TOUCHING tributes have been paid to the 'Voice of Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod' who sadly passed away last week.

John Evans, a native of Acrefair, was a former stage manager at the Eisteddfod and affectionately known as “John the Voice”.

He was a past member of the Standing Board, past chair of the Music and Staging Committee and a member of Grounds Committee.

He was also a proud competitor when he sang with the Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir.

His contribution to the smooth running of the Eisteddfod was said to be 'immense'.

Sadly, John died at the age of 70 after a short illness on Thursday, October 19.

He was blessed with three wonderful children; Adam Gaunt-Evans, Steph Heath and Rebecca McBain, and five grandchildren who he adored.

Rebecca said: "My brother, sister and I are heartbroken. 

"His passion for Wales, Welsh Culture, music, nature, jokes, stories and people made him a joy to be with. Wales really meant so much to him. He was also incredibly sociable and got on with everyone he knew.

"We celebrated his 70th just last month and he took us on an Alpaca Trek. The grandchildren adored him. He was just a big kid at heart."

Eisteddfod volunteers have also spoken fondly of his sometimes wicked sense of humour and of his dedication to the festival.

Mark Jones, John's stage manager successor, said: “You just expect some people to be around forever. John was that, almost parental. I’ve a lot to owe to him dragging me up to the side of stage all those years ago, when he found me photocopying in the music office.

"There isn’t much that could be safely printed when it comes to tales of John but his character will always live on and his company will be greatly missed.”

Elen Roberts remembers John when his family had the garage in Acrefair, where his first nickname, “John 4Star” originated.

She recalls that every visit to the garage with her family would result in John grabbing a bag of sweets for her and her sister. She said: “He remained a big kid at heart right to the end, with his usual unprintable jokes!”


Tracey and Mike Jones also have great memories of John, particularly of “John the Voice” telling us to take out our mobile phones and find the little button which turns it off! 

“He was the one we sent for to quieten the drums on the outside stages when they were affecting competitions inside the Pavilion!”

John was a proud member of the Llangollen Operatic Society and would often go to the Hand Hotel to sing on a Friday night. Music was a true passion of his for many years.

Speaking on behalf of the Board of Trustees at the Eisteddfod, Allison Davies, a long time friend and colleague of John, said: "He gave a lifetime of support to music and to our Eisteddfod. We have only survived through some difficult periods because of volunteers like John.

"He will be sorely missed by everyone and I know that his contribution to the Llangollen Eisteddfod will be remembered for years to come. Our thoughts are with John’s family at this time."