TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular musician who played with a Bradford dance band for more than 50 years.

Duncan Shaw of Baildon has died, following an illness, at the age of 81. An accomplished saxophonist, he was one of the original members of the Gordon Tetley Big Band and played with several other dance bands in the region.

Mr Shaw learned to play saxophone in the Army and taught himself to play clarinet and flute. He taught all three instruments.

As well as being well known on the local music scene, he played with bands on cruise ships, including the QE2, and travelled the world on ocean liners.

Born in the Manchester Road area of Bradford, Mr Shaw went to St Matthew’s School in Bank Foot and spent nine years in the Royal Armoured Corps. He later ran his own driving school, Aireway School of Motoring and with his wife Wendy owned Bagpuss, a second-hand shop in Baildon. The couple were married for 50 years

“We started the shop together, it has been here 23 years,” said Wendy. “We lived in the same house in Baildon for 50 years. Duncan was very well respected here. Lots of people will remember him for his music, and his driving school. He played in many dance bands, he loved big band music and jazz. He also liked to watch sport, especially football and Formula 1 racing.

“He was a quiet family man and is very much missed by us all. We have three sons, Damien, Jason and Daniel, and four grandchildren - Zak, Leilah, Toby and Lucy. Duncan also has a brother, Graham.”

The Gordon Tetley Big Band paid this tribute to Mr Shaw on its Facebook page: “Duncan was the last of the original members of the band formed all those years ago by drummer Gordon Tetley. In recent years he became a very welcome deputy, ready to fill any seat in the sax section as circumstances required, being equally adept on alto, tenor and baritone sax as well as clarinet.

He was not only a vastly experienced big band player, but also excelled in small group settings, improvising beautifully crafted jazz solos with as much skill and musical sensitivity as he read charts.

He was a charming man, unassuming and kind, who readily encouraged those with less experience than him. And he had a wonderfully impish sense of humour. His contribution to the life of the band over the years has been immense and we shall miss him terribly."

A private family funeral has taken place.