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Twenty 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 twenty years!


This tribute originally appeared in the March 1998 edition of the Williams Fairey publication "Fairey Tales".

 


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