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About Lincolnshire Hospitals Band
In the corner of a small staff room at Lincoln County Hospital in 1976, four employees discussed their love of brass music over a cup of hot tea. Joe Thompson, a Methodist Lay Preacher, suggested the group should start a band. Ex Salvationist Fred Capewell, Ray Brown and Brian Knowles were all in agreement. Their mugs clinked in unison and the Lincolnshire Hospital’s Band was born.
During the early stages of the band’s formation the men had no instruments, music or income to rely on, merely their high spirits. However, Joe was able to arrange for practises to be held in a room at the Central Methodist Church on the city’s High Street.
With a secure venue to enjoy their mutual interest, Fred began composing by hand, while Ray was appointed Treasurer and raised money for instruments and pre-arranged music. Much of the funding was collected through jumble sales organised by auxiliary nurse Millie Grant and a number of other colleagues.
As the band became more stable, a need for more players developed. Mrs Una Steel, a cleaning staff supervisor at the hospital, encouraged her husband George to join. George was an employee of Lincoln Prison, just opposite the hospital, and through him came further players from his workplace. George became Chairman of the band and was a great influence in its development in the early days.
As time passed, the band expanded with talented and enthusiastic players and the venue changed from time to time, settling at the nurses quarters located next to the maternity wing. Since the late 90’s the band rehearsal in the old boardroom until recently when the band have been forced to find alternative rehearsal facilities. As if it was fate the band has ended up the Central Methodist Church. One could say inevitable.
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