HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to a talented composer and musician who has sadly died after a ten-year battle with cancer.

Tim Fleming died aged 63 on January 27, leaving behind his wife, Elaine, son, Joe, daughter, Coral and grandson, Rowan.

Mr Fleming, from Rusland, was a performer, theatre director and composer, who created many works for operas, playhouses, musicals, choirs and brass bands as well as for his own company Whitewood & Fleming.

Mr Fleming, who began composing music at the age of four, was also a fan of Ulverston street band, Blast Furness, scoring many of the group's tunes which remain in their catalogue today.

Blast Furness band member, John Fox, performed with Mr Fleming for over three decades, describing him as a 'great talent'.

He said: "I have worked, performed and laughed with Tim for over 30 years mainly on big productions with Welfare State International.

"These included ‘Lord Dynamite’ a musical, written with Kevin Fegan featuring Alfred Nobel - a site specific event in Totnes, celebrating Charles Babbage - and ‘Longline’, WSI’s last event (2003- 2006).

"In a panto in a single decker bus, I once played Tim’s mum (Widow Twanky) when he was Jack of the Beanstalk.

"Tim began composing music at the age of four and has never stopped.

"He has written song cycles, oratorios and musicals for Opera North, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Phoenix Dance, plus an Easter Passion for Wakefield Opera House.

"He has created many works for choirs and brass bands and for his own company Whitewood & Fleming.

"Tim was a very talented composer, and musician, a fan of Blast Furness and a great friend to some members of the band and their families.

"In 2006, as the musical director of 'Longline, the Carnival Opera' (Welfare State International’s last show) Tim engaged Blast Furness to play for key processional moments.

"Blast Furness led the way and were included in the moving final anthemic lament scored by Tim. Other Fleming tunes remain in our catalogue.

"Tim was also a performer, a theatre director and - with 'Whitewood and Fleming' - a champion for looked-after children. With his great talent, skilful arranging and well-spring of infectious laughter, he was a great pleasure to work with.

"His death, after ten years of struggling with cancer was sadly not unexpected. In 2021, he composed, remarkably, a wonderful calming CD called 'By Your Side' which is available on Bandcamp.

"We will miss him very much but are grateful to have known and worked with him over many creative years."