Alan Whitbread

As many of you will have already seen from our brief post yesterday evening, Alan Whitbread sadly passed away on Tuesday evening. He has been a supporter and valued performer at our Festival for many years, his knowledge, musical ability and rapport with his audience made him a ready favourite. He could always engage an audience, whatever the situation and he was always remarkably cheerful and optimistic, remaining so during his illness.And so we would like to pay tribute to him, here on this page. We appreciated being his friends!

This is Simon Whitbread, Alan’s son here:

My Dad sadly passed away last night, at the age of 74. He had not had a good quality of life for some time, so his passing certainly wasn’t unexpected and in many ways it was a blessing and release from his discomfort. But it is still so sad, as I know that he still had more life to give and songs to share.

I loved him dearly, he was an amazing Dad, who was my friend and confidant. He supported me through my life with both love and guidance. He loved his x2 Grandchildren to pieces and I am so glad that they got to know the larger than life charter that was their “Gramps”.

Through his illness he has had immeasurable support from Julie Taylor, who has cared for him with extraordinary kindness and love. He was so lucky to have her at his side and I will forever be grateful to her and happy that he got to spend his final years with her as his partner.

My Dad attacked life with a vigour few could match and I know he will leave a lasting memory for many people in the folk scene not just here in the UK, but also across the world. His contacts and friends are far too numerous for me to know all in person, so please feel free to share this news to all that knew him.

As and when funeral details are set, I will post here, with as much notice as possible, as we would like as many as possible to come to the celebration of his life.

As my Dad would sign off many a message “Keep Smiling” and sing a song for him tonight.