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Lostock Hall band to celebrate 60th anniversary
TS Eliot won the Nobel Prize for Literature, the actress Grace Jones was born and closer to home the Lostock Hall Memorial Band was formed.
The year was 1948 and the band, originally known as the Four Lane Ends Band, bought their first instruments with a donation of £100 from the Tardy Gate War Memorial Fund.
Sixty years on and they won the National Brass Band Championships, which was a great way to celebrate their 60th anniversary this year.
But in its early days the band played at carnivals and church walking days in the surrounding villages and attracted players from other local bands to join their ranks.
In 1963, Ron Heyes, the band’s solo euphonium player, took over as conductor and in the late 1960s commenced their appearances in the competition circuit.
In 1984, they attracted the limelight with help from Lostock Hall High School pupils when they qualified for the National Brass Band Finals at the Royal Albert Hall in London, coming seventh out of 16 bands.
Ron retired as musical director in 1988 and since then various musicians took up the baton, with John Wood becoming musical director this year.
“It is a great achievement. Many local organisations have good and bad years and a couple of years ago we were struggling to survive but thanks to the hard work of our members we managed to stay together.
“Since then we have gone from strength to strength and many of their players have moved on to join HM Forces – namely the Army, Royal Air force and Royal Marines Bands where they have pursued musical careers.
“We pride ourselves in educating young people in brass playing and have a thriving Junior Band with players as young as six years old,” said Ron.
Tomorrow members of the band will be celebrating their anniversary with a concert at Lostock Hall Conservative Club in Brownedge Road, in Lostock Hall.
The present band will take the first half and the second half will feature members old and new.