Band ready for party on 90th anniversary

By Ellen Grindley in Entertainment

BRIXHAM Town Band is gearing up to celebrate its 90th birthday this year.

The popular brass band, which performs regularly at the Old Fish Quay on Brixham Harbour throughout the summer evenings, can trace its roots back to the 1890s.

The band plays mostly for fun but also performs at concerts for charities and organisations.

Stalwart member Ted Thomas has clocked up 65 years playing with the band.

Having joined at the age of 19, Ted never imagined he would still be a regular player aged 84.

He still rehearses twice a week, plays for numerous events as well as the Monday and Thursday evening concerts during the summer, when the band entertains locals and visitors with free concerts. Ted started his band career with the cornet, but changed to trombone in 1976 and is now the lead trombonist in the band.

A two-year enforced absence came about when Ted did his nat­ional service in Ger­many with the Durham Light Infantry.

But while there, he bought a second-hand trumpet and used to practise in the bathroom block.

He said: ‘I was tempted to join the regimental band in Berlin but missed my lovely girlfriend Marion too much.’

The couple have now been married for 61 years and have three children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

When Ted joined as a teenager, the band was called the Brixham British Legion Band, but it subsequently changed its name to Brixham Town Band, admitting ladies from 1976.

Current musical director David Phillips joined the band soon after Ted in 1953 and, with some gaps due to living in other areas for work, played in most sections of the band before his appointment as director.

Between them, Ted and David have an estimated 125 years’ service.

Ted added: ‘I would like to carry on as long as I am able.

‘I guess music is in my blood – it would be a miserable world without it.’

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