SPENNYMOOR Town Band and Shildon Salvation Army Band will provide appropriate music at the memorial service dedicated to Lord Foster, the former Bishop Auckland MP, which is being held on Friday.

The bands will begin the service by playing Gresford, the miners' hymn, and speakers will include Nick Brown, the Newcastle MP who is Labour Chief Whip; Jonathan Ruffer, the financier and philanthropist behind the Auckland Castle Project; Sir John Hall, the former owner of Newcastle United FC and property developer; Sue Snowdon, the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham; Simon Henig, the leader of Durham County Council, and Chris Lloyd, of The Northern Echo. The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Paul Butler, will provide an address.

Derek Foster, who hailed from Sunderland, represented Bishop Auckland from 1979 to 2005 when he was elevated to the House of Lords. He was Labour Chief Whip for a decade, and concentrated much of his energy on creating educational opportunities and boosting job prospects. He died on January 5 at the age of 81.

The service starts at 6pm at St Andrew’s Church, Bishop Auckland, and all are welcome to attend.