The 60’s bands

Maurice (Mo) Hope 59B recalls

I have noticed that the Brass Band was still in existence when the photos shown on the web site were taken , i.e. 1966, but whatever happened to all the Brass instruments that were brand new in 1961 thanks to a whopping donation from the Nuffield fund. In later photo’s I have seen I am sure the band reverted to a Military format?

As you probably well know, a Brass Band is made up of 24 players and a skin basher, we ended up with two of everything, and could have put out two fully manned Bands if needed. I well recall spending many late hours rewriting march cards that all had to be transposed from a military format to the brass set up. As the A/T band librarian I had to set up a new complete music library, as part of my Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Award.

I suspect we were the only intake not to have an A/T B/Sgt, we had 2 A/T Cpl’s – Leslie Eden, (whose two brothers had been A/T’s Michael and Richard in previous intakes and had both been in the Band), and yours truly Maurice Hope. Neither of us, being thick V.M/’s had passed our senior test Maths, which we all know was a pre-requisite for the third stripe.

Anyway I enjoyed my time in the band and I hope these photos stir some memories for all ….
These first two were taken at the 1960 Xmas Concert, on stage in the camp hall. In Peter Gripton’s Arborfield Apprentice, he makes reference to this on page 222 and although he may be right in some aspects of his text, I must point out the following.

We were in the throws of converting to Brass at the time, and, yes the reed section was all PS and ex boys who were in their last terms or at depot, the whole of the Trumpet/Cornet section were still A/Ts, not on the photo are Bill Barnacle (RAEC), Pete Pratley or John Palmer, and the four in shot from left to right are, A/T Biggs, “Eddie” Lindley, “Mo” Hope and Bob Inglis, the last two both of A Coy 59b. The nucleus it has to be said, were hardly inexperienced on stage, as they used to regularly be booked for “gigs” at the Oxford Ballroom in Reading.

This one if I am not mistaken was taken at a “J” Coy POP, late in 60 or early 61, as we were still in the guise of a Military Band. It wasn’t a full POP or, the then S/Sgt Parker would have been in his best kit.

Both these two next photos were taken in what for me was our height as a Brass Band. Both taken in May 61.
The full Brass Band on parade then was as follows.

Back row – A/T Upton, A/T Buck, A/T Davies, A/T Holmes, A/T/L/Cpl Lindley, A/T Cpl Palmer, W.O.1 A Barnacle, RAEC, A/T Inglis, A/T Atkinson, A/T Etherington, A/T Williamson, A/T Poynton.

Centre row – A/T Cpl Barnes (D/ Major), A/T Birchell, A/T Kirby, A/T Barnes, A/T/L/Cpl Hope, A/T Skelton, A/T Dawson, A/T Miller, A/T/Cpl Johnson , A/T Betts, A/T Dixon, A/T White, A/T Joslin, A/T Noble, A/T Mouland, A/T Foulger.

Front row – A/T Rains, A/T Robson, A/T Payne, A/T Taylor, A/T/L/Cpl Eden, A/T B.Sgt K Barker, S/Sgt A Parker, A&SH. Col R.F.D. Legh OBE, Major E Rhodes KOB, S/Sgt P Buss RAEC, A/T Compton, A/T Sexston, A/T Westlake, A/T Jacobs, A/T Hay.

The next 3 photo’s I think were taken at the Bagshot Lea Village Carnival in 1961.

We had made the conversion to a Brass Band and did The Royal Tournament at Earls Court in London and also led the first Commonwealth Youth Sunday parade over Blackfriars Bridge and up Ludgate Hill to the service in St Paul’s Cathedral attended by Prince Philip. I recall WO1 Barnacle playing “The Post Horn Gallop” at Bagshot. Our main party piece at the Royal Tournament was “Trumpet Tune and Air”, which featured a short but terrifying Tenor Horn Solo from yours truly, it must have gone OK because Paddy Parker had a big broad beam on his face, which didn’t happen often and the band president, Major Rhodes clapped us out of the Arena.

Taken as we exited the square after a POP in Summer 61 (I think?) A/T Hope playing Solo Tenor Horn followed by A/T Atkinson and the Cornet section. In close attendance behind us came Brian Conway’s Bugles and Drums.

Taken at the same time as the last, those visible from front to rear are :- S/Sgt Phil Buss, a master of the Euphonium, (ex drum major of the Glorious Glosters, of Korean War fame) then serving in the RAEC B/Sgt Kenny Barker (Baritone), Ed Linley (Cornet), A/T Foulger on the Side Drum, A/T Mo Hope (Solo Tenor Horn) and A/T Atkinson on Cornet followed by the Buglers and tail end Charlies, the marker boys.

The Brass Band in all its splendour, passing the Cookhouse.

Outdoor concert, backed up against the old Armoury, on the occasion of the Quadrangular Sports.

The Pipe Band under P/Major Carver lead the bands in March-past after a POP circa 61/62.

The Pipes leaving the square after a POP.

Music we played and marched to ……

The following is a compilation of the music I can recall the School Band (both Military & Brass) playing between Easter 1959 and Easter1962. No doubt the list will be added to by former bandies from before and after my time.

I have loosely grouped them together.

Quick Marches:-
Lynwood, Waveney, The Cheiftain, 76 Trombones, The Thunderer, With Sword & Lance, Scotland the Brave, Under The Double Eagle, Mechanised Infantry, El Capitan, Army Of The Nile, Washington Post, Highland Laddie, The Liberty Bell.

Slow Marches:-
The Garb Of Old Gaul, Scipio, By Land And Sea, The Duke Of York, Figaro.

Inspection Music:-
The Colours, Pageantry, Boogie In The Bandstand, Post Horn Gallop, Bless Em All, English Country Garden, Puppet On A String.

Concert Selections:-
Trumpet Tune And Air, Morganblatter, South Pacific, Oklahoma, The King And I, Carousel, HMS Pinafore,

and no doubt lots more that I can’t at this time remember.

That should give a few bandies some food for thought.

One Comment on “The 60’s bands

  1. A reply of mine timed out recently. I’ll try again.
    I joined the band in 57 when the bandmaster was Fred Backley. A very nice guy who was very approachable. He was posted less than two years later to Harrogate, and that was the point at which Paddy Parker turned up fresh from Neller Hall. Fred’s taste in music had been locked firmly in the thirties, and the greater part of the Music Library was ditched without comment, and we found ourselves rehearsing West Side Story and the like.
    Paddy talked frequently of converting to ‘ all Brass ‘, but it didn’t happen until some time after I had left.

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