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Death of Len Atter

The death has been announced of the former Hanwell Band player and respected brass band supporter, Len Atter.

Len Atter
  Len Atter (far right) was a member of the Hanwell Band bass section from 1957 to 1964

4BR has been informed of the death of the well-respected musician and brass band supporter Len Atter. He passed away on Friday 19th April, aged 95.

Born in Bedford into a staunch Salvation Army family, he learnt to play a brass instrument and joined the Bedford Congress YP Band, later becoming a member of the main band.

Life long passion

He soon developed what was also to become a life-long passion for brass banding — attending the first post war National Final at the Royal Albert Hall in 1945.

Len Atter joined the British Army the following year as a member of the Band of the Black Watch, travelling throughout Europe and as far as India to give concert and ceremonial performances.

He later returned to London where in 1957 he joined Hanwell Band, becoming as a respected BBb bass player an integral part of an emerging top flight band under the batons of Alfred Jarvis and Eric Bravington.

He proudly stated (and recorded in diaries) that he played in every contest performance they undertook from then until 1964 — including a London & Southern Championship top section Area victory in 1963, and five Royal Albert Hall National Final appearances.

Many other successes came at local and regional events, whilst the band gained an increased profile thanks to a busy concert schedule and his skill as Hanwell's publicity officer.

Eastbourne move

He later revealed that he moved to Eastbourne in 1963 after hearing the great CWS (Manchester) Band conducted by Alex Mortimer at the town's famous seaside bandstand.

Their annual appearances and those of many other leading bands were a great joy to him in the years that followed.

A richly informed musician and brass band supporter, he lived in the town with his wife Mary for 60 years and welcomed many visitors to his home where he recalled with enthusiasm his lifelong love of brass banding.

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