RN Volunteer Bands

Discussion in 'History' started by BusterQuin, Jun 20, 2007.

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  1. Have any other rumrationers played in volunteer bands during their service?
    I 'played' bass (tuba) with Collingwood during '78-79
    Was in ships bands on Bristol, Illustious and Invincible
    and finally with Sultan 86-90 doing drum major for my mechs course passing-out parade in Dec '89 and then for the 1990 Bambara trophy where I got a good write up from the RM Band inspection staff
    Varying standards of musicianship from championship brass band players to enthusiastic self taught people like myself, but a good laugh
    Although it was a blue card job in Sultan I spent more time at band practice and gigs than I would have doing duties, only perk was being excused early morning divisions on tues, just have a brew in the bandroom
  2. I was in the bugle band at Ganges, does that count?
  3. I played Bugle:

    HMS Fisgard - 1973-74

    HMS Collingwood 1974-76: 1978-1979 (including Antwerp visit) 1983

    HMS London 1979-1981
  4. HMS Sultan- various years from 1978-1989... so busterquin our paths must have crossed as I was on mechs course until early 1989.
    HMS Neptune- 1989-1991

    ...top blue card action all the way!!!
  5. Check your pm's normski
    We were definately in the band atthe same time
  6. Played Solo Cornet with Portsmouth Bluejacket Band in the 50s. When the ex R.M. Bandmaster retired I requested to take over as Bandmaster but was informed by Admiral Mountbatten via Commodore R.N.B. that the Royal Marine Band was the official Band of the R.N. and the Bluejacket band would cease to exist which it did several months later. Also played Cornet with Volunteer Band on H.M.S. Bulwark in the 50s conducted by Band Sgt. "Jimmy" Jewell. Enjoyed many happy hours playing everywhere on South Coast and in South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. We were once conducted by the Captain of Bulwark, Capt. Gick, using his sword as a baton. (He was Pissed, of course.) He threatened to behead me because I Could'nt play for laughing.
  7. AH, Percy, a Scholar and a Gentleman. Do you remember the "Melika" not sure of the spelling. He was Captain of the Bulwark then.
  8. Respect to you navywalsh, had heard of the 'bluejacket band ' but was well before my day
    You will be pleased to know that HMS Nelson still has a volunteer band as far as I know though, with cutbacks I could be wrong
  9. I remember Capt. Percy Gick very well indeed. He was, as you say a perfect Officer and Gentleman, strict but very fair and loved by all his crew. As a Fleet Air Arm pilot he was also a bit of a "nutter" but always looked after his shipmates. I also remember "Melika" and "Ferdinand Gilabert" when the Skipper spent about 5 days solid on the bridge while we were towing the "Melika". I also remember him bringing Bulwark into Mombasa harbour and berthing the ship without tugs and trying to fly off a Gannet while we were anchored in Belfast harbour. This did not work too well and the Gannet dropped off the end of the flight deck. The Pilot and Observer were rescued by 2 lads in a rowing boat and they were rewarded with a day on board. Also remember him taking Bulwark through the Suez Canal and throwing the pilot who was Russian, off the bridge because he almost put the ship aground. I have so many great memories of my time aboard Bulwark, a great ship with a great crew. I was devastated when I read about the death of Capt. Gick, who was then a Vice Admiral in the Navy News. :
  10. Just for info. The Royal Naval Volunteer Band festival takes place tomorrow (Saturday) in and around the Guidhall, Portsmouth. Apparently ten bands are taking part.

    Keep Striving
  11. Played in NEPTUNE in the late 80s and DAEDALUS before it closed. Happy memories and some bloody good PUs. Haven't got the time these days.

  12. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Joined Illustrious VB & like BQ, played Tuba 93-96. Actually played Euphonium but our "proper" bass player left. Stacks of fun, we were fortunate that we had 2 excellent RMBS C/Sgts.

    Also discovered we were entitled to Band Leave, something to do with playing for all the cocktail parties- don't remember much about them, hic.

    Captain was none other than the aptly named current 1SL, so naturally, after much cajoling he granted Band Leave, in the truest sense. Happy days.

    We also had a "rock band" as we came out of refit in Guzz,comprised entirely of LMEM & POMEMs called "Earth Wind & Fire, Fire, Fire" - what the band lacked in accuracy was made up by volume & enthusiasm. In the "Farewell to Guzz" gig at the Ferry Toll Inn virtually the entire ships' company came to listen, plus a few neighbours from Torpoint who came to complain about the racket. Mind you it was only a quid a pint & the ERUS POMEM (me) hired out ear-duffs.

    Was also lucky enough to "have a toot" with Invisibles' VB when they were enroute to the Gulf & I was embarked as FOST Mobile NBCD team. The ship were short of a Bass player, & being short, I joined in. Good band too.
  13. I served as a drummer/bugler in the Bluejackets band, Portsmouth 1956/7 then based in HMS Victory(Barracks)
    Our bandmaster was a short ex Royal Marine bandsman.
    At that time we combined with RM Band Portsmouth for big occasions.
    It looks as though the band was disbanded shortly thereafter.
  14. I'm sure it wasn't ALL your fault Rusty

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