Fylde folk stalwart Alan dies

Alan Bell, the former Fylde Folk Festival director, pictured in his native Fleetwood.
Alan Bell, the former Fylde Folk Festival director, pictured in his native Fleetwood.

One of the Fylde coast’s most celebrated folk singers and composers has died at the age of 84.

Alan Bell, of The Strand, Fleetwood, was best known as the founder and director of the Fylde Folk Festival, a major musical event which was held in the port from 1972 to 2014 and attracted some of the biggest names in the folk genre, such as Kate Rusby (inset).

Alan also wrote folk songs and larger scale suites, and devised an ambitious stage show called Century’s People, telling of the life and times of ordinary people on the Fylde coast between 1900 and 2000.

His suite The Band in The Park won the prestigious Radio Italia prize for broadcasting for BBC Radio Lancashire.

He also performed with his own group, the Alan Bell Band, at folk events both in Fleetwood and across the country.

The father of two died on Thursday night after a short illness.

Despite failing health, Alan had been planning a Fylde Folk revival concert at Fleetwood’s Marine Hall on June 22 - and this will still go ahead.

Son Jamie said: “It was dad’s wish that this event would still go ahead.

“We hope it will be a celebration of his life and his music.

“It was his wish that any flowers at his funeral would be from the family only. Therefore we would like to ask that friends make a donation to the RNLI instead.”

Alan leaves wife Christine and two sons, and the family said he was a a much loved husband, brother, father, uncle and great uncle.

Details of the funeral arrangements are due to be confirmed early next week.