16th May 2013
WYFRS band has has a busy start to 2013 having already completed a number of concerts and private events.
The first three concerts of the year were at Bradford Cathedral, Morley Town Hall, and Ashton Town Hall in March and April. All were charitable performances, with the band keen to build on last years fundraising success.
In early May the band performed alongside West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service personnel at a charity ladder climb outside Marks and Spencer at the new Trinity shopping centre in Leeds. The band provided entertainment to the passing crowds whilst firefighters from WYFRS climber the equivalent of 20 times the height of the Empire State Building! The event raised a phonemenal £3,500 for the Fire fighters charity.
Most recently, a group from the band also performed for the graduation of more than 150 Young Firefighters at the WYFRS training centre and HQ in Birkenshaw.
The young people carried out a number of fire drills in front of their
family, teachers, head teachers and senior fire service officers at
formal graduation ceremonies and have now completed a Level Two BTEC qualification in Fire and Rescue Service in
After the event Assistant Chief Officer Dave Walton commented that the band had helped make the evening special for the graduates, who in turn should all be proud of contributing towadrs making West Yorkshire safer.
More information on young firefighters can be found here.
23rd January 2013
The band participated in a number of concerts and events throughout 2012 which all contributed to the band raising in excess of £15,000 for worthy causes.
Of the £15,000 raised, around half was raised directly by the band or it's members at events which the band hosted or led, and the other half from events which were hosted by others, which the band played an instrumental role in.
The fundraising highlights of the year were the Help for Heroes concert in April, in memory of Neil "Tony" Downes and the inaugural Tunnel to Towers march in October, which saw the band march 5Km including a stretch through the Rotherhithe Tunnel (pictured).
Andrew Field, The band treasurer commented: "Whilst the band itself relies on donations to survive, it's so important that we do as much as we can to contribute to the wider community. The band has every right to be proud of its achievements in 2012, it's been a record year for fundraising and it's all down to the dedication and hard work of our members".
The largest benefactors were The Firefighters Charity and Help for Heroes, with other charities such as The Royal British Legion, The MS Society, The Jane Tomlinson Appeal and the Stroke Association also receiving donations.
18th December 2012
The 44th annual North Yorshire Fire & Rescue Service Christmas Concert was one of the best ever! The concert on Sunday night saw the WYFRS Band featuring alongside a selection of other performers who put together a truly magnificent variety performance which went on to raise an estimated £7,000 for the Fire Fighters Charity.
One of the highlights of the show was the WYFRS Corps of Drums performing to a Beyonce and Britney compilation, in black light, with the dancers from Freedom.
The event organiser Bruce Reid said "This has been one of the most spectacular events we've seen at the Royal Hall and the money raised for the Fire Fighters Charity is superb".
WYFRS were proud to take part in the inaugural UK Tunnel to Towers run in London back in October. The band marched the full length of the 5km route in full ceremonial attire and completed the run in just over 1 hour and 9 minutes.
Following on from the fun run, the band's members have been busy collecting sponsorship in from all the generous people who sponsored them.
The final tally has now been collated and the band raised a phenomenal £3120 - every single penny of which has gone to a number worthwhile charities all listed below. Andrew Field, the Band Treasurer said, "The band has never undertaken a project like this before, and to have delivered such an outstanding result is amazing. We'd hoped for £3000+, but it was an ambitious target!". He went on to say "2012 will be the most charitable year for WYFRS band and I'm really looking forward to publishing the results on the band website in early 2013"
The charities who the band raised money for were:
and a local child, who suffers from Alexander's Disease.
12th November 2012
The band are once again extremely proud to have represented the UK fire services at the annual remembrance ceremony in Ypres Belgium, The band's Chairman, Brain Robson, said. "It is a real privilige to the WYFRS band to honour fallen comrades of the great war at the Menin Gate."
At the band's 4th appearance at the Menin gate, they appeared alongside representatives from their colleagues from The band of the Volunteer Fire Service of Lubartow, Poland and the Bridgewater Fire Department Band of Nova Scotia, Canada.
Musical Director, Lee Whitworth said, "We're delighted to have been able to include our friends in such and important and significant event"
Following the main service at the gate, the band then conducted a ceremony at the Canadian Monument, where Chief Fire Officer of Bridgewater Fire Department, Wayne Thorburne laid a wreath and paid tribute to the fallen Canadian soldiers. The last post was played by President of the BFD Band, Laura Allen.
The Band of the West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service has now launched their fundraising campaign for their forthcoming "Tunnel to Towers" march. We will be marching and playing
along an incredible 5km route accompanying some 20,000 fun runners along the way.
In glorious sunshine yet again, the band welcomed racegoers to the 2012 St. Leger Stakes race day at Doncaster Racecourse on Saturday. This is always a fun event, playing for the crowds as they arrive before marching on the track to kick off the day's racing.
Following the races it was down to central London and an overnight stop before the National Firefighters Memorial Service on Sunday morning. Forming up just South of St. Paul's Cathedral the band led a parade of standards to St Bartholomew's Church for a remembrance service and then back to St Paul's to lay wreaths at the National Firefighters Memorial. WYFRS Band was joined by The Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service Corps of Drums and Fire Service pipers from across the UK.
One of the main highlights of the event will be a Spitfire flypast scheduled for around 2:45pm. A band spokesman said "We would encourge everyone to comea long for what promises to be a great day out, for all the family!"
A poster about the event can be viewed here.
23rd May 2012
WYFRS band are delighted to be the band of choice for weddings at the moment. The band recently played at Wentbridge house in Pontefract with the groom commenting on how great the performance had been.
Our next wedding is at Chevin Lodge, North Leeds in two weeks and we already have bookings coming in next year including one event at the stunning Ripley Castle.
A memeber of the band said "We always enjoy playing at weddings, it's such a lovely feeling to be a part of a couples special day, and the guests are always commenting on how great it is to have the band around.
14th May 2012
The band are particularly proud to have played on a number of occasions for the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service recently.
The band played for the opening ceremonies at the new fire stations in both Normanton & Pontefract which were officially opened by the Lord Liutenet of West Yorkshire, Dr. Ingrid Roscoe and accompanied by the local member of Parliament Yvette Cooper MP.
Cllr Philip Booth, former Chair of the WYFRS Authority said it always added that bit extra to an event when the band played. A press release from WYFRS regarding the opening of these stations can be read here.
In addition to the opening of the new stations, the band also recently performed for the graduates of the Young Fire Fighter Scheme. The 200 Graduates, from 16 schools around the county carried out a number of fire drills in front of their family, teachers, head teachers and senior fire service officers at formal graduation ceremonies at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service headquarters in Birkenshaw. A full press release from WYFRS can be read here.
25th April 2012
The band performed a sell out concert at the Concorde Suite in Droylsden, Manchester on Saturday 21st April.
During the Concert, which was in memory of fallen soldier Neil ‘Tony’ Downes, there were also appearances from Manchester Rock band Addiction Lane, the WYFRS pipes band, and a dance to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” performed by “The girls from the Kings Head Pub”. The raffle was drawn by Coronation Street actor Bill Tarmey AKA Jack Duckworth.
The full event started in the morning of the 21st with several groups performing throughout the day, at the shopping centre in Droylsden. This commenced with a school choir from the Manchester Road Primary School and then featured performances from the WYFRS Pipe band, St John Castle Band, and Humberside Police Band.
The full event raised a phenomenal £4406 for the various groups who had performed throughout the day and for “Help for Heroes” in memory of Neil Downes.
The Worshipful, The Civic Mayor of Tameside, Councillor Susan Quinn addressed the audience, commenting on how exceptional the event had been and in particular extending gratitude to the band’s Musical Director, Lee Whitworth.
Following from some emotional moments throughout the concert, Ronnie Downes, the Father of Tony, closed the concert with a final note of gratitude to the Band, and to Lee.
After the event, Band Chairman Brian Robson, said the band had been proud to perform for such a special event and that it was fantastic how the local community had come together to raise so much money in Tony’s Name. The band wishes to thank all those involved and the sponsors of the event for helping it happen. Full details of the event, the sponsors, and a more about Tony, can be found here.
Click here to see what the latest is...
The band performed a concert of music from around the world last night in Morley Town Hall. This is the second concert the band has done in this venue and its looking like a new annual event, with the audience augmented from last year and all wanting to know our next concert date. The band also presented the Band Chairman Brian Robson with a retirement present following his departure from the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service in February this year. The band is very pleased that Brian is going to stay on as Band Chairman, continuing the support he has given to the Fire Fighters charity.
The band is now getting ready to perform for a wedding this month followed by our Charity concert in Manchester, in memory of Guardsman Neil Tony Downes.
The Menin Gate is a First World War memorial in Ypres, Belgium. It lists the names of 54,896 Commonwealth soldiers who died in the Ypres Salient and who have no known grave. Many more names from the battles of Ypres are honoured at other memorials near by.
Every evening at 8pm the local volunteer fire brigade perform a Last Post ceremony as an act of homage to the fallen. It is this fire service connection that brought representatives from the UK Fire & Rescue Services to join the Armistice Day ceremonies some 27 years ago.
This year the West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service Band will be part of the massed band attending the Last Post ceremonies on the 10th and 11th November. We will also lead the Poppy Parade through Ypres to the Menin Gate for the remembrance service on the morning of 11th November.
We are always looking for new players to join the band. If you would like to play in the band and join us on our tour to Ypres then please get in touch.
2012 News Archive
2011 News Archive