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News Archive - 2012

NYFRS Charity Concert is a resounding success

18th December 2012

The 44th annual North Yorkshire 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.

The event featured NYFRS Pipe Band, Robin Bier, The Fisher Singers and street dancers from Freedom Performing Arts all coming together in a massed finale alongside the WYFRS Band and Corps of Drums.

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".

More photos from the event can be viewed here and a video of the drum display can be seen here.

Band smash £3000 fundraising target!

4th December 2012

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.

The band would like to thank our event sponsors who helped make it possible for us to attend the Tunnel to Towers event:

WYFRS Band perform the November 11th Ceremony at the Menin Gare in Ypres.

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 privilege 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.


Tunnel to Towers

24 September 2012

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.

For more information on the fabulous event please visit our Tunnel to Towers information page. More importantly, please sponsor the band!!!

A weekend away

15-16 September 2012

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.
The Band in London, for the Firefighters Memorial Service

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.

Armed forces day.
26th June 2012

On Saturday 30th June, the band are to celebrate armed forces day at a free event hosted by The Piece Hall in Halifax. The full day extravaganza starts at 11am and features a 1940s theme, to include Military vehicles, dancers, Howitzers and some full Military re-enactments along with the WYFRS band - of course.

One of the main highlights of the event will be a Spitfire flypast scheduled for around 2:45pm. A band spokesman said "We would encourage everyone to come along for what promises to be a great day out, for all the family!"

A poster about the event can be viewed here.

Wedding bells are a'ringing!

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 member 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.

Performances for West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service

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 Lieutenant 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.


Band play sell out concert in memory of Neil 'Tony' Downes.

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.

What's all that Twittering?

14 April 2012

The band have today launched their Twitter page.  A spokesman for the band said, we needed to get connected more with social media and Twitter is an excellent platform for us to communicate with the public. We hope people find the feed informative and look forward to attracting many followers. Click here to see what the latest is...

Around the World in 80 Minutes!

1 April 2012

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.

Band to attend Armistice Day 2012 at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium

23 March 2012

The Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium
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.

Band returning to Coutts International Polo Weekend

12 January 2012

The band will be appearing again at the Coutts International Polo tournament held in June each year at Chester Racecourse. A quintet will be providing music during Friday, followed by the marching band on Saturday to entertain the crowds between matches and to accompany the prize giving ceremony.

For further details and ticket information please visit the Chester Racecourse website.