Tributes paid to ‘lovely and committed’ man who led community band for more than 50 years

Roy Neale, pictured centre with gold braid, in the 1980s.

Roy Neale, pictured centre with gold braid, in the 1980s. - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to an 86-year-old man who died after being hit by a train in Littleport, on Tuesday.

Roy Neale, pictured standing with his mace, with the Littleport Band, in 1951.

Roy Neale, pictured standing with his mace, with the Littleport Band, in 1951. - Credit: Archant

Roy Neale died at the Sandhill rail crossing, near Victoria Street, at about 1.30pm.

Mr Neale served as drum-major for the Littleport Band from 1948 until he finally retired in the early 2000s – well into his 70s.

He was described by band mates as a well-known and well-respected member and was a regular fixture at the front of the band’s parades for decades.

Andrew Keen, chairman of the band, said: “All parades that the band attended Roy lead the band with his trusted mace by his side. His skill for throwing the mace was fantastic and unique, this added to the bands attraction while marching.


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“A lovely man whose commitment and loyalty to the band will never forgotten.”

A spokesman for British Transport Police said Mr Neale’s death was not being treated as suspicious.

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He said: “The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has been informed. A file will be prepared for the coroner.”

An inquest into the death will be opened in the coming days.

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