A MUSICIAN from Ringwood who has clocked up more than six decades as a bandsman is to retire from playing his euphonium in public.

George Wilkinson, 84, the principal euphonium player of Ringwood and Burley Band, announced his retirement at the band’s Christmas concert.

At the concert musical director Bernard Lawson thanked him for his several years of service and presented him with a cut glass bowl.

Mr Wilkinson, who taught himself the brass instrument, started banding in 1946.

His first instrument was the horn, which he played for three years with Crewe West End Band before moving on to the cornet, which he played with 95 Squadron ATC and Old Comrades Band.

Mr Wilkinson moved to Jersey in 1959 and joined the Jersey Band, playing lead cornet.

During the 1960s Mr Wilkinson swapped the cornet for the euphonium and has not changed instrument since.

He is married to Jersey girl, Margaret and they have three musical daughters who play the violin, oboe, clarinet and piano.