Salvaged from a Junk Shop by Mick Bartholomew

Managed to save this band antique from being lost forever at the back of a junk shop. A good one to go in place of the football team picture as hopefully it will jog someone's memory or maybe the staff bands librarian as it seems to be a case for transporting music, or maybe our oppo's know better. Any history will be much appreciated. Here are some further snippets of information to describe it. The case measurements are Height 13ins - width 11inches - depth 3inches. Also there is no makers name just the serial No 9B/1592 along side the handle, also the letters MG seem to be in BIRO and on closer inspection there is a faint letter B under the M so we have someone whose initials are BG or MG. Don't know about storing fifes as Tom suggests but you can certainly get 4 bottles of Scotch inside. Been in touch with antique cases on the WEB and am sending a photo, so watch this space, and the Band Museum did come up in conversation with her indoors after the history is known about the case.


[Editor] There are the initials "MG" cut into the leather and at the bottom "RM Band Corps".

My Dear Richard,

Well, what have we here? This is a juicy item indeed and will take an awful lot of detective work to unravel the mystery thereof. First of all, full marks to the chap that discovered it for being so quick witted. I hope he is going to make a donation of it to the Band Room of the Corps Museum once it has been established just what it is.

I suppose it is just possible that someone with a very long memory might have the answer, but whether they actually get to see it or not is the problem. I've looked at it from many angles trying to work out what, in any case (any case, geddit!!!) it is not. Firstly, the size of it is not expressed in the picture, one can get a reasonable idea but I think it needs more than that. It looks as if it were made to be a stronghold room with those huge, protective corners and the practically unbreakable fibro material of the body itself.

It would be somewhat fanciful to imagine that it was built to carry any sort of documentation, scores etc, unless they happened to be the originals of the Shakespearean tragedies. It seems to me that the markings are just a little bit fanciful, I've never heard anything referred to as the R.M. Band Corps, at least as far as I can recall. RM Deal supposes that it originated there but why? The scratched initials MG might give a clue, not that they are obvious to the naked eye. Jimmy Green's wife was Margaret (I think) and she was very keen on the history of the band service. It would be interesting to know what the inside is like, covered or not, lined, I mean.

I suppose that nowhere is there any indication of the maker's name. I guess it wasn't made in China anyway. I think it may have been a protective carrier bag for half a dozen fifes. I will be very interested to hear what other bites you get from the readers. Major Alastair Donald who knows so much about the history of the Corps may have the answer. I will ask him. In the meantime you may just like to publish my response to see if it coincides with anyone else's thoughts.

Kindest Regards,


[Editor] As ever your input is invaluable and surely this must prompt further investigation. Thank you Tom.
[Editor] Sadly Capt. L Tom Lambert passed away since this interesting article was discussed.

Interesting article. We need an expert on this case. The number quoted looks like a Naval Stores Number. How big were stand banners pre-1930s? Mind you, we could be looking at this from the wrong angle and should, perhaps, avoid any musical connection. RMB Deal might just mean RM Barracks Deal and the case could be an internal document carrier - DROs etc to be picked up from the Registry/Barracks Admin Office by the RM Band Corps Duty Runner?

Pat Hill


I have just been looking at your web page:

A friend of mine bought a similar case at a vintage fair in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. He collects gramophones and he thought it might be for storing records, but the size does not seem quite right for that.

It measures 13 inches high, 11 inches wide, and 2 3/4 inches thick.
I have attached some photos.

What could it be?

Joe Guilfoyle


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