It is with great sadness that the Band has learnt of the Sudden Death of Ralph Bell on the 18th August 2007. Ralph was a founder member of the present Band (which back in 1950 was known as the Esh Winning Colliery Welfare Band) who, along with eight others, contributed £8 towards an instrument fund. Throughout this time, Ralph played Cornet, Tenor Horn, and for many years, 1st Baritone until work commitments forced him to leave the Band in 1987. He returned in January 1995 on Euphonium culminating in holding the Principal Position for the last 1 ½ Years. In Conversation only last week, he commented on how much he was enjoying playing the Euphonium and that he regarded it as being one of the best periods in his Banding Career. He helped out with the Learners Section on Most Wednesday Evenings before a practice. He rarely missed rehearsals or engagements (though any job on a Thursday Night was out of the question as he would laugh and say this was "Grab a Grannie Night)" - A reference to his other love of dancing and another hobby which he ran in the Village Hall at Quebec). He was the resident band joker and with a mischievous sense of humour which never failed to raise a laugh at practices. His own distinctive laughter frequently rang out whenever the Band was together and this never failed to raise a smile - even if we didn't know what the joke was about!!!
He leaves a wife, Arlene, daughters Angela & Jeanette and son Alan with 3 grandchildren. Our deepest sympathies are extended to the family. He was one of the old characters of the Banding World and he will be sorely missed - not just by the Band he loved so much and supported so well - but by all who knew him. Funeral Details to be advised.