Joan Hinde, who has died aged 81, was a trumpet virtuoso and com-edy trouper who started out on Variety Band Box on the radio and en-joyed a long career in variety, most recently touring the country with Ken Dodd in his famously interminable one-night “Happiness” shows.
Joan Hinde’s showbusiness career started when she was still a child, when she performed on the BBC radio programme Children’s Hour in the early 1940s. She made her first stage appearance at the Chesterfield Hippodrome aged 14, and in the 1940s and 1950s continued to perform regularly, both on Variety Band Box and Children’s Hour. On stage dur-ing the 1940s she was billed as “The Glamour Girl Trumpeter” when she performed for holidaymakers at Butlin’s camps around the country.
Sir Harry Secombe, with whom she travelled around the world enter-taining British servicemen, including in the Falkland Islands, observed that she was not only a fine comedienne, who never complained about the Spartan conditions in which they often had to perform, but she could also play the trumpet “like the Archangel Gabriel himself”.
She could hold her own against professional male trumpet players, and while most of her playing fell into the category “light”, until relatively recently she was the only female trumpeter in the world to have broad-cast Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, when she famously performed with the BBC Concert Orchestra in 1951.
At a time when many variety artistes were exploiting the new medium of television, Joan Hinde never did, possibly because of poor manage-ment. Although she did make occasional guest appearances on televi-sion (in 2002 on Another Audience With Ken Dodd on ITV, she made a memorable intervention as the “Lady Mayoress of Knotty Ash”, who joins in — apparently uninvited — with Dodd’s singing of The Very Thought of You, she spent most of her career as a radio, theatre and cabaret artiste. By the time she retired due to ill health in 2012, she was believed to be Britain’s oldest working female trumpeter.
Joan Hinde was born on October 21 1933 at Eckington, Derbyshire, and as a child she learned the cornet from her uncle, who conducted a local brass band.
During her long career she appeared alongside many of Britain’s best-known variety stars. She performed in the Black and White Minstrels’ national stage debut in April 1960 and at a gala organised by the pianist Russ Conway in 1991.
As well as working with Dodd and Secombe she made many appear-ances with Max Bygraves, playing medleys of classical trumpet show-pieces. She also spent many years touring the Moss Empires circuit and performed on luxury cruise liners. Joan Hinde was a lifelong member of the Grand Order of Lady Ratlings, the charity which raises funds for good causes. In 2003 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Music Hall Society of Great Britain.
In 1966 she married Kenneth Hopson, who survives her with their daughter.
Joan Hinde, born October 21 1933, died January 22 2015
See a video of her performance with Ken Dodd on page 28.
For readers who are not familiar with Ken Dodd, here is a brief look at the man:
Kenneth Arthur “Ken” Dodd, OBE (born 8 November 1927 in Liver-pool) is an English comedian, singer-songwriter and actor, he is clearly identified by his trademark frizzy hair and protruding teeth, his red, white and blue “tickling stick” and his upbeat greeting of “How tickled I am!”, as well as his send-off “Lots and lots of happiness!”.