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Wingates Band

A Fond Farewell

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Band President David Kaye Retires

David Kaye bring the new Wingates Band street plaque to an interview on Washacre FM.Marking the end of an era, it was with great sadness that April 2016 saw the retirement of Band President, David Kaye.

David had been a loyal servant and ardent supporter of the band for over 25 years, and has seen the band through the many trials and tribulations of band life, and some wonderful achievements in recent times with the 140-year anniversary celebrations, the anthology 'From Bible Class to World Class' - which benefited from his skills as a historian - and projects such as the 'Sounds of a Century' album celebrating 100 years of Wingates Band recordings.

David Kaye President of Wingates Band receiving his Honorary Doctorate (image courtesy of 4barsrest website)In honour of his tireless work with Wingates Band and significant contribution to local community life and institutions, Wingates Band President David Kaye was given the honour of Honorary Doctorate conferred on him by the University of Bolton, for: "An outstanding contribution to the community of Bolton". Not only does this recognise David, but also Wingates Band itself which continues to endure and entertain across the country and even around the world. (4barsrest article.)

Enthusiastic and committed, David was a passionate champion of Wingates Brass Band, and a key figure and personality within the Westhoughton community. He organised for two Westhoughton Community Network meetings to take place at the hallowed band hall. With David's tireless efforts, the band have been well represented at community events and fairs. Gratitude, support and best wishes for the future have been expressed by all those who have engaged with him.

David continues with his two other passions: his following of cricket and his interest in local history, and is now Chair of the popular and highly productive Westhoughton Local History Group.

David Kaye Signs Off…

It would be impossible to hazard even the wildest guess at the number of words I have written in the cause of Wingates Band over a period of many years (perhaps into the millions!), as a result of a myriad of missives, encompassing thousands of individualised letters, Press Releases, around 70 issues of the 'Wingates World' magazine, diverse periodic newsletters, miscellaneous reports, an 'explosion of emails' in latter years, and three publications commemorating key milestones in the band's history.

On 23rd February (2016), having at the end of 2015, 25 years of service to the band as fan, promoter, Trustee and President, a very emotional end to what has been a very long, fascinating, stimulating – but frequently also very challenging! – journey and chapter came to an end.

My involvement which began quite by chance, and which was totally unplanned at a time when I had hardly a spare second – let alone minute – in my life, as a combination of career, family, and other community commitments, most notably a very heavy involvement in the local cricket scene.

During 1990, my already demanding work schedule became significantly more demanding, as I had the added responsibility of planning the building of a marvellous new headquarters at Wingates Industrial Park (and an eventual 'lock stock and barrel' move from Salford to Westhoughton) for the company of which I had stewardship – Krones UK Ltd, the British subsidiary of a globally-operating German parent company. Even as early as the erection of the first steel girders, thoughts had turned to the planning of a high-profile celebration following the official opening of the new buildings, scheduled for October 1991. From somewhere came the thought that the famous Wingates Band - soon to be the company's 'new neighbour' just up the road – might be the ideal 'vehicle' for helping us launch such an important new chapter in the life of our rapidly-expanding company.

At that time, I knew precious little about the band, nor about the banding scene in general, but I was vaguely aware that Wingates had a long and illustrious history, with many accolades to its credit. However, when I enquired about the availability of the band for an engagement approaching a year hence, I was alarmed at the response. The potential engagement was refused, as the band was on the verge of closure. I was – as a complete stranger to the then band secretary – invited to attend a scheduled local charity concert two weeks later, which would ostensibly see the band blow its last notes after 118 years of remarkable history.

Fate determined that I should attend that concert, but I could scarcely have imagined in my wildest dreams what an impact it would have on my life. For a long time it subsequently puzzled me just how I allowed myself to become so quickly and heavily involved with the life of the band, but from the outset something clearly told me that Wingates Band was indeed an ultra-special institution, which should not, must not, be allowed to die.

Happily, that didn't happen, and if for no other reason than that, I can now reflect with some very considerable pride and satisfaction that I have, over the past quarter of a century, striven as hard as possible to help perpetuate the wonderful story that began in Wingates Square on 6th April 1873. As I would discover… Banding is in the blood!

My involvement with the band over the years has brought countless rewards, not the least of which, from a strictly personal perspective, has been the pleasure and privilege of acting as the band's President for almost a decade, and having had the responsibility of being a band trustee for many years prior to that.

I have experienced unbelievable levels of pride hearing the band play at concerts and contests throughout the length and breadth of the land, as well as to international audiences in France (three times), Switzerland, Germany and the USA. In so many ways, my life has been enriched as a result of my involvement with Wingates, but particularly important to me is that my long and unceasing fascination with the band's truly remarkable story has afforded me the opportunity to leave behind at least a little tangible legacy, in the form of three publications: Wingates Band and the Pretoria Pit Disaster (2010); From Bible Class to World Class (2013), and Sounds of a Century (2015).

A massively-important aspect of my work with the band has been the establishment and administration of the Supporters' Club, which, without doubt, has been a key 'lifeline' for the band for so many years. As a result, I have been greatly blessed by establishing many enduring friendships with people who share similar strong sentiments for Wingates Band – people who are indeed, 'kindred spirits'. The band and I will be eternally grateful to everyone who has supported the Wingates cause so faithfully and generously over the years, and the most important element of this message is to register heartfelt thanks for that wonderful support.

You will soon be hearing from 'a new voice' from Wingates Band, and my fervent wish is that you will continue to support the band as enthusiastically and as generously as you have done in the past. I have written on a number of occasions of how desperately sad it is to realise just how many thousands of brass bands throughout Britain have folded over the years (largely, in my opinion, due to the lack of those two vitally important, but often rather rare, ingredients needed – namely time and money) and expressing the importance of ensuring that SUCH A FATE SHOULD NEVER BEFALL WINGATES.


Press Release by David Kaye, 26 March 2016.

Contact Information

Band Manager - Sue MacDonald: 07966 364530and Assistant Band Manager - Kirsty Jacques: 07969 385623 | Email

The Band's Musical Director is Paul Andrews: 07810 712992 | Email

Visit Wingates Band website for latest news and concert information.

Registered Charity No. 1097122

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