Situation as of March 2021

Update – March 2021 – nearly a year since we suspended practice sessions!
We are still unable to restart practice sessions on Monday and Wednesdays, but are actively planning, with a view to the proposed possible ‘roadmap’ issued by the Government.

Band members – we have an irregular Zoom meetup once a month, on a Monday evening.  If by some strange chance you have dodged the email invites (which are issued through the Muzodo system) contact Phil

We are not alone in this….

Sad news from our friends in France, where our partners in Aix-en-Provence, the Harmonie Municipale have had to cancel their main winter concert, in honour of St Cecilia (patron saint of musicians, naturally). As the note says on their website, whilst their 2nd wave (of coronavirus) has passed, they have not been able to rehearse enough to ensure a concert of sufficient quality – and they too have problems with venues and auditoria. Their own posts show the efforts they’ve been to, in order to practice – but at least they were able to play outdoors in public once or twice between lockdowns.

Our best wishes to them for 2021 – like them, we are already thinking of the Spring.

They write ‘Ce n’est que partie remise, comptez sur nous’ which I translate as – It’s just a matter of time, count on us!

And, if you scroll down the page to their photos of happier times, you’ll see a photo of the concert in 2017 in Aix, at which some of us were fortunate enough to be able to play!

Current planning – November update

Unfortunately the hopes of resuming practice / rehearsals in Autumn have been put on hold whilst we are still in the midst of the Coronavirus infections. At the time of writing (October 30th) the only certainty is that we won’t be able to do much in the way of performances, if anything, until well in to the New Year. Although we have managed one (socially-distanced, outdoor) practice session, it’s proving difficult to arrange venues now that the weather is getting colder. Our band members come from areas currently in Tiers 1 and 2, which is a further complication to planning.

Efforts continue, and we will get there somehow!

Coronavirus – change of plans

Due to the current CoVid-19 outbreak, in line with official recommendations, we have suspended practice sessions on Monday and Wednesday nights. All our scheduled performances from June onwards are under review .

The concert scheduled for May 2nd has been postponed to a later date, we hope in late September/early October.

Our Spring Season begins

Early notice before our campaigning starts in earnest: mark May 2nd in your diaries. This is the date of our next Charity Concert, which will be held, as last year, in the wonderful Roper Theatre, Bath. It’ll be another joint concert with the Corps of Drums from Devon & Cornwall. More information in the following weeks, tickets to go on sale in the next month or so.

Christmas at Cribbs

With a couple of concerts under our belt at various residential homes in Bristol, our next public outing is on Saturday, 7th December.

If you’re out at and about at Cribbs Causeway Mall, between 1000 and 12, and are drawn to the food hall, that’s where you’ll find us playing selections from the Carols book.

Hope to see you there!

The next season approaches

Thanks to everyone who attended (and played at !) the mini-series of bandstand concerts over the last couple of months. For the record, Keynsham park was the equal to Aix-en-Provence in temperature. Photos will go up on the family album here when there’s time!

Coming up, the summer isn’t yet over, despite the headline – we’ll be playing at the Family Fun day in Filton on Sept 8th, and at the Bathampton Village Fete on Sept 14th. Do come and see us!

And, if you are tempted to join us as a member of the band, this is the ideal time of year to hop aboard, as we look to rehearse new pieces for the new season’s concerts. We don’t have anything so grand as a recruitment drive, but (especially if you are a brass player), we’ll welcome you aboard.
To find out more, follow the general email link for us – info@avonfireandrescueband.org

Road closures – Band Members please read!

Important – anyone travelling to band practice using Lansdown Rd – please note that there’s a council notification of night-time road closures from Monday 29th July, between 7pm and 7am, for an anticipated 2 weeks. The road surface is being repaired from Granville Rd (where the Ensleigh development is) to just past College Rd (opposite the Royal High school), and the council letter stresses there will be no through route.

A fuller notice is to be found on the council’s website https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/streets-and-highway-maintenance/roadworks/major-transport-schemes/carriageway-resurfacing In the table below the main text, follow the link at ‘Lansdown Road part’ to see the map. Note – this is not the Lansdown Lane roadworks shown in the table.

At the time of writing this post, the council website doesn’t give the times and dates, but these have been sent out in a letter to local residents. Apparently road signs will be going up soon with advertised diversions – these will either involve travel from the North (A420) or via Weston and up Lansdown Lane.

Notes from the AGM (primarily for Band members)

Thanks to all those who were able to attend last week’s AGM. The formal minutes will be sent to band members, but here are the main headlines for those who couldn’t make it:

  • There are currently 35 playing members in the Concert (Monday) band
  • We performed 11 concerts in 2018/19
  • The Charity Concert in May raised over £550 (in ticket sales and donations) for the Fire Fighters Charity
  • There was support from band members for a similar pattern of gigs: one major event as a charity raiser, plus the familiar mix of park concerts and care homes. The aim will be to focus on one repertoire, for the season.
  • There were slight changes to the wording of our constitution, to bring it into line with the Service’s non gender-specific practice
  • The Jim Churchill award was presented to Ian Taylor (alto sax)
  • The committee for 2019/2020 will be chaired by Katharine Evans, the hon secretary will be Phil Ashby
  • The subs for Monday band members (which are now due for payment) are £50, £25 for retired members. Wed band subs are as last year.