ANDREW WAGSTAFF was one of the youngest bandsmen at the time The Floral Dance became a national phenomenon.
Andrew, of Thongsbridge, was just 20 and worked in the purchasing department at Brook Motors in Honley.
Andrew, now 55, who played tenor horn, was blown away by the success.
“It was an amazing time for me being one of the youngest,” he said.
“It was extremely busy and what I remember is the TV appearances and press interviews.
“Of course Top of the Pops was the highlight, but there were others too. We appeared on This Is Your Life with Terry Wogan.
“They interrupted the last five minutes of his Radio 2 breakfast show and whisked him away to record the programme as live.
“The band came on at the end and Terry later presented us with a gold disc.”
The band was much in demand from the newspapers and there were spreads in most of them. One of the biggest was in the Sunday Times magazine.
“It was a very busy time and a very lucrative time,” said Andrew, whose son Mark followed him into the band.
“The band relied on subscriptions and The Floral Dance set the band up for years.
“As individuals we were amateurs and did not make any money with all the royalties going to band funds,’’ added Andrew. “I’m sure the band still benefits today. It was just a unique moment in time that is unlikely to be repeated.”
Sheridan Fryer, 68, of Brighouse, who also played in the band, said his favourite memory of the time was from Top of the Pops.
“I remember the Boomtown Rats and Bob Geldof. I just assumed that all the bands would arrive and then change into their outfits..
“One of the Boomtown Rats wore pyjamas on stage and I just saw him get out of the taxi wearing his pyjamas!”
The other surprise at the time was that the Brighouse and Rastrick Band was the only group to perform live on the show.
Sheridan, who worked in the building trade, was the butt of jokes about his sudden ‘stardom.’
“I responded by saying I would be on Top of the Pops without ever thinking it would ever happen,” he said. “But it did!”
Sheridan had 28 years in two spells in the band and is now the band’s librarian, in charge of storing the band’s 5,000-piece musical library.
He recalled: “The first time we played The Floral Dance in rehearsal everybody knew it was something very different.
“Bands were very much rooted in history at that time and this was very catchy.”
The band’s signature piece is The West Riding, a march written in the 1940s.
But it is The Floral Dance which the band is most associated with to this day.
“People associated the band with The Floral Dance and it is still played at the end of the majority of concerts,” said Sheridan. “It’s almost expected.”
Stephen Howes, 57, of New Mill, was the principal horn player in the 1977 band. A former band chairman, he gave up playing 12 years ago but remains chairman of the trustees.
“It was an amazing time and there was a period where we didn’t know where we were going to be one week to the next,” he said.
“I don’t think these days people would be able to get the time off. I was a sales manager in Cleckheaton and never had a problem.”
Stephen said Brighouse and Rastrick was proud to be the only top flight band not to be commercially sponsored.
“Yes, it made some money and the money was wisely invested but that was as far as it went.”
He added: “What I remember is the enthusiastic audiences and the fun of doing it. It was a non-pressure job.
“It’s a time of my life I will never forget and I don’t think any of us will.”