A CENTURY of the people and music of Lydbrook Band have been celebrated in a new book.

Author – and Lydbrook bandsman – Andrew Mason spent a couple of years researching the story of the band for the book The Essence of Time.

The title refers to one of the pieces of music the band played in its greatest achievement when it came runner-up in the 1994 National Championships of Great Britain at the Wembley Conference Centre.

The book had its official launch at the Speech House Hotel attended by several local dignataries including former band member Cllr Alan Preest, the chairman of Gloucestershire County Council, chair of the Forest Council, Cllr Julia Gooch and vice Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire Roger Deeks.

The band also welcomed previous members, some of whom like composer Gavin Higgins have gone on to have significant careers in music.

It was also an evening, of course for music with several pieces from the band under the baton of Ian Holmes who has been principal conductor for the last 14 years.

They included Serenata by the band’s composer Liz Lane which was dedicated to all those associated with the band that have passed away.

Mr Mason said the book was principally the story of the people in the band over the last 100 years.

He added: “There are some statistics in there but I’m not really a statistics man, it is really about the people.”

He thanked his wife Karen for her help, sister-in-law Carol who went through the text to ensure it was correct and brother Paul, a prolific writer of Forest history.

Andrew has since re-joined the band although this time with the training section.

He said: “About two months ago I decided it was time to go back and I joined the training band and I’ve absolutely loved it.

“Anyone should come and have a go – its such fun.”

President of the band, Peter Hands, told him: “It’s absolutely fascinating and thank you for the time and effort you’ve put into it.”

He presented the author with a voucher for a weekend break on behalf of the band.

Trevor Moss recalled some of the highlights of his 30 years with the band and what members got out of being part of what Ian Holmes dubbed “Team Lydbrook”.

There was a special presentation to Trevor Moss, who was chair of the band for 18 years to mark his half century in brass banding.

He was presented with a certificate and badge from the Gloucestershire Brass Bands Association in recognition of his service to the brass band community by band secretary Robert Morgan.

Emily Dodsworth, who recently became the first female chair of the band, said the band was a “family”.

She said: “I have played with a number of bands and I’ve never felt as welcome or part of the furniture as I do with Lydbrook Band and I think that is a feeling everyone gets.”

She also made a presentation to Robert Morgan and his wife Barbara who together have more than 100 years of service to the band.

Mrs Morgan was given a bouquet and Mr Morgan received a decanter of whisky which was embossed with the band’s logo.

The Essence of Time: Celebrating One Hundred Years of Lydbrook Band 1923-2023 is on sale now and costs £10.