Long-standing band call off festive tradition

Musicians will not perform at midnight on Christmas Eve.
Musicians will not perform at midnight on Christmas Eve.

A long-standing brass band festive tradition will not go ahead, despite measures to try and save it.

The chairman of Horbury Victoria Brass Band announced last month that its musicians would not perform carols in the town on Christmas eve, as the clock turns midnight, as it has done for decades.

David Maynard said “unpredictable and dangerous” behaviour from members of the crowd, including pushing, spitting and fighting, meant he could no longer guarantee the safety of band members and spectators.

Since the announcement, which was greeted with sadness from the community, the band has been offered the voluntary services of two off-duty police officers and has also explored the possibility of stewards and performing within a giant truck on Queen Street.

But Mr Maynard confirmed this week that the performance would still not go ahead. He said: “At a committee meeting on Tuesday, it was decided that the measures that we were looking to put in place weren’t sufficient enough to persuade the band members to play.”

The band will still perform in the town during the day and will play in pubs in the evening. But there will be no midnight performance.

Dr Maynard said: “I know people are disappointed but there are overriding problems. We may look again in the future and may well go back to a situation were we play. But we just aren’t happy to do it this year.”