ONE of the founders of Ramsbottom Music Festival has died at the age of 83 after a short illness.

Peter Fielding, who started his musical career as a singer in St John’s Choir, Blackburn, was described as a ‘humble and selfless’ man by his son, John.

The renowned pianist, who worked as a biomedical scientist at Queen’s Park Hospital in Blackburn, moved to Ramsbottom and helped to organise the town’s first music festival in the 1990s.

His son, John, said: “He was a very generous and giving man who did not amass a great wealth.

“Dad followed his heart, rather than his head, all his life and devoted many years to music.”

Mr Fielding moved to Blackburn from Southport in the 1930s and followed in his father’s footsteps by joining Blackburn Cathedral Choir in 1939, where he rose to become a choir prefect.

A keen Blackburn Rovers supporter, he realised a vision when he helped to set up the Ramsbottom Music Festival in 1993 – an event which has thrived ever since and last year was headlined by Sinead O’Connor.

His brother, Gordon, said Mr Fielding also took a keen interest in pathology.

He added: “Even at an early age he could often be found dissecting small creatures, dead of course.

“But Peter’s main love in those early days was music and the piano.

“His range was wide, Beethoven to pop, the latter to the annoyance of his father.”

Mr Fielding, of Chiltern Close, Ramsbottom, leaves widow Andrea, 66, children Robert, Hilary, Mark, Beck, John, and Sarah, brothers Gordon and Paul, and more than a dozen grandchildren.

A funeral service was held in Ramsbottom on Friday, and a memorial service will take place at Blackburn Cathedral later this year.