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Lancing & Sompting Royal British Legion Band
With the closure of the depot of the Royal Sussex Regiment in 1966, former Home Guard members were made homeless.
Upon learning of their plight, after much discussion Mr Alf Crowter, the Legion Chairman, worked unceasingly to bring these Bandsmen to the Lancing and Sompting Branch of the Royal British Legion. Early in March 1966 representatives of both sides met and the foundations of the Band were laid.
A Musical Director was hard to find in those days, and at first Mr Bill Jacques, the Principal Cornet, conducted. Over the years the Principal Conductors have been Dave Allen, George Tregellis, Desmond Rose, Harry Brittain, and in 1974 the Band appointed Squadron Leader Nroman Warnes MBE as the Musical Director.
Throughout the seventies the Band flourished and had successes in Southern Counties competitions, winning third and second prizes. This happened again in the eighties, including prizes for quartets and septets.
On the retirement of Norman Warnes the Band continued under the baton of the deputy until taken over by Maurice Ozanne, who resigned after six months to be succeeded by Tim Lincoln, who held the post until 1991 handing over to the former Deputy, Alan Salter. Alan held the post for ten years and handed the job back to Tim Lincoln in November 2000.
The Band continues to be an integral part of the community and a cornerstone of the Lancing and Somptiong Branch. It is in great demand throughout the County and beyond.
Over the years the Band have undertaken tours to France (1982), Holland, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg (1986), Germany and Austria (1988), Brittany (1992), taking part in the Festival Mondiale de Folklore with 900 other musicians and performers from all over the world. In 1995 the Band did a tour of the Isle of Man, and in 1997 the Isle of Wight. In the period between 1984 and 1999 the Band have done exchange visits with Hartland Town in North Devon.
Over the years many 'characters' have been involved with the Band, and in 1971 three members were made Honorary Life Members of the National Brass Band Club, having completed between them more than 150 years' service in brass bands. The current band still contains one original member, Don Williams, who at 74 is still a Committee Member and the Band's Quartermaster. Many members of the Band have been involved for more than 20 years, some for more than 25, and in the case of Don and Dave Hedger, more than 35 years.