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Chris Helme

Halifax, United Kingdom


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Chris Helme - for thirty years he was a serving Police Officer and was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1990 for his service in the community. He has written three local history books and written a weekly nostalgia column in the ‘Brighouse Echo’ weekly newspaper for over twenty years. He has produced a sixty-minute nostalgia cassette tape based on a number of the stories from his column and a number of other small publications. He has also written a number of articles which have been published in regional magazines. For over twenty five years he has taught local history to Adult Community Learning Classes in the Brighouse and Elland areas of Calderdale. More recently he has presented a number of OCN classes on Committee Skills, bsic computers for older users, the mysteries of the mobile phone for older users.

For almost fifty years he has played in and been associated with the brass band movement.

During the mid 1990’s he was beginning to be in demand as a speaker and has now developed a style that has both informed and entertained the almost countless audiences that have heard any of the numerous lecture presentations he has delivered. His presentations have often been described as ‘Info-tainment’. He has developed a presentational style that can both conjure laughter and melancholy through his various subjects that have been appreciated at Probus Clubs, Women’s Institutes, Wine Circles, Church Circles, Luncheon Clubs, Coffee Mornings, Trefoil Guild, History Societies, 3rd Age groups, Rotary, Round Table Clubs and many more including on two occasions at the National Association of Brass Band Conductors annual convention.

He is regularly asked to return to many groups a second and often a third time and is often called on to help out at short notice. Speaker Finders have often asked him if he knows of any other speakers. As a result of these requests in 1997 he published the first edition of his West Yorkshire Speaker Directory, with 60 speakers, presenters, slide show hosts and small group musical entertainers. These directories have now become bi-annual publications with the current 2009/2010 West, North and South Yorkshire Speaker Directory’s on sale but they are only available from the author or through Waterstone’s / book shops and website.

In recent years he has regularly contributed to ‘Brass Review’ a specialist brass band magazine and only recently he was commissioned to write for the ‘British Bandsman’ magazine. His stories of brass band nostalgia are about some of the personalities and bands from yesteryear and have proved very popular. He was a regular contributor to the very popular brass band website. Where his stories about some of the legendary performers and bands of the past have been appreciated by the huge number of brass band enthusiasts from around the world who regularly log on to this successful website.

Chris is a an editor for the Calderdale Talking Newspaper where he and his group of readers help by producing their quarterly magazine tape which is a blend of nostalgia, memories and how life used to be – a mixture well appreciated by the all their listeners. He is also the producer and presenter of ‘Sunday Bandstand’ 2pm / 3pm every Sunday on Phoenix FM 96.7 (Beyond Calderdale it is only accessible via the internet

He has written five books
1. Reminiscneces of Old Brighouse (self published)- 1986
2. Reminiscences of Bailiff Bridge, Lightcliffe & Hipperholme (Self published)- 1987
3. Brighouse & District - 2005
4. The Sunny Vale Pleasure Gardens - 2007
5. What Brass Bands Did For Me - 2009
6 Another which has to be finished by Feb 2011


Interests: Local History and nostalgia

Published writer: Yes

Freelance: No


Published works:


  • Reminiscences of Bailiff Bridge,Lightcliffe,Hipperholme
  • What Brass Bands Did For Me
  • Reminiscences of Old Brighouse
  • West Yorkshire Speaker Directory 2009 / 2010
  • Brighouse & District
  • South Yorkshire Speaker directory 2009 / 2010
  • Sunny Vale Pleasure Gardens
  • North Yorkshire Speaker Directory 2009 / 2010