TRIBUTES have been paid to Jane Howden, one of Sheffield’s best-known musicians, who has died aged 42 after three years battling a brain tumour.
The bassist and singer played in a number of local bands over a period spanning more than a quarter of a century, as well as providing tuition and aid to up-and-coming talents.
Jane, who started playing music while a pupil at Basegreen Junior School, first appeared on the local scene in the mid-1980s as a member of The Reptile House, a band which also included her sister Sarah Griffiths, who she later teamed up with again in Bolster.
She also played with Cosa Nostra, Pig 64, Stiki, Sieben – along with her then husband Matt Howden – Less Than Zero and Chicken Legs Weaver.
Her final group was Gangs Of Feral Youth, which she formed with her present partner Dicky Harris, as well as Sarah and her partner Chris Minor.
“Unfortunately she became ill and I think I’m right in saying that we were the last people she played with, which is a privilege and I’m glad we were able to have that time together,” said Sarah.
Jane also worked at Darnall Music Factory, now Darnall Education Associated Training Ltd (DECAT), as a tutor before becoming programme manager for the Music and Associated Technology courses, which offered teenagers expertise in performance, sound engineering and DJ-ing.
Jane, who lived in Meersbrook, is survived by Sarah, their mum Carol, her two children, Adam, aged 21, and April, 14, and her partner Dicky.
“We were all involved in caring for her at home up to the very end, with the help of some wonderful nurses and also Weston Park Hospital,” added Sarah.
“They really did try everything and have been marvellous.”
n Jane’s funeral is at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium at 3pm on Friday, April 27. Family flowers only but donations to Weston Park Hospital – wphcancercharity.org.uk – or Willow Foundation – www.willowfoundation.org.uk.