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Music man Len Andrews dies, aged 93
9:00am Wednesday 18th September 2013 in News
LEN Andrews, a light in the brass band world who taught generations how to play music, has died.
The legendary musician from Lower Walton died last Thursday at the age of 93 and his family are expecting people to flock from around the world to mark his funeral next week.
His son Ian, speaking from his home in Tenerife, said: “There are so many people coming from Germany and Malta who want to pay their respects.
“He was a popular figure throughout the town during his time working with the brass bands. He was a big brass and man and did a lot with the Hilden exchange.
“Brass was his life and love and we all followed on with it.”
Len was renowned for his work with youngsters and in 2010 he picked up an MBE for his services to music through Warrington Youth Band.
He picked up his award from Prince Charles days after his son Prince William had announced his engagement to Kate Middleton.
Speaking at the time he said: “Prince Charles was very charming and very nice. I thought he might have given me an invitation to the wedding.
“He said ‘you have got your medal for teaching young people how to play music’.
“I said to him ‘I’m just president of my silver band’ and told him we’d played for the Queen in 1979 when she came to visit Warrington, I almost said his mum.”
Len started out with Kent Street Mission Band in 1965 after he had first picked up a cornet to play with a church brass band when he was 12.
He progressed to Warrington Silver Band and in 1979 the band achieved second place at the Vienna Music Festival before returning the following year to be crowned champions.
Success continued with 22 overseas tours in countries including Germany, Malta and Canada, with all Len’s work done voluntarily.
He conducted the band for 40 years before retiring in 2005 and was also heavily involved with Warrington Youth Band.
His heavy involvement with the links to twin town Hilden in Germany also saw Len honoured in 2010 with a present from the Burgermeister of Hilden, Horst Thiele.
He was given a unique pewter coat of arms of Hilden along with a letter of congratulations from the Burgermeister.
Len leaves four children, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Len’s funeral is set to take place on Wednesday, September 25 at St Thomas’ Church, Stockton Heath, at 10.45am with a cremation service at 11.40am at Walton Lea Crematorium. There will only be family flowers at the services but donations to a number of charities are welcome.
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