Love for silver band endured to the end

Geoff Broom SUS-171121-091950001
Geoff Broom SUS-171121-091950001

Geoff Broom, well-known in the town for his regular appearances at the bandstand as conductor of the Eastbourne Silver Band, died on November 17.

Geoff was born into a Salvationist family and joined the Young People’s section of the Salvation Army band. As a young man he enlisted in the military and joined the Irish Guards. As well as seeing active service, both abroad and in Ireland, he also played in the Irish Guards band, rising to the rank of band sergeant. It was through his musical knowledge that he came to know Eastbourne, due to the regular visits of the Irish Guards when military bands played a summer season in the town.

On his retirement from the guards he worked in government establishments as part of their security organisation.

On retirement he chose to return to the town where he had spent many happy seasons playing and was often invited to play in amateur bands throughout Sussex as well as continuing to play with his colleagues in the Guards Association band in London. It was with this band that he made numerous appearances at such venues as the Chelsea Flower show.

He became the musical director of Eastbourne Silver Band in 2001 until he announced he would be retiring this Christmas. During his time as conductor Geoff left his unique stamp on the band, both by composing original pieces for the band to play and arranging musics.

Although he gave up conducting the band, the love of “his” band was enough to keep him playing and he became a flugal player, donning the distinctive red jacket of the band. Up until the evening prior to his death he was still attending rehearsals in preparation for the Annual Christmas Morning concert on the bandstand.

Along with his many accomplishments he also planned the afternoon programme for the Annual Remembrance Concerts that the band had resurrected in 2011.

He is survived by his partner, Rita.