THERE have been more than the normal amount of national ceremonies and commemorations this summer. And, Skipton-wise at least, I felt it appropriate to accord special plaudits to the 16 year old twins, John and James Brown- piper and drummer- who have dressed occasions numbering well into double figures with passion and aplomb at every request.

Amongst it all, there have been the VE Day and VJ Day 75th anniversary commemorations, indeed regarding the latter milestone, it meant them turning out-and always immaculately clad in full tartan attire-three times during the course of the day.

Firstly at 6 am sunrise when coinciding with the time of the Japanese surrender in 1945.

The lads were back on site again at the Cenotaph for the 11am ceremony. Then, for the third time that day at 7pm in the evening the duo - in similar style as to how they had splendidly performed all the 'clap the carers' evenings and the Sunday 5pm extra-enacted yet another 'up, down, round and back up and round again' tour of Shortbank housing estate.

This latter exercise - as of all their previous tours during the summer,- being particularly appreciated by all the elderly or infirm residents of the housing estate also plenty of younger active folk.

While for somewhat bemused others,the twins efforts did at least manage to bring awareness that VJ Day was in fact the occasion in 1945 when the Second World War officially ended.

Also in amongst all those aforementioned performances,the lads have featured by popular demand at specific occasions elsewhere during the summer including them being presenting a colourful additional attraction in Skipton High Street market on what was traditionally Skipton Gala Day, when their efforts yielded a healthy amount for a worthy local charity cause.

However,while I am forever passionate about encouraging the youth of the district to engage in purposeful pastimes,-hence this letter - I do accord due respect for all who have performed, particularly at military occasions- in times past, and indeed might still be there to oblige at future events on request.

Not least therein, bugler Dave Ellis, who has featured far and wide at such functions, beside him being a founder of the popular British Legion Marching Band. Meanwhile-concluding on a military theme - we having lost Gilbert Masters and Dennis Maunders during the past year, only two of the Skipton locality's great heroes of the Second World War, namely Len Parry and Norman Robinson are now still with us. And, both of them-health and mobility permitting- still endeavour to support everything going regarding official commemorations. Also, just for the record, 'Sir Len'-with fellow Burnley fan, Norman, not too far behind him age-wise, will be a hundred next Thursday !

Hats off to both of them!

Roger Ingham OBE