Tributes paid to Lyme band founder

PUBLISHED: 13:14 18 November 2013 | UPDATED: 13:14 18 November 2013

Lyme Town Band stalwart, the late Jim Sweetland,  with his life member award

Lyme Town Band stalwart, the late Jim Sweetland, with his life member award


With the sad and unexpected passing of Jim Sweetland the town band had lost “a true stalwart”.

Tributes have been paid to Jim Sweetland, a founder member of Lyme Regis Town Band whose sudden death has shocked the community.

Spokesman Roger Grose said that with his sad and unexpected passing the band had lost “a true stalwart”.

He said: “When the band was founded in 1981 using a donation from the filming of ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’, Jim was there from the beginning, alongside Ian North, Malcolm Street and Musical Director Joe O’Donnell, all of whom are no longer with us.

“Jim held a variety of positions within the band, demonstrating his whole-hearted commitment over many years. He taught many youngsters to play, ensuring that there were always new recruits coming through.

“It was Jim who taught my son Daniel to play. When Dan was up to standard, he joined the main band and I would chauffeur him around to all the engagements. In the end, I decided to join the band as well and found myself sat next to Jim. He was always full of encouragement’.

When Jim decided to retire from playing in 2007, the band awarded him a much deserved life membership. Yet despite no longer being a regular playing member, Jim did not lose contact with the band. In emergencies or because of holidays he was more than willing to come along and conduct. On Christmas Eve, when the band was playing carols in Broad Street, Jim would step out of the crowd at the musical director’s invitation to take the baton again.

“Jim’s contribution to the band was immense and his enthusiasm, interest and support will be greatly missed. We extend our deepest sympathy to Daphne, his wife, to his daughter Jan and to the whole family.”

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