Following on from
the award in the 2016 New Year's honors list of a British Empire Medal to our
long serving chairman Adrian Botham, for services to education and charity,
2017 again proved to be another successful year for the Orchestra. Through the
year we played in several town centres with street collections for the RMCH
Bone Marrow Trust Fund. This meant that after 32 years of raising money for
this local cause, we have now become the largest single contributor with our collections
taking us over £53,000.
We played at over
forty venues through the year so keeping all the players and parents on their
toes through to Christmas with many of our regular venues revisited as well as several
new ones such as Smallwood Vintage rally, Blackpool Carnival and the Bolton
Iron Man event. We enjoyed great weekends for our annual visits to the Cumbria
Steam Gathering at Flookburgh, and the Yesteryear Rally at Malpas, Cheshire. Outside
of our main charity work, we also supported a number of other charity events
during the year including Cancer Research UK and Joining Jack in Wigan.
The highlight of
the year for the Orchestra was a six day tour of Belgium in August organised by
Club Europe. 26 players with supporting parents were based in a hostel in Bruges.
Playing venues took in Ghent, Ypres, De Panne, Ostend, and Niuewpoort, As well
as attendance at the Last Post in Ypres on Saturday evening, the group visited Gravensteen
Castle of the Counts, took a river trip in Ghent, and enjoyed the Flanders
Museum in Ypres. The response from the audiences was great and a fabulous week
was enjoyed by all.
As usual there have been a few
changes in the lineup of the Orchestra over the last twelve months as a number
of players have left to concentrate on college and work. We are still twenty four strong and have plenty of ex-players
available to help us out, even when some are working or on holiday. It will be
good for the summer's busy schedule, which is kept up to date alongside as we
progress through the year, with more details of times etc. if you click on the
Paul Handley continues with the majority
of our tuition to junior and senior players, supported by Steve Marshall and
other long serving senior players. Ashley Hogg provides drum tuition at junior
practices with training for new young drummers. We have recruited another young
drummer recently but are always looking for others who can receive our drum
tuition and look forward to helping with the busy schedule.
We had a good number of junior players join us
in 2017 and intend to take them out in some of our shopping centre gigs with the
senior Orchestra in the spring. 2018 will find us in most of the counties of
the north of England and Wales. You are always welcome to come and see us at
our many venues and keep in touch through our Facebook page.