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Hammonds Saltaire Band - Preston Guild Hall

Preston Guild Hall

The results of the Championship section at the Brass at the Guild, Preston Guild Hall, Preston at the weekend (6 February 2011) show it as a highly successful day for Pemberton Old Wigan DW Band and its conductor Mark Bentham. But read about Hammonds Saltaire performance.....

1. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (9) 193pts
2. Felling (6) 192pts
3. Hammonds Saltaire (11) 191pts
4. Freckleton (10) 190pts
5. Longridge (8) 189pts
6. Newstead Welfare (4) 188pts
7. Northop Silver (12) 187pts
8. Rainford (2) 185pts
9. Hade Edge (3) 184pts
10. Harrogate (5) 182pts
11. Oldham Band (Lees) (1) 181pts
12. Blackpool Brass (7) 180pts

hammonds saltaire band logo

One thing the results don’t show is the what happened to Hammonds Saltaire Band – thanks to Ted Grifiths the band’s librarian and secretary of No.2 Area of the NABBC we can reveal how close it came to the band possibly pulling out half way through its performance.

The band conducted by Morgan Griffiths, Ted’s son, who is also a member of the NABBC was drawn to play number 11 out of the 12 competing bands. As the band started its own choice test piece (Philip Sparke's Between the Moon and Mexico) performance, the band’s soprano player Jason Abbott passed out having just played a high solo section. Jason appeared to have fallen forward striking his nose on the back of the principal cornet's chair thus breaking his nose, and really knocking himself out.

The performance was stopped and the contest controllers suggested that the band leave the stage and let the last band play, then if Hammonds felt able would go back on stage and play again.

The adjudicator David Horsfield, a man with many years experience both as a player and conductor, as well as being a respected adjudicator of many years, and also a member of the NABBC was informed. The band took to the stage but minus its soprano player, as Jason was in no fit state to continue.

David in his summing up on stage said he had not been in this situation ever before and he took the decision to use the remarks from the first performance until the band stopped, and then continued with the second performance from that point. The band was placed 3rd, which was certainly good going after this series of events.

The band management were pleased to report that Jason was taken to hospital, and following a series of tests made on him, the conclusion was he had initially passed out. He was later sent home to recover and nurse his broken nose.

Ted Griffiths