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Eggleshaw humbled by Butlin's recognition

The brass banding career of Butlin's contest administrator Brian Eggleshaw was celebrated with a special award at the event — one that left him 'truly humbled'.

Eggleshaw
  The presentation to Brian (centre) was made by Mick Vaesey and Adam Whittle.

The contribution made by Brian Eggleshaw to the banding movement, and to the Butlin's Open Brass Band Festival in particular, was marked by a surprise presentation made to the 84-year-old at the recent event in Skegness.

The announcement was greeted with warm applause and a standing ovation as Brian accepted the award in what was an emotional tribute paid to him by friends and colleagues.

Truly humbled

Brian has since told 4BR that he felt "truly humbled", and that it marked for him the joy he has taken from being part of a movement that had "given me so much" ever since he was first taught to play by his father alongside his younger brother David.

"I've been so lucky," he said. "Dad wanted us to enjoy music and so got us to play. He had played at Crystal Palace and kept telling us stories about how wonderful a place it was and how proud he was as a miner to play there with his friends at Pleasley Colliery."

Rewarding

It was to prove to be the start of a long and richly rewarding brass banding career — one that saw him become both a much sought after player and an administrator.

"I was very fortunate to meet up and play for Harry Mortimer who persuaded my brother and I to join Morris Motors. When I had to leave them to come home with my young family he told me to give him a call if I ever needed any help.

When I did, he was as good as his word and recommended me to Fairey Engineering Band. What a gentleman and musician. Playing under him with Men O' Brass was one of the greatest highlights of my playing career."

Great times

Although Brian didn't join the Stockport Band ("Kenneth Dennison was also a gentleman and fully understood") he returned to Cresswell and then Pleasley where he became part of the band's fabric — and a fledging administrator.

He was also to become General Secretary of the North East Midlands Brass Band Association — post he held for 40 years.

"They were great times for us, and I enjoyed the admin side of things too — helping out and ensuring contests were well run etc. Contest days were full of friends — all determined to beat you at any cost on stage, but then sure to find you to have a great time in the bar afterwards."

Prestige

Brian eventually joined the Ransome Band making his debut at Belle Vue on 'John O'Gaunt' in 1968 and remaining with them until they closed their doors in 2007.

"That was also a great time with a company who fully supported us. I used to speak to the managers regularly and they felt the band brought the company great prestige.

I was so proud when they came runner-up at the Nationals in 2000 and when they won the Butlin's title in 2005."

Banding has given me so much and I hope I've given something back to a hobby I've always loved ever since my father showed my brother and I whyBrian Eggleshaw

Wonderful gesture

And it was that final connection with the Butlin's organisation that he also feels very proud about.

"I'm truly humbled by the award. Butlin's has done a huge amount of good for the brass band movement and we should not forget that. It's been a huge part of my banding life and I hope that it returns. There are great people involved. It was a wonderful gesture.

Now I can sit back a little and enjoy listening a bit more. I've been a very lucky man — trips to Japan and Singapore, America and New Zealand. Banding has given me so much and I hope I've given something back to a hobby I've always loved ever since my father showed my brother and I why."

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