at Dunscar Conservative Club) and was a parade marshal for functions around the north-west.  He had a huge enthusiasm for traditional jazz and, in his lively way, was never afraid to communicate this.  Although I used to pull his leg a lot, there was great affection between us, and I am sad to see him go. 

The funeral is likely be at Bolton’s Overdale Crematorium, but details will not be known till after next Tuesday: though there will not be a parade band, there will be some kind of jazz musical tribute.  I will try to post more details when I learn them.

John Muskett

30/12/17 -

I fondly remember speaking to Jeff on my many trips to Eagley Jazz Club with several different different bands including my regular Eagle (then the Millennium Eagle) Jazz Band, Fire Hose 1 Jazzmen, Savannah and New Orleans Heat. He relished telling the tale after his holiday in New Orleans of Joan offering an ultimatum between her and jazz.  After several hours elapsed Joan asked had he made a decision? He said yes, I’ve made a decision; One, two, one, two, three, four; only to be followed by “only joking love”.  However Jeff continued to be very much and very enthusiastically involved with his local jazz scene. When you go to jazz clubs around the country you always look forward to seeing the characters that frequent these venues and Jeff was certainly one of those, he will be sadly missed.

Matt Palmer

30/12/17 -

Sad to hear about Jeff Gilpin. He was indeed an ambassador for our music.

When Geoff first came on the scene he was, I'm sorry to say, not treated with the respect which, as many will have realised in hindsight, he clearly deserved.  This was simply due, as John Muskett says, to his "lively way" of communicating his love of the music and his desperate yearning to be part of the scene, a desire which he ultimately achieved.

He turned up at every gig I played at in the Bolton area in the late eighties and nineties and you can hear Geoff's encouraging "yeah" throughout the recordings I made at the time.

I hadn't seen him during the years I had been living abroad but met him again at the Eagley Jazz Club in May 2014. He greeted me like a long lost friend and was the same ebullient, enthusiastic Geoff I had know all those years ago.

RIP Grand Marshal Gilpin.

Graham Martindale


01/01/18 -

It was with immense sadness that I learned of the passing of Jeff Gilpin, a great jazz fan and one of the nicest people I have ever met. In the words of another friend on hearing the news, "The world is a darker place".

Not only was he a staunch supporter of jazz, but also a truly philanthropic person who on many occasions was the unsung hero, quietly helping those in need and never breathing a word of his good deeds. As a member of the Bourbon Street Roof Raisers I had the pleasure of performing with him as our parade marshal on numerous occasions. His enthusiasm was infectious and invariably members of the public would join him in his dance.

Later, as we tried to get new band, the Dixie Beats up and running his support and encouragement were invaluable - he would even come along to our rehearsals and always believed in us. I remember he was quite emotional when we performed at Eagley last year and was looking forward (as are we) to our return in March. His great enthusiasm for jazz and unfeigned affection for his friends helped make him one of the great characters of the circuit and he was certainly instrumental in implanting that same zest for the music in me and many others.

An unforgettable personality, he will be greatly missed.

Thanks, Jeff.

John Percival

01/01/18 -

Sorry to hear about Jeff, a great guy and a good companion on a marching gig.

Photo shows Jeff with the Bourbon St Roof Raisers on a North Bolton Gig about 3 or 4 years ago.

Barrie Booth

02/01/17 -

On behalf of The Savannah Jazz Band we would like to send our condolences to Joan and family.

On Monday 18th December we played at the Eagley Christmas party and Jeff had asked us earlier in the year if at all possible could he appear with the Band at the party in his full parade uniform. He wanted to show the customers what he did on the parades etc. This he did to the 90+ audience to the tune `Just a Little While to Stay Here` whilst leading the front line round the room. After one circuit he had had enough and did seem to be a little out of breath, but he had done what he had wanted to do and to rapturous applause as well.

Over the years I would see him at the Harrogate Spring & Summer Flower show fronting a band and having many photos taken with the visitors.

I have known Jeff for many years when I played with some of the parade bands which he led round various places. We used to have a bit of banter over certain things but all in good fun.

He was well known and respected in the jazz family and will be sorely missed.

Brian Sam Ellis


So sorry to hear about Jeff.   I remember when he started parading and worked with me fronting Les Moores French Quarter Band.  I will never forget a parade we did before he joined, when in a Bolton thunderstorm Jeff followed the band on an arduous trek, where he ended up wetter than most of the chaps.  A lovely bloke.

Jeff Roberts (Grand Marshall with the Eclipse Band)

07/01/17 -

I first met Jeff when we played at the Octagon Theatre with the Magnolia band more than 40 years ago. We met regularly down at the Swanage Jazz Festival where Jeff led the parade for the Dave Brennan Jubilee band I remember him for the style, enthusiasm and energy he showed when leading the parade. Recently we saw him every time we played at the Eagley Jazz club and when he occasionally made it down to Delph with Joan to listen to The Spirit Of New Orleans. He was a great ambassador for New Orleans music and always had kind and encouraging words for the band and the musicians. He will be sadly missed

Dave Pogson on behalf of Spirit Of New Orleans

18/01/17 - There was a good turnout for Jeff’s funeral yesterday. At the church I was joined by John Gordon (banjo), Bill Smith (cornet), Dave Thomas (clarinet) and Derek Galloway (trombone). We played before, during and after the service some of Jeff’s favourite tunes. Later, at the Dunscar Conservative Club, with trumpeters Dave Pogson and John Percival, clarinettist Barry Aldous (taking a couple of tunes on my bass), and Tenor Saxist Howard Murray, there was more jazz. Joan Gilpin and son Keith were most appreciative of our efforts and particularly of comments already posted (in Remembering) on Fred’s Website.

John Muskett



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