4BR Dinner Guests - Ian Buckley gives us his ultimate dinner guest list


Stalwart trombonist Ian Buckley tells 4BR just who he would have around his dinner table for a good night out and chin wag...

Ian BuckleyGiven the opportunity, the wish list, the ability to mess about with the Space-Time Continuam like Doctor Who, and the skill to cook like Heston Blumenthal, who would you like to invite around to your place to enjoy a meal and chin wag with?   

4BR started it all off a few days before Christmas 2007 with our 10 dinner guests, so we thought we had better ask a few more brass band personalities who would be on their all time dinner list too...  

Well known bandsman

This time it’s trombonist Ian Buckley, one of the most well known bandsmen in the North West. 

Ian told 4BR: "I started playing the trombone aged 10 years of age and was taught by my father Roy Buckley and the late Charlie Cook of Fodens fame. My band career spans 45 years playing with the Cheshire Youth Band, the National Youth Band, the North West Area Youth Band (conducted by the great Ted Buttress) Beresford’s, Congleton Brass (32 years unbroken service) and lately Silk Brass."
"My dinner guests would be firstly entertained by pre dinner drinks with music provided by the Count Basie Orchestra to make sure the party ‘got off to a swing’."

1. Charlie Cook

M y first guest would be the late great Charlie Cook. In my opinion the greatest soprano cornet player of all time.

He was my teacher, my mentor, and became a dear friend. I spent hundreds of hours at Charlie’s house, practising and learning so much. He told me so many stories of the great days of Foden’s and Men of Brass, some printable, many not.

I watched and listened to his very last contest performance playing 'Les Preludes'. It was so magical, I shall never forget it. Charlie was my first conductor at Beresford’s.
2. Granville Jennings

My second guest would be Granville. He took over Charlie’s seat on soprano at Fodens and then took over the baton at Beresford’s from him as well. Granville also had many wonderful stories to tell, and with his broad Wigan accent, would have us all in stitches.

I fondly remember playing 'Spectrum' off the number one spot at the Wigan contest on Granville’s home patch.

We won that day, I can still see the big smile and remark as Fred Dibnah would say “did ya loike that”
3. Hugh Megarrell 

My third guest and conductor of the Beresford Cardway Band is Hugh. This man was so full of music, and always had the band buzzing on contest day.

His man management and motivation skills created a second to none record of contest results. With Hugh’s Irish wit and sense of humour, he would make sure the party carried on all through the night.

We still remain very good friends and often meet up for a pint and a chat about banding.
4. Jim Cant
My fourth guest would be my present Band, Silk Brass’s conductor Jim Cant. A legendary Fairey’s Bass trombone player, Jim is a true bandsman through and through.

Like my other guests, Jim has shared some wonderful stories of his time with Fairey’s and Men of Brass. His tales of the wee professor Walter Hargreaves would split your sides with laughter. Jim is one of only a few bass trombone players with a true edge and colour.

Jim is one of my closest friends, and we always answer questions with “Troms rule the world”
5. Arthur Pryor

My fifth guest would be the late, great, Arthur Pryor, the wonderful trombone soloist with the John Phillip Sousa Band.

He played hundreds of solos, some of which I have heard on some old 78’ records. His range and flexibility was outstanding.

I would love to pick his brain at the dinner table on how he became so good.
6. Sir Alex Ferguson

My sixth guest would be Sir Alex. I am a true red (but don’t go to any games) unlike three players from Silk, Andy Bradley, Ben Bradley and Barry Worth – all Man City fans!

The banter we would all have would be unforgettable. Sir Alex has many qualities (but unfortunately no money to spend on new players) and I am sure with his Scottish wit and a wee dram or two, the night would be one to remember.
7. Tommy Cooper

My seventh guest would have to be the great Tommy Cooper. A true legend of comedy. He only has to enter the room and we would all be in fits of laughter.

Imagine Tommy in front of any band trying to conduct them - we would all end up in intensive care!
8. Friends

My eighth choice has been very hard to make. I have made hundreds of friends in the band movement. However, three people stand out:  Andrew Snelson, Sandra (mother) Birch and Andy Bradley, all of whom I have played with for many years.

Andrew is Silk Brass' solo trombone player, who’s sound is so smooth, is up with the gods. Sandra, a smashing lady. I don’t know of anyone else in the band movement who has more contacts of players etc. She is also a fantastic cook.

Lastly, Andy Bradley, the sad Man City fan!  Andy loves a dinner party, (the brandy also) he is now losing his hair, (old horn players do that!) or it may be supporting Man City that has done that.

I have great respect for my three wonderful friends.
9. Nigela Lawson

My ninth guest would be Nigela. She would cook for my dinner party.

Prawn cocktail soup, choice of steaks, finished off with champagne and strawberries, cheese, fruit, crackers and brandy. Not only is she a wonderful cook, but in trombone terms, “she can oil our slides anytime”
10. My Father

My last choice is my late father Roy Buckley. He along with Charlie Cook, was responsible for getting me started on the trombone and giving me the brass band bug.

Myself, my father and George Walker formed the trombone section at Beresford’s Band for 19 years. My dad love banding and also liked a drink or two.

Sadly he was an Everton fan, but he would make sure my guests were liberally plied with drinks.

I’m sure Granville Jennings and Barry Worth will remember Austria where the band toured on many occasions, having a few drinks in the local hostelries with my father – not a pretty sight the next morning.

Previous dinner guest lists:  

Previous guests have included the 4BR selection; Chris Wormald; David Read; Pete Meechan; Alan Jenkins; Derek Broadbent; Philip Harper; Peter Roberts; Frank Renton; James Shepherd; Dr Roy Newsome; Paul Lovatt-Cooper; Bramwell Tovey; Kevin Crockford; Morvern Gilchrist and Lesley Howie; Richard Evans; Simone Rebello; Ian Porthouse; David Daws; Alan Morrison; Alan Wycherley, Mark Bousie, Steven Haynes and Simon Dobson.


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