Tributes to 'brilliant' musician and former mayor's consort

Mayor Cllr Barbara White and consort Frank White with their instruments

Frank White with wife Barbara during her mayoral year - Credit: Steve Poston

Tributes have been paid to a musician and former Mayor of Redbridge's consort who has died.

Frank White, who lived in Gants Hill with his wife Barbara for the last 40 years, died earlier this month after a long illness.

They had been married for 60 years after first meeting in Scotland while working in the same band, Barbara told the Recorder.

Born in Kingsbury, north-west London, Frank was a professional musician all his life and played the saxophone and woodwind instruments.

A theatre musician, according to Barbara, he worked at venues such as London Palladium and Victoria Palace.

He played for the likes of ABBA and Engelbert Humperdinck and was with The Pasadena Roof Orchestra.

He was also involved with the Glenn Miller European Memorial Orchestra for 30 years.

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Barbara said he loved his music "very much".

"He was very even-tempered, usually smiling, very positive and always helpful to younger musicians.

"That's not me saying that, it's from various tributes I've been sent."

Barbara was the borough's mayor in 2015-16 and Frank acted as her consort.

He enjoyed the mayoral year and "was very proud of me", she added.

Frank, 84, continued playing music with amateur orchestras until last November.

One of the bands he was involved with was New Redbridge Wind Orchestra.

Musical director Miles Harwood said Frank joined around 20 years ago and played whenever he could.

He said: "Being an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist, he was a perfect fit and played several different instruments with the orchestra over the years.

"But it was as a clarinettist that we best remember him and it was an immense privilege to have such an experienced and wonderful player in our ranks.

"Frank was very encouraging to others of lesser ability and happy to play alongside them – he just really enjoyed playing and passed on hints and tips to those around him from his long experience as a professional musician.

"We treasure his memory and will always respect the brilliant musician and genuinely nice man that he was."

Frank's funeral was held at The City of London Cemetery and Crematorium on Monday (April 25).