David Stuart Bell

3rd November 1980 – 19th April 2014


David was in brass bands for much of his short life. The first instruments he played were the piano and violin, on both of which he reached a very high standard. He had a lovely light and accurate touch. As he grew older, he came to bless many church congregations with his instinctive feel for how an accompanist should play hymns. Typical was his complete unflappability, when, at an important meeting Mum’s mobile phone went off in the depths of her handbag, just as he hit the first notes.

From the age of twelve, he played with the Ulverston Town Band in Cumbria. Being a tall and fit young man, he was a natural for the Trombone. He never missed a practice and soon he was regularly playing solos. The first of these was the ‘Johnny Briggs’ theme, ‘The Acrobat’, which he played with great verve – and those high notes….! He never broke his ties with them, playing as a guest when visiting, and travelling to the twin town of Albert to lead the Carnival. In the band he played with his older sister in a part of the country renowned for the ferocity of competition and the quality of the music. This gave him a great love for band music and an equal love for the company of the players. He had a gentle and kind sense of humour which brought a sense of fun and ease to everyone he knew and worked with. For David, nothing was too much trouble and no problem went without a solution.

As he settled in Farnborough he became a regular trombonist with the band in Camberley. David enjoyed playing in the various venues and loved it when members of the family came to watch. Weather conditions were never a problem to him; he did after all, work outdoors as the award winning Head Groundsman at Farnborough Hill School. When getting ready to be out in poor weather, he would just say “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.” David’s young wife Wendy and their two lovely daughters, Lexie and Chara enjoyed keeping him company and the band obligingly acceded to the almost inevitable request for “Teddy Bears’ Picnic”, and once or twice Lexie was able to stand by her Daddy and ‘play’ the tambourine. These were good and enjoyable times for David and the family and ones which will always be remembered.

In his life as a bandsman, he took great pleasure. In Ulverston he learned to march and play and would sometimes lead at a slightly quickened pace, conscious of the need of the others for liquid refreshment at the end. He enjoyed competition as well as the discipline required to do well. His horizons continued to broaden as he found pleasure and friendship in the Charles Church Camberley Band.

David’s early death leaves a great gap in so many lives, but we shall always remember a loving husband, father, son and gifted musician.