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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Town comes to standstill for Albert Hammonds' funeral


* Llan Silver Band plays in tribute to Albert Hammonds outside their hdeadquarters in Parade Street.


* The funeral cortege turns into Market Street.
                                          



* Mourners line the pavements in Castle Street.

* The funeraal procession turns out of the church car park into Regent Street.
                                                          


LLAN town centre came to a standstill this lunchtime (Tuesday) for the funeral of Silver Band stalwart Albert Hammonds who died on July 31.
St Collen’s Church was full of the scores of mourners who attended to say their final farewells to Mr Hammonds who was the band’s famous musical director.
Band members played selections during the service, which was led by the vicar, the Rev Andrew Sully.
Following the service mourners followed the hearse from the church to the band’s newly-opened headquarters in Parade Street.
The solemn parade, which was marshalled by members of the Tidy Towns Team who held by the traffic, marched to the solemn beat a muffled drum along Regent Street and into Castle Street and Market Street where many more mourners lined the pavements.
Tourists also paused in silence to watch the parade go by.

Deep Harmony


Outside their headquarters, for which Mr Hammonds had been a prime fundraiser, the band played the tune "Deep Harmony" - one of Mr Hammonds’ favourite pieces.
The muffled drum once again provided a single-beat accompaniment for the funeral procession as it continued back on to Church Street and into Abbey Road on its way to St John’s Church cemetery where interment took place.

Mr Hammonds’ coffin, which was borne into St Collen’s for the service, had his own silver instrument, a baritone horn, placed on top of family floral tributes.
Mr Hammonds had been a keen brass band player since childhood and was a member of Llangollen Silver Band for over 66 years.
In his youth he would happily play for any band in the North East Wales area that needed a baritone player, and he often boasted that in those days it was possible to play at rehearsals for a different band every day of the week with minimal travelling.

A well-known figure in Llangollen, he has more recently been able to enjoy the pleasures of walking his dogs, looking after his grandchildren, playing bowls and chatting with his many friends, but most of all he will be remembered for his dedication to the survival and prosperity of the band.
His role over the years encompassed playing the baritone horn, conducting, organising and fundraising, especially towards the costs of the building of the new band-room.
Although his health had been failing him since March this year, fellow band members were delighted that he was well enough to be with them for the grand opening of the new band hall on June 16.

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