five years is a milestone in anyone's life but to have spent
twenty five years in one band is a tremendous achievement
by anyone's standards. When you couple this with the fact
that Brian has spent twenty of those years as principle
cornet, this gives you some idea of the immeasurable talent
of the man.
He joined Faireys at the age of fifteen as an apprentice
toolmaker - but more importantly as 3rd Cornet player as
well! After climbing up the backrow, to Repiano Cornet and
finally making the Front bench, he was thrust into the hot
seat on Principal Cornet for Sir Arthur Bliss's "Belmont
Variations" for the Area Contest under Walter Hargreaves.
He's been there ever since!
His informative years (Cornet playing wise) were spent with
his Dad (Charlie) and brothers, Rob and John, in Tyldesley
Prize Band and in his local Salvation Army Band.
Brian is respected, admired and envied by every band in
the country and still as keen and passionate about banding
as he was as a fifteen year old, wide eyed youngster when
he first joined Faireys.
Brian's playing career has spanned some very great changes
in all facets of band playing. He's played all the very
different test pieces of the last twenty years, through
Eric Ball, Vinter, Sparke and Philip Wilby and equipped
himself admirably in every performance.
He was the longest serving Principal Cornet in the History
of Faireys and probably one of the longest serving in any
band in the country - Championship section or otherwise. Brian
is the complete bandsman, he has to be dying to miss a rehearsal
and would have to be dead to miss a "job". Always in the middle
of any mischief or "mickey taking" in the Band, but also the
butt of many tricks played on him! He can dish it out as but
also take it - a wonderful sense of humour.
He loves to go to the pub after rehearsal or a band job
to "sink a couple" and to talk about banding and more banding!
It's very difficult to pay a tribute to someone you've known
as long as I've known Brian, and not wishing to sound too
gushing, but it's been a priveledge and an honour to play
alongside one of the all time greats of Cornet players.
I'm sure bandsmen all over the country and indeed the world
wish him well and hope he carries "the end chair" for another
This tribute originally appeared in the March 1998 edition
of the Williams Fairey publication "Fairey Tales".