I started to play the cornet at the age of 12 at The Bluecoat School, Oldham. Under the watchful eyes of teachers like Mr George Gibson ( Ian's father ) and Mr Peter Garside the conductor, I enjoyed all my school life playing in the band, concerts and contests including the school proms in London. I did change to Flugelhorn Horn in my mid teens until joining Boarshurst band in Greenfield at the age of 15 reverting back to Repiano cornet.
I played with Boarshurst in many contests including the London finals. The band played at Stephen and I's wedding in July 1975, in the October I was asked to play for Dobcross band and left Boarshurst.
Dobcross band, well what can I say, the best banding years of my life. We worked hard and played hard in and out of the rehearsals forming friendships that will last a lifetime. We did tours of Holland and Denmark and of course the contest scene, from 3rd section to the Championship section, again played at the London Finals. We were the last band to win in the Kings Hall Belle Vue in Manchester. I left Dobcross to have Adam in 1982, it was to difficult to play in the top section with a baby.
I didn't play again due to work commitments until Adam started to play at the age of 6. I then caught the bug again and went back on Flugelhorn at Freizland band. We did a tour of the Rhine in Germany. During my time at Freizland I helped many other bands in contests and concerts.
I was then asked to play for Hade Edge band on cornet under the direction of Eric Landon and then Simon Wood. Whilst playing in the top section with Hade Edge I was asked to help Diggle band who had just formed. After playing for both bands for about three years I gave up Hade Edge and played full time with Diggle.
We rehearsed one night a week, lots of hard work got us to the Finals at the Albert Hall, fantastic. Down the line we won the Finals at Dundee. These are just a few highlights to my banding career.
I've enjoyed all my banding life, have met some wonderful people along the way and now enjoying the wonderful hobby with JB band here in Spain.