The band have recently purchased new waistcoats and have had new ties donated and we will publish photographs and an update on this soon. In the meantime, Ann Pascoe, 2nd trombone can be seen modelling the new hats we are looking at buying to keep the sun of the players heads. Please let Ann know your opinion on the hat and whether they should be issued to everyone.
Band set to share fantastic Flora Day with Russell…
As the town clock strikes 7am, Helston Town Band’s longest serving bandsman, cornet player Russell Harvey, will lead the procession away from the Guildhall and into Meneage Street, marking the start of Flora Day 2016. Remarkably, Russell, who is deceivingly in his 82nd year, will be taking part in his 70th Flora Day; an unprecedented occasion the band is proud to celebrate with him. Only National Service has stopped Russell from playing on Flora Day, throughout his 72 years with the band.
Mr Russell Harvey
The man with the honour of striking the first beat on the big bass drum will be Deputy Musical Director and all- rounder, Jack Curnow who, in the last year, has played Euphonium, Bass Trombone and Percussion. The second bass drummer of the day will be former farrier, Simon Wills, who will have the privilege of starting the Midday Dance. The band’s most enduring and famous drummer, the late Billy Pethick, had his ashes scattered along the dance route, in the grounds of beautiful Lismore House. The owner of Lismore, Michael Jay, is the President of the band and will escort them into his gardens, during the course of the Midday Dance.
Walking alongside Russell, leading all four dances, will be the band’s Musical Director, Kevin Johns. A familiar figure, Porthleven-born Kevin has been involved with the organisation for over 30 years and was previously the Solo Euphonium player. Kevin’s daughter, Horn player Lisa Sara, will be introducing his 5 month old Grandaughter, Ivy, to Flora Day and no doubt wondering if there could soon be a third generation of the Johns family playing in the band. Kevin’s wife, Jenny, is a steward of the Morning Dance.
As Helston Town Band splits into two, for the Childrens’ Dance and Midday Dance, around 130 brass band musicians will come together, in Wendron Street. Alongside Helston players and former players will be representatives from Porthleven, Gweek, Breage, Stithians, Lanner, Pendeen, Camborne and Saltash bands. Retired MoD Policeman and Helston cornet player, Martin Pascoe, will take charge of the second group and lead them through the town.
Helston’s additional groups, Helston Concert Brass, directed by Ian Edwards, and Helston Student Brass, are particularly well- represented this year. Tutored by Principal Cornet player, Marika Charleston, the Student Brass meet every Wednesday evening and range in age, from 6 to “substantially older!” Some of them have been learning for less than a year and all 26 players will be present on Flora Day, a handful for the first time.
Even before 7th May, band members will already have played the famous tune many hundreds of times; at the Culdrose rehearsal for the Officers dancing in the Midday Dance, at the May Day Dances in the town and at the Epworth Hall dance rehearsals on the two evenings leading up to the big day.
Within the band, there are a number of family links; however, in 2016 no family can beat the Christophers clan, with nine bandsmen and women among their extended family and playing on the day.
As much as it is part of the fabric of the band and despite popular perception Helston Town Band is not just for Flora Day! The following week, band members will be back to their usual twice- weekly rehearsals and have numerous engagements planned for the summer and beyond. With the Concert Brass and Student Brass both very active, too, the band’s busy practice room, in Church Street, is in use at least four nights each week.
Thank you for a fantastic Flora Day…
Members of Helston Town Band would like to thank everyone involved with Flora Day 2016 for making it one of the best ever; those within the organisation, the many guest players and collectors, the Flora Day Association and the people of the town.
Notably, special congratulations must go to our Musical Director, Kevin Johns, who is always 100% behind everything we do. Kevin proudly led the band, looking resplendent in his new three piece suit and lily of the valley coloured tie. Thank you also to an extremely dapper Martin Pascoe, assisted by Ian Edwards, who was on hand to direct the second band, for the Childrens’ and Midday Dances.
Well done to Jack Curnow, usually on Euphonium but this time in charge of the bass drum, for getting us underway at 7 o’ clock and keeping us moving at the proper tempo throughout the day. Fellow bass drummer, Simon Wills, who started the Midday dance, worked especially hard on Friday evening… even managing to tear the drum skin… well done Simon!
Flora Day always sees the welcome return of former players, but few are as memorable as school teacher Debbie Retallick who, armed with her cornet, made her first reappearance in the band for 15 years, but soon discovered that no hats in the bandroom were big enough for her!
Debbie’s last- minute dash from London enabled her to share in the celebrations in honour of the undisputed star of the day, Russell Harvey, who played on his 70th Flora Day and led the band away from the Guildhall at the start of the 7 0’ clock dance. Band members were honoured to present Russell with an engraved lily of the valley Cornish tin tie-pin, in recognition of his wonderful achievement.
Another player with who hot- footed it through the country to get to Helston was side drummer, Trevelyan Worth, who was on hand to step in at the last minute… and also to line up the red- coloured shots afterwards - thank you, Trev! It was also great to see fellow drummer, Simon Taylor, back with the band, following time away with a shoulder injury.
One well- known gentleman who will forever be associated with Helston Town Band and made an eagerly anticipated return on Flora Day is Keith Busby. Keith (and Glennis) – we are thrilled to have you back where you belong!
Equally, for another stalwart bandsman, Paul Jenkin, Flora Day marked the end of his time with the band, for the time being. Thank you for everything you have done, Paul, and we hope to have you back with us, soon!
A big thank you to the numerous guest players, who joined us for the Children’s Dance and Midday Dance, when we became 2 bands, with over 130 musicians; Beccy Noall, Sue Noall, Neil Bassett, Richard Rowe, Tegen Davis, Belinda Reynolds, Chris Reynolds, Teresa Smith, Demelza Sturges, Barrie Trevena, Marcus Dunstan, Sharon Dower, Stephen Clapton, Terry Broughal, Andy Wingham, James Hammett, Denis Floyd, Gillian Allen, Steve Allen, Roger Gluyas, Claire Ely, Suzanne Ely, Mark Christophers, Cecil Bennetts, Louise Christophers, Steve Andrews, Nick Searle, Andrew Annear, Mike Hall, Peter Burton, Philip Care, Darren Hawken, Royston Dower, Chris Warrington, Kevin Meagor, Barry Skinner, Ernie Reynolds, Andrew Kemp, Viv Collins, Martin Nicholls, Kevin Dower, Robert Smith, Tom Kennedy, Robert Wilton, John Adams, Megan Jenkin, Craig Jenkin, Tim Wingham, Dennis Carslake, Terry Sleeman, Debbie Campbell, Pete Bawden, Liz Bawden, Robbie Brokenshire, Matthew Bennetts, Graham Willcock, Mark Laverty, Bobby Combellack, Josh Bibby, Leah Morris, Treve Benney and Peter Benney.
A special thank you to 3 additional guest players who went the extra mile to help us on the day. Thank you to James Sturges, for willingly playing for all 4 dances and covering for mother-in-law, Cynthia Christophers, who was unfortunately too ill to play on the day and had to watch from the side-line; thank you to your sister-in-law, Tamsin Benner, who had a blue jacket foisted upon her at the last minute and was happy to assist and thank you also to David Pascoe, an ever- present Helston helper.
Well done to Helston Concert Brass for their sterling efforts; particularly to Mark Beard, Colin Heatley, Bridget Rustell and Rose Didlick, who all took on extra playing/ collecting duties! Particular thanks go to Linda Frew, who was called in at 6.55am, when Principal Cornet, Marika Charleston, was unfortunately too poorly to play.
What a fantastic turnout from all members of the Training Band, some of whom were taking part for the very first time and are the future of the band! Well done to you all and to Marika and Jack for their excellent work in tutoring you over the past few months.
Thanks also to the Ladies of the Godolphin Club, for providing band members with the usual, much- appreciated cooked breakfast.
Thank you for the generous collections that were gathered by our numerous helpers on the day; Lionel Endean (manning the “Collections HQ” at the Legion club), Alan Trewhella, Colin Heatley, Fred Angove, Graham Carter, Tracey Robinson, Colin Retallack, Jamie King, Ann Trerise, Laurence Penrose, Roger Truan, Brian Dale, Fred Angove, Sharon Strike, Erika Charleston, Rev. Danny Reed, Sarah Reed, Peter Mudge, John Boase, Dave Ensink, Emma Roberts, Georgina Roberts, and Helen, McGroary, Danielle Trathen, Michelle Pascoe, Bridget Rustell, Sian Richards, Suzanne Parry, Stuart Richards, Margaret Williams, Neil Williams and Amy McGroary among them. Thank you to our Secretary, Graham Carter, for his administrative work behind the scenes and also to Ann Williams, our hard- working Treasurer.
Apologies if we have out missed any names… but above all, a massive thank you to everyone in Helston and beyond for their continuing support of the Town Band, on Flora Day and throughout the year. Thank you One and All!
Flora Day is fast approaching and the band are starting their preparations.
We start on Tues 26th with our annual visit to RNAS Culdrose and a rehearsal for the officers there.
The following week is a busy run up to the big day itself. On Bank Holiday Mon, May 2nd, will be the May Day parade at 7:00am and 7:00pm. Due to unforeseen difficulties, the route will be somewhat shorter this year. We will meet at the Guildhall as usual, then proceed along Meneague Street until the end of the one way system at the junction with The Parade, where we will turn around and march back down. At the lights we will turn right up Wendron Street then left down Penrose Road. On reaching Church Street, we will turn left then right at the lights and along Coinagehall Street. At the bottom of Coinagehall Street, we will parade around the bowling green before returning to the Guildhall. Please feel free to join us for either or both of these parades.
We then return to the Epworth Hall on Thursday and Friday for rehearsals for the dancers.
Then we have the day itself on Saturday.
Please spare a thought for the band as they go past, as many of them are playing in all four dances covering a total of approx 16 miles carrying and playing their instruments. Even the Royal Marines struggle to keep up that sort of endurance??