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Farewell to Lady Hilton - The County's Royalty

Lady Hilton, one of Derbyshire's most significant and loved figures, aristocrat and patron to Derwent Brass has sadly died, aged 91.

Born Winifred Smith at Tansley, near Matlock, she served in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force in the Second World War and during her life took an active interest in more than 60 charities and voluntary organisations; these include the NSPCC, Derbyshire St. John Ambulance Service, Derby Citizens Advice Bureau, Derwent Brass and also their regular joint concert performers, the Dalesman Male Voice Choir. The band feel privileged to have been included within this number; not only did she attend many of our concerts over the years but also kindly made dreams within the band come true through various donations, helping us to continually progress and bring further joy to our listeners. Further to this she was also Vice President of the Royal British Legion and President of the group's 'women's section'. 

Lady Hilton met members of the Royal family, including the Queen and Princess Diana, on several occasions. She was widow to the former Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, World War II Veteran and Hero, Sir Peter Hilton who was awarded three military crosses during a distinguished military career.

Gill Frawley from the British Legion commented that "...She could talk to anyone, she made them feel important, as though they were the only person she was interested in. She was the nearest thing we had to royalty in the county..."

Often referred to as 'My Band' by Lady Hilton, Derwent Brass are both proud and honoured to have had her as our Patron; all members of the band are anxious to be able to pay their respects, in the best way they can, through music, at the planned memorial service (date to be confirmed). A very small number will also be assisting at the Funeral, open only to friends and family at St. Mary's Church, Wirksworth on Friday 5th November. 


Our thoughts are with the friends and family. 


We Thank You, Lady Hilton. 



[Pictured Right] A 32" 'Adams' Concert Bass Drum was purchased by the band following the latest contribution from Lady Hilton

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