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If you want to raise money for your band then spare a thought for this poor soul...


Stocksbridge Band's intrepid bass trombonist Nick Stokes successfully completed his Carolathon on Christmas Eve—but got more than he bargained for!

Having planned to do 9am through to 9pm, he found himself making his first performance at 8.30am and his last at 10.15pm!

Nick started his day being interviewed by Dean Pepple on BBC Radio Sheffield, and performing an off the cuff version of 'Good King Wenceslas'—with extra bonus wrong notes—live on the show. He then headed to Hillsborough to start the carolling proper with his own band, Stocksbridge.

In total, Nick played 72 carols in 11 separate venues and covered just over a hundred miles. 'Jingle Bells' was the most played carol with 7 plays, closely followed by 'Rudolph' and 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas'4BR

With them he played seven carols, including the only performance of a favourite of his, 'Good Christian Men Rejoice'. Then it was onwards to Ecclesfield to play two carols with Chapeltown, then Barnsley to play a further three with Barnsley Building Society Band.

14 hours

At the next stop, at Cortonwood with Rockingham band, Nick played seven carols from the green book, including the excellent (for the bass end anyway!) 'Brightest and Best'. Then it was off down the M1 to meet up with Dinnington band to play a relatively long stint of 14 carols.

Then it was time for a bit of a contrast, with the first of two performances with Doncaster Scout Band, in Doncaster, in which Nick didn’t actually play a single carol! Instead, he played six tunes from the Scouts marching book, including 'It Don’t Mean A Thing' (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) and 'Hey Big Spender'.

Short break

After a short break, it was time another long stint, playing thirteen carols in an outdoor carol service with Hatfield Band in Bawtry. Then back in the car, and off back to Sheffield to rejoin the Doncaster Scouts. Nick played ten carols here, before heading off into the Peak District to join Bakewell band at the end of their annual outdoor carol service in the middle of the tiny peak village of Great Longstone .

Nick then headed back to Sheffield , albeit the very south of the city, to take part in his final and longest performance. He played 16 carols in various rooms of a hotel/restaurant with Woodhouse Prize band, before partaking of a well-earned pint!

Grand total

In total, Nick played 72 carols in 11 separate venues and covered just over a hundred miles. 'Jingle Bells' was the most played carol with 7 plays, closely followed by 'Rudolph' and 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas'.

Nick, and Stocksbridge Band would like to offer their sincerest thanks to the bands who allowed Nick to join them throughout the day, and hope they had a prosperous Christmas season. Nick would also like to thank his sister, Rhiannon, for being the official map reader and photographer for the day.

Nick raised over £200 for Stocksbridge Band, and with sponsors still coming forward, is hoping this total may reach £300.


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