KEN Farr celebrated his 99th birthday on March 29, thinking he would be spending his day as a normal Friday; early evening at the Salvation Army helping to feed the homeless, followed by Bromyard Wind Band rehearsal.

But halfway through rehearsal time with the band, the players broke into Happy Birthday, and a special cornet cake was brought in.

Food followed, and all the players congratulated Ken on his amazingly long, active life.

Ken started playing the cornet with the Salvation Army when he was about nine or 10, and joined the seniors in the Salvation Army Band in 1935. Music has always been in his life.

During the Second World War he was posted to Italy with the Forces, where he was involved in repairing bridges and roads, but whenever possible, like-minded troops got together with their instruments and created informal music groups.

Ken of course continues to this day to play for the Salvation Army, and has been responsible for conducting and teaching.

Several years ago, in his early 90s, he joined Bromyard Wind Band...and wondered if he would be good enough! My goodness yes! And he has often conducted pieces in the band concerts.

Congratulations Ken, and long may you continue playing.

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