George (Roy) Whitten

Roy started banding with the Boys’ Brigade in Dun Laoghaire, near Dublin in 1935, on cornet. He progressed through the ranks and instruments, becoming an officer and Company Bandmaster. However, by this time Roy was too old to play in the band, so he got together with the other ‘Old Boys’ and they formed their own band, the name of which they took from the motto of the Boys’ Brigade – ‘Sure and Stedfast’ – The Stedfast Band. Not content to be a mere player, Roy became Secretary and Deputy Conductor as well as continuing as Bandmaster of the BB Company.


In 1960 Roy and his wife, Kitty, moved to England, and banding took a back seat for 20 years until 1980 when he joined Farnborough Brass in Hampshire on BB♭ Bass, and was involved again in the running of the band.

Another move took the family north to Fleetwood (Lancs.), but this time there was no delay – Thornton Cleveleys Band were the beneficiaries of Roy’s talents, both as a player and committee member.

Three years later the family moved south again and he joined the Charles Church Camberley Band on BB♭ Bass and subsequently as principal EE♭ Bass. He once more became an active committee member and Contest Secretary and we all appreciated his great sense of humour, enthusiasm and friendly advice and encouragement.


Banding was a big part of Roy’s life and although he did not always enjoy good health in recent years, he remained one of the most reliable and conscientious members, often cancelling or curtailing family celebrations in order to support the band.

In March 2008 his outstanding contribution was marked at the Band’s AGM with the presentation of a silver salver.

Roy will be sadly missed by all who were privileged to know him.