Bristol Veteran’s Brass celebrates 20th anniversary

Derek Scott City Of Bristol TrumpeterTowards the end of 1993 while visiting his mother in a Nursing Home, Idris Trott had an idea to entertain those Senior Citizens of Bristol that were in Elderly People’s Homes and Retirement Clubs. Idris was a member of the well known Crofts End Mission Band and thought that a brass group comprised of older players would be able to do this.  It was agreed that the new group should form part of the Crofts  End Mission Band.  The players, being themselves retired, could hold practices on Wednesday mornings at the Mission. The first of these attracted just four founder member players, with Idris taking the lead on cornet

Within a few months from the start on the 17th November 1993 the number of players doubled. The group rapidly grew into a full band of retired bandsmen and women that has, for 20 years, been able to accept daytime engagements and fulfil Idris’s dream.

Each Wednesday morning, members of what is now Bristol Veteran’s Brass, get together to rehearse a wide variety of music. They spend an enjoyable two hours playing in the unusually named ‘Made for Ever’ church hall. Songs from the shows, classical transcriptions, marches and the favourite brass band rehearsal warm up music – hymn tunes, all come within the repertoire.

Sadly, the band’s Musical Director Mr Jim Scott has recently been far from well  and at present rehearsals  and concerts are  conducted by Mr John Fricker.

From the start, as part of the Crofts End Band in 1993, they have gone from strength to strength and are now getting ready to celebrate their 20th Anniversary. There is an amazing wealth of experience within the present membership. Many still play or have played in other bands, a list that totals well over 100 different ensembles. The present lead cornet served as a City of Bristol Trumpeter and still maintains a high standard of playing at the age of 88

The band has willingly supported local and National charities, playing appropriately Goff Richards ‘A Special Place’ at the opening of Children’s Hospice South West and being involved in BBC Children in Need events in Bristol and Bath were highlights

The programme diary for this year has nearly 20 daytime concert engagements. Apart from these the Band has a family link with a member of staff at Baileys Court Junior School in Bradley Stoke. At a recent school time mini concert, where the pupils were asked ‘’who wants to play a brass instrument’’ about 100 hands shot into in the air. It has been possible already for some of the band members to get hold of some instruments that will help the School music teacher start a Band.  As part of marking their 20th birthday Bristol Veterans Brass are joining with the School Choir in a concert at The Church of  Christ the King , Bradley Stoke,  on  Friday 25th October  at 7:30pm, with proceeds for the school music department. Tickets are available from:-Norman Shanks MBE  Telephone 01454 310153 or Mobile 07711 586165, EMail

So it will be a 20th birthday celebration where Band members, who have greatly enjoyed a lifetime of playing in various brass groups, encourage local kids to start.

Who knows what latent talent is waiting to be discovered in those enthusiastic youngsters?