Petworth Town Band offer D-Day 75th Anniversary Concert

Petworth Town Band are hoping for a strong turn-out of Petworth people and organisations to support their D-Day 75th Anniversary Concert in aid of the armed services charity Operation Christmas Box.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 10:30 am
Buglers from the band mark Remembrance in Petworth credit Rob Sadler

The concert will be on Saturday, November 16 at 7.30pm in St Mary’s Church, Petworth.

Bandmaster Martyn Streeter said the concert would be an important last opportunity to commemorate this summer’s 75th anniversary of D-Day.

“We thought that the concert would be very poignant coming just after Remembrance Sunday, and we are hoping to get a lot of support.

“We are supporting Operation Christmas Box which does a fantastic job.”

Formerly uk4u Thanks!, Operation Christmas Box is a registered charity which provides Christmas boxes full of presents (affectionately known as the Square Stocking) as a gift from the nation. In 2018, thanks to donations from members of the public and from sponsors, Operation Christmas Box was able to send nearly 9,000 Christmas gift boxes to UK armed forces personnel on duty overseas over the Christmas period. Boxes were sent to operational theatres including Afghanistan, to ships, submarines and air stations across the globe.

Martyn got to hear about the charity through a talk which had been given in West Chiltington. The report back was that the charity was doing wonderful work.

“At its height, it was sending out 23,500 boxes to the armed forces for Christmas Day. I would say that must have been during the Iraq war. But they are still sending out close to 10,000 boxes and that is still an enormous number.”

Martyn is hoping that the cause, the concert and the special time of year will combine to translate into a strong audience for the band on the night.

“We really struggle to get Petworth people along to our concerts. We are always being praised that Petworth is so lucky to have a town band, but we don’t get as much support from the town as we would like. I really don’t know why that should be the case.

“I think that a lot of organisations are feeling the same pinch. I think that there is a lack of support generally these days, but we could certainly do with more support at our concerts from Petworth people. We are trying to do our utmost to make sure that this concert is a success. This concert in particular is a very topical concert, and we have got a director and trustee from a major charity (Operation Christmas Box) coming along, a charity that really does a lot of good for our armed forces. We just hope that it will all appeal to a lot of people locally and maybe also some people from Chichester.

“We know in the build-up to D-Day, Petworth Park was occupied by a lot of Canadian soldiers, and we know that there are so many D-Day connections with Petworth.”

As for the programme, Martyn is promising a concert based around 1940s music: “We will have a guest appearance from some lady singers doing some wartime songs, and we are hoping to have a narrator to talk about D-Day throughout the concert. We hope the people of Petworth will come along and support this last opportunity to commemorate the anniversary.”

Doors/cash bar open 7pm. Tickets £8 in advance or £10 on the door. Available from Reader’s Good Books, Market Square, Petworth or online at petworthtownband.com