Oxford veteran honoured with special Big Band concert

3 February 2015 15:43

A local big band is holding a special concert to raise money for Blind Veterans UK in honour of a former band member from Headington who received support from the military charity.

BBO Big Band is dedicating the concert, being held in Marlow, to Peter Mayhew, trombone player and one of the founding members of the band in 1986.

Peter sadly passed away in November and the concert will raise money for Blind Veterans UK, the national military charity that supported Peter with specialist equipment and training as his sight drastically deteriorated in his later years.

Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstan's) is the national organisation for vision impaired ex-service men and women, and believes that no one who has served our country should battle blindness alone. The charity provides blind and vision impaired ex-service men and women with lifelong support including welfare support, rehabilitation, training, residential and respite care.

The special concert has been arranged by BBO Big Band. The 20 piece band was formed in 1986 and gets its name from the three counties the original members were drawn from, namely: Bucks, Berks, Oxon. Throughout its 29 year history, the band has raised in excess of £345,000 for charity through the many concerts given.

Hilary Spiers, a member of the band, said: "As a founder member of the BBO Big Band, Peter played a massive part in raising over £345,000 for charity.

"He spoke so highly of Blind Veterans UK so we wanted the money raised from this concert to support them.

"As a musician, losing his sight was particularly difficult for Peter and the charity provided him with vital support."

The concert will be attended by John Cantwell, a friend of Peter's, who also receives support from Blind Veterans UK, and runs one of the charity's lunch clubs which Peter attended.

John said: "Peter loved playing with this band so much and this concert will be a fitting tribute to a great man.

"Blind Veterans UK provided him with support and equipment to allow him to continue to live as independently as possible and I know that all the money raised through this concert will help more blind and vision impaired veterans."

The concert will be held on Thursday 26th February at 8.15pm at The British Legion Club on Station Approach in Marlow.

Tickets are £6 on the door, with a raffle and licensed bar and the audience can look forward to an evening of Jazz, Swing and Big Band music with the BBO Big Band featuring vocalists, Tricia Bassett and Steve Bailey.

For more information about the concert please contact Hilary Spiers on hspiers@waitrose.com.