Rose Simpson

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Rose Simpson
BornOtley, Yorkshire, UK
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
InstrumentsBass guitar, vocals, violin, percussion
Years activeSince 1968
Associated actsThe Incredible String Band

Rose Simpson was, between 1968 and 1971, a member of the Incredible String Band, in which she played bass guitar, violin and percussion as well as singing. She later became Lady Mayoress of the Welsh town of Aberystwyth.


Simpson was born in Otley, Yorkshire. By the mid-1960s, she was studying at the University of York, where she was president of the mountaineering club. She met Robin Williamson and Mike Heron in 1968 when the Incredible String Band were performing there, and travelled down to London with Williamson.[1]

She soon began performing with the band. According to the band's producer Joe Boyd, "the day Robin proposed that Licorice join the group, Mike went out and bought Rose an electric bass. 'Learn this,' he said, 'you're in the group now, too.'"[2] She learned to play the bass so effectively that Steve Winwood asked her to play on a track of his, but she declined the invitation.[citation needed] She also sang and played violin and percussion. She left the group in 1971, planning to take up sound engineering, but instead starting a family.[2]

In 1994, as partner of Liberal Democrat councillor, who was the Mayor, she took on the largely honorary role of Lady Mayoress of Aberystwyth in Wales, an event which received wide publicity.[3] During that period of her life, she lived in the Welsh village of Llanon, in a house on the main A487 coast road.

She gained a PhD in German Literature at the University of Aberystwyth, and has lectured there on the work of 1930s authors Ina Seidel and Vicki Baum. She was awarded the Postgraduate Teacher Award in 2014 [4]

She now (2018) lives in Totnes, Devon.


  1. ^ Adrian Whittaker (ed.), Be Glad: The Incredible String Band Compendium, 2003, ISBN 1-900924-64-1
  2. ^ a b Joe Boyd, White Bicycles, 2005, ISBN 1-85242-910-0
  3. ^ "From daisy chain to mayoral chain". Archived from the original on 15 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Aberystwyth University Archives".