Farmers say emotional farewell to Heath and Reach band

Left to right: Max Farmer, John Farmer, Frances Farmer, Simon Farmer.
Left to right: Max Farmer, John Farmer, Frances Farmer, Simon Farmer.

The final performance of The Heath Band’s summer season took place at Parsons Recreation Ground, Linslade, and saw an emotional farewell to five members.

July 21 marked a significant date for the brass band, as it said goodbye to their fellow players, four of whom are related to one of the original founding members from the band’s beginnings in 1933.

The Heath Band, based in Heath and Reach, said: “Now the time has come to say goodbye firstly to John.

“John Farmer’s dad was one of those who founded the band. He has played on various instruments from bass (tuba), which is the largest instrument, to percussion. He most recently played one of the smallest instruments, the cornet.

“John has also supported our thriving training band through many years.”

John is married to Frances, who also plays for the band, most recently on horn, and has also helped on the now dissolved ladies committee and with the training band.

John and Frances are now leaving for retirement and are planning to move to be nearer their family.

The Heath Band said: “We wish John and Frances farewell, but don’t be a stranger to the band.

“All of your hard work has made the band what we are today, supporting current players and developing the band over the years.”

Simon Farmer is the son of John and Frances, and was previously the band’s principal cornet, soprano player and most recently the band’s conductor, playing in the band from the age of six!

Simon is leaving to play in a contesting brass band closer to his home and his Heath Band friends wish him all the best in his future career.

The band concluded: “Next, we need to say goodbye to the youngest generation of Farmers.

“Max Farmer has been in the band for 13 years and has played solo cornet, flugelhorn, soprano cornet, and most recently, horn.

“Max has grown into a fantastic player and all-round individual, even if he has an unhealthy liking for pet tarantulas!

“Thank you for all the hard work you have put into your playing and we wish you all the best in your new career.

“Finally, we have one more member leaving us, this time to pursue an exciting career in music.

“Jack Ross is an extremely talented player, currently playing flugelhorn.

“He always finds a way to inject a cheeky bit of jazz into his parts.”

Jack is off to begin his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama from September where he will be studying jazz. Before that, he has accepted a place at the Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony this month where he will be one of only three students offered a place from the UK.

The band wishes Jack every success in his jazz career and studies.

>The Heath Band is based in Heath and Reach. To find out more: or email