Jim Sweetland: Founder Member

With the sad and unexpected passing of Jim Sweetland, the band has lost a true stalwart and another founder member.

When the band was founded in 1981 using a donation from the filming of ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’, Jim was there from the beginning, alongside Ian North, Malcolm Street and Musical Director Joe O’Donnell, all of whom are sadly no longer with us.

Jim held a variety of positions within the band, demonstrating his whole-hearted commitment over many years. He taught many youngsters to play, ensuring that there were always new recruits coming through.

Band member Roger Grose commented, ‘it was Jim who taught my son Daniel to play. When Dan was up to standard,

A Proud Life Member

A Proud Life Member

he joined the main band and I would chauffeur him around to all the engagements. In the end, I decided to join the band as well and found myself sat next to Jim. He was always a great encourager to young and old alike’.

When Jim decided to retire from playing in 2007, the band awarded him a much deserved  Life Membership. Yet despite this, Jim did not lose contact with the band. In 2008, he proved a very able compere for the band’s Annual Christmas Concert at the Woodmead Halls. In emergencies or because of holidays, he was more than willing to come along and conduct.

More than once on Christmas Eve, when the band was playing carols in Broad Street, Jim stepped out of the crowd at Musical Director John Powell’s invitation to take the baton again.

Jim’s contribution to the band was immense and his enthusiasm, interest and support will be greatly missed. We extend our deepest sympathy to Daphne, his wife, to his daughter Jan and to the whole family.

1982 - Founder Members Jim: back row 2nd from left

1982 – Founder Members
Jim: back row 2nd from left

Jim & Ian North 1982

Jim & Ian North 1982

Life Membership presented by Chairman Val Mahoney

Life Membership presented by Chairman Val Mahoney

With Award Winners: Christmas 2008

With Award Winners: Christmas 2008

Jim, Gilly Warr & Stuart Broome: Christmas 2008

Jim, Gilly Warr & Stuart Broome: Christmas 2008

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