Community band is still blowing strong

Members of Loxley Silver Band at the Whit Sing in Hillsborough Park, 1959

Members of Loxley Silver Band at the Whit Sing in Hillsborough Park, 1959

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Loxley Silver Band members are used to blowing their own trumpets – and this year the band is 125-years-old.

The community brass band was established in 1889, when members rehearsed in a barn across the road from the methodist church.

Fast-forward 125 years and members now keep warm in a rehearsal room but their enthusiasm and passion are just the same.

Flugelhorn player Stuart Young, who has been a member for about a decade, said the band was established by Loxley Methodist Church as a way of creating something to do instead of boozing.

“It was rife in those days,” he explained.

“They were trying to find pastimes for the local community and something else for them to do.”

Soon after the band moved rehearsals into a room in the church itself.

The church provided a set of instruments and a few years later members obtained sponsorship from a local business to add to the fleet. Band members rehearsed in the church for 122 years until it was sold just a few years ago. They now rehearse twice a week in Stanwood Methodist Church, Wisewood. “When the band first started up there were a lot of working class people in it,” said Stuart. “But nowadays we have all sorts of members. We have at least two doctors, several teachers, retired people, school kids, company directors, university lecturers – it is a wide range of people and a cross section of society.”

Members vary in age from ten-year-olds in the training band, right the way up to band stalwart Derek Gardner, who is in his 80s. The E flat bass player joined up in 1942 and has played ever since. The band is now in the 4th Section of the national brass band ‘league’, but many members have transferred to bands higher up the ranks.

One trumpet player is now in the Halle orchestra and Derek’s grandson, Dale, plays soprano cornet in the Marsden Silver Band, which is in the Championship.

Stuart said the band was always happy to welcome new members of all ages into its training band.

“It helps youngsters get used to working with other people and keeping time - things which will help in later working life. All they need to do is be able to play a simple scale and being around others helps them to develop quickly,” he said.

n You can catch the band tomorrow at the Bridlington Spa Theatre. For tickets, call 01262 678258.

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