I have just been told, by Max Hill an ex-Royal Marines Bandsman who lives in the Bournemouth area, of your Excellent RMB Website, and was delighted to see mentioned some of the well remembered names of members of the Home Fleet Band of 1955/56/57 who I had the great pleasure of serving with. I didn't join the Band Service of my own accord but was invited by H.M. The Queen to serve her for two years (or else!) National Service of course.
After recruit training at Deal in January and February 1955 I was drafted as Solo Clarinet to the Home Fleet Band at Portsmouth on H.M.S. Tyne. Dodger Long was the Bandmaster to begin with and the Band Sgt was John Masters. Jan Greasley eventually took over as Bandmaster and other names which come to mind are Bill Plock (Flute) Taff Williams (Clarinet) Shacks Prince (Trumpet) Bill Hartland (Clarinet) Bill Simpson (Violin and alto sax) and Maxi Beare (Trumpet) also many other names too numerous to mention. On seeing Maxi Beare's photograph on your website I must say that he looks the same as he did in 1955 (about 65!). He and I had some pleasurable evenings playing dance gigs with the lads. I remember too a very good party at his newly acquired abode in Portsmouth where I met Kath, his lovely wife.
Jim Mason joined the band as Band Sgt. just before I left and I had the pleasure some years later of booking the R.M. band from him through my entertainment agency in Bournemouth - it was a private function (a Paid Gig!). Speaking of 'paid gigs' I am still owed thirty shillings for a Wembley Football International I did early in 1955 - I was drafted before getting the cash which would have upped my wages by nearly 100%.
As well as still running the entertainment agency with my wife, Annette, I am fortunate to still be playing professionally. My 'Hot Rhythm Orchestra' is now in its 27th year on board the Q.E.2. We do six to eight cruises a year as guest Jazz Band and the rest of the year play corporate work and private functions all over the U.K. I also run a 1930's band called 'Hollywood Follies' playing all the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers show numbers of that era.
I look back with affection on my enforced period of military service and just count myself very lucky that I did it in the Royal Marines Band Service where I gained a wealth of useful experience and met some great guys (Didn't like the hammock though!)
would be pleased to hear from any of the lads from those days and
I can be contacted at 'Pasadena' 24 Bushmead Drive, Ashley Heath,
Ringwood, Hampshire, BH24 2HU, Telephone 01425 461 400,
My Very Best Wishes to you all
(TUBBY) BRYANT RMB 131407