Tributes to brass band stalwart who played for 78 years
PUBLISHED: 11:00 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:55 10 January 2020
New Buckenham Silver Band
Tributes have been paid to the much-loved stalwart of one of Norfolk's oldest brass bands who joined as a nine-year-old boy and played with it for 78 years.
Tommy Winser, who had played baritone horn and conducted New Buckenham Silver Band for more than half its existence, died on Boxing Day aged 87.
Pauline Bott, former chairman of the band and a fellow long-serving member, said: "Tommy started playing when he was a boy. He was bandmaster for a lot of years, and he has played in the band forever more or less.
"He was the kingpin, someone who was always there. He lived in the village, only about 50 steps from the village hall so he was always the one to open it up for the band practice and to then lock it up at night. I can't think there were many band practices he missed."
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Established in 1887, it is believed the New Buckenham Silver Band was set up to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.
Mr Winser, who is survived by his wife Rosemary and two sons, Patrick and Robin, described being part of the band as a "wonderful hobby" and said the enjoyment of it is what has made him continue to play.
Marking the band's 130th anniversary, he recalled: "My father and my brother were in the band and they used to bring their instruments home.
"Me being a young boy, I used to get a note or two out of them and then I learnt from there. I shall keep coming here while I can keep playing and enjoying it."
Mrs Bott said: "He was lovely. He was a real Norfolk boy. He always used to make us laugh when he was conducting because he would stop and say 'right, we'll go back to B and we'll play it as it's writ', which, of course, is very Norfolk."
The band will play at Mr Winser's funeral at New Buckenham church on January 23. "We have already been practicing the hymns that the family want," said Mrs Bott. "Then we will probably look to see what we can do to remember him, perhaps a concert featuring his favourite music. We don't know yet, it is all still a bit soon."