It was an honour and pleasure for us to take part in the 90th birthday celebrations of former band member, Kenneth Donnelly.
Fellow retired officers and band members Simon Rogers, George Pinnington and Barry Frost met with Mr Donnelly and his grand-daughter Katie to chat about the good old days! This was a complete surprise for Ken, who was thrilled to be presented with a commemorative photograph and a certificate for his 90th birthday, with a personal message from our Chief Constable, Mr Ian Hopkins.
Band manager Barry Frost said "it was such an honour to meet Mr Donnelly - he was clearly moved by the surprise visit that Katie organised, and we were proud to be part of his birthday celebrations. He definitely had some great stories to tell! We all spent time looking through old photographs from the band's history, bringing back lots of memories for Ken and George."
Ken joined Salford City Police in 1948 directly from the Royal Signals, when he was 21 years old. He was taught clarinet by officers playing in the band, and he remained with the band until his retirement in 1973.
George, who is now 77 and still plays clarinet and sings with the band, rejoined GMP band in the early 1970s after working as a professional singer, and has remained with the band ever since. It was truly remarkable having Ken and George together, effectively spanning 77 years of our 140 year history.