TRIBUTES have been paid to a stalwart of the East Lancashire folk scene ahead of his funeral on Thursday.

Art teacher Ian Alveston will be remembered both by students at St Hilda’s and St Theodore’s RC schools in Burnley and his fellow scenesters.

The snappily-dressed performer, with a shock of white hair, graced stages from The Dirty Duck in Blackburn to Colne Rhythm and Blues Festival.

Ian attended St Mary’s RC School in Oswaldtwistle before studying at Blackburn’s St Mary’s College, working initially in a cotton mill before teacher training.

His educational pursuits ran alongside his musical endeavours, which included a stint in The Warriors, the Accrington band which launched the career of Jon Anderson, of Yes.

An aficionado of blues and folk, he figured in Corner Blues, Maxwell Street Blues Band and the Ernie Lee Blues Band, before playing with The Hollies drummer Bobby Elliott on some of his solo work.

One of his lasting partnerships was with Dylan Owen, his ally in bands including Shouting On The Flags, The Tommy Franks Band and the Slopstones. The pair hosted Ossy Social Club at St Mary’s Parish Centre for a time.

Sound engineer Sham Heffernan, who worked with him on two albums at his Balderstone studio, said: “He was always well prepared and knew what sounds he wanted for a given song.

“As well as being an accomplished guitarist, and often a flamboyant one, he was a particularly talented song-writer, often drawing on his love for the West Pennine moorlands of his hometown area, and the odd characters that inhabited its bleak landscape.”

Ian’s albums ranged from 1998’s Holy Souls to Songs From The Grane (2001) and an electric blues collection, Balderstone Blue, five years later.

He was also a session musician for roots artist Des Horsfall, on his Good Gentleman’s Tonic album. He recalled Ian was “skilled and thoughtful and always delivered that something special”.

In the months before his death, aged 72, he developed circulatory problems and had been living at White Ash Brook care home in Oswaldtwistle.

His funeral will be at noon on Thursday at St Mary’s RC in Oswaldtwistle, followed by interment at Dill Hall Cemetery.

Friends have also arranged a musical get-together later at Ossy Social Club, Rhyddings Street.