News Section

Coalville Air Cadets Band is Re-formed after almost 70 years

Article posted: Sep 19, 2010 by Flt Lt Rayson-Flynn

Cadets and staff of 1188 (Coalville) Squadron of the Air Training Corps are very excited about the squadron band being re-formed.

In April 1942 the first Commanding Officer of the squadron Flight Lieutenant Cyril H Wright gave the permission for a squadron band to be formed. In the same week cadets of 1188 (Coalville) Sqn performed in two concerts to raise money to buy their instruments. They raised £44, the squadron put money towards the instruments and 23 instruments were purchased at a cost of £60. The instruments included side drums, flutes, trumpets, bugles and a bass drum, that was specially made. The first band practise was in May and Flt Lt Haywood DFC was in charge. They practised in Snibston Colliery Band Room.

Some of the cadets had played the drums before but the cadets playing the trumpets had to learn from scratch. The CO commented the cadets “were practising with the utmost enthusiasm and rapidly mastering initial difficulties”.

On Sunday 28th June the squadron paraded for the first time lead by the band and on Sunday 1st November the instruments were formally presented to the squadron by Sqn Ldr W W Wakefield MP.

Almost 70 years later the band is being reformed. The money for the instruments has come from a grant from N W Leics District Youth Council and the instruments have been purchased from another squadron in the wing, who no longer use them. The instruments cost £700.

The band consists of six snare drums, a bass drum, a glockenspiel, two pairs of cymbals and a mace. The squadron is hoping to buy some bugles in the near future. The current Commanding Officer Flying Officer Rod Dring will be teaching the cadets to play the instruments and would be pleased to hear from anyone locally who has experience of playing in a marching band and can help with tuition.

Flying Officer Rod Dring RAF VR(T) said” I am really pleased the squadron will once again have a band, I am hoping the band will play at the squadron’s 70th birthday celebrations in March 2011” He added “ Flying Officer Harrison is currently researching the squadron’s history and would love to hear from former members of the squadron”

Fg Off R Harrison