"> Peter Vickers RIP

Peter Vickers RIP
25/01/1938 - 17/10/2018

On parade at Armed Forces Day in Lancaster,
Photo by Barrie Marshall 25/10/2016

18/10/18 - Sadly I have to report that a local friend and musician, Peter Vickers, died peacefully around 10pm last night with his family at his bedside. Pete was the leader of the Preston based Silver Bell Band & Red Rose Brass Band, from the early 70s.  

He was an occasional visitor to our house so we knew him quite well, so much so he regarded me as his computer guru, often ringing to say, "I have a computer problem, it's not urgent, but I know you like a challenge".  Like me he also worked for BT prior to retirement so we had several things in common. 

Peter then went on to study at University and he also wrote books on the history of Longridge Brass Band and lately a history of the Silver Bell Band which he finished prior to hospitalisation, but was determined to distribute to his friends, and those whose names appeared in the book, knowing time was limited.  

He was a regular visitor to New Orleans and he was well known over there, Barry Martyn and John ‘Kid’ Simmons are a couple of names he has often mentioned to me. There are few visiting musicians who haven’t stayed overnight at Pete’s house, and will know what I mean when I say it was an experience not to be forgotten, as it full of interesting artefacts.  

I visited Peter in hospital around early July where he told me that he had been diagnosed with a tumour at the top of  his leg, and it was travelling up into his body, and incurable. He was subsequently transferred to a local nursing home in Preston and I am pleased and privileged to have been able to help him with his laptop, emails and the transfer of the web site, which he had created several years ago having learnt how to do it in basic form before many web creation tools were available. The bands and web site are currently being managed by the Silver Bell trumpeter, Roy Freeman.

Pete leaves two sons and a daughter, and Barbara & I send our condolences to his family - George, James & Helen, of whom he was immensely proud.

RIP Pete.
Fred Burnett

18/10/18 -

Very sad loss.  I played with Pete from boyhood with The Yancy Jazzband, then with The Silver Bell for many years

Ged Wilson

Such sad news about Peter, He will have been known by hundreds of people not all in the jazz world, and as you said, staying in his house was an experience. - Barrie Marshall

18/10/18 - When we were recording the first of our documentaries about jazz in the North West we interviewed the late Peter Vickers. We hope that this clip summarises Pete in a nutshell - a very modest man who just loved the music of New Orleans. This in memory of Pete Vickers

Rayk jazz and Louis Lince


So sad to hear that Peter Vickers is no longer with us. It was Peter, the Mr New Orleans Jazz of Preston who introduced me to the local jazz scene well over 35 years ago when I was trying to make local connections after ‘swallowing the anchor’ and finding work on land. He was a fantastic ambassador for the music. I have depped with both Silver Bell and the Red Rose on a number of occasions and Pete also depped with my Yarrow River band. His house was, indeed a veritable museum of jazz. When his colleague, Frank Caunce set about forming a ragtime orchestra, he asked me to consider taking the violin part, sadly, Frank died before that came to pass. Pete was always the most helpful of jazzmen, he will be sadly missed by many, many musicians in this area, and beyond. Rest in Peace, Peter Vickers. -

Richard Knock.


Thank you for your report about Pete Vickers which of course is very sad news, but not unexpected by those of us assembling fortnightly at the Silver Bell session at Preston, where I regularly guest.  I have known and played with Pete for many many years.

Kind regards, Martyn Sharp

19/10/18 -

So very sad to hear of Pete's passing. A great loss to the jazz scene in Preston. And not only the jazz scene but the local history fraternity. Pete was a 100% -er. A kind and considerate man, with the patience of Job. Having played with the Red Rose for a good number of years, Pete always left a good impression on me.

Rest In Peace old friend. - Jeff Milner

19/10/18 - Peter Vickers - a man I will really miss, in particular talking about The Red Rose Marching band.

Two things stick in my mind, hopefully the first one will carry on.  Playing for Red Rose is much more than a gig it's a social event unlike other gigs, you meet up, drive to the gig, meet others there and there is a lot of hanging around during these events so it's cafe or pub for a natter and a good time.

This I will really miss as others will, meeting at his house to have a brew and often listen to a bit of his vast collection of music, not all jazz, it was a joy to be in his company and in that wonderful environment he called home, a brew was often at hand with biscuits. I know the first day I met Peter was at the funeral procession for Yates and Jackson's Brewery in Lancaster in 1984,  I was asked to play. Here is a picture, you can just see the top of Peters head behind me,

Rest In Peace my good friend. - Barrie Marshall.

21/10/18 -

Very sad about Pete Vickers. I saw him with the Silver Bell and Red Rose over the years and he depped with the Lune Valley once or twice but I only got to know him a bit better in the last four years that I have been playing with Red Rose. He was a lovely man and a great organiser. Comes so soon after the death of Alan Duckles, two fine band leaders.

Steve Lister

24/10/18 -

Very sad news. I shall be at the Crematorium and The Mad Hatters. I have very good memories of Pete, including a message from him to bring him back a parade hat from the Sacramento Festival. He gave me the size required, so it all worked out very well.

Martin Bennett


I was very sorry to hear about Pete Vickers, when I went to New Orleans for the first time, Peter told me where to go for music, food, days out etc. he also loaned me some guide books, a very kind man.

Allan Townsend

01/11/18 -

What a privilege to have known Peter for over 30 years. A keen historian and proud ‘Prestonian’. Partaker in four Preston Guilds, 1952 in the Scouts, then three with the Red Rose Brass Band. As Band Manager, he gave me the opportunity to join the band as Grand Marshall back in the 80’s. The band won’t seem the same without Pete, but he wished us to keep parading.

It was always a pleasure to be in his company, whether on gigs or on holiday in New Orleans which he loved and got to know well.

Good bye old friend. RIP Peter Vickers.
Thank you,
Dave Woonton

An amazing turnout for Pete's funeral, too many to all fit in the chapel
Members of the Red Rose Band (in the distance), led the cortege

Obituary - Lancashire Evening Post


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