Free brass concert on Sunday afternoon

Oddfellows brass band
Oddfellows brass band

A free brass band concert, a wreath-laying ceremony and a commemorative church service will take place on Sunday (May 24).

This will be part of a five-day event bringing more than 500 members of the Oddfellows Friendly Society to Eastbourne.

Oddfellows brass band

Oddfellows brass band

The award-winning Oddfellows Brass Band will perform a free concert in the Gold Room at the Winter Garden between 3pm and 5pm to which the public is welcome.

The venue is also playing host to the annual conference of the Oddfellows, whose 280,000-strong membership benefit from countless events and social activities in the UK each year.

The concert follows a non-denominational church service at the Winter Garden.

This is not open to the public but will be attended by the Mayor of Eastbourne.

The service will be followed by the laying of a wreath at the town’s war memorial to honour the fallen of the First and Second World Wars, including many Oddfellows members who gave their lives.

Michael Porter, Oddfellows district secretary for Brighton and Sussex, said, “There will be at least 500 members coming to Eastbourne and many of them will be with their partners so hotels in the area will see a benefit just before the main holiday season.

“We’re really pleased that the conference is taking place in our area and proud that our members will be helping out with the smooth running of the most important national event in the Oddfellows calendar.

“At a local branch level, we could be described as a youth club for the over 50s and we’re hoping that the conference enables more people to find out about our activities, which are really all about making friends and helping each other.”

In the reception area of the Winter Garden conference centre there will be an information stand where people will be able to find out about forthcoming events put on by the Brighton and Sussex district Oddfellows.

It is made up of the Eastbourne and Worthing branches of Oddfellows who will be among more than 140 other branches represented at the annual conference, used to plan the organisation’s future.

Oddfellows chairman, Clive Tayler said, “Eastbourne has welcomed the Oddfellows on several occasions and we are delighted to be back again.

“As well as discussing business, the conference is a wonderful social event with the majority of attendees arriving on Saturday for a welcome party. Our members usually stay for the rest of the week once our business is concluded on Wednesday when we hold a farewell dance.”

The Oddfellows Friendly Society was officially founded in 1810 to care for members fallen on hard times before the existence of the welfare state.

It organises days out, holidays, coffee mornings, adventure trips abroad, informative talks, sporting activities and charity fundraising events.

The Oddfellows is a mutual society, owned and run by and for the benefit of current and future members, managing £460m of Child Trust Fund, ISAs and life assurance business.

The Eastbourne Oddfellows branch social group meets from 7.30pm to 9.30pm every third Tuesday of the month at St Andrew’s Church Hall, next to the Arlington Arms.