29 September 2001

army cadet band

posted by Brian Ward,

Army Cadet Band

I was in the Peter Symonds’ army cadets. Then for some unknown reason as I had no musical ability whatsoever I joined the cadet band as a bugler .I think I must have fancied myself as a bandsman and thought that even I could learn to play a simple instrument like the bugle, how wrong I was.

We were encouraged to take our instruments home ,keep polished and practise. The polishing was no problem my bugle was a rather old & battered thing,some of the boys had brand new ones which I always envied ,but I could certainly get mine to shine. Practising was another thing, I can’t imagine why but the neighbours, all the local dogs and even my mother appeared to strongly dislike it, so very little if any practise was accomplished.

I think realisation that I was never going to master the thing came one day when it was raining & we were practising as a band in what was then called the ‘Fives ‘courts. Due to the confined space and echo effect I thought we sounded great(a bit like singing the bath)and that I was at last playing well, it was only when we stopped for a break that the boy in front of me turned round and said could I play something other than just one note or words to that effect. I was quite deflated for a bit but quickly enjoyed a roll of making up numbers and just going through the motions of playing.

A lot of the boys unlike myself had a lot of talent and in fact do not think we were a bad band, unable to remember any names or even faces which is a shame. I am sure there is a photo somewhere but if I will ever find it is doubtful.

If anyone has any memories of this band would be very interested to hear.

Brian Ward


1 comment:

  1. Hi Jim/Brian   Thanks for this photo.   I think I recognise David Cound (seated at far right); also Don Peckham and (possibly) Richard Wheatley standing third and second respectively from right.   I wasn't in the CCF - square bashing in the roads near school during compulsory service in "Harry's Army" in my earlier years put me off volunteering for the version with uniforms and guns!   My wife says that if we marched within earshot of the County High, teachers there would say that the noise was just Peter Symonds' playing at soldiers again!    Regards   Peter Smith  


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