KNIGHTON Town Silver band held their Spring concert at Knighton community centre last weekend. Their guests for the evening were Kington and District Operatic Society (KADOS) who sang a selection of well known songs including The Phantom of the Opera, Somewhere over the Rainbow and The Rose. The band directed by musical director Steve Edwards performed a selection of music including Royal salute, All in an April Evening, The Great Escape and finished with a Glen Miller collection.
Near the end of the concert the winner of the rose bowl was announced. This year the winner was the band's longest serving member Richie Owens who is now in his 70th year playing with the band. He was presented with the rose bowl by musical director Steve Edwards. After this presentation band president Mike Conway presented Richie with a special tankard in recognition of his service to the band for so may year. Before making the presentation Mike said "The band has been an extremely important part of Richie's life, since he joined when he was 14 years old when the late Tom Thomas reformed the band for the Victory Celebrations at the end of the war. Richie started off on the back row cornets then progressed to baritone which he still plays. Richie has always been a very loyal bandsman, hardly missing a practice or engagements (apart from two years national service with the Royal Artillery) and was also very skilled at repairing broken and damaged instruments. Richie met his wife Val when she joined the band as a teenager and members of the band formed an arch outside the church when they married. Three of their four children played in the band and when Derek married Nicola the band played at their wedding.
The band also played at Richie and Val's golden wedding anniversary. The band is very much a part of the Owens family. Richie enjoyed band tours to Germany, Belgium and Holland, but probably the highlight of his career would be playing for the evening service at the Menin Gate in Belgium, an incredibly moving experience that he will never forget. Now in his 70th year with the Knighton band, Richie has no plans to retire."