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Bretforton Silver Band
'Bret', one of the most popular bands in the immediate area, are the only surviving village band in Worcestershire. The earliest mention in public records which the band has found, is one in September of 1895 where reference is made in the Evesham Journal to an event to raise funds for the newly-formed band. Further research has revealed that the band was formed sometime between the autumn of 1894 and the summer of 1895. The band evolved from a Band of Hope based on a chapel in the village and when first formed it was known as the Bretforton Temperance Band (there's no answer to that!) Some thirty years or so ago the band was fortunate enough to purchase this chapel and now it is here that they meet each week.
The earliest record of band achievement was in 1897, when it played at the top of Bretforton Church tower to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It is not recorded how members or instruments ascended to these dizzy heights, but the bass was hauled up the outside of the tower on a rope. To mark its centenary in 1995, members of the band, as part of the celebration, ascended the tower to sound a fanfare.
Although at present the band has very little involvement in the contest field, preferring concert work, it has successfully contested in the past. Indeed, during the late 1940's the band achieved promotion to the Second Section. During the 1930's and 40's it often also played as a dance band. This Summer 2004 saw the band return to the contesting scene with a well deserved 3rd place at this years Wychavon Festival of Brass Contest in addition jointly picking up the best local band prize with the AvonBank Band from Evesham.
Perhaps one of the most remarkable engagements the band undertakes is the annual asparagus auction held at The Fleece, the renowned pub in the village. After the concert, quantities of asparagus are auctioned and, since the proceeds are used to finance the band, amazing prices are paid and, it is claimed, world record bids are made for bundles of asparagus.
In 1981 the band formed a link with Musikkapelle Lohrieth, a Bavarian band based in the small village of Lohrieth, which is just outside Pershore's twin town Bad Neustadt, Germany. In June this year Musikkapelle Lohrieth made its seventh visit to Bretforton since 1983, where they received an overwhelming reception. We were honoured to be invited to return to Lohrieth in 2006.
Bretforton is a friendly 4th Section Band and is fortunate to find itself in a very healthy state. The band always welcomes new players who would like to play challenging and exciting music.