We had a very special Christmas night out with The Egham Band;
It was a real treat starting with 'Deck the halls and ending with 'We wish you a Merry Christmas'.
In the meantime the church on the high street was so packed that the start had to be delayed to try and fit some extra chairs in.
The Egham band is a real success story, a thriving brass band with a training band of youngsters who had their own section of the concert to themselves.
This is Gareth J. Green conductor and musical director;
He provided a very amusing commentary between numbers and conducted with some real panache as you can see in this picture;
We got a mixture of old fashioned Christmas Carols, some quite sparky arrangements from America, some numbers that were of real competition standard and a mixture of 'White Christmas', 'Jingle bells', 'Sleigh Ride' and 'The Christmas Song'.
What more could anyone want at Christmas?
I like a wide range of music but once in a while I do need to hear a Brass band in full flight.
There was an added irony; I marched on more than a few occasions behind Colliery Bands.....this week the last Coal Mine closes down - the Kellingley Colliery in North Yorkshire.
Apart from a few scattered open cast mines that is the end of a proud industry. Now, despite extensive underground reserves nearly all our coal has to be imported.
Back in the 1980's Arthur Scargill leader of the National Union of Miners was ridiculed and attacked in the press when he predicted that the conservative government of Margaret Thatcher planned to close all but 12 mines by 1993.
Now they are all gone and all that's left is a tradition of Brass Band music in areas that once had industry like Staines and Egham which were once centres for the engineering industry, unlikely as it might now seem.
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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