IT WAS a double celebration for musician Bob Lawson when he marked his 90th birthday and 80 years as a brass band player.

Bob, who has played with the Christchurch and Highcliffe Brass Band for 32 years, was just ten when he first started to play the cornet in the Glynn Vivian Chapel Band, later joining the Bishop’s Stortford Legion Band when his family moved to Bishop’s Stortford.

A founder member of the Air Training Corps, Bob was called up with the RAF during the war, continuing to play his trumpet throughout his service, even on active service in Iceland.

Bob, who now lives in Wick Lane, Bournemouth, later become well-known as a freelance trumpeter in Bournemouth while working for Vickers at Hurn Airport, a career influenced by his wireless engineer experience during the war.

He finally became chief inspector with British Aerospace and, in 1982, joined the Christchurch and Highcliffe Brass Band as principal cornet and, later, horn solo. Bob, who also celebrates his 65th wedding anniversary with wife Joan in July, is still a regular member, rehearsing with the band every Tuesday. He said: “We had a celebration with the band for my birthday. We had people come from quite long distances and the band very kindly did a little performance for us, they played piece of music which I selected.

“I’ve been doing it since I was a boy. It’s not only the playing, it’s the social aspect of it as well. I enjoy making music with other people.”

Bob was presented with an inscribed silver medal and a Certificate of Outstanding Achievement in brass music at the celebration.

  • Christchurch and Highcliffe Brass Band is always looking for new members. Anyone interested in joining can attend rehearsal from 7.30pm on Tuesdays at Burton Green URC Hall.