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Silver jubilee for popular band

PUBLISHED: 17:00 18 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:41 03 March 2010

ONE of Ipswich's best-loved bands is celebrating a quarter of a century of raising money - to the tune of thousands of pounds.

The Ipswich Hospital Band is revisiting some old favourites at a special concert to mark its 25th anniversary, and features some special guests -including a reunion of members past and present in the bar afterwards.

ONE of Ipswich's best-loved bands is celebrating a quarter of a century of raising money – to the tune of thousands of pounds.

The Ipswich Hospital Band is revisiting some old favourites at a special concert to mark its 25th anniversary, and features some special guests –including a reunion of members past and present in the bar afterwards.

Its secretary Betty Green has launched an appeal for former members to turn up to catch up on old times at Felixstowe's Spa Pavilion this Saturday and hear the band play some of the numbers it played in its very first concert.

"We'd love anyone to just turn up at the concert or in the bar afterwards," she said.

Mrs Green, a former nursing sister at the hospital, explained that the band was first set up to give hard-working hospital staff a chance to unwind in 1976.

They played their first gig in 1977 and one of their first audiences included the Queen, when she visited the town that year.

A string of stars have been associated with the band, which was awarded £38,000 of lotto cash this year to buy new instruments to fund its development programme. It now runs an intermediate group for people learning to play instruments and membership is open to all members of the public.

Stargazer and bemonocled xylophone wizard Sir Patrick Moore is one the band's strongest supporters, which has raised money for causes such as the hospital's intensive care unit, Cruse Bereavement care and the Wishbone Trust

Mrs Green added: "We have raised an awful lot of money in the past for numerous charities, thousands and thousands, and we'd love to see as many people as possible with links to the band either as musicians or supporters."

The concert, which will be compered by BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy and Lesley Dolphin, begins at 7.30pm. The reunion drinks will be held in the bar from around 10pm.

For more information on the night or about joining the band, please call Mrs Green on 01473 725144.

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