Gentleman, Band Supporter and Benefactor
Friday, 5th February was a day of celebration for the life of Sid, tinged obviously by sadness at his passing for many longstanding members of Shipston Town Bands. A composite of the town bands: Shipston Town Band, Stour Concert Brass and Shipston Training Band "The Juniors", gathered at St. Edmund's Church to pay their respects and say farewell to Sid Peachey who was undoubtedly our longest and most loyal supporter.
Fourteen players conducted by Charlie Cox played for the hymns during the service, also playing ‘Abide With Me’ for the entry of the coffin and ‘The Day Thou Gavest Lord Has Ended’ at the coffins departure. Many members of the band had known Sid for years but were very impressed by the determination of ten-year-old Sasha Turner to get time off school to play because she liked Sid and he had been very kind to her.
As a youngster the Band Secretary first met Sid as he was always sat on the front of the bus when the band went on an engagement. It seems strange today but those were the days when the band had a coach for virtually every engagement. Sid was always there immaculately dressed, with a ready smile and boundless enthusiasm for the band.
In 1961 he was there when the band qualified for the National Finals for the first time and was always on hand when the band was involved in anything special and again in 2010 when the band qualified for the National Finals held at Harrogate, Sid travelled with the band on the coach and enjoyed the weekend when we stayed at a hotel.
In 2013 he was in the audience when the band played at the National Finals again this time at Cheltenham. Sid was also well known to all our Junior Players who each year compete for the magnificent Sid Peachey Trophy at the band Solo Contest for our youngsters. For the last ten years Sid has sponsored the competition paying for the medals which each competitor receives. Each year Sid loved to present the awards and in November 2015 he was missing for the first time owing to ill health.
He was a man who loved the land and gardening in particular, and up until very recently his garden in Queens Avenue had been an absolute picture proving to be the envy of many. Sid also spent many years working at Foxcote House in Ilmington and we heard at the funeral how he had left an everlasting memory with a massive display of daffodils he had planted down by the lake.
The other thing which always associated with Sid is bonfires, not the humble garden bonfire but the massive celebratory bonfires organised for the town on special occasions. The last one of these was for the Queens Diamond Jubilee in 2012 where Sid like his father before him in years gone by had a central role. Such was his fame in this field that he had a special article written about in the Stratford Herald’s free monthly magazine 'The Focus'.
These are Sid’s legacy, his desire to encourage youth, his love of the band and his Junior Band trophies, his daffodils and his bonfires that will preserve his memory
David Birch - February 2016
Sid doing one of the things he took real pride in - awarding trophies to young competitors at Shipston Junior Solo Contest.