40 years of 'The Floral Dance' was celebrated in style by Brighouse & Rastrick Band at a special anniversary concert at Huddersfield Town Hall.
Led by Derek Broadbent, whose arrangement of the Cornish folk tune propelled it to number 2 in the UK charts in 1977 for no less than nine weeks, the current West Riding ensemble was joined by twenty players from the band that appeared on the likes of 'Top of the Pops' at the height of its popularity.
And on a night of nostalgia, where much of the music played was from the band's 1970s repertoire, an emotional conductor spoke to a sell-out audience about how much the night meant to him.
"This has been very special: Very, very special indeed," he said as he thanked the many people who had helped put on the concert and a re-union social evening on the Friday night. "I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart."
Those who were no longer alive were also remembered fondly; with tributes to the likes of principal cornet Tony Whittaker, Bob Platt, soprano legend Brian Evans and Treasurer, Eddie Noble. Derek reminded everyone present that the success was down to an amazing team effort from players and committeemen alike.
And with a nice touch of dry wit, Derek also reminded some of the current players — many of who he pointed out, where not even born when the record was vying with Paul McCartney's 'Mull of Kintyre' for the number 1 spot, that 40 years ago, 'The Floral Dance' was perhaps the biggest boost to the popularity of brass bands that had ever been seen.
Whale of a time
As he said: "If you have as much fun as we had, boy are you in for a whale of a time."
And in a neatly pitched rallying call for the future, he also gave a timely reminder that 2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of the band's last British Open victory. "39 years is long enough," he quipped. "Go and do it in thirty nine years, don't wait till next year "
"This has been very special: Very, very special indeedConductor, Derek Broadbent
Reflecting on what had been a wonderful evening of nostalgia Band Spokesperson Ryan Watkins simply told 4BR: "That was a fabulous night for everyone associated with the band past and present."
4BR understands the concert will be broadcast on BBC Radio Leeds' 'Yorkshire Brass' in the coming weeks.