News from Tasmania!

From: Douglas Brickhill
Subject: Boobs & Brass from Tasmania.
Hi Margaret, I am a 77 year disabled old ex bandsman from Launceston Tasmania, and the way I keep in touch, in a very small way, with Brass banding is to communicate with many Brass bands from all over the UK by emails so as to access their websites and therefore their histories and current news.
It keeps me busy and I get a huge number of replies, perhaps because of the 12,000 miles between us. Sometimes I buy CDs off them and have gained some gems, especially from the lesser grade bands. Roberts Bakery is 1 I especially like. I even swap the 2 unique Alex Lithgow I have  CDs of 3 Tasmanian Brass bands I have playing 40 of his 75 known marches for 1 of their`s. It is win/win.
I hope you don`t mind, but as my son Paul is in his 8th year of remission from Multiple Myeloma and a long time girl friend of my wife`s was diagnosed with Breast Cancer about a year ago and she is not doing well even after having chemo, I know how cancer can effect friends and particularly families.I have sent a few pages from your excellent website to the Tasmanian Cancer Support Centre for their interest. I have not suggested that they copy your wonderful fund-raising project but your girls will know that a band in Northamptonshire is doing actually more that their bit to combat this evil malady. The Support Centre is new and less than a year old and is only 200 metres from The Launceston General Hospital which houses the Holman Clinic, the oncology/haematology facility.
Here in Tasmania we have population of about a 1/2 million with 15 Brass bands, with Launceston with 106,000 having 5, including the Launceston Railway Silver Band of which I was a 3rd generation player until health/mobility issues forced me to hand my baritone back in about 35 years ago.
Out of the 15 Tassie bands, there would not be more than 1 dozen lady players and they are as rare, in proportion in Australia, (The Mainland to us) bands.
I`ve got a list here of well over 1000 UK bands, and I guess there are as many unregistered and it amazes me to see so many ladies playing, some even as soloists in the top echelon bands.
I have just bought Carlton Main Frickley Colliery`s Solo Spots in which there are some amazing lady players including Kirsty Abbotts playing solos accompanied by the band which until a few months ago I had never heard of. Now they are #12 on the World Grading list, even without my guidance (joke).
With all those bands in Britain, I have heard that if people build 2 houses on a plot of less that an acre and miles from the next 2 houses, it is called either a city or town?
Regards and keep up your magnificent work against the evil thing that effects so many, including the odd male.
Doug




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