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Band to help vilalge hall scheme

PUBLISHED: 15:52 24 July 2008 | UPDATED: 07:32 01 August 2010

IT will be an evening to remember for years to come - that's the hope of the organisers of Brass in the Park tonight.

The event, which features the prestigious Minden Band of the Queen's Division performing in the grounds of Bergh Apton Manor, is the brainchild of John Ling and Chris Johnson.

IT will be an evening to remember for years to come - that's the hope of the organisers of Brass in the Park tonight.

The event, which features the prestigious Minden Band of the Queen's Division performing in the grounds of Bergh Apton Manor, is the brainchild of John Ling and Chris Johnson.

“We were watching the Royal Anglian Regiment receiving the freedom of the city of Norwich on their return from Afghanistan and we decided we wanted to do something to help the families of the Vikings who died out there,” said Mr Ling.

“We thought 'if every village in Norfolk did an event it would be a significant result for the benevolent fund', so we set about organising something, hopefully to inspire others.”

Now, nine months on, that “something” has turned into an evening of family entertainment, backed by our sister paper the EDP, which could raise thousands of pounds to be shared between the Anglian fund and a bid to build a much-needed new village hall.

A 40-strong team of volunteers is putting the finishing touches to the event, which takes place in the picturesque surroundings of the ha ha lawn at the manor, owned by Kip and Alison Bertram.

“After we saw the freedom of the city, we wrote to the Anglians and asked if we could borrow their band. We received a letter back saying that, although the Anglians didn't have their own band, they did have the Minden Band of the Queen's Division, which is based at Bassingbourn,” said Mr Ling.

“We are fairly confident it is going to be the right sort of weather and we have a realistic hope of getting 1,000 people at the event. We have already sold 500 tickets.

“The village hall was opened in 1953 and had a design life of 25 years. It has served the village well but now it's crumbling and we need to help ourselves.”

Tonight the Minden Band will march from the current village hall to the manor where they will delight the crowd with a varied programme including the sights and sounds of Beating the Retreat to end the day. The musical part of the performance will end with a moving version of Sunset, which is based on the Last Post. Visitors are invited to bring their own picnics and barbecues and enjoy the grounds as they wait for the fireworks finale.

Tickets priced at £11.50 each are available from the Archant Norfolk head office in Norwich, from Bergh Apton post office and on the gate. Under 16s go free.

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