Waltham St. Lawrence Silver Band

2016 news archive

2016 Christmas wrap

31 Dec 2016

Christmas carols

The year 2016 ended with another successful run of carolling engagements. Street carolling again focused on the areas near the bandroom (Milley Road, the Street and Halls Lane). The evening event at Shurlock Inn had been advertised with the wrong time, which reduced attendance, but nevertheless it was a successful session. Carols Round the Pound on 21st December was very well attended. The band are grateful to local residents for their generous donations, which will fund the pensioners' high tea to be staged on 20th May. 

A good turn-out was achieved  on 11th December for the Old Windsor Christmas Fair, which attracted a large crowd.

The band once again joined with Maidenhead Round Table singers to perform carols at Sainsbury's in Maidenhead on two days (a third event fell victim to a scheduling mix-up); shop staff were friendly and helpful and the shoppers were clearly appreciative.

It has been a difficult year in some ways, especially in view of illness and death, and at times it has been a struggle to put a band together for engagements. On the other hand, we have seen the return of several former players, as well as increased engagement in the process of music-making following the change of MD. Let's hope recruitment in 2017 will fill remaining gaps in the line-up.


4 Dec 2016

Christmas tree lighting ceremony

The band were out in strength on Sunday 4th December to accompany the choir and assembled throng for carols preceding the village's Christmas tree lighting ceremony.


3 Dec 2016

British Legion Christmas Concert

The band again presented a concert of two halves at Holyport War Memorial Hall on behalf of the local branch of the Royal British Legion on Saturday 6th December. The first half contained regular concert pieces, while the second was Christmas-oriented. In between came a fish & chip supper, included in the price of the ticket.

Opening with the British Legion march, the first half programme focused on dance rhythms, including I could have danced all night as part of My Fair Lady, Besame Mucho and Soul Bossa Nova. Percussion "toys" were handed out to the audience to perform as the opening rhythm section for Sway. The band once again welcomed resident vocalist Lea Lyle, who sang You'll be in my Heart and Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps in the first half.

Part two opened with James Curnow's Christmas Triptych, followed by Christmas Piece by Goff Richards. This part of the programme included the bass trombone solo Frosty the Snowman, featuring Colin Reeves, and Lea led the audience in a rendering of White Christmas

Apart from the music, leaders of the RBL branch announced the results of a successful 2016 poppy-selling campaign, and held a raffle and an auction for further fund-raising

Big Draw

16 Nov 2016

November bumper lottery winners

The band's Draw Club continues to be an important source of funds. The lottery runs on the lines of a "100 Club", with annual membership of £15 and half the takings paid out in a monthly draw.

The November draw's prizes are considerably bigger than other months'; this year's winners of a total prize pool of £160 were all members of the band: Ian French, David Oakes and maestro Jim Pullen.

Remembrance Sunday

13 Nov 2016

Remembrance Sunday parades

The band provided accompaniment as usual at Remembrance Sunday parades and ceremonies on 13th November in Waltham St. Lawrence, Bray and Holyport.

Barberettes concert

8 Oct 2016

Guest appearance at singing group's anniversary show

WSL band were delighted to join the Barberettes a capella signing group for their 40th anniversary concert at Garth Hill college, Bracknell, on 8th October. The singers performed a wide range of numbers in sets reflecting the style of different decades. [Visit their website]

The band appeared in the second half, opening their  programme with a selection from My Fair Lady. Soloists were Jane Lynn (flugel), with The Lonely Shepherd, and Gerry Townsend (soprano cornet), playing Summertime. Frank Tyler displayed his mastery of the drumsticks in Philip Sparke's arrangement of Cute, and anyone missing "Strictly" was compensated with cha-cha numbers Sway and Tomado del Mano.

White Waltham

3 Sep 2016

West London Aero Club members' day

The band once again entertained members of the West London Aero Club at their annual air show at White Waltham aerodrome on 3rd September. The mid-afternoon programme of music included several "thematic" pieces, ending with the Eric Coates classic Dambusters March.

Littlewick Show

29 Aug 2016

A buoyant atmosphere in the new venue

After two years of very poor weather on the August bank holiday, Littlewick Show struck lucky this time, with a warm and pleasant day at the new venue in Knowl Hill. The show as a whole was well attended and was evidently being enjoyed by all. The band, numbers swelled by half a dozen very welcome guest players, played well, and quite a number of families settled on the grass outside the band tent to hear all or part of the two sets played in the course of the afternoon.

Hurst Horticultural Society

20 Aug 2016

In with the scarecrows at the 2016 annual show

The band were once again grateful for the very good tent supplied at Hurst Horticultural Society's annual show on Saturday 20th August. Though bright and warm, there were a couple of heavy showers in the course of the afternoon. The event was, as always, well attended, and there was a good variety of both gardening and cookery exhibits. The audience for the band's three sets of music included two scarecrows, which were surprisingly easy to distinguish from the band players.

Ted Cull

29 Jul 2016

A player and a gentleman

Members of WSL Band attended the funeral of Ted Cull, who played principal cornet for the past ten years, in Bracknell on 29th July. Ted passed away at the end of June, having continued playing whenever possible despite suffering from liver cancer for several years.

We have lost a superb cornet player with a rare combination of precision and tone, a staunch bandsman and a good friend. Ted's loss will also be felt by Bisley band, where he was a regular member, and by other local bands whom he was always happy to help out when needed.

Diamond Wedding

20 Jul 2016

Pete & Barbara celebrate with cake for the band

The break at rehearsal on 20th July was even more refreshing than usual, as Barbara Williams did the honours to lay on tea and cakes to celebrate her and bass trombone player Pete's diamond wedding anniversary. 

Cookham Riverside

3 Jul 2016

Residents' garden party

The band once again played to entertain residents of Riverside nursing home in Cookham and their guests at their annual garden party on Sunday 3rd July. The afternoon was warm with some very sunny intervals, and the music was well appreciated.

Annual pensioners' tea

25 Jun 2016

Cakes and concert for Waltham seniors

Maintaining a tradition of over 50 years' standing, Waltham St Lawrence Silver Band invited some 30 local pensioners to the Neville Hall on 25th June for a high tea featuring a short concert by the band, followed by a feast of sandwiches, cakes and scones.

The format of the meal changed from a roast dinner to high tea in 2015, and proved popular with the guests. The band was joined for two numbers by their resident vocalist Lea Lyle, who continued with a set of solos after the band's concert concluded.

Among the guests were veterans of the band, former chairman Tony Evans (trombone) and his wife Alison (tenor horn), who was also celebrating her birthday. The occasion also saw the welcome return of Steve Saunders on baritone, following an absence of several weeks due to some heavyweight medical treatment.

British Grenadiers

19 Jun 2016

Guards association tea party for the Queen's birthday

WSL band provided background music in the course of the afternoon at the tea party staged by several local guards regimental association branches in honour of the Queen's 90th birthday. Though low in numbers due to illness and work commitments, the band was well balanced and was complimented by a number of guests on the quaity of performance.

Village fete

18 Jun 2016

Waltham St. Lawrence Parish Fete

The band played two sets at the Waltham St. Lawrence parish fete at Shurlock Row cricket ground on Saturday 18th June. Though it was quite cloudy, and not very warm, it was a pleasant afternoon to be sitting outdoors, and several visitors took an interest in the band.


10 Jun 2016

Paul Singleton, 1944-2016

Members of the band gathered at the High Street Methodist Church in Maidenhead on 10th June to play hymns at the funeral of band member Paul Singleton, who died of cancer at the beginning of May.

Paul was a staunch member for some 15 years, and his warm companionship and ready wit will be missed.


Fire station open day

16 Apr 2016

Band plays at Richmond Fire Station's open day

The London Fire Brigade celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, and is staging a series of open days at fire stations to mark the occasion. On Saturday 16th April, WSL band played at the event at Richmond Fire Station, where tuba player Ben Midgley is one of the firefighters. The band played two hour-long sets, resting while fire crews demonstrated how they cut open a rather smart car, and how to rescue a reluctant damsel in distress from the practice tower.
The band's programme opened, naturally enough, with the march Blaze Away, and closed with the galop from Offenbach's Minuet and Galop, alias the can-can, accompanied by firefighters in their work gear or dressed up as a giant smoke detector and the aforementioned damsel. Other pieces included 42nd Street, with a steamy slow section featuring Gerry Townsend on soprano, Funiculi Funicula, with vocal accompaniment from the firefighter who requested it, and Peter Graham's London Celebration.


12 Apr 2016

New member joins on tenor horn

The band is delighted to welcome Marie Wharmby as 1st tenor horn player, taking up a place that has been vacant for almost a year. Marie, from Littlewick, learned to play at school, and hasn't played in a band since then. She's rapidly getting back on form, and enhancing the "middle" of the band.

New directions

25 Feb 2016

2016 rehearsals post AGM

The band's first rehearsals under new Musical Director Jim Pullen have seen a focus on improving quality of playing and attention to detail, including practical tips on note production.Though Jim makes us work hard, the results are good, and he oils the wheels with the odd joke and story.

New librarian Ian French has been working hard. He has taken in and sorted a large proportion of the music in the practice pads, and has produced a revised catalogue after a stock-take of the library.

The euphonium vacancy was filled in mid-February by Ben Bingham, who was a regular player with the band until some ten years ago. And at the end of February the band were delighted to welcome back Gerry Townsend on Soprano Cornet, following a long layoff due to injury and work pressures.

The longer mid-rehearsal break has been well and truly established. The band were delighted to welcome president Wendy Craig on 10th February, especially as she brought along a 4-layer chocolate cake and made teas and coffees. On 24th February bass trombonist Pete Williams celebrated his 85th birthday, and he shared out his cake as his wife Barbara served tea and biscuits during the break.

2016 AGM

27 Jan 2016

Annual general meeting votes for change of MD

The band's AGM at the Neville Hall on 27th January heard that the band had fulfilled 13 engagements, plus Remembrance Day parades and carolling, in the financial year to September 2015, and that it now had 16 active members.

The meeting voted for a change of musical director, and also endorsed a new constitution to be submitted as part of the band's application for charity status, which is now a legal requirement.

View a full report of the AGM

Howard Lunn, solo cornet, who has continued to cheerfully contribute as much as he can despite serious long-term illness, was voted as Bandperson of the Year.