Eighty-three-year-old Bob Rogers has retired from the Kingsbridge Silver Band (KSB) after an amazing 71 years.

Bob worked on the railways as a fireman firstly in Wolverhampton and Redditch.

He said: “Kingsbridge station closed in 1963. The line went up to South Brent via Loddiswell, Gara Bridge and Avenwick and was first steam before diesel came along.’’

The band was set up in 1921 and Bob joined when he was 11 years old, in 1951.

He was initially taught to play cornet by his uncle Frank Perrett who later taught his eldest son

Bob’s two sons, Robert and David, were also members at a young age and Robert has gone on to play the soprano cornet with Roche Band in Cornwall.

During his time in the band Bob played (at different times) tenor horn, baritone, B flat base and latterly E flat base. He has played as a soloist with the band and on one occasion played “Sempre Videlis” with his son Robert on the steps of the Town Hall, a very proud moment.

Bob has been a dedicated member through the many ups and downs of the band, quite literally on one occasion.

The band were playing on the Compton Castle river boat, which was tied alongside Kingsbridge Quay and with the ebbing tide, sank so low that they could no longer be seen – but they could still heard.

He has played with the band in Germany and France on a number of occasions and he has continued playing when numbers dropped so low that the band was at risk of folding. Not only did he play but also took over responsibility for maintaining the gardens around the band hut for which we are very grateful.

Musical Director Neil Taylor said: “Currently the band is thriving with several new members but Bob will be greatly missed by all.

“To show him our appreciation for all his years of service, he has been presented with an engraved trophy by the current musical.’’

Bob says: “I will miss the band and the company.

“Years ago we used to take part in contests and were even twinned with a band in Germany.’’

As to the future Bob says he will be staying busy: “I’ve got my gardening jobs, both my own garden and the church yard at Dodbrook.”