Tributes paid to much loved Lancaster jazz pianist

Ronnie Blamire
Ronnie Blamire

A Lancaster jazz painist who has performed in the Lancaster area for more than 60 years has died, aged 85.

Ronnie Blamire has held a continuous presence in the local jazz and dance band scene from the early 1950s until 2018.

Born in Lancaster on February 23 1933, he attended Cathedral School and then Storey Institute technical college.

Playing the piano from an early age Ronnie and his older brother Eric on drums shared a love for a wide range of music.

The 1950s established Ronnie in the local jazz scene and he played with dance bands including Cyril Burnett on the Central Pier and Tommy Shingler at the Floral Hall in Morecambe.

Spending time in Germany his National Service did nothing to interfere with his music as he served as a Bandsman with the Border Regiment.

Following his discharge Ronnie became professional for a few years playing with northern dance bands and for a time on Cunard’s transatlantic RMS Parthia.

The late 1950s saw Ronnie return to Lancaster where he met his future wife Sheila and where he pursued his full time occupation as a printer, finally working at Lancaster Moor Hospital until retirement.

He continued his music with local dance bands and with various jazz ensembles at venues including the Central Pier, Dixieland Bar, Embassy Ballroom Windermere and Park Hotel.

His own jazz band entertained at the Regency Club and as a solo pianist he was a regular entertainer including at Churchills, Lancaster House Hotel and the Morecambe Naval Club.

More recently as a member of Jazz Unlimited he played at the Stonewell Tavern and until early 2018 in a regular weekly session at the John O’ Gaunt.

Sheila passed away last month and Ronnie is survived by their two daughters Tina and Alison, grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Ronnie enjoyed his work as a printer but more importantly to him was his full and varied life as a musician and he often recalled the many friends and fellow musicians he worked alongside and who all had been so much a part of his life.