Haydn Griffiths, bandsman

Haydn Griffiths
Haydn Griffiths
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Haydn Griffiths, who has died at 91, was the long-standing conductor of Doncaster’s Armthorpe Elmfield Band, which he had served for more than half a century.

Known to generations of brass band musicians in the town, he had been conducting at contest level since the mid-1950s and was the inspiration for a book, One Man and his Band, published earlier this year. He was awarded the MBE in 2002 for his services to music.

He became a sought-after player and later conductor, first as assistant bandmaster of Markham Main Colliery Band, then at Hatfield Colliery and again at Markham Main as musical director.

However, it was his association with the formation of the Armthorpe Elmfield band in 1964 that made his name.

It had begun with two learners and six instruments, raising its income through concerts. It went on to tour France and Germany, and was chosen to play for the Queen on a visit to Doncaster, and for Princess Margaret, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of Kent.

Mr Griffiths became the first honorary Freeman of the parish of Armthorpe in recognition of his voluntary service.

A widower, he is survived by his son, Glyn, and an extended family.