A quartet of players from UNISON Kinneil Band from Bo'ness were recently presented with their Scottish Brass Band Association Life Membership awards.
Owen Downs, Willie Gardner, Tommy Harrower and Robert Doherty have each served the movement of over 50 years, with an accumulated total of well over two centuries of dedication and commitment between them.
Soprano cornet Owen first contested in 1970 with Alloa Burgh, before moving onto Kinneil Colliery, Bo'ness & Carriden, Whitburn, Broxburn Public, a return to Kinneil, onto Clackmannan and finally back to UNISON Kinneil in 2016.
Flugel player Tommy started his career in 1962 with Buckhaven before moving onto Hammond Sauce six years later. In 1972 he studied at the Royal Military School of Music before serving with The Black Watch Band. He also played in many professional settings but his retirement from the forces led him to play for Bathgate, Kingdom, Clackmannan, Bo'ness & Carriden and finally to UNISON Kinneil.
Willie has served Kinneil continuously from his introduction to playing in 1969. Throughout his time with Kinneil he has served it as Chairman as well as a player.
Finally, Robert joined Willie in serving Kinneil throughout the past half century.
He started playing in 1968 and went on to join Kinneil Juniors, progressing to the senior band in 1971. Robert has participated with them at the National Finals on nine occasions, featured on television and radio broadcasts, participated in several tours and currently holds the position of Secretary.
We felt it was really important that these richly deserved awards were recognised at a public event, so were so pleased that we have eventually had the chance to present themUNISON Kinneil Band
The quartet were presented with their richly deserved awards at the annual Christmas concert, the first engagement back in front of the public due to Covid-19.
Band Manager Ruth Kelly stated: "We felt it was really important that these richly deserved awards were recognised at a public event, so were so pleased that we have eventually had the chance to present them."
The quartet have now joined solo euphonium, Ian Campbell as lifetime membership recipients within Kinneil Band.