The Old Rope String Band
Joe Scurfield

Joe Scurfield

We would like to thank everybody for the fantastic tributes to Joe. They all make a difference.

Joe Scurfield was so many things: A musician. A life long socialist, trade unionist and activist. A Musicians' Union and Equity delegate to Newcastle TUC – of which he was Secretary for three years. He was the creative genius behind the Old Rope String Band, constantly coming up with new ideas and songs. He was the driving force behind the Band's nearly twenty years of touring.

It was the details of Joe's life that made him an exceptional man. He thought hard about the consequences of everything he did, however trivial and then lightly and confidently did the right thing. He was governed by kindness (and a bit of bloody anger). People relied on Joe because they knew they always could.

The greatest joy of his life was that he had found his true love, his sweetheart, his 'honneponnetje' Rianne from Lochem in the Achterhoek of the Netherlands. She and Mariza her daughter were his rock and his peace. His loving family, mother Jenny, brothers Harry, Sam, Tom and Dick and sister Georgie shared and inspired his sense of social justice.

Joe will be remembered with love by everyone who met him.

You can read a fuller version of these thoughts on another page.


Joe's funeral took place on Friday 17th June in Newcastle upon Tyne. A parallel event was held by friends and family in Lochem, where Joe made his home with Rianne and Mariza. The Newcastle day was in three parts:

We are grateful to Rik Walton, who has sent us his photographs of all three parts: the procession and farewell, the celebration, and the session in the Cumberland Arms.

In Rianne's house in Lochem in the Achterhoek of the Netherlands, their friends have set up a room to remember Joe.

People have been sending in tributes and we have gathered them on three pages of memories and thoughts about Joe: one with messages from people who knew Joe personally, a second from people, here and abroad, who booked Joe and the Old Rope String Band, and another with messages from the miriads of people who remember Joe's appearances with the band.

Any donations in Joe's name to the music fund for Cuba would be fantastic: www.musicfundforcuba.org.uk or telephone 020 7263 6452.

There is a parallel page of tributes to Keith Morris over on the Schmazz website.


last updated 13th July 2005