WE once had a Town Band under bandmaster ‘Waxy Hall’, a Salvation Army band, the Boys’ Brigade Band used to practice in the hall on the right-hand side leading to the park.
The Fourth Wisbech, Leverington Boy Scouts had a band with ‘Nanny Seabourne’ the lead drummer - it was with them I learned to play the bugle.
Later on I was Corporal in the Wisbech Army Cadet Band under Lt Howard and I enclose a photograph of this band together with Cadets from Whittlesey.
Bert Mills was our lead drummer who later was commissioned in the Royal Norfolks Regiment and served in Ireland and Greece. Now living in retirement in Bexhill on Sea with his wife Gwen.
When this photo was taken I had left the band for the Royal Air Force.
The band instruments were the bugles and drums belonging to the Cambridgeshire Regiment who were taken prisoner in Singapore by the Japanese.
They took some of the bugles and drums with them and they were buried so they did not fall into enemy hands and were recovered at the end of the war.
On Rose Fair day I looked in at the Rotary Club’s Antiques Fair and guess what - I bought a bugle and am trying to recapture those old bugle calls on which the army depended on to sound calls for the troops to respond too. Alarm for troops to turn out under arms and retreat, for troops to retire, rouse and reveille etc.
At the recent well-organised Heroes Day with an assembled company of Army, Navy and Air Training cadets it was sad to see them march past the Town Mayor unaccompanied by a band.
So a rally call, let’s have some bands back in Wisbech Town.