I have stumbled across the Prestwich Churches Together carols in the village precinct for the last couple of years and each time I have vowed to dig out my trumpet and join them for a future gig. Well this year I have done something about it. Earlier in the year our Lay Reader in training, Bob, showcased his trumpeting talents in church whilst accompanying our organist with a couple of anthems. I let the cat out of the bag when congratulating Bob after the service and had to decline an offer to play together with him in church knowing that I hadn’t practiced for about 20 years (yikes!). I did however re-iterate my desire to play a few carols at Christmas and I also found another fellow lapsed player amongst the congregation who was game to dust off her instrument and join in.
Bob is in a different league to Emma and I as he plays in a 25 piece swing band which I had the pleasure of hearing and watching him lead during the summer at the opening of our Church Lane Community Centre. I have practiced over the last month to reach a point where my range is no better or worse than it was 20 years ago. We are so fortunate to live in a detached house (and so are our immediate neighbours!) The kids are entertained by my playing, especially as I’ve worked out the Wallace and Gromit theme. Maria even sang along with me the other evening.
I’m fine playing alone but since the instrument has been left for so many years the tuning slide has seized up. I got the valves running smoothly with a bit of oil but I didn’t want to force the slide and went in search of a professional to help me. Emma got a recommendation from a musician friend of hers to try Johnny Roadhouse on Oxford Road. I’d not been there before but popped in tonight knowing that although it was Brass-man Damian’s day off, John the Woodwind-man who works above the shop might be able to help. He said the instrument might need soaking to loosen everything off and was a bit busy at the moment so recommended another guy called Peter Mills. Peter had a shop in Prestwich Village up until a few months ago. Sadly I think I’d only been in a couple of times and really only out of curiousity. He’s now semi retired and works from home so I rang him and he gave me directions to his house in Simister. Bells started ringing as my Dad had taken me to Simister as a lad (in the old Renault 4) to buy my first trumpet from that same hamlet. Was this little conurbation some sort of hotbed of Brass activity?
As I turned into his street and parked up outside his house it all looked very familiar and Peter was able to confirm that he’d moved to that house before I was born and it was indeed him who sold his silver Besson practice trumpet to my father about 30 years ago. I left my Trumpet with him feeling a warm glow inside, like it was all meant to happen :o)