From an original Wurzelmania page by 'Zider Ed' - Paul Gunningham and Frank Blades
Reg was Adge's original banjo and guitar player, and the longest serving member of the original band, apart from Adge himself. He finally left the band for good in 1974* shortly before Adge's death (there is some uncertainty over the changeover between Reg and Pete Budd: Pete stood in for Reg on several occasions from 1972 onwards). He only wrote two songs recorded by The Wurzels - 'Drunk Again' with John Macey, and 'Mother Nature Calling' with Tony Baylis. Reg was also the butt of much of Adge's on-stage humour, described as "the man who put the 'Sod' in Chipping Sodbury" (although this was also used to describe John Macey), the "Engelbert 'Umperdinck of West 'Arptree", and as "Snake 'ips Quantrill, the Elvis Presley of Chewton Mendip".
Reg was a well-known jazz musician in the Bristol area running the Warmley Jazz Club, in Warmley just outside Bristol, putting on weekly jazz nights at the Warmley Community Centre (they were formerly at the Midnight Spinner pub in Warmley) on a Wednesday night. Previously he also fronted the Reg Quantrill Quartet who gigged around the Bristol area jazz scene.
Reg passed away in Bristol, June 2012, his death being reported in many newspapers and facebook pages. Several obituaries were written, one of which is copied below:
Reg Quantrill the original banjo player with The Wurzels in the late 60's/early 70's, and musical organiser of the Warmley Jazz Club passed peacefully away today 7th June 2012 at the age of 77. Reg was born to Mary and Reginald in Bristol on June 26, 1934. He grew up in Cadbury Heath and went to Upton Cheyney School. As a young man, the budding musician took his guitar and went to London to try to make it in the industry. He ended up part of the original Wurzels line-up, founded by the late Adge Cutler back in 1966. Reg played banjo and guitar for the band up until 1974, leaving just months before Adge died in a car crash.
He had performed as a jazz musician before he joined The Wurzels and was in several bands afterwards, including The Gentlemen of Jazz with Bobby Mickleburgh, and the Reg Quantrill Quartet. He was also a friends with the "King of Skiffle" Lonnie Donegan and clarinet player Acker Bilk. Reg's talent also stretched to acting. He was involved in television series Maid Marian and her Merry Men and was a regular extra in Casualty. Up until two months ago, Reg ran the Warmley Jazz Club every Wednesday night at the Warmley Community Centre with his partner Margaret Sweet. The couple met in 1984, when they lived in the same building in Redland. They enjoyed travelling together, taking a camper van all over Europe.
Reg's favourite place was Spain and the food-lover could make a mean paella. Margaret said: "Reg was a real character, with a good sense of humour. He was a real entertainer and music was his life. "Jazz was his real passion. He met a lot of famous people and even went to his idol Louis Armstrong's 69th birthday in Hammersmith. "It was always his dream to run a jazz club. Reg could have written several books about all the things he did in his life."
Reg lost his sight through diabetes five years ago and suffered a major stroke in 2009.
He was taken to Southmead Hospital with pneumonia several weeks ago and he never fully recovered. He died of natural causes on June 7, at Kingswood Court care home. Reg's funeral will take place on Monday, June 18, 12pm, at Trinity Church, Kingswood.