Whaley Bridge musician to be remembered at memorial event

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A musician from Whaley Bridge who died in the middle of the UK’s second lockdown will be remembered by his friends at a memorial event this weekend.

Royce Fest is taking place on Saturday, September 11 at Whaley Bridge Canal Basin, honouring the life of Royce Longden who died in November 2020.

His partner of four years, Sally Hallsworth, is organising the memorial along with Royce’s friend John Lomas.

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Sally said: “When Royce died last year it was the middle of lockdown and numbers were limited at his funeral but this is a chance for everyone to get together and give him the send off he deserves.”Royce was out cycling in the Goyt Valley with his son from a previous relationship when he suffered a heart attack and sadly died.

Royce with his band No Particular OrderRoyce with his band No Particular Order
Royce with his band No Particular Order
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The 48-year-old was known to many as the singer from the band No Particular Order and the band - who have not played together since his death - will be coming together for the memorial to perform once again.

Sally, 41, said: “Royce loved nothing more than people being together, having a laugh, listening to some music and having a drink.

"Which is why we are putting on Royce Fest – it’s everything he would have loved.”

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Royce and SallyRoyce and Sally
Royce and Sally

The couple met after Sally split with her partner of 16 years and she received a drunk text from Royce, who she already knew, asking her out for a drink.

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She said: "I messaged him back in the morning to see if he was serious and he was. I’m so glad I got to spend the last four years of his life with him.

"Royce was a right character. He was quirky and funny and loved rockabilly music and he even played the double bass.

“He was also a builder and a tree surgeon and worked very hard but he knew how to make people laugh too.”

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Royce with his son DylanRoyce with his son Dylan
Royce with his son Dylan

The memorial will see live music from various bands as well as a bar serving drinks too.

Sally added: “I’m really looking forward to people getting together and sharing their stories and memories of Royce while having a good time.”

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The event is free although money from a specially made Royce burger and T-shirts made by Royce’s son will be split between Buxton Mountain Rescue and Windyways.

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