Band and ice-skater to greet Olympic flame

Hucknall and Linby Mining Community Brass Band
Hucknall and Linby Mining Community Brass Band

ON YOUR marks, get set, go! Hucknall and Linby Mining Community Brass band are going for gold as part of a show to welcome the Olympic flame to Nottingham.

The go-ahead outfit will be performing as part of a spectacular show at Nottingham Ice Arena to mark the arrival of the London 2012 torch relay in the city.

Bethany Warner

Bethany Warner

The scintillating event, which is a sell-out and will be televised, is to take place next Thursday (June 28), starring Nottingham’s former Olympic skating gold-medallists, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

The band’s musical director, Paul Whyley, said: “It came as quite a surprise when we got an invitation to take part. We put it to the band members as to whether they wanted to be involved and they were all very enthusiastic.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for us. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Paul, who will conduct the band, said it was not yet known what pieces they would be playing at the show and the choice was up to the organisers.

“But I imagine we will be asked to perform some suitably rousing music,” he said. “This could include ‘Land Of Hope And Glory’ as it is likely to be a ‘Last Night Of The Proms’ atmosphere.”

The band was formed in December 2008 with support from Hucknall businessman Richard Darrington and it has done much to preserve the town’s tradition of brass-band music.

In a very short space of time, it has established itself in the heart of the Hucknall community.

Players of all abilities are encouraged to join. They run a small, friendly training group and individual tuition is also provided.

Also eagerly looking forward to performing in the show is 12-year-old ice-skater Bethany Warner, of Shortwood Avenue, Hucknall.

She excels at synchronised skating, which entails teams of between eight and 20 moving across the ice as a single flowing unit, sometimes at high speeds.

Bethany, who goes to Christ The King School in Arnold, took up ice skating in January 2010 and started synchro-skating a year later.

She was a member of a team which won gold in the Dumfries (Scotland) Trophy D’Ecosse in March 2011 and two golds at the same event in April this year.

She also represented Great Britain in a team which won gold at Lyon, France, in October 2011, and silver (but with the highest score) in Compiegne, France, in February this year.

Proud torchbearers for the Nottingham stage of the Olympic torch relay include Barry O’Dowd, of Fradley Close, Bulwell Hall Estate, who is well-known as a boxing coach He will take part in the second part of the city stretch next Friday.

Selected for the same section is Chloe Jones (22), formerly of Sneinton and now living in Hucknall. Chloe has battled back from losing a leg in a hit-and-run accident and she attends Nottingham Trent University as a fashion business student.

Another local torch bearer will be Barry Harper (53), a former police chief inspector who was born and bred in Hucknall. He made two treks to the North Pole and one to the South Pole as well as being one of the first team to cross the frozen Great Slave Lake in Canada — his adventurous exploits raising thousands of pounds for charity.

He will carry the torch as it makes its way through Market Harborough in Leicestershire on Monday July 2.

Andrew Hayward (28), of Windsor Close, Hucknall, a volunteer with the town’s Thursday Club — which meets at the Leisure Centre and helps adults and children with special needs — is to take part in the Mansfield leg of the relay next Thursday.

n OUR PHOTOS show Paul Whyley and the band getting ready for their appearance and Hucknall ice-skater Bethany Warner — DISPIC NHUD12-1533-7.