My Life in the Royal Marines Band Service - Circa 1947-1968
by Michael G. Hutton
I was the Musical Director again that year which would be my last in the pit as the following panto featured me as 'Long John Silver' in Treasure Island my one and only venture on the stage. It was remembered by many of the cast as the time that Simon at the ripe old age of four stood up in the circle on my first entrance, when as the villain of the show everybody booed, and shouted in his loudest voice….'don't you boo! That's my dad!'
The panto's were quite famous throughout the country and was always sold out well in advance of the first night. We frequently had celebrities from show business in London who came to the 'Globe Theatre' to enjoy our shows. Tommy Steele, Terry Thomas, Kenneth More, Roger Moore and Hattie Jaques were regular visitors to name just a few, but there were many others including writers and producers who wanted to take 'Treasure Island' the 67 pantomime to London. That of course was never possible as all of us in the cast and orchestra had our normal day duties to perform throughout the three week run.
Rhoda and I had worked hard on the bungalow and it was really looking nice so we had visits from family and friends as well as our social life in the Sergeants Mess. The year was very busy as I was Vivian Dunn's right hand man so to speak and found myself doing most of the rehearsals for orchestral and bandstand jobs. We had a short tour to the USA and Canada again, the Royal Tournament at Earls Court, White City and Edinburgh Tattoo's, two or three LPs at EMI studios, more BBC engagements and frequent band and orchestral concerts in Deal, Margate, Folkestone, Hastings, Brighton and Bexhill.
we were so busy there was not much free time in my job as I always seemed
to be required by the boss to be doing more than my fair share for the
band service. I didn't complain as in the near future was expecting
a promotion to officer status. However there was one more examination
to take, that being a current affairs exam in the early part of 1968.
The subject being 'Vietnam'.
now well into 1968 and life at home is great - Simon is growing up and
about to start school at the local primary just at the end of Church
Street. Unfortunately the year will bring great disappointment to me
and our family!
It was a devastating blow. Vivian Dunn, the Education Officer and all the School of Music Officers couldn't believe it, as it had been expected that I would join Ben and Terry by the end of the year with my commission.
Richard Valentine -1996 - 2010 © - All rights reserved