WEST Somerset Brass Band has bid a fond farewell to long-serving member Bill Whitworth.

The retirement of the stalwart who played a crucial role in the group for many years was celebrated with a presentation.

It mark the end of an era and the conclusion of a dedicated musical journey and family tradition of three generations in the band.

Joining in 2003, Bill quickly became an unsung hero, quietly assuming positions in the engine room of the band, adding depth and colour to the band's music both on the trombone and baritone.

Although Bill has left, family connections still run deep, as his son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren have all followed in his musical footsteps as members of the band.

Reflecting on his time with he band, Bill, who first joined a brass band in Bristol when he left the merchant navy, said: "I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of banding life.

"It’s been great fun over the years and I’ve made many good friends, but I’m now going to enjoy being a spectator and supporter of the band from the sidelines."

During the retirement presentation, Bill received an engraved carriage clock as a token of appreciation for his years of service.