A Member of The Yorkshire Corps of Drums
The week before my 17th birthday I went to Army Careers Centre in Bradford to join up, but the Officer I saw told me to come back when I was 17years old,and not before. So on April 5th 1966, my 17th birthday, I took my tests, had my medical, and on the very next day ( because l hated my home life at the time, and l wanted away) I was walking through the gates of Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Strensall to begin my 12 weeks basic training. When asked which Regiment I wanted to join I decided to go into the York and Lancaster Regiment, solely because my Dad spent 20 years in the very same Regiment, and there I stayed until certain things in my private, and home life intervened again.
In 1976, l was working as a van driver in civi street, and I was seriously thinking about re-enlisting again, but unfortunately my wife had other ideas, so to get out of the day to day rut I felt I was in I decided to join the T.A. so l joined the 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Volunteers at Carlton Hill Barracks in Leeds. One evening, whilst on parade, this short, tubby, little chap walked into the hall and shouted " can anybody play an instrument, or read music " to which I muttered that I tampered with the guitar " good enough, want join the Corps of Drums , good lad " and that was how I met Drum Major Harry Brooking, and my flute teacher, Barry Rawlings. After 9 years of playing the B flat flute for the Yorkshire Volunteers I decided to leave the TA in 1985.
In 2010 my wife bought me a laptop, and out of curiosity I looked up the Yorkshire Volunteers to see if they were still playing, one thing lead to another and I came across the YCOD's and my old playing pal's Barry Rawlings and Peter Gaithwaite. So here we are again, back playing together as though I'd never stopped playing and which gave me something l can now look forwards too each month.