Brenda Wootton Paris concert with Camborne Town Band unearthed

Watch our BBC Spotlight film about the discovery of the concert tapes. Reporter: Matt Pengelly

A concert by Brenda Wootton in Paris during the summer of 1984 has been unearthed here in Cornwall.

The late BBC Radio Cornwall presenter was a well loved star throughout France especially in Brittany.

Brenda would introduce her popular songs in French for the appreciative crowd.

The recently discovered tapes from the original concert have been cleaned up and will hopefully be released on CD in the near future.

Recently discovered tapes of Brenda Wootton
The tapes had been in boxes for many years

John Knight worked as a sound engineer on many of Brenda's recordings. When he was packing up a recording studio he'd run for years, John took with him several boxes of tapes. Some of those featured songs by Brenda Wootton including the never before released recordings from Paris in 1984.

Although the concert was recorded it wasn't for a new album at that time.

John says: "Brenda wanted to have a personal record of the concert. She never released a live album. I don't think it was intended for release. But now I think we have the potential there."

John Knight hopes that in the near future the rare recordings will be released as an album.

"Ideally we would love to release it on cd with some of the stories from the tour. There's 25 tracks in total. We can also produce them as downloads as well."

Although a date for an album has not been set as yet. Fans of Brenda Wotton can hear sneak previews of some of the songs online.

Gloria Knight, who was a friend of Brenda's runs a website called With John's help a taster of the concert is now available on her website.

Gloria says: "The songs have been online for a couple of weeks and already I have seen very good web traffic from all over the world. We know that people are loving the songs so far. There's snippets of six songs online."

For many years Brenda was a well known voice on BBC Radio Cornwall, presenting 'Sunday Best' a weekly request programme. She was also the Honorary President of Radio Beacon, the hospital radio service for St Lawrences Hospital in Bodmin.

Click here to listen to snippets from the recently discovered concert.


Success for Camborne Bands at the West of England Regional Championships

Defending West of England Champions Members of the Camborne Town Band narrowly missed out on retaining their title on Sunday evening following being awarded 2nd position out of the 10 competing Bands at the West of England Regional Championship Finals. The total bands competing at this years contest was 73 and included 15 Cornish bands. Despite losing their title the band are pleased that they will represent the West of England with winners, the Flowers Band, at the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall in October. The result is a reversal of last years result and continues the history of no band retaining their title since the contest has been held in Torquay. Camborne Town Band will be the only Cornish Band appearing at the 2010 National Finals despite near misses by St.Austell and St. Breward in the 1st and 3rd Sections.

The Championship Test Piece “English Heritage” composed by Cornishman George Lloyd proved popular with bands and audience alike. Adjudicators were David Horsfield and Stan Lippeatt.

Camborne Town Band was prepared for the contest by their Musical Director, Kevin Mackenzie, who handed over the conducting role for the contest to professional conductor Ian Porthouse – Musical Director of the Tredegar Band.

The test piece of 17 minutes duration included solo features for many of the band’s soloists including Kayleigh Rowe (cornet), Les Kneebone (soprano), Andrew Mitchell (flugel), Mark Letcher (horn), Robert Jose (euphonium), Ross Buist (baritone), Barry Buist (trombone), and Lee Trewhella (Eb Bass).

The band has a busy schedule of contests and concerts to look forward to with the next contest being in the Hall for Cornwall on 10th April. This is a new entertainment contest for Cornish Championship and 1st section Bands with a£1,000 first prize at stake. On Sunday 9th May the band will appear at the Minack Theatre, Porthcurno with popular Cornish Comedian Johnny Cowling in “Showstoppers” Concert. On Thursday 2nd June the band will appear again with Johnny Cowling and with the Cornwall Boys Choir in “An evening of Music and Comedy”. Professional conductor of the famous Fodens band, Gary Cutt, will conduct the band and act as compere for this concert.

The weekend was a double success story for Camborne as their ‘B’ Band was credited with a 4th place in their first appearance in the First Section. There were fourteen other strong bands in this section and with such a young band the result is a fantastic achievement. Since making their debut in the Fourth Section in 2002, this band has consistently risen through the sections in the past 8 years under the direction of Alan Pope. Trustee Vicky Moyle commented that “the band have worked so hard with determination and commitment with the tremendous support of their musical director to achieve their current standard”.

The band is looking forward to their next challenge on 10th April where they will compete in the Open Entertainment Brass Band Contest.

Chairman, Marcus Dunstan, stated that “It has been another very successful contest for the Society’s Bands and with two excellent Musical Directors and a policy of bringing on our own players I believe that we a base for continued improvement to ensure that our famous tradition continues and flourishes”.

The abbreviated results:

Championship Section

1st Flowers

2nd Camborne Town Band directed by Ian Porthouse - both bands now qualify to represent the West of England at the National Finals in the Royal Albert Hall in October

Other Cornish placings:

4th Mount Charles directed by Phillip McCann

5th St.Dennis directed by Philip Harper

8th Helston Town directed by John Hitchens

First Section

1st Portishead

2nd Bournemouth Concert Brass - both qualifying to represent the West of England at the National Finals in Harrogate in September

Cornish placings:

3rd St.Austell Town dirceted by Gareth Pritchard

4th Camborne 'B' directed by Alan Pope

8th Lanner & District directed by Stuart Chappell

Second Section

1st Filton Concert Brass

2nd Shrewton Silver - both qualifying to represent the West of England at the National Finals in Harrogate in September

Cornish placings:

8th Heyl Town directed by Derek Johnston

10th St.Pinnock directed by Chris Spreadbury

13th Pendennis Brass directed by Steve Thomas

Third Section

1st Sidmouth Town

2nd Bream Silver - both qualifying to represent the West of England at the National Finals in Harrogate in September

Cornish placings

3rd St.Breward Silver directed by Grahan Boag

8th Bugle Silver directed by David Pope

13th St. Stythians directed by James Burns

Fourth Section

1st Test Valley Brass

2nd Hatherleigh Silver - both qualifying to represent the West of England at the National Finals in Harrogate in September

Cornish placings

10th Launceston Town directed by Dave Dobson

17th Porthleven Town directed by Francis Ralph

18th Lostwithiel Town directed by Denzil Stephens




Saturday 20th February - Senior Band Hold Annual Dinner & Dance

On Saturday the 20th of February the Camborne Town Band held their annual dinner and dance at the Cliffdene Hotel in Newquay. Players & supporters came together to celebrate the success of 2009, this also gave a chance to give commendation to individuals. 1st Horn player Wayne Brown was awarded Bandsmen of the year for his constant dedication to the Band. Bbb Bass player James Sturgess was awarded Most improved player. Euphonium player Robert Jose was awarded best solo performance for his contribution at the National Finals. Solo Horn player Mark Letcher was awarded Players player.

The Senior Band are now preparing for the Area Championships at Torquay where they hope to retain the title and qualify again for the National Finals.


New Signings for 2010

Camborne Town Band would like to announce the signing of 3 new members. Benjamin King on 2nd Baritone, Simon Kendall on 2nd Euphonium and Steven Day on Percussion.

Both Benjamin King and Simon Kendall are current members of the Camborne Youth Band under the Direction of Alan Pope which have had great success under his direction. Steven Day has had many years experience on percussion mainly with the Bodmin Town Band but has worked with bands such as Fodens & Black Dyke.

Musical Director Kevin Mackenzie says:

"I am delighted to welcome these players to the band.They will certainly strengthen the ranks ready for the new year ahead. I am pleased I am able to promote players from our own Youth & B Bands, which demonstrates the hard work being undertaken by Alan Pope training young people to play brass instruments.Their first contest with the senior band will be at the Yeovil Entertainment Contest in February."

Shortly after the Yeovil Entertainment Contest, the band will being working towards defending their title at the South West Area Contest in Torquay under the direction of Ian Porthouse.

Sunday 8th November - Open Meeting For All Players and Supporters

On Tuesday 24th November 2009, Camborne Town Band Music Society will be holding an open meeting. It will be held in the Magistrates Room at the Basset Centre, Basset Road, Camborne. Topics to be covered will include the trustees and management teams roles, membership and supportewr types, election of officers, the financial structure and band plans for 2010. All players and are warmly invited to attend and meet the Society Trustees, Management Teams and Musical Directors.


Saturday 31st October - Camborne Proms Night a Great Success

On Saturday, Camborne Town Band held their annual proms concert at Camborne School. In the first half, the band played pieces including 'An Untold Story', played superbly on tenor horn by Mark Letcher, 'That's A Plenty' and 'Vitae Aeturnum' by Paul Lovatt-Cooper. With the audience having consumed some wine during the interval, the band then continued in the second half with the usual prom items, which the audiece thoroughly enjoyed taking part!! During the concert, the band's President, Mr David Roberts, presented Leonard Adams with a life members certificate of the Camborne Town Band Music Society. Thank you must go to our compere of the evening, Paul Triggs, who once again did a sterling job. Also, a big thank you must go to our sponsors, Walters & Barbary, and to everyone who supported the evening. The band look forward to repeating this concert again next year.

Wednesday 28th October - Camborne Make Their Way Up the Rankings

After Camborne Town Band's excellent Result at the 2009 National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, they have moved up 16 places in the World Brass Band Rankings to number 31 - their highest placing for some time! Camborne 'B' Band have also made an appearance in the rankings for the first time, entering at number 176! Camborne Town Band Music Society congratulates both bands on this excellent achievement! The full top 200 can be found at

Sunday 18th October - Excellent 8th Place for Camborne in London!

Yesterday, Camborne Town Band competed in the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain at the famous Royal Albert Hall in London. Conducted by Richard Evans, they were placed 8th out of 20 by adjudicators David King, Derek Broadbent and David Read. Competing amongst some of the best brass bands in the World, let alone the Country, Camborne drew to play number 12, between Carlton Main and Fairey, taking to the stage of the magnificent hall at about 2pm. After a successful performance of Peter Graham's 'The Torchbearer', the band were delighted to be awarded 8th - Camborne's highest placing at the contest since 1990! The full results of the contest are below, courtesy of

Result. Band, Conductor, Draw

  1. Black Dyke, Dr. Nicholas Childs, 5 2
  2. . Fodens, Garry Cutt, 9
  3. 3. Cory, Dr. Robert Childs, 6
  4. 4. Rothwell Temperance, David Roberts, 19
  5. 5. Reg Vardy, Stephen Roberts, 3
  6. 6. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery, Russell Gray, 11
  7. 7. Flowers, Paul Holland, 14
  8. 8. Camborne Town, Richard Evans, 12
  9. 9. Co-operative Funeralcare, Michael Fowles, 1
  10. 10. Newstead Brass, Duncan Beckley, 20
  11. 11. Fairey, Philip Chalk, 13
  12. 12. Zone One, Richard Ward, 18
  13. 13. Hepworth (Cookson Homes), Frank Renton, 10
  14. 14. Tredegar, Ian Porthouse, 17
  15. 15. Redbridge Brass, Jeremy Wise, 4
  16. 16. Desford Colliery, James Gourlay, 7
  17. 17. Kirkintilloch, Selmer Simonsen, 8
  18. 18. Northop, Thomas Wyss, 2
  19. 19. Pemberton Old Wigan DW, Mark Bentham, 16
  20. 20. East Yorkshire Motor Services, Jason Katsikaris, 15

Best instrumentalist:Glyn Williams, Foden's

Camborne Town Band Music Society wishes to congratulate the band and Richard on such a fantastic result and the band wish to thank Richard and their Musical Director, Kevin Mackenzie, for all their hard work in the lead up to the contest. The band had a fantastic time in Richard's company and look forward to welcoming him to back Cornwall again in the future. Camborne also send their congratulations to the other West of England representatives, Flowers, for their excellent 7th placing - a great pair of results for the South West!

Thursday 8th October - Camborne Prepare for London Appearance

Camborne Town Band are midst their preparations for their appearance at the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain to be held in the Royal Albert Hall in London next Saturday. The set test piece for the contest is a new commission entitled 'The Torchbearer - Symphonic Variations on a Theme by Eric Ball' by Peter Graham. The band have been very busy rehearsing the piece under Muscial Director, Kevin Mackenzie, however, at the weekend they were fortunate to welcome professional conductor, Richard Evans, back to Cornwall as he will be leading their performance in London. Richard ran rehearsals last Saturday and Sunday and will be returning next Monday for the contest week. If you are unable to make the trip to London next weekend but would like an opportunity to hear the band and Richard's performance as well as see them rehearse, there will be an open rehearsal next Wednesday (14th October). This will take place at Camborne Wesley Methodist Chapel at 8:00 pm and your support will be greatly appreciated!