Tributes paid to Petworth Band member

editorial image

Members of Petworth Town Band led musical tributes when a seat was dedicated to long standing member John Grimwood.

John had been a member of the band for 64 years when he died in January last year and had sounded the Last Post at Remembrance services in the town for 58 years.

A large crowd gathered in Golden Square on Sunday to listen to the band play a selection of marches and John’s favourite hymn ‘Dear Lord and Father of Mankind.’

A short service of dedication was performed by the Rev Tim Wright, rector of St Mary’s Parish Church.

John’s daughter Judith and sons David and Stephen then cut the ribbon and officially unveiled the sear.

After the dedication there was a gathering in the United Reformed Church for refreshments.

The seat was funded by the collection from a memorial concert performed by Petworth Town Band last year and donations from Petworth Society and the Midhurst and Petworth Rotary Club as well as help from Petworth Town Council.

One of the organisers of the project Juliet Fynes told the Observer: “Thanks are also due to the Leconfield Estate staff, under the direction of Roger Wootton, who installed the seat and to the HSBC Bank for permitting it to be placed on their forecourt.”

John Grimwood was 80 years old when he died on January 14 last year. He left Petworth Boys School at 14 and after completing his plumbing apprentice-ship he was called up for National Service where he was appointed bugler. He joined the town band in 1946 playing principal cornet. He was secretary for many years creating a fundraising committee and raising enough money to provide brass instruments and uniforms which are still used today.

After he retired he devoted nearly two decades to community work, driving the minibus and delivering meals-on-wheels until his health forced him to stop. He was awarded the MBE in 2003 for services to the Petworth Town Band and the community.

The esteem Petworth held for him was shown by the huge turnout at a service of thanksgiving for him on January 28 last year. And inscribed on the plaque are the words ‘A man of Sussex and a true gentleman’.