Cranbrook Town Band has just returned from a very successful May Bank Holiday tour to Belgium. Whilst there we performed two very enjoyable concerts to large audiences in Leuven and Brussels and partook of an even more enjoyable tour of the Stella Artois Brewery. Read the full Tour Report below for all of the details.
Tour Report by Ian Lanceley
Organised by David Newsom, the band’s chairman, this year’s tour would see the band travelling once again to Belgium. The band set off for Leuven in good spirits at 6pm on the Friday evening, 23rd May.
By 6.05 the coach had stopped and was waiting in a lay-by for some forgotten uniform items to catch up with us. Shortly afterwards we arrived at the Channel Tunnel and boarded the shuttle. Andy Hill our principal cornet, was heard to ask if he would be able to see fish out of the windows when we were going through the tunnel – he was excused on the grounds that he is from Sheffield!
Saturday dawned and most of the band made breakfast before embarking on an extremely arduous tour of the Stella Artois brewery!
From there we moved on to Ghent and an enjoyable joint afternoon concert with Brass Band Ghent and their conductor, Paul Voet. The band had some free time in Ghent afterwards and took in the some of the sights and sounds of this ancient and beautiful city before heading back to Leuven.
This was a remarkably busy and well organised event with only one minor hitch when a local Police officer refused us entry to the park where were playing. Fortunately, David was able to resolve the issue quickly and we had a Police escort to the bandstand…….and what a bandstand it was! Entirely mobile, big enough for the whole band and towed by a lorry!
Despite the exceedingly hot weather (32 degrees centigrade in the shade according to a nearby thermometer), the band played really well with some exceptional solo playing from all of the featured players and the concert ended with a superb ad lib soprano solo from Bob in Swingtime Religion.
Sunday night was for many a repeat of Saturday night with some wonderful food in the local restaurants and just a couple of beers in the bars. The less said about pole dancing and can-cans the better.
Monday saw us spending time in Leuven before boarding the coach and running into bad weather that southern Britain had been enduring as we approached Calais.
Thanks go to David for his organisation of the whole weekend and to Stewart the driver who was very friendly and professional throughout. The only question now is – where next???
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Front Row (Left to Right)
Ian Lanceley (Musical Director) — Chris Thorpe (Third Cornet) — Alan Smithers (Solo Horn) — Robin Traves (1st Baritone) — Viv Lovewell (Euphonium) — Allan Mallion (Bass) — Jerry Pond (Bass) — Geoff Collins (Bass) — David Newsom (Euphonium) — Jackie Croucher (3rd Cornet) — Natalie Barden (2nd Baritone) — Yvetter Hutchin (2nd Baritone)
Amy Collins (Third Cornet) — Dep (Second Horn) — Dave Pettifer (Repiano Cornet) — Jack Farris (Trombone) — Peter Stoner (Kit Percussion) — Colin Batt (Solo Trombone) — Sharon McCallum (Solo Cornet) — Andy Hill (Principal Cornet) — Richard Warren (Solo Cornet) — Dep (Trombone) — Graeme McAusland (Second Cornet) — Dep (1st Horn) — Chris Cannings (Flugel Horn) — Chris Willard (Solo Cornet) — Hazel Walsh (Second Trombone) — Wendy Scott (Third Cornet) — Emma Pettifer (Second Cornet) — Bob Turner (Soprano)