Chaines Flute Band leaves a charitable legacy for Larne

Lisa McGrogan from MacMillan Cancer Support receives a cheque for �1803.13 from John McDowell, Chairman of Chaines Flute Band. INLT 48-334-PR
Lisa McGrogan from MacMillan Cancer Support receives a cheque for �1803.13 from John McDowell, Chairman of Chaines Flute Band. INLT 48-334-PR
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ONE of Larne’s most accomplished musical ensembles has left a lasting legacy to three local charities.

Instruments that were once played with aplomb by members of Chaines Flute Band were sold off recently and raised nearly £5,500 which was divided equally between the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, MacMillan Cancer Support and Help For Heroes.

The band folded in 1997 and its last chairman, John McDowell, together with Jim King and Jim King Jnr, decided that the instruments should not go to waste.

Founded in 1877 by young harbour men and originally known as Olderfleet True Blues, a melody flute band, the name was changed in 1912 and a part-flute combination formed with the support and influence of well-known Larne man James Chaine.

The band moved its base to the head of the town, practising in the First Presbyterian Church hall at Bridge Street, and flourished for decades with solid support from the Larne public and a succession of well known conductors.

However, 15 years ago, falling numbers sadly led to the demise of Chaines Flute Band and the end of an era that spanned 120 years.