Bringing in the brass at 70th birthday bash

Bass player Irwin Blenkiron with Reeth Brass Band
Bass player Irwin Blenkiron with Reeth Brass Band

A BIRTHDAY bash has left a military charity rolling in brass thanks to the generosity of a band and its audience.

Reeth Brass Band member Irwin Blenkiron celebrated his 70th birthday with a special concert which raised almost £1,700 for Help for Heroes.

Family and friends travelled the length and breadth of the country for the concert, which was staged in St Andrew’s Church, Grinton, where Irwin was christened and married.

Reeth-born and now living in Ripon, he joined Reeth Brass Band when he was ten and continues to play the e-flat bass, travelling to the Swaledale Village every Tuesday for practise and playing in countless concerts.

“I love playing in this band and I love playing in this church,” said Irwin, who worked for the Ministry of Defence for 40 years. Under the direction of retired musical director of the Parachute Regiment and Scots Guards Brian Hicks, a packed audience enjoyed a varied programme including marches, film themes, solos and duets, showing their appreciation with donations.