AFTER two decades of hitting the right note, musical director Rod Dakin left on a high note.

The 80-year-old has been musical director of the Three Towns since 1997, thinking he would only stay for a couple of years.

"This is such a friendly society, it is a family, I felt so welcome, I did not want to leave," said Rod, who retired this month after the society's 50th anniversary performance of The Mikado earlier this month.

Road conducted his first show which was a Gilbert & Sullivan operatta in the 1960s when he was head of music at the then John Rigby Grammar School. He was instrumental in forming Orrell and District Operatic Society.

And after more than 20 years, he decided to retire from Orrell to take on a new challenge. Rod was invited to become the musical director of The Three Towns Operatic Society and conducted his first show with them "Ruddigore" in 1997.

Rod said: "I have conducted all the shows and concert programmes for this society since 1997.

"After a few years my wife Margaret became the official society accompanist until her death from cancer in 2009.

"The support given to me by the members of the society at that time was remarkable and invaluable.

"As I retire from the society after the 2019 production of the Mikado, I look back with pleasure at the society’s achievements during these years and the privilege of working with some very talented soloists.

"It has been incredibly rewarding observing the great pleasure experienced by new members during their first show, the joy and sense of achievement of members taking their first solo part, and being able to share in their delight. I have also been very fortunate in working with Director, David Kay.

"I remarried in 2015, Lorraine coming from the contralto section of the society.

" This was a joyous event shared by many society members, who sang for us in Church during the signing of the register, and at the reception, some even tried the bouncy castle ­— really provided for the grandchildren. The Three Towns has represented a significant part of our lives, and we both hope to remain in contact with our friends for many years to come."