Veteran guests and special duet at Poppy Prom

Director Sleaford Concert Band Jim McQuade. EMN-171210-173804001
Director Sleaford Concert Band Jim McQuade. EMN-171210-173804001

A former Spitfire and Hurricane pilot and a Lancaster Flight Engineer will be guests of honour at this month’s Poppy Prom in aid of the British Legion poppy appeal.

Both veterans live locally, attending the Legion’s regular Camaraderie Club for ex-servicemen held in the Legionnaires Club.

The annual Poppy Prom Concert launches the Sleaford branch’s Poppy Appeal at St George’s Academy on Saturday, October 21, at 7.30pm and tickets are selling fast.

This year, the Royal British Legion will mark the 100th Anniversary of the third Battle of Ypres – The Battle of Passchendaele and Sleaford Concert Band will provide music to commemorate this event.

Next year will see the band journey to Ypres in Belgium where it will perform in Ypres Cathedral, the Bandstand in Ostend and will have the honour of playing at the Menin Gate Last Post ceremony.

The Poppy Prom this year will also see performances by the Miller Magic Big Band.

Another highlight will be euphonium virtuoso Robin Taylor playing a duet of Deep Inside the Sacred Temple with concert band director Jim McQuade – himself an accomplished player. Robin has guested with many ensembles including the National Orchestra of Portugal, Halle Brass, Opera North, The GUS Band and The Grimethorpe Colliery Band. He also featured with Grimethorpe in the 1995 film ‘Brassed Off’. He has won numerous national and international awards.

Jim will be handing over the baton after 20 years next June after the trip to Ypres.

Tickets at £8 are available from Moore and Scrupps of Sleaford, the Co-op food stores in Sleaford and Heckington and the Coffee Pot in Ruskington.