The village band home to 'intergenerational camaraderie and brilliant banter'

A band received a visit from the Mayor and Mayoress of Rossendale during band practice.

The Mayor, Councillor Andrew Walmsley and Mayoress Pat Smith went to see Water Village Band. They were following up a visit they made to a showcase event for youth organisations which took place in March at The White Horse Project in Newchurch.

Water Village Band was unable to take part in this event so the Mayor and Mayoress made a special visit to the band’s Saturday rehearsal for beginners and improvers to learn about the work the band does with young people.

John Mitchell, who leads the beginners’ sessions, welcomed the guests who arrived just as he was putting the musicians through their paces with pieces of music chosen to build up their skills. They played two tunes in full before taking a break to talk to the Mayor and Mayoress.


John Mitchell, said: “It was a real treat to be able to show off the work we do at Water to two such important and interested guests. As well as young people we also cater for adult beginners and the Mayor and Mayoress were really keen to see how the generations mix and help each other.”

The Mayor posted a comment on his Facebook page which reads: “From our visit you can see the intergenerational camaraderie, in my terms the banter; it’s just brilliant, and they can play too!”

The Mayor had been a junior beginner with the band in the 1980s. John had intended to hijack Cllr Walmsley into trying to play a cornet, but instead the Mayor leapt at the chance to show that even after 40 years he could remember how to play a scale.

John said: “He was only with the band for a short time but this shows how learning to play an instrument as a youngster is something which you never forget, although of course we do hope that our beginners will stay with us for a bit longer than six months.”

The Mayor added: “Thanks for allowing me to pick up a cornet for the first time in about 40 years. I hope your ears recover.”

The Mayor was also impressed to see the recent refurbishment of the bandroom. He said: “When I was playing here I remember it as quite dark, and sometimes difficult to read the music on a dull day.

“Now, with all the upgrades which have been carried out to the building, I’m impressed to see such a light and airy room with a great acoustic. It’s a fantastic facility in the heart of Lumb and Water villages.”

The band’s next public engagement will be a concert at Lumb Baptist Church on Saturday, May 18, at 6.30pm which will be raising funds for a defibrillator for Lumb village.

Saturday Practice is from 10am to noon and anyone interested is welcome to just drop in or to contact John Mitchell on 07816 765 474.

The main band rehearsal is on Wednesdays at 7pm and again anyone who wants to find out more can drop in or check out the band’s Facebook page, waterbandrossendalelancs and website: