Sounds of the 40s come to Ards

The Syd Lawrence Orchestra is to Headline 'Battle of Britain 75 event''in Newtownards
The Syd Lawrence Orchestra is to Headline 'Battle of Britain 75 event''in Newtownards

Jazz and Big Bands fans are in for a special treat tomorrow night (Saturday) when the sounds of the 1940s will be recreated by the Syd Lawrence Orchestra at Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Battle of Britain 75 event.

The event at Ards Airfield will mark the very first 
time the Orchestra has 
ever performed in Northern Ireland.

Founded in 1967 by trumpeter and arranger Syd Lawrence, it has been thrilling audiences in concert halls, theatres, TV shows and music festivals all over Great Britain and Continental Europe for over 40 years.

Renowned for its exciting blend of high octane Big Band Swing, the Orchestra’s repertoire ranges from the wartime million sellers of the legendary Glenn Miller, through the era of the great Count Basie Orchestra, to the hit 
songs of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.

In concert, in addition to roaring big band numbers, there are vocals from band leader Chris Dean and star guest vocalist Angie Mills.

The Battle of Britain 75 stage programme tomorrow will kick off at 2pm, with a Commemorative Service to pay respects and honour the sacrifices made. Dave 
Martin and The Casino Cats will then take to the stage, followed by The Syd Lawrence Orchestra.

At 6.30pm spectators will be invited to look to the skies as a genuine Spitfire and a Hurricane aircraft perform a special fly-past finale over the Air Field.

Both of these famous aircraft were typical of the planes that fought in the Battle of Britain. These restored versions are very rare examples that will lend authenticity to this commemorative event.

The event will conclude with a performance from the NI Military Wives Choir.

Also on site throughout the day will be a vintage fair from Frock Around The Clock, which will feature a fabulous line-up of around 30 hand-picked local vintage dealers and creative designers offering a huge array of vintage and handmade fashion, jewellery, furniture, home-wares, collectables, gifts, sweet treats and more.

A display of military vehicles, model planes, street theatre, vintage dancers and a food-fair will make this commemorative event a great day out for all the family.

“We are very excited to welcome The Syd Lawrence Orchestra to our Battle of Britain 75 event,” said head of economic development and tourism for Ards and North Down Borough Council Clare McGill. “This is their first time in Northern Ireland and we feel it’s very fitting to have them perform at such a special commemorative event recreating the sounds from the era.”

Gates to the venue are open at noon and car parking and food is available on site. This is a free event.

For further information on this event, contact Ards Visitor Information Centre on (028) 9182 6846 or email