A stalwart of the folk music scene in Bath, Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge has died aged 81.

Peter MacGregor died on January 27 from a chest infection while being treated for cancer at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

He was involved in the English folk music scene throughout his life as a performer, folk club organiser and sound-desk man.

Wiltshire Times: Pete MacGregor was a stalwart of the local folk music scene in Bath, Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge.Pete MacGregor was a stalwart of the local folk music scene in Bath, Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge. (Image: Family)

His wife Rosie MacGregor said: “Pete will be remembered for his fine singing and sensitive guitar accompaniments as well as his lively wit. His powerful tenor voice had a dramatic resonance and natural warmth. 

“He was a stalwart of the local folk scene from the virtual beginnings of the revival and a man whose musical abilities and knowledge of the tradition were beyond question.”

Pete was born in October 1942 during the Second World War in Dorking, Surrey, in his maternal grandparents’ house at Rosehill. By coincidence, they were friends of the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.  

Pete, whose father came from the Isle of Lewis, always thought of himself as Scottish and it was at school in Scotland that he grew to love the great Scottish ballads and began singing them whilst at Edinburgh University in the early 1960s. Jimmy MacBeath and Jean Redpath were both influential in his style of song.

He moved first to London and then the West Country where he was part of a successful trio Chanticleer performing songs from the English tradition with his first wife Mary MacGregor and Dave Galloway who had an impressive bass voice.

Pete, of Bearfield Buildings, Bradford on Avon, ran the Bath Traditional Folk Club at The Hat and Feather, first with Mary and subsequently with his second wife Rosie Upton (aka MacGregor).

The club closed in the late 1970s following a move to Bradford on Avon where he and Rosie opened the BoA Folk Club.

From there, Pete became an integral part of the iconic Village Pump folk club and festival based in Trowbridge.  

In November 2020, he handed over the management of The Village Pump folk club to Kieran Moore. The club meets behind The Lamb Inn in Mortimer Street.

As well as singing traditional folk songs, Pete recorded his own songs on ‘When Years Were Long’ combining humour with political and social comment.

Pete worked as an industrial chemist throughout his early career and later taught in the polymers department at Trowbridge College.

He also loved rugby and was a director of the Bradford on Avon Rugby Football Club. He was particularly keen to encourage young players to take part in the sport.

He leaves behind his wife, Rosie, two sons, Doug and Ruari, and two granddaughters, Effie and Lola.

A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, February 20 at 11.45am at the West Wiltshire Crematorium at Semington.