By Royal appointment...

An ensemble from Brighouse & Rastrick Band provided the musical accompaniment to a visit to Batley by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

  Two new supporters of the band pose for a picture...

With bands looking to make a musical impression to the widest possible audience during this difficult time, it's always good to get out onto the streets in your area to showcase your playing talents — as you never quite know who you may bump into…

Brass Band England recently contacted Brighouse & Rastrick Band to enquire if they could raise a small group to play for a VIP group visiting Batley.


Despite only being given minimal information due to security measures they immediately agreed, and dressed in their traditional Whit Friday uniforms they headed to Batley in West Yorkshire.

However, whilst there the full extent of the profile of the occasion was apparent as they provided a musical accompaniment to a visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The royal couple were in the area as part of their 3 day UK tour to pay tribute to key workers for their wonderful efforts during the Coronavirus pandemic.


In Batley they paid a surprise visit to 85-year-old Len Gardner who is a full-time carer for his wife Shirley who suffers with Alzheimer's disease. The Duchess has been supporting him through regular phone calls during lockdown.

A little earlier an ensemble from the band welcomed William and Kate with a rendition of 'Jingle Bells' before in best Whit Friday tradition they marched down the road following the Royal couple towards Len's house for the visit.

With international and national television crews, as well as regional and local press in attendance, the couple apologised for being cheeky in asking for an extra carol before speaking to the players and asking how the band had coped during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The band undertook social distancing and Covid-19 guidelines as requested for the occasion.

We know how challenging it has been for bands, but to hear about a couple such as Len and his wife put it all into perspective for us. It gave us all a fantastic boostBrighouse & Rastrick Band

Inspirational visit

A band spokesperson told 4BR: "This was a wonderful way in which we could help an inspirational visit to people in their local area.

You could see that the visit meant such a great deal to the people in the area who have struggled during the lockdown period — and we were very proud to be able to represent them too.

We know how challenging it has been for bands, but to hear about a couple such as Len and his wife put it all into perspective for us. It gave us all a fantastic boost."

More carols to come

They added: "As a charitable organisation the band has been keen to keep connected to our local community and the wider banding world, so it was great to hear William and Kate thanking us for our efforts.

After the event the players managed to get together to do a socially distanced recording of some Christmas music which will be released in the very near future."

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