Founder member of village band will play his tuba for the last time

Dennis Renshaw

Dennis Renshaw

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Aire/Worth Valley Reporter

A founder member of the reborn Wilsden Band will blow his tuba one last time at a special spring concert in his honour tomorrow night.

Dennis Renshaw will bow out after 33 years playing his Eb bass and also serving as band secretary and librarian.

His son Matthew, a member of City of Bradford Brass, will also perform at the farewell concert in Wilsden Village hall.

“He was the reason I got involved in the first place,” said retired computer systems analyst Dennis, 72.

“Matthew was nine when he got a trombone from school and there was talk of restarting the Wilsden Band, so I took him along.”

There had been a band in Wilsden since the middle of the 19th century, but its demise in 1956 seemed to be final.

Then in December 1980, Wilsden Village Society set up a meeting for any interested local musicians and appealed for a conductor.

Mr Renshaw volunteered to take responsibility for the administration of the newly-formed band, which held its first band practice early in 1981, but then got drawn into playing.

“I’d never played before, but I absolutely loved it,” he said.

“Banding has given me so much joy over the years.

“Playing music is just so good for you – it really should be compulsory,” joked Mr Renshaw.

Since starting out, Mr Renshaw has been band secretary and has played his tuba countless times in the village and much further afield at concerts, galas and competitions during the past 33 years.

A man of many interests, after retiring from the Bradford and Bingley Bank one consuming hobby has been his beloved Citroen 2CV car.

“It’s sky blue and I’ve had it since 1995 and it’s a wonderful car.

“My wife Leslie and I have toured all over Europe in the Deux Chevaux.

“When I stopped work I went and worked for nothing two days a week at the garage where it was serviced, just so I could learn the ‘Dark Arts’ of how a 2CV works,” Mr Renshaw said.

Speaking of his decision to leave the band, he said it had been one of his life’s greatest pleasures.

“I have always loved music and it will be sad to say farewell after the concert, although I will carry on as the band’s librarian.

“I’ve always been a “do-er” and a joiner of things and I don’t plan to stop being involved,” Mr Renshaw said.

“But you need a lot of wind to fill a tuba and I just felt it was the right time to retire.

“I will be leaving the tuba behind on Saturday night – but I might sneak a little cornet home with me!” said Mr Renshaw, who is also developing a ukelele addiction.

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