Les Moore (RIP)

Banjoist Les Moore was given a fine send-off on Tuesday 17th May 2011.


The latter-day French Quarter Parade Band (Martyn Sharp, Arthur Stead, John Brunton, Stan Davies, Derek Galloway, Richard Slater, Annie Hawkins, Ian Rose, John Rothwell and Marshall Jeff Roberts - spouses/partners Marie, Trish, Don and Ann were present) accompanied Sylvia and the family across the road from Moore Mansions to the church. They played two tunes in the church, where there were personal memories from Les's family, words of comfort from the minister, and a recording of Dallas Blues with Les doing the vocal honours. This was synchronised with a backdrop computer slide show of Les, the family and many musical performances.

Burial was at Manchester Southern Cemetery, with the band playing by the graveside. As the coffin was lowered I half expected to hear a stern (yet whimsical) voice from it: "Can you just try to keep it level? it shouldn't touch the sides on the way down."

Among those that Derek and I recall recognizing at the church/cemetery were John and Kath Gordon, Ged and Rosie Hone, Val McKay and daughter, Ron Smith, Trevor Trueman, Pete Brown and Peter Barker (who had together journeyed from the Potteries), Eric Brierley and Maggie, Julie Flynn and Paul, Louis Lince, Mal and Max Horne, John Pashley, Keith Moore, Dave Copperwaite, Noel Nicholls, Geoff Wilde, Roger Byrd and good lady, Jeff and Sheila Milner, Pete Vickers, Pauline and Jim (good to meet them again), Keith Simkin, Marion, Roger, Olwyn, Terry Eastwood, the landlord of The Railway at Sale, Dave Woonton, Brian Legan.

After the burial we repaired to the Cheshire Lines Tavern in Cheadle, sited at the former station on the railway line. Above the bar was a photograph of a Gresley 2-8-2 hauling a train over the Forth Bridge - I had not realised the extent of the Cheshire Lines Committee's network. The parade band, now in sitting down mode with the honourable exception of Annie on double bass, swung into action - Ian on batterie and Keith on banjo. A number of sitters-in took their places on the rostrum, while an excellent buffet was despatched and many joyous recollections exchanged.

(Apologies to those whom I have omitted - poor eyesight and memory - and those whose names I have misspelled or forgotten. I have tried to follow the well-established journalistic precept of not letting the facts get in the way of a story.)

It was a pleasure to have known and worked with Les, and enjoy the company of Sylvia and the family, to whom condolences go. A keen chess player, Les was the most erudite and eloquent of companions, with strongly expressed views which, strangely, always seemed to contradict those of the previous speaker. Happy memories.


John Muskett


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