The History of Lincoln Waites


Al started learning to play the tenor horn with the Salvation Army when he was 7 (1967), but was promoted to Trombone at age 9. He played almost exclusively brass band music. From 1974 - 1977 Al played in the Gainsborough Salvation Army Band - they were a very good band, under the expert leadership of Bandmaster Terry Young. The band played a lot of difficult classical pieces - not just hymn tunes. During that time Al also toured briefly as number 2 in a trombone quartet.

In his teens Al became interested in traditional English and Irish music and was bought a tin whistle as a present in 1975. He learned to play tin whistle and wasn't too bad really. From 76-79 he was involved with the College Folk Club in the "Roebuck" in Lincoln (that building is now a "Laura Ashley" shop) - During that time he also found out that people would listen to him singing without running from the room holding their ears/heads.

In the early 80's Al played whistles and sang backing vocals with a local Irish band (impressive line-up of 2 guitars, fiddle, whistle, tenor banjo, bouzouki, bodhran, bones). The band was called "Madra Rua" (The Red Dog/The Red Fox).

Soon after his eldest son joined Lincoln District Scout Band (1997), Al became Musical Director, then Bandmaster until retiring from that post in July 2005.

Al with Lincoln District Scout Band in Heidelberg in 2001

Today Al is Master of The City of Lincoln Waites, as well as being a member of Lincoln Renaissance Band. He plays Sackbutt, Lysarden, Recorders, Cornett, Shawm, Trumpet and Percussion.

AL enjoying the unique opportunity of joining in a performance with Waites from King's Lynn, Doncaster, Leeds, York, Gloucester and s'-Hertogenbosch. Click here for more information.

Music has been a family business. Al's maternal Great Grandfather played Trombone in a brass band, his paternal Grandfather played Accordian, Clarinet and Violin in a Church Band. Al's Mother was once in a Concertina Band and also used to play Church Organ. His Father was a drummer and a member of the "Drummers' Fraternal". Al's four Great Uncles used to play as a brass quartet. His older sister studied singing at the Marseille Conservatoire National de Region. Al's wife plays French Horn. The next generation are forging new traditions, between them, Al's two sons play clarinet, drums, bass guitar, lead guitar and acoustic guitar.

Wren Library
Al studying in the Wren Library, Lincoln Cathedral.

"Angels don't play harps y'know. That's just a wicked rumour started by evil harp players. Angels play Trombones, lad." Vero Barker (Al's Great Uncle).