The show will go on for Lowestoft Salvation Army bandmaster Clifford, who retires after 54 years
- Credit: Nick Butcher
For more than five decades he has led Lowestoft's Salvation Army Band, performing at festivals, mass ceremonies and other events.
But now, after 54 years as bandmaster, Clifford Savory is passing on his baton and stepping aside for a much deserved retirement.
A life-long member of the church, 87-year-old Mr Savory first performed in the band as second cornet, before rising through the ranks to bandmaster.
This weekend, he will lead the band for the very last time at a special event organise to celebrate his retirement, before his successor, Christine Campbell takes over.
He said: 'I celebrated by 87th birthday about two weeks ago so I decided it was the right time to stop - I'm getting too old now.
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'I don't need to give Christine any advice, she is a professionally trained musician and played in military bands so I'm glad I'm not leaving the band in the lurch. That is one thing I never wanted to do.'
However, while he is stepping aside as master, it is not the day the music died for Mr Savory, who hopes to continue as a performing member.
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He said: 'I'll probably end up playing second cornet again, so I will come full circle. I think I will miss being responsible for it, but will definitely enjoy being able to play rather than lead as well.'
The former telephone engineer first joined the band in 1944 and in his time has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, which he described as one of his proudest moments and a lovely experience.
He also enjoyed regularly leading the band at mass band festivals, particularly large events in Norwich.
His final piece as bandmaster on Saturday will be a composition called Lowestoft 125, which was written to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Salvation Army in Lowestoft - though he will also conduct the hymns at Sunday's service.
He added: 'There has been a lot of change in the hall while I've been a member, as well as in the band, which at one point had more than 30 members.
'I was taught to play by the bandmaster when I joined the church and had lessons here every week. I honestly didn't realise I had been master quite so long.'
Mr Savory and wife Madeline, of Church Green, have two children together as well as four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.