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20/05/2018 (Back Row Cornets)
Last Update:

27th April 2018 (11:00)
richard balarkas
In the early 70's we moved from Leeds to Driffield where my dad had landed a job at Dewhirsts clothing factory. Not long my dad met e chap called Geoff who was in the band and wanted to move from (bass?) trombone to bass. To do so he had to find a new trombone player, and in those days daft as it may seem one of the best ways of doing that was to find a mate who was prepared to "have a go". So a trombone was left in the house for the weekend. My dad could hardly get a note out of it, but I could. On his return Geoff was impressed and replaced the trombone (I was no good with bass clef)) with a battered old cornet in a pre WW1 case and told me to learn it and turn up in a week. I was given 30 minutes 1:1 tuition before everyone arrived and duly took my place. It was a bit daunting as everyone was much older and I was probably the only one without a tweed jacket or cap.

I have vivid memories of the practice room and only wish there was a photo - a cramped old rickety wooden loft area above and behind the Falcon pub lit by a few bare bulbs dangling from old cord flex. Think Fagin's hideout. You had to negotiate a near vertical wooden staircase that would be condemned today and wiggle between beams and studs to get to your seat. Rumour was it had once been a pigeon loft. Once in that was it - you couldn't get out. Beers would be ordered, and I chuckled at seeing those players who had not paced their drinking desperately pleading with the conductor to call a break. He was a hard man and they would often have to curse and cross their legs until he was ready. I can still smell the place - a mix of valve oil, instruments, musty cases and musty paper all breathed in through a dense blue fog of Embassy and Rothmans that usually hung smouldering off the end of the music stand. I can think of only two players other then me who were non-smokers. I was amazed at how people like Geoff could take a drag off their cigs in a crotchet rest. In solos I used to daydream watching the layers of smoke hang in the air around the yellowing bulbs. In winter it was freezing, and on rainy days when everyone arrived damp and wet the atmosphere was further enriched with clouds of rising steam.

The cornettists (think the lead was Norman) were brilliant, so I moved to second tenor horn when the chance arose. 1st horn was a very quietly spoken, non-smoking non-drinking kind old gent who played like an angel. I can honestly say that even as a teenager I thought some of the music played in that 1970's capsule of vintage Yorkshire was simply gorgeous.

We didn't play too many concerts until we got a new conductor. A slightly paunchy older gent in high waisted tweeds who everyone thought was a star find. Christmas we would tour the pubs, New Years eve play under the tree in the square. The mayor started inviting us to play at functions in the town hall so my dad had the girls at Dewhirsts run up some unlined jackets in a scarlet polyester with black lapels - 3 sizes take your pick (they are on one of your photos). I think they served the band well. I remember one occasion at the town hall the band was paid with barrels of beer that were kept backstage and no we couldn't take them away, they had to be emptied while we performed on the night. Despite my youth I was expected to do my bit. Two pints and i was spinning. After the second I was crawling through the legs of the cornets to get back to my seat in a fit of giggles. The others seemed to think it was hilarious.

Best wishes for the future, and please excuse the reminiscing but they are fond memories.




4th June 2017 (08:16)
Bud
This is good site, thanks you very much
I am loving movie, saya biasa

12th September 2014 (17:43)
Bill Kkinnaman
Saw your link on All brass band Radio.
So good to see others around the globe that are keen on brass banding.
The best to you,
Bill Kinnaman, euphonium,
Jericho Brass Band
Chattanooga, TN

31st March 2014 (21:39)
Julie Wilson
great to see the band still going, I played with the band in the 80's on tenor horn and then made the move to the back row with Bob Dales. Myself and my sister Claire still talk about the band with very large smiles on our faces, the bands down south never did measure up to the fun and laughter we had.

5th September 2013 (22:49)
James Stretton
We are performing our BRASSED UP! show in Hornsea on September 14th - can I interest your members in coming along?

I used to play with Black Dyke & Grimethorpe, and Iain plays Trombone with the City of Birmingham Brass Band - but will be playing piano at the show!

check out our BRASSED UP! shows on youtube.

Best wishes to our fellow brass players in Driffield.

Jim

17th July 2013 (19:11)
Peter Crawford
Can I belatedly thank the band and all it's supporters for inviting me to attend their concert and collect a cheque for £149.00 on behalf of the British Heart Foundation. I had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and the money will be spent in East Yorkshire so it really is good to see what great support we have locally. Many thanks once again.

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