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Newark musician presents Toot Hill headteacher with poster exploring the history of the school's link with twinning association




A musician and twinning association enthusiast presented his former school band with a poster outlining the history it has with its twinned town.

Nathan Bray, of Newark, made a trip to Toot Hill School, Bingham, for the annual Christmas tea dance where its Bigband played to community members, with the aim of keeping the Bingham Twinning Association alive.

Bingham is twinned with the Bavarian town of Wallenfels and over the years, the twinning association has been responsible for many exchanges the school band made.

Nathan Bray presents Toot Hill's headteacher with historical poster about the school's band.(24367745)
Nathan Bray presents Toot Hill's headteacher with historical poster about the school's band.(24367745)

Mr Bray presented headteacher Sandy Paley with the poster designed for the Bigband while the community enjoyed music and dancing.

As a member of the school band himself when he was a teenager, Mr Bray benefited from the opportunities playing an instrument brings, and went on to become a professional trumpet player.

He has since worked with names including Robbie Williams, Paloma Faith and Tom Jones.

Nathan Bray presents Toot Hill's headteacher with historical poster about the school's band.(24367743)
Nathan Bray presents Toot Hill's headteacher with historical poster about the school's band.(24367743)

"I've joined the organisation I have been a beneficiary of for years and I'm trying to rejuvenate it," Mr Bray said of the twinning association.

He said the community in Wallenfels invited him to help energise the twinning and add a new lease of life to what they do.

In doing this, Mr Bray thought it important to create a historical poster of the Toot Hill Dance Band, to unite the old and new.

"I'm trying to excite the kids as they don't really know about the history of the band and exchange," he said.

"Through the association with the town there has been work experience opportunities over the summer.

"One boy on the exchange from Bingham first went over 10 years ago to learn how to brew their beer. He is now happily married over there."

Bingham twinned with Wallenfels in 1984, and the relationship has existed for more than 30 years.

Mr Bray said: "I went for many years and I continue to go with my family and my little boy goes ­— it's a beautiful little town."

Mr Bray, who used to run the Newark Jazz Festival, said he has also set up a website promoting the many events the Bingham Twinning Association has to offer.

He said he hoped this would boost awareness of the twinned communities and bring more people over on exchanges from Bavaria.

"It's also pushing people towards the website where they can get a playlist of all the old songs that used to be played by the band," Mr Bray said.

During the event at Toot Hill, pupils provided light refreshments, entertainment and two hours of classic big band music from the swing era.

The band also had support from other twinning members and resident Peter Skelton who played instruments with the band on the day.

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