ROD Mell, skilled classical and flamenco guitarist and teacher has died, aged 57.

Rod, a former pupil of Aireville School, Skipton, had taught and played the guitar for more than 40 years.

His early learning included sitting grade exams and gaining performing experience in local music festivals, small recitals, restaurants, hotels and cocktail bars as well as working for a leading wine importer, entertaining wine buyers with musical interludes during tasting sessions.

In his late teens and early 20s his studies were extended by exchange courses to Northern Spain, where he learnt many techniques associated with the art of Flamenco. He travelled widely in North Africa, as he was always fascinated by music from that part of the world and its influence on Spanish culture and the classical guitar.

In later years he also visited China, India, Egypt, Jordan and many countries in Europe.

More recently, Rod worked as a peripatetic guitar teacher, which included teaching pupils from Ermysted's, Settle College, Ilkley Grammar School and a number of local primary schools.

Despite suffering from cancer, he was always determined to get to school to see his pupils or teach those who came to his home.

With his wife, Dawn and son Josh, Rod was always positive, accepting, hopeful and determined to live his life to the full. He had a great work ethic, a passion for music and was an accomplished player and teacher. He had a gift for storytelling and an unfailing observational and cuttingly dry sense of humour, especially where politics was concerned.

Sadly, he died on August 9, cared for at home, by his family after his long, hard fight with cancer.

A funeral took place at Ilkley Cemetery on Friday and music was provided by former students

Among those taking part were Tom and Sam West, who said: “He was a great teacher and an inspirational man who will be sadly missed. He has passed his love for guitar on to us and for that we will always be grateful.”