Hallet clan still hitting right notes

100 years: The Hallett family at Parrox Proms
100 years: The Hallett family at Parrox Proms
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It is not often the Hallett family get the chance to blow their own trumpet – or more precisely their bass trombone, baritone or flugelhorn.

But Saturday night’s Parrox Proms provided just one such opportunity.

Between them these three members of the Hallett family, from Hambleton and Preesall, have notched up more than 100 years of service with Pilling Silver Band.

Mike has been a member for 56 years, joining in 1958 as a cornet learner at the age of 10. He said: “I attended the junior band to be taught by Tom Redman, like many others before and after me. We all owe so much to Tom.”

He was also taught by ex-Pilling and Army bandsman Frank Bradshaw (Tom’s brother-in-law).

Since then the now bass trombonist has played for more than 11 conductors and has been band treasurer for some 41 years. He said: “I have seen band membership change many times over, with players coming and going. There is only one, Alan Danson, who has been a member longer than me.”

Fond memories include appearing on TV’s Blue Peter with a few other band members when he was aged about 19.

“We were paid expenses by the BBC, which were based on the highest earner attending. Luckily for us trombone player Ron Melling worked at ICI and was on a good salary at the time,” he said.

Mike worked with Jim Redman and others to achieve the dream of building a new bandroom and in 1996 gained a £36,000 National Lottery grant to complete the bandroom car park and purchase new instruments.

Daughter Shelly joined the junior band in 1986 and later progressed on to play baritone. She has been on the band committee for 24 years and was librarian for 20 years.

Emily meanwhile joined the junior band as a cornet player at the age of eight and now plays flugelhorn. She has notched up some 25 years with the band, has served on the committee and been the secretary.