ONE of Bellshill’s best known figures is laying down his baton after more than three decades of playing a key role in bringing the sound of music to the local community.
Ian Dickie is retiring as bandmaster of the Bellshill Salvation Army and will bow out at a special festival in his honour on Saturday night.
Ian has enjoyed 34 years continuous service as young people’s band leader, deputy bandmaster and, latterly, 20 years as bandmaster.
During his time as bandmaster the band has really progressed musically and spiritually, and has been one of the busiest bands in the UK.
He has led the band in various weekends away in the UK and Ireland, and undertook a European tour of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany in 2003.
Ian said he is stepping down simply to have a break but insisted he will still be actively involved in the church.
And he said he wanted to thank all the band members over the years and the local community for their support during his tenure.
Ian has built up a reputation for trying to push the musical boundaries to include music suitable for all congregations and audiences which has proved to be a huge success by the monthly engagements that the band has done for several years.
He led the band in some new adventures such as the recording of their first CD in 2005 which sold out twice.
A further three recordings followed and the band has played in many interesting places, including abbeys, cathedrals, city halls and castles.
A retirement festival to mark the occasion will be held in the Salvation Army hall on Saturday at 7.30pm.
The band will be playing a selection of music chosen by Ian, and all friends and people who have dealt with Ian in the past are invited to attend this free concert.