Two members of Whaley Bridge Band were presented with Long Service Awards at the annual Christmas concert at Whaley Bridge Bowling Club. Between them Laurie Walton and Steve Sharpe have clocked up 100 years of brass playing, and which has been recognized by North West Area Brass Band Association Awards.
In 1953 junior cornet player Laurie Walton joined Whaley Bridge Band. At the tender age of 8 he started his career on the “back row” of the cornet ranks, but made rapid progress to the front bench and was appointed Principal Cornet by the time he was 12. And for the last sixty years no Whaley Bridge Band concert has been complete without Laurie. As well as playing, he has trained and coached young players and has assisted many other local bands as a guest musician.
Laurie may well be unique in being a member of the same band for the entire sixty years of his playing career, and he is certainly the first member of Whaley Bridge Band to achieve this honour.
In addition to a certificate he also received a medal to commemorate this outstanding achievement.
The balance of the 100 years is made up by Steve Sharpe who received an award for forty years’ service. Although a relative newcomer to Whaley Bridge Band, Steve has played with brass bands in the area since 1972, starting, like Laurie, as a back row cornet player and finding his true vocation on soprano cornet 4 years later.
Congratulations to both Laurie and Steve!