Thursday, December 23, 2004

My father took me by the hand and led me out of the front door of 230 Widney Lane
turned left and to a little Christmas tree all decorated, with a wooden log as a foot and with icicles made of glass. It was a stall as me and I was about 3 or 4 years of age.

My first train set O gauge clockwork running in a circle on the old deep red axminster carpet.
American style yellow box car but I cannot remember which make.

years later my best friend John Crowther threw it at me and cut a two stitches wide wound on the left side of my chin - thescar is hidden bymy beard these days

Teen age storms - I attacked him, got him down on his back and took hold of his throat - Ann - his mother stopped the fight.

Sharp edged tinplate toys would be banned today !

Friday, December 17, 2004

Mr Bean on German TV ARD
first Harrods then the brass band which triggered this blog:-

I used to play and conduct so many Xmas concerts I became allergic to Christmas melodies

Up to 3 a day in and out of school.

On the street under a lampost in Sandhurst in 1960 with Sandhurst Silver Band
We played three carols whilst the collectors knocked on doors then move ahead and then three more - saving up for musical instruments.

Sandhurst Silver Band Homepage - a traditional British brass band: "The band has its own practice hall, built by members in the 1950s and recently renovated"

and it was really cold when I had some beginners to teach - because there were only a few bar heaters overhead.

This was where my carrier as a teacher and conductor started.

brian attewell
Brian was the greatest help to me and was an excellent band secretary for a very green conductor.

There had been a serious break up when half the band had left with the former conductor Gerallt Hughes to form Camberley Band
and I set about recruiting as many new members as possible to get the band back up to 23 brass players and 2 drummers.

I had heard of the Wing test of Music ability
and went searching the local schools - we still believed in the 11 plus in those days.

No links between the two bands' websites I see -- still the old quarrel must rankle !

There was a great Dutch film on the same theme I saw in London in an art house - Curzon? in about 1960 too ! The only time I used to visit Mayfair regularly

Fanfare (1958) directed by Bert Haanstra
Comedy set in a small village. As a result of a fight, the village brass band splits up and reforms as two bands, both intent upon winning a competition.

Sandhurst was a true village band with three generations playing together from boy (or girl) to dad or grand-dad on the tuba.

Happy memories.