Tributes to great musician

John Beagle
John Beagle

A well respected and much loved member of Scarborough’s musical scene has died aged 79.

John Beagle, who had fought a long battle with cancer, passed away at St Catherine’s Hospice last Thursday.

Originally from Hessle, near Hull, Mr Beagle attended Beverley Grammar School, where he was introduced to the double bass. He continued his studies in music at Leeds University and the Royal College of Music.

His first teaching job was at Manchester Grammar School, then he worked in Hull for a time as a musician, teacher, adjudicator and mentor to young people.

Mr Beagle went on to become associate conductor of the Hull Philharmonic Society and following fifty years of service he was named vice president.

Margaret Pinder, of Hull Philharmonic Society, paid tribute, saying: “The music scenes of Hull and Scarborough are the poorer for John’s passing.

“Throughout the region there are many music makers who will miss this lovable, gentle man of music who taught and encouraged them to play and love music which was John’s life and which he shared so generously with them.”

Mr Beagle came to live in Scarborough when his mother, Irene, became ill so he could look after her.

Irene Beagle was president of SADLOS (Scarborough and District Light Opera Company) and her son took over the role when she passed away.

He was involved in many groups throughout his career, including the National Operatic and Dramatic Association, Scarborough Musical Theatre Company and Hull Bach Choir.

Mike Wademan, join chairman of Scarborough Musicals, said: “His boundless knowledge, now lost forever, will be sadly missed, as will his sense of humour, I will always remember his laugh. John was a true gentleman, a modest and understanding person, to the very end.”

Chris Ingram, chairman of trustees at the National Operatic and Dramatic Association, said: “John was very much respected by his societies and was always held in great affection by them all.

“He was the most musically accomplished and knowledgeable member of the regional committee and was able to offer us wise counsel in that respect.”

Geoff Proudlock, who was a good friend of Mr Beagle, said: “The key thing about John was how he mentored and supported young people.

“He was generous and a great friend - someone you could always turn to.”

A funeral service will be held on Monday June 17 at 10.40am at Woodlands Crematorium, followed by a burial in the Meadow at Woodlands.