Conductor break at Freckleton: The Freckleton Band had some bad news on Sunday 19th April when their conductor, Paul Dalton, rang at 4pm to inform us that he had broken both bones in his conducting arm in a cycling accident that day. Unfortunately, the Band had one of its prestigious Lowther Pavilion concerts that evening with Guest Soloist Peter Moore and compere Tony Berry from the Houghton Weavers. After a frantic 10 minutes panic, Andy Cattanach, Chairman, made a desperate call to Richard Evans who, at 2 hours notice, agreed to not only conduct the concert, but get there for the 6pm rehearsal. The concert passed without incident, and the Band thanks Richard for his help, professionalism and altruism, especially as he’d just settled down to watch his team, Everton, when we rang. Luckily, they won, and the Band had an extremely enjoyable time with Richard as well as gaining from his vast experience. That brought the Band on to the pressing matter of the Grand Shield in less than 3 weeks. Paul Dalton confirmed he would be out of action for 2 months or more, so a plea for help was issued, and within hours several very kind offers of help, in any way they could, were made by several conductors. Alex Thomas, the Bands Principal Cornet, received a text from Gareth Pritchard, who briefly worked with the Band last year, just as he was about to call him and ask if he could help. The Band enjoyed Gareth’s rehearsal last year, and the way he works suits the Band. At very short notice, Gareth agreed to take Freckleton to the Grand Shield and cover all the rehearsals we had pencilled in. Gareth said: ‘I worked with the Band at the end of last year and there was obviously an immediate rapport. I’m excited therefore about working with the Band again, this time with a Contest performance at the end. Due to the late nature of this appointment and the distance between South Wales and Freckleton, rehearsal time is at a premium, but I am confident that we will do everything in our power to give justice to Wilfred Heaton’s masterpiece. The piece has fond memories for me as a player having played Principal Cornet 3 times - 1st place at the British Open with Rigid Containers conducted by Bramwell Tovey; 3rd place at the Area with Ransomes conducted by Peter Parkes and 3rd place at London RAH with Brodsworth Colliery conducted by David James. It will be good to now conduct the piece and I will unashamedly incorporate some of their very different and personal interpretations as well as my own into my work with Freckleton.’ Rehearsals have begun with Gareth, and the Band looks forward to the contest, as well as sending Paul Dalton best wishes for a speedy recovery! Andy Cattanach, Chairman.