Mike 'Taff' Webber - Eastney Orchestra Rehearsal

Just had a look at the photo Taff Webber has put on his 'buddy page' of the orchestra in Eastney band room. This was taken in 1964...not 1960 when I was still in 'J' wing!! 2nd violinist up on the left is Jim Dale and the principal viola is Geoff Pearson, Charlie Solomon on trumpet. We all joined Portsmouth Group Band together in 1964. I am playing my silver piccolo (seen clearly) with 2nd flute B/Cpl Rod Farrell and 1st flute B/Sgt Ernie Ward. Ernie went to Deal shortly afterwards to do the B/M's course and I replaced him on the Royal Yacht.This was the combined orchestra of Pompey Group and HMS Excellent etc that played a concert in the Portsmouth Guildhall in 1964. Good shot of B/Sgt Gunner Hargreaves on 'cello. I remember it well as we played several of the short pieces by Delius and it was the first time I had played any of his music. The 1st oboe should be Terry Gee and it looks like Terry Parker playing bass clarinet. I think the Ist horn is Les Dawkins. No doubt Willi Watson will put us all right about all the remaining players!! Adrian Brett.


In the pic of the orchestra in Eastney band room the central front fiddle player is Bert Kingston. The fiddle desk between him and John Hargreaves looks to me like B/Mr Pete Lawrence and 3 badge John Thorn. The viola alongside Taff could be Len Bramidge. On the date I can only say that I think 1964 would be unlikely, * chiefly because in the early months of `64 John was with me in Deal where I was working up my band to relieve Peter Toms in LION. We joined the ship in Devonport in April and went straight out to the Med. for workup; the commission lasted until December 1965. Some surviving names from that are Charlie Laws, Wally Spencer, Len Pacey, Stan Puttrell, and “Bilko” Merv Durrant the latter who turned up at Barham Crem yesterday to see off Ray Walters on a cold wet day with a very good turnout. Best wishes to all, Terry.

Further to my earlier signal I meant John Hargreaves was my B/Sgt in LION. Perhaps the left-hand violin is “Goof” Williamson? best Terry

* See Adrian Bretts correction re date year


A night's sleep has replenished the old grey cells a little. The photo taken in Eastney band room must have been 1963 and not 1964. My reason for changing the date is that I now recall HMY Britannia sailed from Pompey on Jan 4th 1964 for several months and I had my 19th birthday aboard on March 3rd 1964. Thinking again I believe this photo must have been taken in the middle of ''63. Someone will know when the B/Ms class started but I seem to remember it was in September each year. B/Sgt Ernie Ward, who I replaced on flute, is in the photo so had not left for Deal. I seem to recall he left Pompey shortly after the important concert in Portsmouth Guildhall, the rehearsals of which took place in Eastney bandroom. Adrian.

I think Ist clarinet is Geoff Boorer and it looks as if Geoff Pearson' s desk partner is George Higginson. 3 badger is John Thorn as Terry says but Len Bramidge is not there.

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