Fraud plot motivates Wakefield band for national finals

Lofthouse Brass Band
Lofthouse Brass Band

A fraudulent plot to disqualify a West Yorkshire brass band from the regional championships has merely heightened the resolve of its members to go on and win the national title.

Fifteen days on from their ordeal, and as a police investigation continues, the Lofthouse Brass Band finally celebrated their triumph at the fourth section of the Yorkshire Brass Band Championships today.

The Wakefield-based band clinched a win at the Bradford heat earlier this month despite taking to the stage knowing that they could be disqualified for fielding unregistered players.

But with an email plot to derail their bid exposed, they go on to play in Cheltenham in September where they will represent Yorkshire at the National Finals.

The band’s musical director, Andrew Whitaker, said: “It’s probably made us more determined to go out there and do well.”

Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber crime centre, are examining the case in which a bogus email was sent by someone posing as Mr Whitaker to the Brass Band Players Registry ahead of the Bradford date.

The email requested the cancellation of a number of named band members’ registrations and when the band arrived to play, they were told three of their number were not on the list to perform. Organisers immediately began to investigate and the matter is now with police.

Mr Whitaker said: “I was really chuffed with how the band had played, its performance and the result, but the celebrations were put on hold.

“I’m shocked that someone within the brass band community could do something like this. At the end of the day, we are all competitive but we go to the pub afterwards and we’re still mates.”