Each year the U3A Vintage Brass Band raises money for Macmillan Caring Locally, the charity which supports ‘The Mac Unit’ at Christchurch Hospital, by playing Christmas Carols to shoppers in Saxon Square. Restrictions meant playing activities were limited in 2020 but band member Tony Kent arranged with Christchurch Council for the band’s quartet, Brass in Harmony and small ensembles of Vintage Brass members to play in the Square on December 14th.
Vintage Brass's efforts not only cheered up shoppers, but also raised £344.93 through bucket collections for Macmillan Caring Locally.
The band also used their time away from playing to stage a U3A Vintage Brass 2020 Lockdown Charity Beard Growing Competition. Over the course of 20 days band members Dave Cornford, Roy Oxford, Pete Guntrip and Cliff Brock took up the challenge of growing a beard – with varying degrees of success and to the absolute horror of their wives Helen, Angela, Betty and Wilma. Tony judged the final results in terms of luxuriance, bristle-iness, food processing and storage and grooming and ended up making them all winners for their sheer determination. The contest was a lot of fun and thanks to the generous sponsorship of their friends and families raised a further £520.25 for Macmillan Caring Locally. Bringing our total donation to just over £865.
Neal Williams, Trust Secretary of Macmillan Caring Locally is shown here accepting the cheque from a few socially distanced members of Vintage brass. Neal commented “This fabulous group of people have been using their talents and their spare time to help the Mac Unit for many years and we cannot thank them enough for their continuing support.”
Christchurch U3A Vintage Brass members are hoping to resume their normal Carol playing for Macmillan Caring Locally this Christmas.