Wroughton Silver Band

Official Wroughton Silver Band Website


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February 2024

The first few weeks of 2004 we have been devoting a great deal of our rehearsal time on our preparations for our participation in the West of England Brass Band Association Regional Championships in Torquay.  The test piece is Philip Sparke’s Triptych, which as the title would suggest is written in three, connected movements, 1. Pageant, 2. Fantasy on One Note and 3. Festival.  As we start to get to grips with what will be a real test, we are beginning to really enjoy the “music”.

As part of the process we have been invited to participate in an Area Contest Preview Event at the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon, where one band representing each of the 5 sections will perform their respective test piece and we are delighted to have been asked to represent the 2nd section, and in turn gives us the opportunity to listen to the other bands performances too.  The actual contest is over the weekend of 9th-10th March in Torquay, with many of our members making a weekend of it taking in the sea air, and hopefully a little more sun than we have been experiencing of late.

Immediately following the contest it’s firmly back to business as we hold our Annual General Meeting in the function room of the Wroughton Club where we have the opportunity to discuss the business side of the Band  will be looked after very well by Krysia and her team.

Our first actual engagement of the year is on Saturday the 16 March, where we will be playing from 11:00 to 12:00 midday as part of the Ellendune Community Centre’s 50th celebrations.  We are also preparing for our summer Charity Concert, date and venue to be confirmed but keep you eyes peeled as the details are confirmed. We are also delighted that after the disappointment of last year, to have a couple of dates in the Old Town Gardens band stand which is a great setting for a Sunday afternoon concert.

Our diary for 2024 is beginning to fill up:

Sunday 3rd March – West of England Area Test Piece Preview event at the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon.

Saturday 9th March – West of England Brass Band Association Regional Championships in Torquay.

Saturday 16th March – Ellendune Community Centre 50th Anniversay

Sunday 5th May – Victoria Park Bandstand Newbury

Friday 24th May – Whit Friday March Contests, Saddleworth Oldham.

Saturday 1st June – Cream Teas for the Prospect Hospice – Wroughton Catholic Church

Saturday 8th June – Private Wedding Reception Gloucestershire.

Sunday 16th June – Bandstand Concert Old Town Gardens

Sunday 14th July – Bandstand Concert Old Town Gardens

Sunday 25th Aug – Bandstand Concert John Coles Park Chippenham TBC

Neil Webb – Musical Director


January 2024

2023 drew to a close after a very busy but fulfilling month of December and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our supporters, at the informal carol playing including Waitrose, Ellendune Shops, touring the pubs, Christmas Morning and the more formal engagements at Alexandra Park, Janice Thompson Concert and the Swindon Male Voice Choir Concert.  We were again pleasantly surprised just to how many people we had following us on our Christmas morning rounds, and how we were made so welcome.

It was at the Swindon Male Voice Choir concert which took place on the 15th December at Christchurch, Old Town, with our friends from Swindon Male Voice Choir & Janice Thompson Performance Trust Choir, when I had the privilege to present the following set of awards to a very important member of the band, and a truly well-deserved recipient, Mr Neil Webb.

Neil was first presented a ‘long service award’ for his membership of the band, spanning an amazing 60 years! Neil first joined the band at age 8 in 1963, where current 2nd horn player, Ken Habgood, recalls giving Neil his first instrument.

Neil’s second award was for his years of service as Musical Director. Neil has been leading the band for 40 years, taking over from our previous Bandmaster, Bob Grant, in 1983. 40 years of service truly is a testament to Neil’s passion and dedication to leading the band, ensuring rehearsals are effective but also enjoyable. As well as rehearsals, Neil comperes all our concerts, and prepares music for all concerts, contests and countless other band jobs throughout each year.

I bestowed the two awards as a surprise to Neil during the concert, and on behalf of the band, thanking Neil for all that he does.

Neil’s 3rd award of the evening was presented to him by Shirley Ludford, President of the Swindon Male Voice Choir, for all the years of professional musical services provided by Neil and the band over the years.

We, as a band, publicly thank Neil for everything both as Musical Director and as a very active committee member, often taking on a list of thankless jobs that get completed to ensure the band keeps on banding. Thank you Neil – here’s to a continued successful and musical future!

After a short break, and with the Carol books and Christmas music returned to our library, Neil has selected some fresh music to rehearse along with our preparations for the forthcoming West of England Regional Championships.

Band Diary so far for first half of 2024:

Sunday 3rd March – West of England Area Test Piece Preview event at the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon.

Saturday 9th March – West of England Brass Band Association Regional Championships in Torquay.

Sunday 5th May – Victoria Park Bandstand Newbury

Friday 24th May – Whit Friday March Contests, Saddleworth Oldham.

Saturday 8th June – Private Wedding Reception Gloucestershire.

Michael Pentelow



November 2023

As I write this, we’ve just played  at our first Christmas engagements.  Starting as we meant to go on, over the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of December, we played at 5 venues and experienced the vagaries of the good old British weather.  On Saturday morning, we had a carolling session at Wichelstow Waitrose.  Whilst the freezing fog had lifted (temporarily) in the village, as we drove down Wharf Road, the fog returned and that’s how it remained for the one and a half hours, with the temperature remaining below freezing.  We were well wrapped up and the music carried really well in the stillness.  In the afternoon, we were, along with many village folk, at Willow Brook Gardens providing accompaniment for some Carols for the grand switch on of the Village Christmas Tree lights.  We were pleased that in addition to good lighting, the Parish Council provided welcome seating for us.  2 infant and 2 junior school pupils duly switched on the lights.  How good does the tree look again this year, congratulations to all those who had a hand in the provision of this centrepiece.

Saturday evening, one of our members, Bb Bass player Richard Sunderland celebrated his 50th birthday and we had a very enjoyable evening in the Wroughton Club function room.  A late night and a few sore heads as we headed out to Waitrose again Sunday morning this time in the rain but a little milder.  We managed to tuck underneath the canopy, which kept most of the rain off us.  In the afternoon, we were delighted to be back playing for the Alexandra Park Residents Association Christmas concert.  Following the Ellendune Entertainers set of seasonal songs, we gave the audience the opportunity to sing some Carols and played some popular Christmas music.  In the evening 10 of us travelled out to St Barnabus Church in Gorse Hill to support the Janice Thompson Performance Trust Choir’s Christmas Concert.   We’re looking forward to completing our busy Christmas schedule, which includes playing at Swindon Male Voice Choir Christmas Carol Concert in Swindon Christchurch and culminating in our usual Christmas morning village tour.

Hopefully you managed to catch us during December, but may I take this opportunity to wish all of our friends and supporters a happy and peaceful New Year.

Our current diary for the first six months of 2024.  Any enquiries to secure our services for potential engagements, please contact us via our website, or directly to secretary@wroughtonsilverband.co.uk

Sunday 3rd March – West of England Area Test Piece Preview event at the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon.

Saturday 9th March – West of England Brass Band Association Regional Championships in Torquay.

Friday 24th May – Whit Friday March Contests, Saddleworth Oldham.

Saturday 8th June – Private Wedding Reception Gloucestershire.

Neil Webb

Musical Director


October 2023

Sunday the 17th September the day of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain arrived which meant an early start for us.  At around 6:15am we left Inverary Road travelling by Barnes Coach to The Centaur at Cheltenham Racecourse, where along with 19 other bands from across Great Britain gathered as the draw took place for the contest play order.  We were drawn 13, just after the lunch break so we had the morning to listen to other bands or drift around the trade stands.

We played as one of the top twenty bands in the third section nationally and when the results were announced later in the afternoon, we were very happy that the 3 adjudicators considered our performance to be worthy of a 10th position; in the top half (just).  It was a good day indeed, and considering we only returned to competing in 2019, with a year out as a result of Covid, this was our second invitation to the National Finals, and our second promotion to where we currently sit in the 2nd section.

After all that excitement, on Sunday 1st October It was good to be back at Christchurch in Swindon, providing music for the Hillier Funeral Service, 27th Annual Service of Remembrance and thanksgiving, something we as a band have been involved with for many years.  It is a very moving and poignant service and part of the Hillier bereavement counselling service.  Wroughton was well represented on this occasion, with musical contributions from Ridgeway School 6th Form Choir, under the direction of Becky Jankinson and the Rev’d Phill Harrison delivering the address.

We are approaching the Band’s busiest period, and on Tuesday 24th October we are again playing for the Pleydell Lodge of the Freemasons at their Battle of Britain Dinner.  At the end of October, we have two engagements over the weekend of the 28th/29th October, both of whish are associated with the British Palestine Police Association (BPPA).  On the evening of the 28th, we are playing for the wedding of Ralph Cairns and Sharron Woolley, who are both heavily involved with the organisation, and on the following Sunday morning we will again be playing for the BPPA service of remembrance, both events held at Blunsdon House Hotel.

We are looking forward to performing in our village again, as at 7:00pm on Friday 3rd November we are delighted to be once again joined by students from Wroughton Junior School and the Ridgeway School Faculty of Creative and Performing Arts at the Concert of Remembrance, held at Ridgeway School.  As in prior years, all proceeds from this event to be split equally between the RBL Poppy Appeal and Help for Heroes.  The following Friday, 10th November, we travel to Malmesbury where we will be joined by Malmesbury Choir for the Malmesbury Branch of the Royal British Legion Armistice Concert held in the wonderful Malmesbury Abbey.  Tickets available on the door.

Full details for these two concerts are included in this Magazine.

On Sunday 12th November following the Parish Church service, we will be proudly leading the Parade to service and period of silence at the War Memorial in Wharf Road, and the afternoon playing for the Remembrance Service held at Radnor Street Cemetery.

Dates for your diaries:

In addition to playing Carols at Waitrose during the weekends in December, our current confirmed engagements are:

Saturday 2nd Dec – Wroughton Christmas Tree lights switch on

Sunday 3rd Dec – Alexandra Park Residents Association Carols

Saturday 3rd Dec – Janice Thomson Christmas Concert, St Barnabus Church Swindon

Sunday 10th Dec – Shrivenham Christmas Tree lights switch on

Friday 15th Dec – Swindon Male Voice Choir Christmas Concert, Christchurch Swindon

Friday 22nd – Carols Wroughton Pubs

Saturday 23rd – Carols at Ellendune Shops outside Tesco

Christmas Morning Carols through the Village

Neil Webb

Musical Director


September 2023

As the children returned to school at the beginning of September, and the meteorological season of autumn started, summer happened, with the heatwave breaking the UK record for the most consecutive days with temperatures above 30c in the month of September.

The band played at the Prospect Hospice fete on Saturday the 9th September.  This is one of our regular village charity events and it was good to return after a break of 3 years where the fete along with so many other events, had been faced with cancellations.  During the summer months we were forced to use or take cover to evade the rain, but at the Prospect, it was extremely hot and we were grateful to be able to play under the shade of the trees in the gardens.  We started our set as the Fete opened at 12:00 midday and it wasn’t too long before people were arriving and taking advantage of seating in the shaded areas, close to the BBQ and refreshment tent.  We had a very enjoyable couple of hours, but I have to say it is very hard work playing in those high, humid temperatures.

The Prospect was the final event in our summer programme, the music returned to the band library with thoughts of the up and coming period of Remembrance influencing my choices of music for the Concerts and services in early November.

As I write this though, the band is busy in it’s final week making final preparations for our visit to Cheltenham Racecourse on the 17th September to participate in the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain Finals 2023 in the 3rd section.  I will report next month on how we got on.  Our social pages will be updated should you follow us.

Tue 24th Oct – Masons Battle of Britain Private Dinner

Sat 28th Oct – Private Wedding reception, Blunsdon

Sun 29th Oct – British Palestine Police Association Remembrance Service

Fri 3rd Nov – Armistice Concert Ridgeway School

Fri 10th Nov – Armistice Concert Malmesbury Abbey

Sun 12th Nov – Church Service and Parade to the War Memorial

Sun 12th Nov – Afternoon Service at Radnor Street Cemetery

Fri 15 Dec – Swindon Christchurch with Swindon Male Voice Choir

Neil Webb

Musical Director


August 2023

Summer 2023 has for us in the UK been a unseasonal cold, wet and windy time which has had an impact on everyone’s plans, not least of all the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd July. 

On the 22nd July, we were privileged to play for the service of celebration for the life of the late Adrian Bowles at Hodson.  Held in the grounds of his farm, with a howling gale and horizontal rain, at one point some of our players were physically hanging onto the marquee to prevent it from disappearing down into the valley.   The service was supported by so many of his family, friends and colleagues with personal eulogies so eloquently delivered.  I personally remember Adrian and his sister Diane growing up in the Pitchens in Wroughton and our thoughts are with the family and everyone close to him at this sad time.  RIP Adrian.

The forecast for Sunday 23rd was a little better than the previous day but we spent all morning trying to second guess what it was going to be like in the afternoon.  In the end we decided to go ahead with our planned concert in the gardens of the Fox and Hounds and we definitely made the right decision as by some miracle, it stayed dry and the sun even made one of those rare appearances, thank you to all those including the Fox & Hounds, for supporting us.  Going forward, we hope we can make this an annual event.

A few months ago all bands in the local area were invited by the Aldbourne Band to consider working together to form a co-operative or ‘community band’ to pool their resources in order to build the relations and the communication between all of the fantastic organisations. It is hoped this will both help with the immediate issues of each band having problems filling playing gaps for concerts and other engagements, but also lead to young players meeting and befriending a larger group of young players who share the same passion for making music and carry on playing beyond their teens, securing the future of brass banding in our area.

On Sunday 6th August, Players from Aldbourne Band were joined by players from Wroughton Silver Band, Brunel Brass, and Royal Wootton Bassett Brass for the first such event this Sunday on the Green in Aldbourne.  It was an absolute joy to have a massed band on the village green with players aged from 12 to 87 all enjoying making music together and entertaining a large crowd with all the Proms concert classics along with some ‘golden oldies’ like Padstow Lifeboat!  I was privileged to be invited to conduct the second half of the concert, but yet again we had to duck and dive as torrential rain storms passed through, and boy did we get wet.  However, it didn’t dampen the proceedings at all and is some ways added to the spirit of the event, with the crowds determined to stay under their brollies and ponchos!  It was a great event and we look forward to collaborating in the future.

On Saturday the 9th September, we are looking forward to playing at the Prospect Hospice Fete, following a break of a couple of years.  We will be playing between the hours of 12:00 and 2/:00pm; let’s hope for some sunshine.

Saturday 9th Sep – Prospect Hospice Garden Fete

Sun 17th Sept – National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain Finals 2023, Cheltenham

Tue 24th Oct – Masons Battle of Britain Private Dinner

Sat 28th Oct – Private Wedding reception, Blunsdon

Sun 29th Oct – British Palestine Police Association Remembrance Service

Fri 3rd Nov – Armistice Concert Ridgeway School

Fri 10th Nov – Armistice Concert Malmesbury Abbey

Sun 12th Nov – Church Service and Parade to the War Memorial

Sun 12th Nov – Afternoon Service at Radnor Street Cemetery

Neil Webb

Musical Director


July 2023

Having recovered form our travels up north, On the 10th June, we played at the annual Cream Tea fundraising event held at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, and run by Churches Together in Wroughton.  It was a resounding success and I believe well over £1,000 was raised for our local Prospect Hospice charity.  Our musical contribution was sadly curtailed after an hour by sudden heavy rainfall, which sent us heading for cover, but we did very much enjoy our complimentary cream teas.

On Saturday 17th June, we were invited to play at the Greatwood Charity 25th Anniversary event in the lovely surroundings of their grounds in Clench Common to the South West of Marlborough.  Helen Yeadon, who runs this charity, was a very good friend of our late President, Julia Langton so we were pleased to be in a a position to support this event.  There is a great deal of information on their website concerning the work they do rehoming former racehorses, supporting children with special educational needs and the provision of a wellness retreat.


Over the weekend of the 7,8,9th July some of our members travelled to Pentylands Farm, for a “band” camp.  The parents of Harry, our Bass Trombone player, own the farm and Harry’s mother celebrated her birthday on the Saturday.  We put on a concert for her birthday playing in what we affectionately call Pentylands Symphonic Barn, due to it’s incredible acoustic.

On the 20th June we were privileged to play at the Parish Church for the funeral of the late Eric Barrett, a lifetime resident and businessman of the village, who sadly passed away on the 25th May aged 94.  It was very appropriate that Eric was carried up the hill to the Parish Church on a Barrett Trailer.  The family have been great supporters of the band over many years and I personally have known the family since childhood.  When at school, I was one of Eric’s Saturday boys at the works in Moormead Road, where Wainwright Mews is now.  R.I.P. Eric.

We are approaching what is traditionally the busiest period for the band and this year, following our great result at the South West Area Championships in March, we have been invited to compete at the National Brass Band Championships on Sunday 17th September.  We are currently well into our preparations into the test piece “The Lost Village of Imber” composed by Christopher Bond.  The village of Imber on Salisbury Plain had been inhabited for over one thousand years when it was evacuated in 1943 to make way for military training during the WW2.  At the time, with preparations for the Allied invasion into Europe underway, most villagers put up no resistance, despite being upset, with the belief that they’d return once the war had concluded.  To this day, Imber and its surrounding land remain a military training ground.  The villagers never returned, and just the shell of what was once a community remains.  Structured in three movements, it is on this very real story that this work is based, setting out the series of events of 1943 in chronological order.

Dates for your diaries:

Saturday 22nd July – Private Funeral event at Hodson

Sunday 23rd July – Fox and Hounds Garden 3:00pm

Saturday 9th Sep – Prospect Hospice Garden Fete

Sun 17th Sept – National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain 2023, Cheltenham

Tue 24th Oct – Masons Battle of Britain Private Dinner

Sat 28th Oct – Private Wedding reception, Blunsdon

Sun 29th Oct – British Palestine Police Association Remembrance Service

Fri 3rd Nov – Armistice Concert Ridgeway School

Fri 10th Nov – Armistice Concert Malmesbury Abbey

Neil Webb

Musical Director


June 2023

As I write this we are one day away, and looking forward to playing at St Joseph’s Catholic Church for their annual Cream Tea fundraising event in aid of our local Prospect Hospice.   If we listen to the weather forecast it could go two ways, I hope that it is dry and sunny so fingers crossed on that one.

Our concert at St John Coles Park, Chippenham in May was very successful and well supported, and I thank Clive Compson for taking the stick for me as I was in Corfu on holiday, waiting for summer to arrive.

On Friday the 2nd June, we again participated in what has become known as “The greatest free show on earth”, that is the Saddleworth and Oldham Whit Friday Band Contest.   We were supported with some of our friends from Swindon Brass.  It was so much busier this year I imagine as a result of the lifting of COVID restrictions.  Some of the busier villages hosted over 70 bands.  As always, there is a mix of bands from all sections, including Championship section, one such band, Aldbourne our close neighbours, was also competing and performed well.  We, however go for the experience and for the entertainment and social rewards.  This year we 100% bought into the fancy dress, and we had so much fun being a band of Pirates, with the approach march, comprising the theme from Captain Pugwash and Pirates of the Caribbean going down well with the crowds.  A long, tiring but rewarding day where we started at 4:00pm, and got back to our Hotel at 12:45am, we managed just 5 villages this year, Scouthead, Lydgate, Friezland, Diggle and Dobcross.

It’s worth Googling (other search engines are available) Whit Friday Marches just to get a taste of what this Brass Band phenomenon is all about.

We have a date in our diaries where we will be playing (weather permitting) in the garden of the Fox and Hounds, Sunday 23rd July 3:00 to 4:30pm, and we look forward to seeing you there.

Dates for your diaries:

Sunday 17th June – Greatwood Charity 25th Anniversary event – Clench Common Marlborough

Saturday 8th July – Private party concert at Pentylands Farm including band camp

Sunday 23rd July – Fox and Hounds Garden 3:00pm

Saturday 2 Sep – Prospect Hospice Garden Fete

Neil Webb

Musical Director


May 2023

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of Sheila Preddy, who was a member of our band for many years prior to retiring to the South Coast.  Sheila and her family’s association with WSB is significant as not only did she play the cornet for many years, her grandfather, William Robinson, co-founded WSB, and her three sons also learned and played with the band as young men.

Sheila is survived by her beloved husband, David, a long time contributor to the Wroughton Monthly during its early years, her four children Jayne, Jon, Pip (Paul) and Nick, their partners, six grandchildren and seven, soon to be eight, great grandchildren.

Sheila who was born in Wroughton, grew up here, got married here, and raised her own family here, died peacefully at home on Wednesday 12th April, and will be missed greatly by all who knew her.   Her funeral was held on the 9th May in Poole.

It is a particularly difficult time for David, as on the 30th March, just prior to Sheila’s passing, his sister Wendy passed away suddenly.  It was a privilege to be asked to play for the funeral service on Tuesday 2nd May at Gorse Hill Salvation Army.  It was particularly fitting for me to lead the music, as I was part of the guard of honour for Wendy and her husband Peter’s wedding at Wroughton Methodist Church nearly 60 years ago.  Wendy and Peter ran a junior section, (Life Boys) of the Boys Brigade in Swindon and I was a member.

We are all thinking of the families of Sheila and Wendy at this sad time.

We are continuing with our preparations for our upcoming engagements and our annual visit to Saddleworth for the Whit Friday March Contests.  We are hoping for good weather and will be posting pictures on our Facebook page in due course.

Dates for your diaries:

21st May – Bandstand Concert, John Cole’s Park in Chippenham

2nd Jun – Whit Friday March Contests, Saddleworth, Oldham

10th Jun – Cream Teas at St Joseph’s Catholic Church in aid of the Prospect Hospice

We are currently looking to secure a Sunday afternoon in July, to play in the gardens of the Fox & Hounds.

Neil Webb

Musical Director


April 2023

April has been a quiet month for the Band, as new music comes out of our library in readiness for the coming season.  It’s been a month of rehearsing music for this year’s engagements, some familiar, some new and something a little more challenging to keep us on our toes.  We are also awaiting the arrival of the chosen test piece for the National Finals later in the year.

We are also preparing ourselves for our annual visit to Saddleworth for the Whit Friday Marches contests.  After the success of the Wurzels theme last year, we have chosen “Pirates” as this year’s theme.  I have arranged a mashup of Captain Pugwash and Pirates of the Caribbean for the approach march, and we are using William Rimmer’s Cross of Honour for the Contest march.

I have received some sad news today, from Jon Preddy about the passing of his mother, Sheila.  Both Jon and Sheila were former members of the band.  Sheila moved to Barton-on-Sea, in Dorset with her husband David for their retirement, more recently moving to Poole to be closer to Jon and his family.  I have no further information at this stage, in the meantime we send our sincere condolences to David and all the family at this sad time.

Dates coming up:

21st May – Bandstand Concert, John Cole’s Park in Chippenham

2nd Jun – Whit Friday March Contests, Saddleworth, Oldham

10th Jun – Cream Teas at St Joseph’s Catholic Church in aid of the Prospect Hospice

24th Jun – Church Fete, Chiseldon

Neil Webb

Musical Director


February 2023

January February is often a very quiet time, engagement wise, for the band, as everyone settles in to the New Year, looking forward to longer days and some warmer sun, as it gets a little higher in the sky.

However, we have been very busy in our preparations for the West of England Regional Championships held on the weekend of 11th and 12th March in Torquay.  The test piece for the 3rd Section, Chorale and Toccata composed by Stephen Bulla is based on the Hymn Tune, “Victory” from a Magnificat by Palestrina 1591:

“The strife is o’er the battle done,

Now is the Victor’s triumph won,

O let the song of praise be sung,


For interest, there is a wonderful recording of this on UTube by the New York Staff Band of the Salvation Army.  I will bring news from the contest in the April magazine.

We have some private bookings for 2023 already the first being for a “significant” birthday party at the Ellendune Community Centre on the 11th February, and the second for the 30 Sqn Reunion Dinner on the 27th May at the Hilton Hotel, Junction 16.

The band AGM is on the 16th March held in the function room at the Wroughton Club, where we will reflect on the past year and discuss our future plans.

Dates coming up:

11th Mar – West of England Regional Championships

21st May – Bandstand Concert, John Cole’s Park in Chippenham

2nd Jun – Whit Friday March Contests, Saddleworth, Oldham

24th Jun – Church Fete, Chiseldon

Neil Webb

Musical Director


December 2022

Our Christmas Carol Books and Christmas music have been out and well used over the lead up to Christmas, and as you read this, will be returned back into our library to rest until December 2023.  Hopefully you have been able to listen to us over this crazily busy Festive period, we will have managed over 20 engagements in the run up to Christmas, and I would like to thank each and every one of the band members who have supported me during 2022, and every one who has supported us at our various concerts.

I am really pleased to report that during 2022, our charity fundraising concerts netted the grand total of £1,995.00.  Broken down as follows:

£260 –  Springboard Special Needs Pre School

£260 – Greatwood, the first charity to use former racehorses to educate disadvantaged children and young adults with special educational needs.

£975 – Royal British legion Poppy Appeal (£500 from our joint concert with Students from Ridgeway School Faculty of creative and performing Arts, and £475 from our Concert in Malmesbury Abbey with our guests the Malmesbury Community Choir)

£500 – Help For Heroes, again from our joint concert with Students from Ridgeway School Faculty of creative and performing Arts.

We look forward to 2023, which will start with our preparations for the West of England Regional Championships held in Torquay in March and we have also booked to travel up to Saddleworth, Oldham for the Whit Friday March contests.  We have a decided on a theme but more of that closer to the time.

Neil Webb

Musical Director


November 2022

We are rapidly approaching the end of what has been a very busy, but enjoyable year for Wroughton Silver Band.  We have not only enjoyed playing at what have become our regular engagements; we have also had some new opportunities.

Since last month we have entertained the Pleydell Lodge of the Wiltshire Freemasons in Old Town at their annual Battle of Britain Dinner and on the 4th November participated at the Armistice Concert held at the Ridgeway School where we share the stage with students from the Ridgeway School faculty of Creative and Performing Arts.  It was once again a very successful evening with some fine singing and Drama from the Students, ably led by Becky Jankinson, Sharon Hodge and their teams and a varied programme of solo and ensemble pieces from the band.  Interestingly, I was chatting to a couple of parents after the concert, and the conversation went something like this, “I was at two thoughts as to whether I would come, as I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it, but I really did!”  She must have been thinking of the band.  I think that is a good advert for those not familiar with brass bands, if you get the opportunity, do come and see us at one of our concerts, you never know, you ay be surprised too.  All proceeds of this concert are divided equally between the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and Help for Heroes and I hope to be able to report on how we did next month.

This coming weekend, on Friday 11th, we are playing in the wonderful setting of Malmesbury Abbey November for the Malmesbury Branch of the Royal British Legion and this year we I am pleased to report we are to be joined again by the Malmesbury Community Choir.  The band is proud to be once again leading singing at the Parish Church Remembrance service on Sunday 13th, and leading the parade to the service at the War Memorial, we are hoping that the weather is kind for all on parade that day.  During the afternoon we are again playing for the Remembrance Service held at Radnor Street Cemetery.

December for the band continues to be crazily busy, and the Christmas events starts on Saturday 3rd at Waitrose in Wichelstowe and Ridgeway School Christmas Market, and Wroughton Tree Lights switch on.  In addition to all the other events, our two main concerts are both at Christchurch Swindon, on Friday 16th supporting Swindon Male Voice Choir and Saturday 17th supporting Swindon Choral Society.  Both these concerts were sadly cancelled at the very last minute last year as there was a significant increase in cases of what was the new Omnicron variant of Covid; keeping our fingers crossed for this year.

We shall be playing on the morning of Christmas Eve outside Tescos in Wroughton and through our normal route on Christmas morning, keep you eyes peeled on our social pages for the route and rough timings, it will be great to see you.

Our full confirmed December Diary at the time of going to press:

Saturday 3rd Dec – 10:30 Carols at Waitrose, 14:00 Carols at Ridgeway School,  16:30 Wroughton Christmas Tree lights switch on

Sunday 4th Dec – 14:30 Alexandra Park Residents Association Carols, 17:00 Janice Thomson Christmas Concert

Saturday 10th Dec – Pre match Carols at STFC, 19:00 Iron Horse Christmas Event

Sunday 11th Dec – 10:30 Carols at Waitrose, 18:30 Shrivenham Christmas Tree lights switch on

Friday 16th Dec – 19:30 Swindon Male Voice Choir Christmas Concert, Swindon Christchurch

Saturday 17th Dec – 10:30 Carols at Waitrose, 18:15 Swindon Choral Society Christmas Concert, Swindon Christchurch.

Friday 23rd Dec – 10:20 Carols at Waitrose, Carolling “tour” of the Wroughton Pubs

Saturday 24th Dec – Carols at Ellendune Shops by Tescos

Sunday 25th  Dec – am, Carols through the Village.

May I on behalf of the members of Wroughton Silver Band, thank you all for your support during 2022, and whilst very conscious of the difficulties throughout the UK and the greater world, hope you are able to have a happy and peaceful Christmas with your families and loved ones, and sincerely hope for better things in 2023.

Neil Webb

Musical Director


September 2022

We’re now right in the middle of school summer holidays, and whilst we don’t stop rehearsing, our members with young families have been able to enjoy well-earned time away in this glorious weather.  We have been using the time to rehearse some new music and also some more difficult music we’ve had for a while but had difficulty in mastering it in the past all of which we hope to include in our concerts later in the year.

I would like to thank everyone who came to support our Charity Concert held on the 16th July at our Parish Church.  It was a very hot evening, and hats off to those who made it up the hill.  The concert was very successful, the band rose to the occasion, with some very tight, musical playing.  This concert was postponed for 2 years, and was put on to raise money for two the charities chosen by the families of Danny Lyons, who sadly passed away at the end of 2019 at the age of 95, just a few months after retiring from 60 plus years of playing with us and Julia Langton who was our Band President who sadly passed away earlier that year.

It was lovely that Danny’s granddaughter, Joanne spoke on behalf of the family telling us some history of Danny’s musical journey after joining the Royal Sussex Regiment as a trainee bandsman after leaving school in Dublin at the age of 16.

We were also delighted to welcome our current President, Olly Langton, the elder son of the late Julia and Robert, to the concert after travelling down from his home near Edinburgh.  He spoke warmly of his mother’s love and support of our band and also of the Charity that Helen Yeadon runs, Greatwood in X
Clench Common, that looks after retired racehorses and the education of children with special needs.   It is this charity and Springboard, the 0-5 years specialist pre-school based in Chippenham chosen by Danny’s family and I am delighted to report that a total of £520 was raised and split equally between the two.

I would like to extend my thanks to the Revd Phill Harrison for allowing us use of the Church, Karen and Peter Ferguson for providing refreshments and Maja Witka, a student of Ridgeway School, who came and sang for us so beautifully.

Upcoming dates for your diaries:

Sunday 18th September – Bandstand Concert at Victoria Park Newbury starting at 3:00pm

Friday 4th November – TBC Armistice Concert at Ridgeway School

Friday 11th November – Armistice Concert Malmesbury Abbey

Sunday 13th November am – Service and Parade to the War Memorial

Sunday 13th November pm – Service at Radnor Street Cemetery

Neil Webb

Musical Director


August 2022

Since last month, we have been on our travels.  On Friday the 10th June, we travelled t’up north to participate in the Whit Friday March Contests around Saddleworth.  The M6 is often a bit of the gamble, but our journey was pretty good arriving at our Hotel near Chorley in plenty of time for lunch before setting off on our coach at just after 3:00pm.  We normally stay in a Hotel at Hyde which is a little closer, but as it turns out more difficult to get to, but Ed Sheeran was playing Manchester that weekend, so rooms were scarce and prices up 200%!  The weather was ideal, and crucially dry which makes for a better experience.  We managed to play at seven villages this year, in this order, Lees out Springfield, Grotton, Lydgate, Friezland, Greenfield, Diggle and finally Dobcross where we were band the last but one band playing at 11:00pm 61 bands in total); makes for a long day.  The bigger bands participate primarily for the prize money, Black Dyke who won overall came away with around £7,000 in prize money, whereas we are among the entertainment bands, and go purely for the enjoyment and experience.  As a band we dressed as the Wurzels and our approach march was an arrangement of Combine harvester. As the evening progressed with more ale consumed, by the crowds of course, the chorus of “Ooo Arrr, Ooo Arrr” got increasingly enthusiastic!  As quoted by Prof Nicholas Childs, MD of Black Dyke, “There is no better place to enjoy community brass banding than Whit Friday, with the sun out, great crowds, brilliant bands and fantastic marches there is nothing like it anywhere in the world” and I wholeheartedly agree!

On the 2nd of July, we were invited to play ay Chiseldon Church and Village fete, fortunately we were provided with cover as sadly the rain that was forecasted arrived and it was quite heavy which is a shame for the organisers but I have to say the visitors were pretty stoic and were taking cover under every spare foot of gazebo, we always had audience and as always we enjoyed playing and entertaining; fetes have a lovely relaxed community feel about them.  The following day, we had a wonderful time playing in the Bandstand in Swindon Old Town Gardens. A few spots of rain as we arrived to set up came to nothing and it turned out a lovely afternoon and was really well supported, lots of familiar faces amongst the crowds of people. Our upbeat, lively programme appeared to go down well; a first for us was being applauded off the bandstand following our final piece.

We are now preparing for a private event (birthday celebration) in Highworth on the 9th July for the parents of one of our members and final preparations for our Annual Charity Concert at the Parish Church on Saturday 16th July.

Further dates for your diaries:

Sunday 21st August, Bandstand Concert at John Coles Park in Chippenham starting and 3:00pm

Sunday 18th September, Bandstand Concert at Victoria Park Newbury starting at 3:00pm

Our diary is very full indeed for the last qtr of 2022, to be updated next month.

Neil Webb

Musical Director


July 2022

As I write this, we have just returned from Dan and Sarah’s wedding in Croatia where we all had a fantastic time, what a beautiful, clean country and lovely friendly people.  We are preparing to head to Saddleworth tomorrow (Friday 10th June) for the Whit Friday March Contests which I shall report on next month.

It was a shame we were unable to feature in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee village celebrations, but nine of our members, including me, were in Croatia, but we are looking forward to playing at the St Josephs Catholic Church for the Cream Tea Prospect fundraising event on Saturday 18th June at 2:45pm, we are normally blessed with good weather, so fingers crossed.

Another push for our Summer Charity Concert which is to be held on the 16th July at Wroughton Parish Church, staring at 7:30 pm.  Free entry but there will be a retiring collection.  This concert is in memory of two very people that were very special to our band, Danny Lyons, our very long-standing Eb bass player, who sadly passed away on the 1st October 2019 just a few weeks before his 96th birthday and Mrs Julia Langton, our late President and great support, who sadly passed away on 16th January 2019.

Mark your diaries for our upcoming dates:

2nd July Chiseldon Fete

3 July Town Gardens Bandstand 15:00 to 16:30

21st August John Coles Bandstand Chippenham 15:00 to 17:00

Neil Webb

Musical Director


June 2022

The band has been busy over the last month or so.  Two of our members, my son Daniel Webb, Flugel Horn and Sarah Whitehead Repiano cornet are finally getting married on Friday 3rd of June in Croatia, having had to postpone it twice due to COVID.  They really wanted to have music provided by our band, so we have recorded a fine selection of music to be used at various times during the ceremony.  The families and friends are looking forward to joining them in Croatia and we all wish them every happiness in their future together.

On the 7th May, we had the privilege to be invited by the family of the late Mary Barrett and David Barrett to play for the joint memorial service held at Wroughton Parish Church.  It was a very fitting service led by Dr John Godfree with contributions from family and friends with us providing the music throughout.

During the month of June we are playing music at the drinks reception following the wedding of Miss Olivia Feeney and Mr Tom Margesson of Burderop and will also be making the long journey up to Saddleworth to participate in the famous Whit Friday March competitions.  This year we are using Wurzels as the theme, playing Combine Harvester as the approach march.  Some of the more well known bands are very serious about these contests as there is a lot of prize money to be won, however, we go for the experience, to have fun and hopefully entertain; let’s hope for some dry weather.

Please mark your diaries for the annual Cream Tea fundraising event to be held at the St Joseph Catholic Church to raise funds for the Prospect Hospice.  The date is Saturday 18th June and we will be performing from 2:45pm to 4:15pm.

I have previously mentioned our Summer Charity Concert which is to be held on the 16th July at Wroughton Parish Church, staring at 7:30 pm.  Free entry but there will be a retiring collection.  This concert is in memory of two very people that were very special to our band, Danny Lyons, our very long-standing Eb bass player, who sadly passed away on the 1st October 2019 just a few weeks before his 96th birthday and Mrs Julia Langton, our late President and great support, who sadly passed away on 16th January 2019.

We are supporting Springboard as chosen by the family of Danny and Greatwood again chosen by the family of Julia; both charities providing crucial support to children and young people.

“Springboard” is a specialist preschool based in Chippenham run on charitable based funds for children 0-5 years who help children that are experiencing delay.   This can mean neurodevelopmental such as autism, learning difficulties or children with medical needs. Their catchment area covers North Wiltshire and they are the only specialist service of that kind in the county

To learn more, their heir website is https://springboardchippenham.co.uk/what-do-we-do/.

“Greatwood” – is a charity based in Clench Common near Marlborough and was the first charity to use rescued and rehomed former racehorses to educate disadvantaged children and young adults with special educational needs.

Their website for further information is www.greatwoodcharity.org

We look forward to being able to support both these charities.

Other dates coming up:          2nd July Chiseldon Fete

3 July Town Gardens Bandstand 15:00 to 16:30

Neil Webb

Musical Director


May 2022

As the Band’s calendar continues to return to normal, our AGM was held at Wroughton Club function room on the evening of Thursday 7th April.  The venue and catering provided by Krysia was excellent.  The meeting was well attended by our members and we were able to get through the business quite swiftly.  The committee must be doing a good job as the members were voted en bloc to continue for another year.  Our Chairman, Michael Pentelow reported on our activities over the previous period and also on our membership.

Votes were cast by our members for the annual awards, and Michael presented them as follows,

Bandsman & attendance        Neil Webb

Michael Pier Solo Cup             Dan Webb, Flugel solo Concerto D’Aranjuez in Malmesbury Abbey

Most Improved player            Kate Pier Bb Cornet

Most Improved section           Trombones (Bill Graham, Joy Jones, Andrew Bracher and Harry Livall)

Performance                           Paul Collins, Principal Euphonium

Musical Director Award          Diana Wagnall 1st Baritone

Roger Little after starting to learn back in 1958 has been an active member both playing and spells on the committee for 60+ years.  Roger started on tenor horn and moved onto Bb bass.  Recently his deteriorating eyesight and arthritis in his fingers contributed to his difficult decision to retire from active playing.  We presented Roger with an engraved metal watering can together with some garden vouchers, as Roger’s other passion is his garden.  We wish Roger every happiness as he leaves us to spend more time in the garden, and/or the Carters Rest??

We were sad to lose David Ferguson (Euphonium) in the Autumn as he moved to Canada to train and work as a snow board instructor in Vancouver.  We have just learnt that he has secured on-going employment at Greater Vancouver Zoo and we wish him every success in his new career.  We were lucky to fill David’s seat very quickly, after a chance conversation with Fiancée Claire, Michael March a very experienced player has settled quickly into the vacant seat.  We have also recruited into our front row cornet section where we have been one short for some time, Mark Blackwell a friend and regular Dep for us, has joined us and has strengthened that section.  With Roger’s retirement, we have again been lucky to quickly recruit into our Bass section with another of our regular Dep’s, Richard Sunderland joining us.   We welcome Michael, Mark and Richard into our ranks.

Our AGM progressed to the social part of the evening where we progressed to our regular skittles where “The Big Dream Boys” (Bass section) won the team game and by some fluke, I won the game of killer, £££’s.

On the 3rd April, after an early start me made our way to Cheltenham Racecourse where we competed in the 3rd Section of the South West Region of the National Brass Band Championships.  We were drawn to play second in the first half of the draw.  We were very pleased with our performance and result, coming 4th out of 14 bands, and if the rules hadn’t just been changed, we would have secured promotion to the 2nd Section.  We would also like to congratulate our friends at Aldbourne who by winning the Championship Section become West of England champions, the first time since 1981; a terrific result.

Dates in our diary:

We are playing for a wedding on the 21st May, Whit Friday Marches on the 10th June, Cream Teas at St Josephs Saturday 18th June, Chiseldon Fete 2nd July, Swindon Town Gardens Bandstand on 3rd July, our annual charity concert Saturday 16th July at Wroughton Parish Church, Chippenham Bandstand 21st August, Victoria Park Newbury Bandstand 18th September

Neil Webb

Musical Director


April 2022

The first quarter of the year for us at WSB has now become the time where we prepare for the one Contest we participate in.  We spend a fair amount of our time focussed on the test piece, both as a complete ensemble and splitting rehearsal into sections of the band to give us the opportunity to work up and try and perfect the more tricky elements of the music.  It is a good discipline for the band and does bring the opportunity to improve the overall standard of the band’s performance at our engagements.

Looking forward to when we get out and about, following our AGM on Thursday 7th April our first engagement is a new one for us; we are playing for the 30 Squadron (RAF) Association dinner on 30th April.  Following this on Saturday 7th May we are honoured to play at Wroughton Parish Church for the Mary Barrett, and David Barrett Memorial Service.  The family have been supporters of our band for many years, and I worked for Eric at the Moormead Road works, where Wainwright Mews is now, as a Saturday boy.

Other dates in our diary include a wedding on the 21st May, Whit Friday marches on the 10th June, Cream Teas at St Josephs Saturday 18th June, Chiseldon Fete 2nd July, Swindon Town Gardens Bandstand on 3rd July, our annual charity concert Saturday 16th July, Chippenham Bandstand 21st August, Victoria Park Newbury Bandstand 18th September.  Returning from the restrictions imposed by Covid, it is thankfully quite a busy season for us to enjoy.

Neil Webb

Musical Director


March 2022

I mentioned last month about our participation in the West of England Regional Finals of the National Brass Band Championships and the test piece, Facets of Glass we were starting to work hard on.  You can imagine our disappointment when on the evening of 24th January we received a notification from the organisers, during a sectional rehearsal, that due to an extension of the venue’s use as a vaccination centre, and with no alternative available, the contest was to be cancelled.  Well, it was great to receive notification on the 1st February that a new venue had been secured at the Cheltenham Racecourse albeit it on a later date 7th April, so we’re excited to be back on track and looking forward to the challenge.  We are also starting to think about music for the coming year as our diary begins to take shape.

As a heads up to get date in your diary, we are presenting a charity concert on Saturday 16th July and are very grateful to the Rev’d Phill Harrison for again allowing us use of the Parish Church Building.   The concert is, as a result of Covid, a couple of years overdue; it is to raise funds for two Charities, the Greatwood Charity in Marlborough that cares for retired racehorses, and the Pulmonary Fibrosis Trust.  The former is the chosen charity of the family of our late President, Julia Langton who sadly passed away on the 16th January 2019 and the latter the chosen charity for the late Danny Lyons, Eb Bass player with us for over 60 years who sadly passed away just a couple of months shy of his 96th birthday later that same year.  We are looking forward to repeating the success of a similar event held at the Church a few years back where we raised funds for both the Prospect Hospice and the local Parkinsons support group.

Neil Webb

Musical Director


February 2022

Dark nights are just beginning to shorten a little, although not that you’d really notice quite yet.   However, it is no longer dark in any corner of our band room as, thanks to one of our members, Derek Webb, all our old fluorescent lighting units have been replaced by super bright white LED units which are both very effective and will be so more efficient.  I am always entertained with the excuses, sorry reasons, for missing key changes, and we have one less now as we can all see!

Sadly, the two main Christmas concerts where we were invited to join the Swindon Male Voice Choir on the 17th, and the Swindon Choral Society on the 18th both in Christchurch Swindon, were both cancelled at very short notice in light of the ever-increasing spread of the latest variant of Covid.  It was of course the right decision but still a real disappointment for all concerned.    I would like to extend our thanks to everyone who supported us over the Christmas period. Despite being few in number and up against it time-wise we were pleased to be able to play out on Christmas morning, it seems to go down well and is always a joy for us.  So, all the Christmas music in our rehearsal pads has been returned to the library not to see the light of day for another 10 months or so.

Our return to rehearsal on the 6th January gave us the opportunity to have our first look as an ensemble at the test piece for the West of England Regional Finals of the National Brass Band Championships to be held in March at the Torquay Riviera Centre.  Composed by Gordon Langford, Facets of Glass was first published in 1984 originally commissioned for the Pilkington Northern Open Brass Band Championships, St Helens.  Written in four movements, Prelude “Fusion”, Scherzo “Celebration”, Meditation “Lathom Park Chapel” and Finale “Visions”.  On first run through, I think we are going to enjoy the challenge.

Neil Webb

Musical Director


January 2022

We were lucky in the south to miss the brunt of storm Arwen where other parts of the country endured severe weather.  We were expecting disruption to the Wroughton Christmas Lights turn on event at the Ellendune but in the end it was just cold and quite windy with the tree this year looking quite resplendent, I would say the best ever.  At the time of writing, this was our first Christmas engagement with the rest of December looking very busy and I hope you were able to enjoy some of our Carols and Christmas music at some point during then month.

We have received confirmation that the grand sum of £965.57 was raised at the Remembrance Concert held at the Ridgeway School back in November, which is another great result and so encouraging for all those that participate and support this event. As in prior years this is split equally between the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and Help4Heroes.

With January comes the time where we sift though our library and start putting together the music for our 2022 performances.  We are very lucky to have amassed over 2,000 titles many of which are out of print and there will be also many that are “time expired” both in terms of title and arrangement.  It is however something we have always tried to keep up to date in order to keep our audiences entertained and our members challenged.  We have recently purchased a copy of the test piece for the West of England Regional Finals of the National Brass Band Championships held in March at the Torquay Riviera Centre.  As we lead up to this our focus will be on the preparations to give our best performance, which is all I ask for; if we do well and get in the placing’s in our section, then that is a real bonus.

It is encouraging to already have quite a number of bookings already in the band diary for this coming year, both regulars and some new ones, which is great.  We always welcome enquiries for our services and these can be directed via our website, myself or any of our members.

Wishing all of our families and supporters a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Neil Webb

Musical Director


December 2021

November has been a very busy month.  I am immensely proud of what we have been able to achieve in the relatively short time we have been rehearsing in person. The annual Remembrance Concert at the Ridgeway School was again a sell out and as always the contributions from both the Ridgeway School and Wroughton Junior School made for such a good evenings entertainment.  It has been wonderful to be part of this concert since its inception and whilst at the time of writing numbers are yet to be confirmed, going on prior years, I wouldn’t be surprised if the proceeds are close to £1,000 and will be split equally between the RBL Poppy Appeal and Help4Heroes.  Thanks to everyone that makes this village event possible.

Our Remembrance Concert at Malmesbury Abbey on the 12th was one of the best, if not the best since the beginning of my tenure.  Our guests on this occasion were the excellent Malmesbury Community Choir under the Direction of Laurie Jones. We hope we can team up with them again in the future.  It was suggested that we had been putting on the concert for the RBL since 1972, however our eldest member, Ken Habgood, who was band secretary at the time recalls that it was 1960 or 1961 when we first performed, that’s 60 years! (well 59 as sadly along with so many other things it was cancelled last year)

Sunday morning arrived and the weather was absolutely perfect, dry, still and very mild too.  After playing for the hymns at the short outdoor service at the Parish Church, we led the parade down the hill to the war memorial for the service and two minutes silence.  There appeared to be a record number of Wreathes laid this year which was a little challenging for us, having to repeat Nimrod 4 times before giving in to exhaustion! There are many videos that have appeared on the social platforms, I know I am biased but I think the band sounded and looked great on the day and I would like to thank all the people that have made such lovely comments.  We are always pleased to be able to contribute to this important village coming together in Remembrance.

After a hurried lunch, we attended the Radnor Street Cemetery In the afternoon and played for their Remembrance Service.  There are 104 War Graves in the cemetery.

As we return to rehearsals after this busy week, our pads will be full of Christmas music in readiness for December.  Our diary is quite full, we are playing for the Wroughton Christmas tree lights turning on November 27th and during December, Alexandra Park Carols, Shrivenham Christmas Tree Lights, Guests for Swindon Male Voice Choir Christmas Concert and Swindon Choral Society both in Swindon Christchurch and various venues throughout the month Carolling culminating with our Carols through the village on Christmas morning.  For further details please follow us on Facebook and our webpage, Wroughtonsilverband.co.uk

As the year comes to a close I would like to wish all our friends and supporters a very Happy Christmas and look forward with positivity to a healthy New Year and all that brings.

Neil Webb MD

November 2021

Autumn is now upon us and we are rapidly heading into our busy November season of Remembrance.  Posters for full details of our two regular Concerts are in this copy of the magazine, namely Wroughton, on Friday 5th November at Ridgeway School and Malmesbury, on Friday 12th November.  We are hoping for fair weather for the Parade to the Cenotaph on Sunday 14th.  It’s feeling great to be back and the anticipation for us is palpable.  Our first engagement on the 26th October is the Battle of Britain Dinner at the Masonic Lodge, Swindon Old Town, which has become a regular one for us and always appears to go down very well with those in attendance.

Also, our Committee is back up and running on all cylinders and apart from all the “normal” discussions we have been looking at our band room to seek out ways of reducing our carbon footprint, granted it is pretty small in the overall scheme of things but every little helps.  We have started by changing our lighting, which consisted of very old fluorescent tubes.  They are currently in the process of being changed to LED and apart from the anticipated savings in running costs the difference is amazing, so much so I will have to start powdering my forehead to reduce glare.  Thanks to our member Derek Webb for organising this.  We are also looking forward to progressing our replacement uniforms; lockdown has had quite an effect, most of our uniforms appear to have shrunk!

Neil Webb MD

October 2021

Saturday the 4th September, what a beautiful sunny morning and whilst it did cloud over a little in the afternoon it did nothing to deter the absolute joy we felt to be playing to an appreciative audience for the first time since March 2020 at the Churches together fundraising cream tea event at St Joseph’s Catholic Church.  The cream teas were, as always great and I understand over £1,400 was raised for Prospect Hospice.

Our diary over the next month or so is as follows:

Tuesday 26th October             Battle of Britain Dinner, Masonic Lodge, Swindon Old Town (Private Event)

Sunday 31st October               British Palestine Police Association Remembrance Service, Blunsdon (Private Event)

Friday 5th November               Wroughton Remembrance Concert at the Ridgeway School, just confirmed watch for further details.

Friday 12th November             Malmesbury Royal British Legion Remembrance Concert at Malmesbury Abbey

Sunday 14th November           Wroughton Remembrance Service and Parade

We held our band AGM on Thursday 9th September at the Wroughton Club function room.  The venue and catering provided by the club was excellent.  Awards were finally able to formally make the awards for 2019.  Noel Hunt, Bands person, Mike Webb Best Solo, Frosty the snowman at Christchurch, Diana Wagnall, most improved player, Diana and Bryan Jones, most improved section (Baritones) and Derek Webb, Muppet Moment award for when his mobile phone went off to the ringtone “Sweet Home Alabama” during Noel’s rendition of Last Post at the Palestine Police Remembrance Service.

We were able to get through the business quite swiftly enabling us to move onto our regular skittles.  The Cornet B team won the team game, and Roger Little won the game of killer with Wilma Naylor putting up a good fight taking it up to the wire.  Wilma tells us she let Roger win as she provided the skittles and didn’t want to be accused of fixing it, ummm?

Neil Webb MD

August 2021

Good news, we have at last been able to hold regular indoor rehearsals as a full ensemble as we have found a suitable venue where we are able to work within the 2 metre social distancing COVID guidelines as currently set out, and it is so good, a long time coming.  However, sadly, the Town Gardens bandstand concert at the end of June was cancelled due to the continuing COVID restrictions, as was our involvement in the British Palestine Police Association (BPPA) Centenary Service held at the Temple Church in London on Saturday 3 July.  This was to be the most prestigious venue ever for the band, a once in a lifetime experience and we were so excited to be asked to play.  The actual Centenary was July last year but along with so many other things, COVID forced the changes.

I was very privileged to be invited to represent the band at the Centenary Dinner the night before held at Middle Temple Hall.  We had an official tour earlier in the day, with so much history, I had a job to take it all in but one of the many facts was that the first performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night took place there in 1602!

The following day we were led to the service by a young man playing the part of a young Palestine Policeman carrying the standard complete with mounted escort from the City of London Police into Temple Church which dates from 1185.  It was a very emotional service and reflection commemorating the 349 men who gave their lives attempting to keep some peace in a troubled Holy Land.  The service was led by The Rev’d Robin Griffith-Jones, Master of Temple Church and the music and singing was provided by the Organist and a choir of 4 led by their MD, Roger Sayer.  “The Holy City” is the hymn that is so important to the BPPA, it was so sad they were unable to sing, having said that the choir’s rendition was simply stunning and took it’s toll on the emotions of those in attendance.  Whilst trying to put aside the disappointment of being unable to participate, I was thankful that one of our ex-members, Ian Standley, a Captain in the Salvation Army, who was transferred to Dulwich last year to work at the SA Training College, popped across to play the Last Post and Reveille to a standard worthy of the occasion.

Our first engagement in our diary is at the Wroughton Churches Together cream tea event on Saturday 4th September a fundraising event for the Prospect Hospice.  We are hoping to be able to play somewhere in the village before then.  Please follow our Fbook  and/or Web pages for details as they become available.

Neil Webb MD

July 2021

We thoroughly enjoyed our first full rehearsal at the barn in Highworth, I think I can speak for all of us there that it was quite moving as we produced our first notes together for 14 months helped by the surprisingly brilliant acoustic in what we have now nicknamed “Pentylands Cathedral”.

We are pleased and excited to be back rehearsing together albeit adhering to the social distancing measures we have to abide to.  Whilst the Zoom rehearsals were a useful way of keeping things ticking over it’s great that we are no longer staring into a computer screen and are able to be together.

Really hoping that next month there will be more positive news to report as we get back to doing what we love, sharing our music with our supporters.

Neil Webb MD

June 2021

Another month has passed, the days are drawing out and the evenings lighter.  Things have been ticking over and we have been continuing with our on-line zoom rehearsals and our outdoor group of six and whilst only one of these has been cancelled due to rain, it has been quite chilly especially when the sun sets in the evenings.

We were due to play in John Coles Park bandstand in Chippenham early June, but sadly this was cancelled.   However, all being well we will be playing in Swindon Old  Town Gardens Bandstand on Sunday 27th June 3:00pm which will be a real treat for us that’s for sure.

We are looking forward to being able to move indoors again for rehearsals from the 17th May, social distancing rules will still be in place, which means we can only have 13 at a time, but it will be a step forward.  Also, one of our member’s parents has a farm in Highworth and they have kindly given us access to a barn where we will be able to rehearse as a full ensemble; really looking forward to this as it will be the fist time since March 2019 that we have been able to do this.

Arrangements are progressing nicely for our trip to London to play in Temple Church on the 3rd July.

Neil Webb MD

March 2021

It’s really hard to believe that it is almost a full year since we last played as a full ensemble to a live audience, yes we have undertaken some remote recordings and videos and in between the various stages of lockdown a few of us have managed to get together to play on half a dozen occasions but there is nothing like playing in the live setting, it’s what we do and what we really miss.  However since December we have explored the use of the dreaded Zoom to get some remote rehearsal time together.  A little sceptical to start with, but we are now holding two rehearsals a week using this platform.  How does it work? I can hear you ask.  Basically I lead the rehearsal by playing a recording of each piece of music, whilst getting everyone to play along with the recording whilst muted on the zoom call.   Whilst it will never replace “normal” group rehearsal, there are real benefits; it gives everyone the opportunity to get back into the routine of regular playing in a virtual ensemble where individually, they can only hear themselves and the recording and there is also the social side too, which we are all missing terribly.  Downside for me is I cannot hear anything that is being played, as I too can only hear the recording – perhaps that’s why the members are happy to participate!

We are starting to get provisional dates in our band diary for 2021 but obviously cannot commit to anything as yet.  The vaccination program locally has moved into the next grouping, so this afternoon, (9th Feb) I am grateful to be heading over to the Steam Museum to get my 1st Vaccination.  This has to be our way out of this roller coaster ride of lockdowns and tier group restrictions.

Let’s hope for more positive news next month and in the meantime, please stay safe everyone.

Neil Webb MD

January 2021

The month of December was so far removed from normal for us, but it turned out we had a window of opportunity to be able to play on Christmas morning within the then guidelines.  The weather was lovely albeit chilly it was dry, bright and very still, which is the perfect scenario for sound to travel.  This helped us in our endeavours, as we made an appearance in the village playing Carols, albeit very small in number and a whistle stop tour, it was lovely to see some familiar faces as we made our way.  We’re normally out for three hours, but as Govt. guidelines changed reducing the already small window of opportunity for families to get together to just the one day, we decided to keep our time out to just one and a half hours enabling our members to get back to family celebrations in good time.

I would like to extend my thanks on behalf of WSB, for the generosity of our supporters on the day.  Brass Bands, even village bands such as ours are surprisingly expensive to run and maintain and here we are nearly a year into this virus with no performances or fundraising.   Our hopes for a quick return to rehearsing in this New Year have been dashed with the move into Tier 4 and now the necessary return to complete lockdown so we are now looking to explore new ways of remote activity.

Keep safe and please continue to support all those essential workers in these difficult times.

Neil Webb MD

December 2020

I am really pleased to report that, directly as a result of our Remembrance Facebook videos posted in November the grand sum of £228 was gifted to the Royal British Legion poppy appeal through our Facebook page.  On behalf of the RBL, and us I would like to say a big thank you to all those who contributed in this way.

As I type this, we are just about to come out of lockdown, moving into Tier 2 and awaiting official guidance from the Department for Culture Media and Sport as to what we may be able to do during December under the restrictions.  So many people have been asking me whilst on my daily walks with Pippa my Border Terrier, if we will be able to bring some festive cheer by playing Carols at our usual haunts throughout the village.

I really hope things worked out and the official guidance allowed us to play in some form giving our followers the opportunity to enjoy our performances, socially distanced of course.  I also sincerely hope that you were able to enjoy your Christmas and New Year celebrations in the very best way within the restrictions.

As we start this New Year, we at WSB, are all very much looking forward to being able to get back to rehearsing and performing as a full ensemble once again, we are missing the music making and each other’s company; hopefully this will be not too far away.

Neil Webb MD

November 2020

This last month has been a month of highs and lows.  At the end of October we managed two rehearsals in our band room, after spending some time making our rehearsal room compliant with the rules as set down by the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport).  The interpretation of these rules was greatly assisted with the help of Brass Band England, especially with our preparation of our risk assessment.  To adhere to the distancing rules, we divided the band into two small ensembles and it was great to be playing together again albeit in groups of 13 in number.   Whilst sadly, “Lockdown 2” has put a stop to this, we are now prepared and in a position to return immediately once we move out of lockdown.

Our participation in the service at the Parish Church and leading the parade to the act of Remembrance at the Cenotaph is pivotal in our annual diary of events and it was so very sad that in these difficult times it was unable to go ahead its usual form.  With this in mind a massive thank you goes out to the members of the Wroughton & District Branch of the Royal British Legion, Wroughton Parish Council and everyone who was involved in the organisation of the wreath laying at the Cenotaph, with social distancing measures in place and adhered to and the full event being live streamed on the Parish Council Facebook page.  Daniel Webb, our Flugel Horn player was honoured to be asked to play the Last Post and Reveille and doing a sterling job representing WSB at our first public engagement since the middle of March, “Lest we Forget”.

For those that follow our Facebook page, you will have viewed a few video recordings culminating on the 11th November with our remote recording of the Royal British Legion March together with the montage of photographs of prior year parades and Acts of Remembrance at the Cenotaph; thanks to Pat Fletcher and Chris Moody for these photographs.  Thanks also to our members who recorded their individual parts and Chris Webb who spent many hours putting these videos together and also to those who have donated to the Poppy Appeal fund using the link attached to our videos.

December is going to be so different this year, we would normally have around 25 formal and informal engagements leading up to and including Christmas day, I hope we will be able in some way to bring some festive cheer by playing Carols and incidental Christmas music in our home Village.

To close, on behalf of Wroughton Silver Band, I would like to extend our best wishes for the coming Christmas Festive season, and hope we are all able to spend some much needed time with our friends and families.  As I type this, there are positive news reports on the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, l sincerely hope that for the New Year, with time, we can begin to return to some of “normality” and a better place for all.

Neil Webb MD

October 2020

We are now at the start of what would normally be our busiest period in the year.  The month of November brings the period of Remembrance and it’s really sad that as a result of Covid, the village will not be coming together to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice of service men and women on the 8th November.  This is the first year that our band has not been able to participate in the Church service and lead the parade and provide the music for the service at the Cenotaph since the band reformed at the end of WW2.

However as our contribution this year, we have been working on some isolation recordings and if all goes to plan you may have seen these on our Facebook page where we hope to have set up a fundraising page to raise money for this year’s Poppy Appeal.

Our engagements over this period have grown for a while now, October normally sees us entertaining the Pleydell Lodge of Swindon Freemasons for their Battle of Britain dinner and providing incidental music for the British Palestine Police Association’s service of Remembrance in Blunsdon.  In addition to the Remembrance parade and services November would traditionally include playing at Radnor Street Cemetery for their act of remembrance, the concert at Ridgeway School and the Abbey in Malmesbury, which are probably our favourite concerts.

It is unbelievable that nearly eight months have passed since the original lockdown in March, during this time we have been unable to rehearse or perform in any shape or form and we are missing it so much.  I’m really hoping I may be in a position to report something more positive next month.

In the meantime, please continue to keep safe, and watch out for what we are up to on our Facebook and Web pages. www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk

Neil Webb – Musical Director

Sept 2020

Last month I wrote about our planned Band Camp in Chipping Norton over the weekend 14th-16th August.  We studied the forecast with particular interest as very heavy rain was forecast for the whole of the weekend and even some of our seasoned campers were considering calling off.  However, we took a real punt and apart from early hours of Sunday morning, when the rain was torrential for several hours.  I still have this vivid memory of seeing my Border Terrier, on only her second camping expedition, looking at the roof of the tent and looking at me as if to say “what the dickens is that noise!”  It was however a good test for all the tents that were in attendance.  This may come as a bit of surprise to some of you, but several of us spent a couple of hours on the Saturday visiting the Hook Norton Brewery, a couple of miles north of the campsite.  This Brewery is well worth a visit, a Victorian family owned Tower Brewery founded in 1849 and still has the working Steam driven pump for extracting the water; this is only used occasionally for the tours.  The children particularly enjoyed seeing the dray horses, the adults enjoyed sampling the range of beers.

Since my last report, we were encouraged by the publishing of guidance to help bands such as ours to return to rehearsing, both outdoors and indoors.  To enable this there was, as you would expect a number of things we would have to do to enable a COVID safe rehearsal space.  We are lucky to have our own rehearsal room, so Committee members spent time at the band room undertook a full risk assessment using a tool that was made available to us and we were able to put a plan together to enable indoor rehearsals, albeit with only half of the band number at a time in order to comply with the distancing guidelines.  However, there were changes announced just yesterday, when the Gov’t announced the banning of social gatherings above six.  As a result of this, we feel there will be a specific announcement that will put the brakes, or further changes on the brass band movement’s return to rehearsal.  We of course understand the bigger picture, but it really is one pace forward two paces back.


In the meantime we will continue with our isolation recordings.

Please continue to keep safe, and watch out for what we are up to on our Facebook and Web pages. www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk

Neil Webb – Musical Director

Aug 2020

Guidance was issued on the 3rd June that we could rehearse outdoors albeit limited to a group of 6, 3 metres apart which we managed on four dry evenings.  It was encouraging that we were able to meet even with these restrictions to try and re-engage.  It was however unfortunate that not every one of our members were able to participate when on the 9th July the guidance changed with immediate effect.  Stating: “Non-professionals should currently not engage in singing or playing wind and brass instruments with other people given these activities pose a potentially higher risk of transmission.  Research is on going and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has commissioned further scientific studies to be carried out to develop robust scientific data for these activities. Existing and emerging evidence will be analysed to assist the development of policy and guidelines.”  We have not received any further updates at this time.

The famous Cory Band are hosting a virtual entertainment contest early September where bands are able to present a short ten minute programme of music of there own choice, recorded individually in isolation and we have registered to participate and will bring you news in due course.

With Remembrance on the horizon and the real likelihood that we will be unable to participate as a band in any form due to the current restrictions, we are looking to create an online video, in a similar fashion to the one we did for the VE Centenary but with a just giving link in support of the Poppy Appeal for the two branches of the Royal British Legion that we have been associated with for so many years; Wroughton and Malmesbury and District.  Please keep your eyes peeled for news with this.

Last year, our Bass Trombone player, Harry Livall, suggested a weekend band camp in Cirencester.  We had 8 pitches on the events field at the Mayfield site and it was a resounding success, so much so we repeated it July this year with the site owners looking forward to us putting on an impromptu concert, but it was the weekend of the announcement so sadly we were unable to.  We are looking forward to a further weekend of camping in Chipping Norton during August, one of our members has decided camping is not for them, so has bought a caravan for this and future camps!

Please continue to keep safe, and watch out for what we are up to on our Facebook and Web pages. www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk

Neil Webb – Musical Director

July 2020

As I sit down to prepare my update for this month, I was saddened to learn that the Italian composer Ennio Morricone has died in Rome at the age of 91 following a fall.   He scored more than 500 films over 7 decades leaving an incredible legacy of great music some of which is being featured on radio today as a tribute.  His credits include the “spaghetti westerns” that made Clint Eastwood a star.

As I think about his music, I am reminded that we at WSB are very lucky to have over many years, created a library of nearly 2,000 pieces covering all genres.  Much is out of print and some also with more tape holding it together and annotations than what was actually printed.  We have three pieces featuring Morricone’s music, Gabriel’s Oboe from the film The Mission, the main theme to Cinema Paradiso and a selection featuring music from the aforementioned spaghetti westerns, which concludes with the theme from the Good Bad and the Ugly.

We are so looking forward to being in a position to be out playing his music along with others from our repertoire to our loyal followers, but as time goes on I’m becoming more and more concerned that it will be a very long time before this will happen.  In the meantime, we continue to work on isolation recordings and in line with current guidance, we will continue our recent practice of rehearsing outdoors limited to a group of 6, 3 metres apart, weather permitting of course.

Please continue to keep safe, and watch out for what we are up to on our Facebook and Web pages. www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk

Neil Webb – Musical Director

Jun 2020

Unsurprisingly, things have continued to be very quiet for us during the last month.

However, you may have seen the great Cory Band on the National news at the beginning of April with their isolation recording of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the interview with their young percussionist, Emily Quick on BBC breakfast.  Each player video records their own part at home and the technical wizard stitch them together to create a video recording of the whole band; all clever stuff.

We are always up for a challenge, so starting small we went about initially creating small ensemble recordings of A Groovy Kind of Love, You and a couple of versions of Happy Birthday.  Well we then went for it, took a while but with willing participants and Chris Webb doing the Tech bit, we created our own full band isolation recording of Disco Inferno and are just plucking up courage to post it on social media.  It’s been hard work and great fun in equal measure, but no substitute for the real live performances that we so enjoy.   We are now in the process of creating something for the VE day celebrations and if it all works, you will have probably spotted it on our Facebook page on Friday 8th May.

Please keep safe, and watch out for what we are up to on our Facebook and Web pages. www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk

Neil Webb – Musical Director

May 2020

Along with all group activities, WSB rehearsals came to an abrupt halt towards the end of March as we adhered to the government lockdown guidance.  Whilst very much appreciating this is a very small price to pay with so many people suffering and lives’ lost as a result of this terrible COVID-19 virus, we are all really missing the band family.  Not only for the music making, but the banter, humour and friendships that have grown over time.  This, just at a time when we returned on a real high from the West of England Regional Championships in Torquay, where we earned a very creditable 4th place in the 3rd Section following our promotion last year.  We have been trying in a small group to start with, to find ways of using technology to independently perform as a group.

Unsurprisingly this virus has taken its toll on our immediate diary, which was filling up nicely.   Our annual visit to Saddleworth is the first casualty having been cancelled by the organisers and our charity concert planned on June 27th at the Deanery School has sadly been postponed until 2021.   This will be in support of two charities close to two people that were special to our Band, the late Julia Langton who was band President for many years and Danny Lyons who played Eb Tuba with us for over 60 years and passed away a few months back just a few weeks shy of his 96th birthday.

Currently our diary looks like this, but given the current circumstances still very likely to change:

June 6th           Churches together in Wroughton cream tea event at St Josephs Catholic Church in aid of Prospect Hospice

June 28th         Bandstand concert, Swindon Town Gardens.

July 4th             Temple Church London, centenary service for the establishment of the Palestine Police Force.

August 30th     Bandstand concert, Victoria Park, Newbury

We will keep our Web (wroughtonsilverband.co.uk) and Facebook pages updated with any further changes as and when they occur.

I would personally like to extend my thanks to Noel Hunt who has recently stepped down from the demanding roles of Chairman and publicity officer, both positions he held for many years. I am pleased to report that following a virtual AGM vote we have been able to appoint Michael Pentelow as Band Chairman and David Ferguson as publicity officer.

Neil Webb – Musical Director

March 2020

The early months in our year are always interesting and difficult to predict. Looking out of the window there is the encouraging signs of spring. Snow drops in full bloom, daffodil buds just starting to open and new green growth starting to appear. Contrasting this however it is still raining hard, blowing a gale and roof tiles are literally falling off around me. Luckily our band rehearsal evenings are more predictable. We are of course practising hard for the regional contest in Torquay on the 15th March. This year our test piece is called ‘Endurance’ and depicts Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1914-16. Being a narrative piece of music about such a journey, the music isn’t all ‘plain sailing’.

The band is already getting quite a lot of our summer ‘Sunday afternoon in the park’ engagements confirmed along with some new ventures for us. We are very excited and honoured that we have been asked to travel to London in July and play for the Palestine Police Association’s Centenary church service at Temple church. Our first concert date for the year is June 27th. Following the great success of our concert last year we have organised another one for this year. The evening will be raising funds for two charities in memory of our late president Julia Langton and our late bass player Danny Lyon. The theme for the evening will be ‘Musicals’ so there should be something for everyone. More on these two events later in the year, but please put June 27th in your diaries now.

Band Diary:

March 15th      Regional contest in Torquay

June 5th           Whit Friday marches, Saddleworth, Yorkshire.

June 14th         Broadgreen Street food festival, Swindon

June 27th         Charity concert, The Deanery School, Witchelstow, Swindon.

Band Chairman

Noel Hunt

January 2020

Wroughton Silver Band is delighted to announce that Oliver Langton has accepted the invitation to take on the role of Band President.

Olly Langton was born in March 1981 in the Princess Alexandra’s RAF Hospital, Wroughton living with his family in Hodson.  After a brief experiment in Hertfordshire, the family moved back to Wiltshire in 1989 and Olly, with his brothers Charlie and Will have all lived in the area since.  Olly studied at Edinburgh University and then went into teaching, first in Ecuador as a volunteer and then in Berkshire before moving to Radley College in Oxfordshire where he has taught History, coached sport and run a boarding house for 70 13-18 year old boys since 2013.  He has plenty of talented musicians in his house and several excellent brass players, but is a (retired) pianist himself.  His connection with the Wroughton Silver Band comes through his late mother, Julia.

Olly is very proud to be following in the footsteps of his great uncle, Sir Henry Calley, his parents, Robert and Julia Langton, all of whom took great pleasure in supporting the Wroughton Silver Band in this role and is looking forward to continuing the long family association with the Band.

December 2019

On 27th October of course the clocks changed, luckily for the band it gives us the ‘extra’ hour. Just after ten o’clock we assembled at Blunsdon House hotel for the Palestine Police Old Comrades reunion, so anyone forgetting to change their clocks would be early and not late. Having said that I don’t think any of our members have ever been late. Although it’s October the band counts this as our first ‘Remembrance’ engagement of the year. Sadly, each year sees a smaller gathering of veterans than the year before, but it’s still strong gathering with the support of relations. The band has already been booked for next year’s centenary gathering.

Two weeks later we were at Malmesbury Abbey for our annual concert organised the local branch of the Royal British Legion. What a great evening it turned out to be with a very responsive audience and the band sounding really good. The concert was themed around Movie music and I’m sure I heard some impromptu singing and humming from the audience. It was very nice to have the mayor of Malmesbury in the audience.

Sunday the 10th of November was of course Remembrance Sunday. It was great to see the parish church once again packed with standing room only, and not much of that left either. The parade down the hill to the war memorial was bright and dry which was a thankful change from the continual rain from the previous day. Whilst the wreaths were being laid the band played ‘Hymn to the fallen’ from the film ‘Saving Private Ryan’. Just as the first solo drumbeats were sounding out the cloud moved away, and the assembled crowd was bathed in radian sunshine. My music changed from being on white cardboard to that of golden yellow. Wonderful timing.

It’s now onwards to Christmas and the band is going to be busier than ever this year. Once again, we are playing with the Swindon Male voice choir at Christ church in Swindon. This year it is their centenary year so I’m sure there will be some extra special items from them. Unfortunately, at the time of going to press the tickets are virtually sold out. If you are disappointed this year all I can suggest is that you look out to book early next year. Hopefully you will have the opportunity to hear the band at some other time through December. Please come and have a chat and even ask us to play your favourite carol or Christmas tune.

Dec. 1st Alexandra Park Carols. Alexandra House. 14.30

4th           Carols by the Canal. Waitrose / H and W, Swindon. Time tbc

6th           John Lewis, Swindon. 18.00-20.00

7th           Iron Horse Christmas Event, Kerrs Way, Wroughton. 19.00-20.00

8th           Bromham Church Christmas Tree Festival, Nr. Devizes.15.00-16.00

11th         Sainsburys Stratton, Swindon. 19.00-20.30

13th         Prospect Hospice, Wroughton. 19.00

15th         John Lewis, Swindon. 12.00-14.00

15th        Shrivenham Village Christmas tree.18.30-19.30

18th        John Lewis, Swindon. 18.00-20.00

20th         SMVC, Christ Church, Swindon. 19.30-21.45

21st         Ellendune Shops. 10.00-12.00

21st         John Lewis, Swindon. 14.00-16.00

22nd        Waitrose, Swindon. 10.00-12.00 and 14.00-16.00

22nd        Wroughton Methodist Church Service.17.00-18.00

23rd         John Lewis, Swindon. 18.00-20.00

25th         Wroughton Village. 9.30-12.30

On behalf of all in Wroughton Silver Band may I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and Joyful New Year.

Noel Hunt

Wroughton Band Chairman

November 2019

“Another Great Result”.

The morning of September 14th saw most of the band setting off on a coach from Wroughton to Cheltenham Racecourse. No, not to for a day out at the races, but The National Brass Band Championships sectional final. The whole band gathered at the racecourse at 8.15am to hear the order in which the bands were drawn to play. Would we be first on? Second?…..no last! We had to wait until all the other seventeen bands had played. An estimated time of 2.30 -3pm. Oh well, time for a last-minute practice. The other bands had come from across the country, an area stretching from Scotland to Wales and London to Cornwall. The top two or three bands from each of seven regions were competing.

We had a guest conductor for the day, Simon Jones, as our own (Neil Webb) was away in sunnier climes on holiday, along with Brian and Joy and of course Hazel. Simon rather took us by surprise by ‘suggesting’, as part of our practice, that we sang our parts. Thankfully we were to play not sing on stage. Our time to perform came, some nerves, a lot of excitement and plenty of encouragement from Simon. “Just do your best and enjoy it”. It’s one of those occasions that doing one’s best doesn’t guarantee that you win, but it does mean that you can be proud of what you achieve. We were extremely pleased to be placed a very commendable eighth out of the eighteen.

With the music from the contest still ringing in our ears, rehearsal nights start in earnest for Remembrance weekend and of course Christmas. November and December are by far the busiest months of the year for the band.

Diary of Engagements:

November 8th    Concert and Service of Remembrance at Malmesbury Abbey. 7.30pm

10th    Wroughton Parish Church service and Parade. 10.00am

15th    Concert and Service of Remembrance, with and at Ridgeway School. 7.00pm

(tickets and details from the school)

30th    Wroughton Christmas Lights Switch on Event.

December  1st    Alexandra Park residents Christmas celebrations.

3rd    Carers Christmas Concert. Christ Church, Swindon.  7.00pm

7th    The Iron Horse Christmas Event, Kerrs Way, Wroughton. 7.00pm

8th    Bromham Church Christmas Tree Festival.

20th    Christmas Concert with Swindon Male Voice Choir. Christ Church, Swindon.7.30pm

(tickets and details from the Male Voice Choir)

There is of course always a high demand for tickets for the Ridgeway School concert on November 15th and the Christmas concert on December 20th so buy yours early to avoid disappointment.

Along with many people in Wroughton, we were all sad to hear of the death of Danny Lyons early in October. Danny had played Bass with the band for more years than I can remember. It was only earlier this year that he had decided it was time to ‘hang up’ his mouthpiece and retire from playing at the young age of 95. A true musician who could regularly ‘fox’ many of the band with his musical knowledge, understanding and ability. Thank you, Danny, for your many years of playing with the band and a fond farewell.

Noel  Hunt


October 2019

Autumn has once again arrived, with the evenings drawing in and central heating being set to come on. The band had a successful summer and to the large part the weather was kind to us. We enjoyed two good Sunday afternoons in the park. One at Victoria park in Newbury and one in John Cole’s park in Chippenham. We did get a little bit wet at the Broad Hinton and Uffington fete but that didn’t dampen our spirits or that of the members of the public. With our gazebo overhead we managed to play on through the rain with Dan and Andy even sitting out in the rain to play their duet. No, it wasn’t ‘Singing in the rain’ either.  It wasn’t quiet as wet as with the ‘Titanic’ but the phrase was heard, “and the band played on”. We have had a busy rehearsal time through the summer in preparation for the Brass Band National Finals in Cheltenham at the beginning of September. Our guest conductor, Simon Jones, visited for our regular rehearsal night and extra Saturday sectional practices. Our rehearsal schedule climaxed with an evening rehearsal at the new ‘Deanery’ school in Wichelstowe, where we had hired the concert hall. We were joined not only by Simon but had the privilege of Dr. Robert Childs putting us through our paces too. It was great to have Robert back with us again; he ran a master class day with us a couple of years ago. The contest final is on the 14th of September, so I shan’t be able to write about the day until the November issue of the magazine. Although I guess many of you will find out how we get on before then. We hope our Musical director, Neil, enjoys his long-booked holiday in the sun while we are doing our best under Simon’s baton. A huge thank you to Simon for agreeing to guest conduct us for the contest.

There will be no rest after Cheltenham but rehearsing full steam ahead for Remembrance week in November. Our concert dates have been confirmed for Malmesbury Abbey and Ridgeway School. Both are always great evenings, particularly when we combine with the choirs and performing arts at Ridgeway. Make sure you get your tickets early, further details from Ridgeway school.

Diary of Engagements :


Friday 8th             Malmesbury Abbey. Concert and service of remembrance. 7.30pm.

Sunday 10th         Service and Parade. Wroughton Parish Church. 10.00am.

Friday 15th           Ridgeway School. Village concert and Service of Remembrance. Evening. Time TBC.


Sunday 1st            Alexandra Park Residents Christmas event.

Sunday 8th           Bromham Church Christmas Tree Festival. Afternoon. Time TBC.

For all our up to date details check our web site or follow us on facebook. www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk and @wroughtonsilverband.

Noel Hunt

Band Chairman

September 2019

Since the last time I put my metaphoric ‘pen to paper’ a lot has happened with the band.

Early in July we had our charity concert at Wroughton Parish church. There was an enthusiastic audience that almost filled the building. The band played music including James Bond collection, A closer walk with Thee, Gladiator and Highland Cathedral. By the end of the evening we had raised the fantastic sum of £735 to be shared between Prospect Hospice and Parkinson’s UK. Thankyou to everyone who came and gave so generously. Thanks also to the helpers from Prospect, Parkinson’s UK and to Revd Harrison for allowing us to use the Parish Church.

The following weekend we had our band room ‘tidy day’. Making sure everything is spick and span for the next twelve months. Particularly outside the building before the seasons change.

The 3rd of August saw us return to the parish church. This time to play for the wedding of Chris, our kit percussion player and his now wife Jo. With Chris’s father, Neil, being our musical director, his two brother Daniel and Michael (also ushers) along with Aunty Joy, Uncle Brian and cousin Richard also playing in the band it really became a family affair in more ways than one. With all the logistics of being in the right place at the right time sorted all went well. A very enjoyable service. Congratulations to Chris and Jo and best wishes for a long a happy marriage from all in, and connected with, Wroughton Silver Band.

Whilst preparing for both these important and happy occasions we are also rehearsing hard for our next contest appearance at Cheltenham in September. A challenge in itself with many of the band enjoying long awaited summer holiday.

Although we have bookings starting to come in for the Christmas season, I won’t rush the time away just yet by publishing them, but here are a few of our coming engagements:


Sunday 1st John Cole Park, Chippenham. 3-5pm

Saturday 14th National Brass Band Championships, Cheltenham.


Tuesday 22nd ‘Battle of Britain and D Day’ night at Swindon Masons.

Sunday 27th Palestine Police Old Comrades Association Reunion.

To finish some more funny musical mis quotes:

Con moto— I have a car

Allegro—a little car

Maestro—-a bigger car

Noel hunt

Band Chairman

July 2019

Summer is here! The band once again enjoyed playing at St. Joseph’s Church during the afternoon cream teas on the 1st of June. Sat outside with cream tea in hand, or on a plate if you prefer, and the sun shining. It must be officially the start of summer. Last month I was writing that April and May was a quiet period for the band. Well it certainly has proved to be the ‘lull before the storm’. We are so busy over the next few months the we are unfortunately having to decline requests to play at some events. Not something that we enjoy doing, or in fact are used to doing, but there is, sadly, only so much we can manage in one weekend. Being out and about playing is what we are all about, so to have to decline that opportunity is difficult.

Please do come up and chat with us at events and let us know what music that we play you enjoy or even don’t enjoy. At some of our summer engagements we hope to have some brightly coloured plastic instruments available for anyone who wishes to have a go. No age limit, no pressure, just a bit of fun. All you have to do is hold and blow, what could be difficult in that?!…… You never know you may have hidden talent.

Our big emphasis for July is out Charity concert on the 13th at the parish church. The evening has a Movie theme to the music. We will also be playing the piece of music we performed at the Torquay contest. There is no admission charge, and all money from the retiring collection is going to Prospect Hospice and Parkinsons UK. It would be great to have a full church supporting these two very worth while charities.

Engagement diary:

June 29th Chiseldon Fete (14.00-16.00)

July 13th Wroughton Village Concert. Wroughton Parish Church. (19.30)

August 3rd Wedding (private event)

August 18th Victoria Park Band Stand, Newbury (15.00-17.00)

August 31st Broad Hinton and Uffcott Village Fete

September 14th National Brass Band Championships section final at Cheltenham racecourse.

October 27th Palestine Police Old Comrades Reunion (private event)

December 1st Alexandra Park Carols.

My silly musical notations interpretations this month are with holidays in mind:

Coda—served with chipsa

Codetta—a child’s portion

Tutti—an ice cream

Noel Hunt

Band Chairman

June 2019

The end of April and May have proved a welcome quiet period for the band. We’ve had no engagements just lots of time for practice. It is however very much the lull before the storm as we look forward to a very busy few months. Being busy is good for us though as that is what we are about, playing music and performing.

Last month you will remember that I mentioned a village concert to follow on from our contest success. I’m pleased to say that it is all arranged and booked. The date and venue for your diary is, July 13th at Wroughton Parish Church starting at 7.30pm. The evening has a film theme so there should be lots of music for everyone to recognise and hum along to. Admission is free, with a retiring collection and all proceeds being shared between Prospect Hospice and Parkinson’s UK. Please come along and enjoy a great evening of music and help us support these two very worthy causes.

Engagement diary:

June 1st Cream Teas at St. Joseph’s church (tbc)

June 14th Whit Friday Marches (Saddleworth, Yorkshire)

June 23rd Town Gardens Band Stand, Swindon (15.00-16.30)

June 29th Chiseldon Fete (14.00-16.00)

July 13th Wroughton Village Concert. Wroughton Parish Church. (19.30)

August 18th Victoria Park Band Stand, Newbury (15.00-17.00)

August 31st Broad Hinton and Uffcott Village Fete

Noel Hunt

Band Chairman

May 2019

It Just gets Better and Better!

It’s that time of year when things start getting better. Lighter evenings, warmer weather, spring flowers and blossom. Things are also getting better and better with the band too. You will remember last month I wrote about our success at coming second at the Regional heats of the National Brass Band Championships. We’d only just got the trophy plaque engraved when we received another communication from the organisers to inform the band that we have been promoted to the Third Section, as of January 2020. To those not familiar with the system it’s rather like the football leagues. The forth section is the lowest participating bands (forth division), up through the third, second, first and to the championship section at the top (premier league). If you see any members of the band around the village you can recognise them by a big, ear to ear, smile. With the amount of interest and congratulations that we received both in person and via social media (thank you to you all) we are organising a concert in the village to play our contest piece and a selection of our current repertoire. The provisional date is the 13th July, venue to be confirm but it will be in the in the village.

We enjoyed an evening playing at the Swindon Stroke Support Club in early April. It’s an evening that we look forward to and enjoy each year and judging by their enthusiasm the members do to. This year our play list focused on music connected with films, both new and old.

Engagement diary:

June 1st Cream Teas at St. Joseph’s church (tbc)

June 14th Whit Friday Marches (Saddleworth, Yorkshire)

June 23rd Town Gardens Band Stand, Swindon (15.00-16.30)

June 29th Chiseldon Fete (14.00-16.00)

July 13th Wroughton Village Concert (19.30)

For any other Information go to our web site www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or follow us on facebook.

Noel Hunt

Band Chairman

April 2019

Wroughton Silver Band hit the right notes.

It was in mid-February that the band held it’s A.G.M. at the White Hart in Wroughton. A long with the usual report, accounts and committee elections we also present our awards for the previous year. These cover both the serious and fun sides of our year, from the Soloist award to the Muppet moments. It was with great pleasure that we were able to confirm that starting this year the soloist award would be presented in memory of our late Principal cornet player and friend Mike Pier. His wife was at the meeting to present a cup to the band engraved “The Mike Pier Solo Cup”.

The awards this year were:

Bandsman:                              Ken Habgood

Most Improved Section:         Basses

Most Improved Player:           Diana Wagnal (Baritone)

Soloist:                                     Paul Collins (Euphonium)

Rehearsal  Attendance:           Roger Little (Bass)

Well done to all our winners.

We also had great pleasure in welcoming Mr. David Jennings as a new Vice President, in recognition of his ongoing outstanding contribution to the band.

Following the meeting we had light refreshments and time for socialising and skittles.

Some twenty years ago Wroughton Silver Band decided to stop competing in the National Brass Band Championships and instead focus on community-based concerts and charitable fund raising. Most of the present-day members therefore had little or no experience of competition playing. This year we decided we would widen our playing skills and enter the regional heats. It would be a chance to see how our standard compared with other bands of similar ability. The regional heats were held on the 9th of March in Torquay and our set piece of music for the forth section was ‘Stantonbury Festival’ by Ray Steadman-Allen. So from the beginning of the year to March 9th we have been practising harder than usual. Extra rehearsals, sectional rehearsals, guest conductors and rehearsing in different venues.

Most of the band booked into one hotel in Torquay which gave time for some final rehearsal. Over the weekend the regional heats were held for all the sections from fourth right up to the Championship level. Somewhere in the region of two and a half thousand musicians descended on Torquay.

With seventeen other bands from all over the west of England in our section, we hoped that our standard of playing would put us somewhere around tenth place. We were thrilled, proud and excited to be placed second, and dare I say just slightly surprised. This result offers the band a place in the finals of the competition, to compete with the other top three bands from each region in the country. A great result and experience for all in Wroughton Silver Band.

Watch this space to find out what happens next, follow us on facebook or our website www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk

Noel Hunt


December 2018

What a month November has been. Getting used to the change of clocks, a definite drop in temperature and of course autumn colours. With the extra anniversary remembrance events this year, November has been the busiest the band has had for many years. I’ll include Palestine police Old Comrades Association reunion which was right at the end of October. There is a phrase that they frequently use to describe difficult work that the Palestine Police undertook in the Middle East which I think we could all learn from – “to the best of their ability, a job well done”.

Our annual concert in Malmesbury Abbey was on the 9th of November. The wet and wind didn’t stop the audience, that was in good singing voice, turning out for an evening of music and song. The spectacular architecture rang to the sound of ‘Keep the home fires burning’ and then the more sombre ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ and Last Post.

The very next evening we were at Wroughton Parish church for the ‘100 Armistice Anniversary.’ Joining with the church choir and choral society made for a very special evening. The church echoed with music, verse and song. The formal music of Elgar, Parry, Greig and Hingley was mixed with the community singing of “I do like to be beside the seaside”, “Hello,hello! who’s your lady friend” and “If you were the only girl in the world”. A very special village event for this year. Our thanks to John Henderson for all his hard work making this occasion a reality.

A mere 13 hours later we were back at a packed parish church for Sunday morning service. It was really good to see so many from the young uniformed groups. Thank you all for showing that this special service has a relevant place in village life and that it has a good future. As the vicar said, it seemed particularly appropriate that there was so much life and energy in the building to mark the occasion. It is always a privilege for the band to play for this service, and then to lead the parade down the hill to the war memorial. Not only was the sun out and shining, but the village residents were out in force too. As flags fluttered in the bright autumn sunlight the Last Post soared over the silent figures and up through the shimmering trees. Three hours later, with the sun still shining, a small band were at Radnor Street cemetery for a short service to mark this year’s centenary. Radnor street cemetery is home to a number of  WW1 grave stones that have been restored for this year.

At the time of writing of course we hadn’t yet had our evening concert at Ridgeway school on the 16th, so on to Christmas!

Our diary of Christmas engagements is growing by the day. Our main concert this year is once again with the Swindon Male Voice Choir at Christ church in Swindon, on the 21st.

Some of our engagements are:

25th November – Old Town Christmas Lights Switch on

1st December- Wroughton Village Christmas Lights Switch on.

2nd -Alexandra Park community Christmas event

2nd – Thamesdown Ladies Choir Carols at St.Barnabus church, Swindon. 7.00-8.30pm

8th-Moormead Nursing Home

9th-Bromham Church, Chippenham. 2.00-3.00pm

19th- Prospect Hospice 7.00-7.30pm

21st- Swindon Male Voice Choir, Christ church, Swindon.7.30-9.30pm

This is a selection of our engagements over the Christmas period. For the full list of our engagements please see our web-site  www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or follow us on facebook.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas, and a peaceful New Year, and to thank you for your support during 2018.

Noel Hunt

Wroughton Silver Band Chairman

October 2018

Well, another month has flown by with weather for all seasons. With most of our summer holidays fading into the past already, we are looking forward to a busy period for the band. Our rehearsal pad of music is bursting at the seams. A very busy Remembrance weekend will be followed very quickly by Christmas music.

Once again we had a really good afternoon at the Prospect Hospice Garden Fete, back at the beginning of September. Judging by the amount of people there, we weren’t the only ones. The weather stayed fine and there was plenty of people milling about enjoying the stalls, teas and music. Thank you to everyone who sat and listened to the band and particularly the people who came up and chatted to us.

Looking ahead, we have a new venture this year which we are greatly looking forward to. On Saturday the 10th of November we are joining with our friends in Wroughton Choral Society and Wroughton Parish Church Choir for “Wroughton 100, Armistice Anniversary Concert”. An evening of music, reading, poems and of course some songs to join in and sing. It promises to be a really varied evening with a wide selection of musical style and spoken word. Admission is free with a retiring collection in aid of SSAFA – the armed forces charity.

Just prior to this on the 9th, the band will be at Malmesbury Abbey for our annual concert and service of Remembrance. All proceeds from this go to the Malmesbury branch of the Royal British Legion. Then following on a week later we join the Ridgeway School department of performing arts and Wroughton Infants School to present an evening Concert of Remembrance at Ridgeway School. Hopefully, once again, the village will come together to make this a ‘sold-out’ evening. Further details and tickets are available from the School.

Diary of Engagements:

October 23rd       Old Town Masons, ‘Battle of Britain’ evening meal. (Private event)

26th         Wroughton Conservative’s Dinner at the Ellendune Hall. (Private event)

28th         Palestine Police Old Comrades Association, Blunsdon House. (Private event)

November 9th       Concert and Service of Remembrance at Malmesbury Abbey. 7.30pm

10th    Wroughton 100, Armistice Anniversary Concert. Wroughton Parish Church 7.30pm

11th       Wroughton Parish Church Remembrance Service and Parade 10.00am

16th     Remembrance Concert and Service at Ridgeway School 7pm

(with Ridgeway Dept. of Performing Arts and Wroughton Primary Federation)

My silly musical mis-quotes for this month are:

Con moto— I have a car

Allegro—a little car

Maestro—-a bigger car

The proper definitions are available on Google (or other reputable search engines) and details of all Wroughton Bands activities are at www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or follow us on twitter.

Noel Hunt


September 2018

What a summer we’ve had. Clear blue skies and wall to wall sun. Occasionally dare I say possibly a little too warm and humid. There are down sides with the lack of rain, where my lawn used to be there is now a very neat dessert!

Summer sun always sets the scene for the Sunday afternoon concerts in our local parks. Wroughton Band was playing in the Town Gardens in Swindon on the 22nd of July. A glorious afternoon brought out the crowds, filling every available chair and bench. A rare chance for me to listen from the audience as I was unable to play. Whilst listening to the music I was also able to talk with other people and hear how much they enjoyed the Sunday afternoons in the park.                                              The beginning of August saw us travelling a little further afield. Over the county boarder to Victoria Park in Newbury. A new engagement for us but one we will hope to repeat next year. Another glorious afternoon and another large audience enjoying this typically English afternoon out. Sitting in a deck chair, eating an ice cream whilst listening to a brass band.

There is a slight lull in out engagements until we get to September.

September 1st    Prospect Fete

September 30th Hilliers Bereavement Care Service at Christ Church, Swindon.

November 9th       Concert and Service of Remembrance at Malmesbury Abbey. 7.30pm

11th       Wroughton Parish Church Remembrance Service and Parade 10.00am

16th     Rembrance Concert and Service at Ridgeway School (Time TBC)

(with Ridgeway Dept. of Performing Arts and Wroughton Infants School)

Of course all details of our engagements can be found on our web-site www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or follow us of facebook.

Noel Hunt


August 2018

Last month I started with the fact that the summer sun had arrived. This month I can continue that sentiment with the fact that the summer heat has also arrived and looks like remaining for some time. It certainly made a glorious day for Wrougton carnival. It was unfortunate that the day clashed with an England World Cup game, although obviously the bands rendition of the ‘Match of the Day’ theme tune spurred the team on to their win!! Even with the match in full swing there was still a good crowd on the Wier Field enjoying the sun, stalls and sat around listening to the band. I don’t think we have ever played to an audience with such a high proportion of women.

Hopefully the fine weather will last a little longer as our next two summer engagements are outdoors. The Town Gardens in Swindon is a familiar summer engagement but Newbury Park on the 5th of August is a new one for us.

August 5th            Victoria Park Newbury 3.00pm

September 30th Hilliers Bereavement Care Service, Christ Church, Swindon.

October 23rd       Swindon Masons (Private event)

All our details are of course on our web-site, www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or follow us on facebook.

A couple of joke musical terms from a poster I saw recently:

The Interval is- time to meet the players in the bar.

A perfect Interval is- when the drinks are on the house.

Noel Hunt

Band Chairman.

July 2018

Summer sun has arrived with a vengeance, even for TWO bank holidays! Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t quite so settled in Yorkshire when the band attended the Whit Friday Marches once again. Damp rather than wet though and it certainly didn’t dampen the enthusiasm, fun and enjoyment. The band performed well with very encouraging remarks, once again, from the adjudicators. The band was dressed in varying levels of fancy dress themed to the arrangement of music from the Lion King that they were playing. It can’t be very often that you can see monkeys, giraffes and lions parading through Yorkshire villages.

The sun certainly shone on the Wroughton village cream teas at the beginning of June.  I didn’t see much cream melting away, but to be fair cream teas don’t tend to stay around long enough to melt. It was good to see such a big crowd enjoying the afternoon. Chatting, eating and drinking and generally enjoying the sun and fellowship of the day.

We hope to be performing as part of the of the Wroughton Carnival celebrations, but we haven’t yet finalised the details. I’m sure it will, once again, be a great day with all the usual fun throughout the village. Our next few summer engagements are listed below. Please do come and have a chat with us and we are always glad to hear suggestions of what you’d like to hear us play.

July 15th              Purton Memorial Hall 5.00pm

July 22nd             Town Gardens, Swindon. 3.00pm

August 5th            Newbury Park Bandstand. 3.00pm

All our up to date details are on our web site, por follow us on facebook. www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk

Noel Hunt

Band Chairman

June 2018

The last time I wrote in Wroughton Monthly the band hadn’t played at any engagements this year. Since then we have had our first two engagements. Firstly, we gave our annual music evening at Swindon Stroke Support Club. They are always such an appreciative and responsive audience to play to which in turn makes it an enjoyable and rewarding evening for us too. Most years the evening manages to coincide with a birthday, either in the club or the band, so happy birthday is an added item to the programme. This year was no exception.

Towards the end of April, we headed to Bromham parish church. A new venue for us to play at and what a pleasure it was. The church itself has a lovely acoustic (as most traditional churches do) to play in and once again a really great audience. The ticket price of £10 included a glass of wine and refreshments at half time, great value. It proved a successful evening raising funds for the Church too. We played a wide selection of music including:

A Tenor Horn solo ‘Over the Rainbow’, a Flugel Horn and Bass duet ‘Under the Boardwalk’, a Cornet trio ‘Buglers Holiday’ and a Trombone quartet arrangement of ‘I will follow him. I don’t know what arrangements we have for five solo parts, but it must be the next in the sequence!

Our next engagement is about as far away as we go as a band. That of the Whit Friday marches in Saddleworth, Yorkshire on the 25th of May. This year the band is playing a march arrangement of music from the musical The Lion King which has been specially written for us by our great friend David Jennings. Many thanks David for another great piece for us.

Following on from that we return to our more regular local engagements:

June 2nd              Wroughton Churches Together Cream Teas

July 7th                 Wroughton Carnival

July 15th              Purton Memorial Hall 5.00pm (not June as advertised last time)

June 22nd            Town Gardens, Swindon. 3.00pm

August 5th            Newbury Park Bandstand. 3.00pm

For all our up to date details, engagements and news find us at www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or follow us on facebook.

Noel Hunt

Wroughton Silver Band Chairman.

April 2018

Just as spring seemed to have arrived and settled down, along came the snow. Like many other activities in and around Wroughton our Thursday evening rehearsal succumbed to the ‘Beast from the East’.

Towards the end of February, the band had its AGM. Twenty-six members attended the meeting where the accounts were approved, new committee for 2018 elected, chairman/secretary and treasurer’s reports were heard and the band awards for 2017 were presented. The awards were for the Bandsman of the year, performance, section, deportment, up and coming/ improved player, best attendance and Muppet moment (the biggest or funniest ‘mistake’ of the year). The social part of the evening then got under way with light refreshments which was followed by skittles. The numbers swelling with the arrival of family members and invited guests. With forty-two people playing skittles the time soon ran out but there was still time for the ‘killer’ round which was won this year by Chris Webb.

The bands diary of engagements is starting to fill up with both private and public events throughout the year.

April 12th        Swindon Stroke Support Club

April 28th         Bromham Church, Nr. Devizes.  7.30pm                                                                                     This is a new venue for the band and a chance to perform to a wider audience.

May 25th          Whit Friday Marches – Saddleworth, Yorkshire.

June 15th          Purton Memorial Hall 5.00pm

June 22nd         Town Gardens, Swindon. 3.00pm

For all our news and engagements follow us on Facebook or check our website.

Noel Hunt




January 2018

I’ll start by referring back to last year and a very unexpected occurrence. You may remember that the band participated in the Whit Friday marches at Saddleworth in Yorkshire. The band got a write up in one of the local papers after the performance at Greenfield. I’m not sure that the local paper actually knew where Wroughton is however! After our Remembrance concert in Malmesbury Abbey, in November, a gentleman came up to us and told us he was in fact from Greenfield. I’m not sure he had travelled all that way specially to hear us, but who knows! It was great that he came over for a chat, and remembered that he had heard the band before.

We had a really great start to the Christmas season with Old Town lights in Swindon – a cold afternoon, but dry. This was closely followed by Wroughton lights, again cold and dry, and it was great to see the Ellendune Hall full to capacity with all ages. The day after we were in the warmth at Alexandra Conference Centre for a great afternoon of Christmas music and a first mince pie!

We’re now all looking forward to another busy but enjoyable year ahead.

Keep up to date with our news and engagements on our web site or on facebook. www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk

On behalf of all in Wroughton Silver Band, I would like to wish you a happy and healthy 2018.

Noel Hunt


December 2017

Halloween has faded, Bonfire night is over and the sky’s are once again quiet and still. Wroughton Band is however far from quiet and still. The beginning of November was, as usual, a busy time for the band. With our annual concert in Malmesbury Abbey on the 10th closely followed by the village parade on the 12th and then the concert at Ridgeway School on the 17th.  With our engagements, weekly practice night and a few extra practices for good measure we were playing 9 times in the 20 days from October 29th to November 17th. No wonder it seemed so busy. This is only beaten by the two weeks before Christmas where we are playing every day and twice on some days. Except Christmas eve, at the moment!

Unfortunately we aren’t holding our own Christmas concert in the village this year. We will however be once again joining with Swindon Male Voice choir at Christ Church in Swindon on Friday the 15th. We will be playing carols and Christmas music during December at Sainsburys, Tesco, Waitrose and the Ellendune shopping centre. To see a full list of our Christmas season engagements please visit our web site, www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or follow us on facebook.

Other highlights include:

Nov        26th Switching on of Old Town Christmas Lights, Swindon,4.45pm

Dec        2nd Switching on of Wroughton Christmas Lights

3rd Alexandra Park carols, 2.30pm

10th Shrivenham Christmas tree and Lights 6.15pm

14th Prospect Hospice, 7.30pm

15th Swindon Male Voice Choir concert, Christ Church, Swindon, 7.30pm

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and encouragement throughout 2017. Whatever you do at Christmas and whether you do or don’t celebrate it we at Wroughton Silver Band hope you all have a very enjoyable time.

Noel Hunt

Band Chairman


November 2017

September the 28th saw the band gathering once again at Swindon crematorium. Our ranks were swelled by friends from other local bands and further afield. This time we played a fond farewell to our long-time member and friend Peter Jones. Although a sad time it is a great privilege for the band to be asked to participate on such a personal occasion. Peter was for many years very active on the bands committee. I won’t list the posts he held for risk of missing one, and of course he was also+ a much-valued member of our tenor horn section. Not only will we miss his playing but his smile and sense of humour. Farewell Peter.

A few weeks later the 8th of October were playing at the Hillier Bereavement Care service at Christ Church in Swindon. This special annual event for so many people in Swindon had extra poignance for the band, so close after Peter Jones and Mike Piers funerals. The recently refurbished church was, as always, packed and the new wooded floor really helping to raise the sound of both music and singing.

We are looking forward to playing in Malmesbury Abbey on the 10th of November for our annual concert in aid of the Malmsebury branch of the British Legion. A great venue to play in with the music resonating and echoing around the ancient building. Tickets are £6 and available on the door.

The week after, on the 17th, we are at the Ridgeway School, in partnership with their Performing Arts Department. A village concert of remembrance with young and old alike coming together to for a very moving evening. Tickets and further details are available from The Ridgeway School office.

Then it will be full steam ahead for Christmas. Over first engagement is at the end of November, not even waiting for December to arrive! Sunday 26th with the switching on of Old Towns Christmas lights in Swindon closely followed by the Wroughton Christmas lights on the 2nd of December.

Other highlights include:

December 3rd  Alexandra Park carols

10th Shrivenham Christmas tree and Lights 6.15pm

15th Swindon Male Voice Choir concert, Christ Church, Swindon, 7.30pm

For details of all our other engagements and news please look at our web-site (wroughtonsilverband.co.uk)  or follow us on facebook.

Noel Hunt

Band Chairman


October 2017

August turned into what seems a very typical English summer month. The beginning of the month started well with a sunny afternoon playing in the Town Gardens. The following weekend was a bit touch and go but in the end we had a very enjoyable Sunday evening playing in Purton. However, the following weekend we had to cancel playing in the village, at the Fox and Hounds, because the rain started. The following Wednesday, 23rd, the sun shone as we paid our last respects to our ex-principal cornet player, Mike Pier, at the crematorium. The band had the honour of not only playing but to lead the hearse on the final approach to the chapel. The respect and affection that Mike held in the band community was evident by the players the came to join us. Wroughton Band was joined by ex-players including one from Cornwall, and representatives from Aldbourne Band, Pegasus Band, Swindon Brass and Wantage Silver Band. Farewell Mike, and thank you for sharing all your talent, being an inspiration and basically being an all-round great chap. Mike will be sadly missed.

Only a few days later we had more sad news to come to terms with, the sad passing of Peter Jones. Although Peter had been too unwell to play with the band for some time, he was still a close part of the Band family. Over the years he had a huge influence in the band, both playing with the band and with the less glamorous committee and behind the scenes work. All our thought and best wishes go to Phyllis and the family.

The beginning of September saw the band playing at the Prospect Hospice Garden Fete. An occasion we are always very glad to support. For the majority of the day the rain stayed way but when it rained did it rain! This did show how localised our weather can be though. While we were playing in the sun around 2 o’clock, Old Town in Swindon, approximately 2 miles away, was experiencing the rain that hit Wroughton at 4.00ish. It was really great to see so many people supporting the Hospice and it was good for us to have such an appreciative audience too.

The next few months will be particularly difficult for the band with almost all our engagements relating to remembrance in one way or another, with the Hilliers Bereavement Care Service being particularly poignant.

We are once again playing at Malmesbury Abbey, which is always an enjoyable evening particularly with increasing audience numbers. Closely followed by the concert at the Ridgeway School, in partnership with their Performing Arts Department. If previous years are anything to go by, you’ll need to get tickets early to avoid disappointment. The people of Wroughton seem to be increasingly making this a ‘village event’ not to be missed.

Then it will be full steam ahead for Christmas!

Our future engagements include:

October 8th Hilliers Bereavement Care Service at Christ Church, Swindon.

November 10th Remembrance Concert at Malmesbury Abbey. 7.30pm

Tickets are £6 and available on the door.

November 12th Wroughton Parish Church and Parade. 10.00am

November 17th Remembrance Concert at Ridgeway School. 7.30pm

Tickets are available form Ridgeway School.

December 8th Christmas Concert with Wroughton Infants School at Ridgeway School.

More details later.

Details of all our engagements and news can be found on our web site and follow us on face book.

Noel Hunt



August 2017

The last couple of months have been a very eclectic mix for the band.  Our engagements have ranged from travelling as far away as Yorkshire (see below) and staying right in the heart of Wroughton.

It was another good year at the Wroughton Churches Together cream teas, although I’m not sure much could spoil a good cream tea. Particularly with the fine weather and lots of people enjoying the afternoon. After we had played the ‘Can Can’ I had one happy lady come up and remark it brought back happy memories of her dancing it. Luckily, we only tried playing it!

Chiseldon village fete similarly had good weather, oh and cream teas funnily enough. Even with one of the mini buses of players returning from Saddleworth that morning going a little too far on the M5, we still started on time and with plenty of puff left to play. The zip wire from the church tower was unfortunately only for teddy bears, but I am certain the teddy parachute wouldn’t have taken my weight.

Wroughton Carnival also had nice weather, luckily for us it was cooling down by the end of the afternoon though. We played for an hour to officially bring the afternoons events on the field to a close. There was still plenty of people enjoying the sun and fun fair when I left though.

Our future engagements include:

August 6th Town Gardens bandstand, Swindon, 3-4.30pm

September 9th Prosprect Hospice Fete, Wroughton.

Next month details of Remembrance and Christmas concerts

For up to date details see our website www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or follow us on facebook.

Noel Hunt


The band enjoyed it’s second trip to Whit Friday marches t’up north in Saddleworth, Manchester. Thankfully, last years rain did not return and we had glorious weather. This did mean it was much busier, but we still managed to get to 5 villages: Grotten, Lydgate, Friezland, Greenfield and Dobcross. We started off, marching through the packed streets playing the joyful ‘Baggy Trousers’ which went down a treat!  Then performing the march ‘Punchinello’ on the contest stand.

Safe to say with the lovely weather, great company, great food and the occasional beverage ALONG with seeing and hearing top brass bands including Brighouse and Rastrick, we all had a fantastic day and thoroughly look forward to our third appearance next year!

Dan Webb



June 2017

Just after midday on the 29th April the band started arriving at Immanuel church in Swindon for their master class with Dr. Robert Childs. I think there was every emotion present from anticipation and excitement through to worry and anxiety. If you follow the brass band world you’ll know that Bob Childs is renowned worldwide for both playing and conducting. After a cup of tea and a few brief introductions, it was straight to work. From then on, I think, most of the worry went out of the window. Bob is such an understanding, encouraging, knowledgeable and enthusing person. The rest of the day just flew by. Over two hours of solid playing, solo session for four of our members, a session of Bob talking about technique, styles and answering question followed by tea and pizza. To round the day off, an hour’s free concert performing the music we had been rehearsing through the afternoon. Donations after the concert raised over £100 for Prospect Hospice. By 8 o’clock it was sadly all over, tired but happy and enthused we made our ways home.

I think it was the first time, and possibly the last, that the band has been described, by Bob, as a bunch of sponges. No, not because we are all round, soft and wet but because we were so keen to absorb everything he was telling and explaining to us.

One of our guest payers was Mr. Fran Cowley. Bob fondly remembered, from when he was a boy, attending contests for solo players and it was always Fran who was there and usually the winner. One of our players’ response was, “sat next to Fran and being conducted by Bob, it doesn’t get much better than that.”

Thank you Bob – it was a privilege for us all.

We had a day to recover before we were playing in Wroughton at the Duck race. Variable weather meant we could enjoy playing outside in the sun and inside when it rained. The best of both worlds. It was good to see so many of Wroughton out enjoying the day and the races.

The next weekend we were out again this time in the glorious summer sun, playing in Chippenham park. This marked the beginning of our ‘summer season’. Hopefully the summer sun will carry on too.

Diary of engagements:

June 3rd Wroughton Churches Together Cream Teas. St. Joseph’s Church, Wroughton

9th         Whit Friday Marches, Saddleworth, Yorkshire

10th         Chiseldon Fete, Holy Cross Church, Swindon.

July 1st   Wroughton Carnival

8th           Haydon Wick Fete, URC Church, Haydon Wick, Swindon.

August 8th            Town Gardens Bandstand, Springfield Road, Old Town, Swindon.

We look forward to seeing you at any of these events.

See our web site www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk for up to date details and information about the band, and follow us on facebook.

Noel Hunt



April 2017

Easter is almost here once again. Longer, warmer days and the prospect of summer just around the corner. The band held it’s AGM towards the end of February and after the business of the evening was over we had a social time playing skittles. This year we had some awards to band members who had made particular, notable achievements. These included, ‘Most improved player’, ‘Highest attendance’ at rehearsal nights, ‘Best performance’ and the ‘Muppet moment’ for the most outstanding mistake of the year. We gave out 7 awards in total. Who knows what this year may hold?

The band is rehearsing hard for our main new event if the year, so far, a Master Class with Dr. Robert Childs, who is world renowned for his Euphonium playing, and conducting. We are having rehearsal sessions during the day and finishing with a short concert conducted by Dr. Childs. There will be no admission charge for the concert but any donations will go to Prospect hospice.

Hot on the heels of this we start our list of engagements for the year. The Easter bunny is replaced by the Wroughton Duck (1st May), the hot cross buns by the prospect of cream teas (3rd June) and the Easter cross by the Victoria Cross event (2nd April) an one off event for this year.

All of our engagement details are on our web site www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk  along with player profiles, archive programmes and photos of past events. You can of course also follow us on facebook.


Sunday 2nd April Victoria Cross Event, Wroughton Cenotaph 10.30am

Thursday 20th April Swindon Stroke Club (private booking)

Saturdy 29th April Master Class day with evening concert.

                                   Immanuel Church, Swindon. Concert 6.30-7.30pm Admission free.

Monday 1st May Wroughton Duck Race

Sunday 7th May Chippenham Park band stand 3.00-5.00pm

Saturday 3rd June Wroughton Churches Together Cream Teas. St. Joseph’s Church.


Noel Hunt



March 2017

Snow drops and crocus are appearing and the evenings are definitely getting lighter-spring must be once again on the way. Between Christmas and Easter is for the band definitely our quiet period for engagements. Plenty of time to practice though with new and old music alike. An extra incentive to get practicing is a very special day on the 29th April. We are going to have a ‘Master Class’ day and are very lucky that it will be led by Bob Childs. Bob is well known in the Brass band world and beyond. He has had a long career as principle Euphonium for many top-flight bands including Black Dyke. He has also been musical director for many bands including Cory, Black Dyke and director of Brass Studies at the Royal Welsh collage of music to name but a few. We should be in for a great day. We will finish the day with a short concert with Bob conducting the band at Immanuel church, Upham road in Swindon. The concert will last about one hour starting at 6.30pm and admission is free.

This should put us in good stead for our up and coming engagements that we are starting to book in.

Diary of Engagements-2017

April 2nd – Victoria Cross Event, Wroughton

April29th-  Master Class and concert with Bob Childs.

May 7th – Chippenham Park

June 9th –  Whit Friday Marches-Saddleworth, Yorkshire

June10th Chiseldon Fete

July 1st – Wroughton Carnival

For all our up to date events and contact details please go to our web-site www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or see us on facebook.

Noel Hunt



October 2016

It seems only a short time ago that I was preparing for the summer sun, and now I’m lighting open fires and shaking off gloves and hats. Not only do we arrive and leave rehearsal evenings in the dark but all of our engagements are now in the dark evenings as well.
Remembrance weekends will mark the beginning of our busy winter season running up the Christmas.

Our two Remembrance concerts are:
Friday November 11th at Malmesbury Abbey starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are available on the door at £6 and all the profits go to the Malmesbury branch of the British Legion.
Friday November 18th at Ridgeway School starting at 7.00pm. This concert is with Wroughton Junior School and the Ridgeway School Faculty of Creative and Performing Arts.
Tickets are £5 each and available from the Ridgeway school office or on 01793 846100.

Then Christmas will be rushing up on us before we know it. I noticed that Christmas puddings and mince pies were in the shops at the end of September!

Our main Christmas events this year are:

November 28th-Switching on Old Town Christmas lights in Swindon.

December 3rd-Switching on Wroughton Christmas lights.

December 10th– Concert of Christmas Music at Ridgeway School with Thamesdown Ladies Choir. Mince pies and refreshments from 7.00pm.
Tickets are £5 each or £10 for a family of 2 adults and up to two children (under 16).
They are available from Cloud Nine hair and beauty in St. John Road or 01793-616165.

December 16th-Christ Church, Swindon, when we will be joining Swindon Male Voice Choir.

Details of all our other Christmas events are on our web site wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or on facebook.
Noel Hunt


June 2016

What a great start we have had to our 2016 playing calendar. We had a good evening playing for the Swindon Stoke Support Club. Although a slightly smaller group met than usual that evening, they were as enthusiastic and appreciative as ever. An evening that we thoroughly enjoy performing.

This was closely followed by our first public concert of the year on the 23rd April. This was our third year running of being asked by the Swindon Lifeboat Committee to perform a fundraising concert. This year we made it an extra special evening for the band as well as the audience. Our programme included many pieces that had been either arranged, transcribed or written especially for our band.

Pieces including: The Beatles-Echoes of an era, Over the rainbow, Lion King (sound track highlights), Fandango and Selection from ‘Les Miserables’. We presented an engraved bowl to David as a token of our gratitude for all his hard work over the years. Rumour has it there are more pieces in the pipeline. We can’t wait to try them out.

Many thanks to all who attended the evening and helped us to raise a total of £335.54 for the Lifeboats.

Looking forward to the next few months we have mainly outside engagements.

June 4th – Wroughton Churches together afternoon cream teas at St. Joseph’s Church

June 11th– Liddington Fete

July brings two new very important and exciting engagements for us.

On the 2nd we will be playing at the Swindon Hospital Radiotherapy Fundraising Day in Chiseldon and on the 16th we have been accepted to play at the Marlborough Jazz Festival.

We look forward, as always, to seeing you at any of our engagements. More up to date details can be found on our website www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or on facebook.

Noel Hunt



Back towards the end of February the band had our annual AGM. We reviewed our achievements over the previous twelve months and looked at some ideas and initiatives for the next. We reflected that in a continuingly difficult economic environment we managed to support a number of charities, both local and national. These included: Help for Heroes, Prospect Hospice, Lifeboats, NSPCC and The Poppy Appeal. Our concerts had been well attended and we had a lot of private bookings as well. Looking forward we already have bookings through to August confirmed and a couple for next Christmas pencilled in.

After the official part of the evening was over we continued with a selection of bar meals, plenty of chatting and catching up and some competitive, but friendly, skittles. This year the team game was won by the ‘W’s.

Our first public concert for this year is on Saturday 23rd April. This will be the third year running that we have been booked by the Swindon Branch of the Lifeboats to give a fund raising concert. Once again it is at Bath Road Methodist Church in Swindon starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £7 each and can be reserved on 01793 521934 or purchased on the door. This year a lot of the music we are playing has been arranged or transcribed specially for Wroughton Band.


April 7th Swindon Stroke Support (private booking)

April 23rd Concert in aid of The Lifeboats @Bath Road Church 7.30pm

June 4th Wroughton Churches Together Cream Teas

June 11th Liddington Fete.

Further details of all our events, band news and how to contact us can be found at our website www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk  or on Facebook.

Noel Hunt



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