I was a founder member of the Corps of Drums 1st Battalion Yorkshire Volunteers we started the Corps under Drum Major Harry Brooking in 1976 based at Lumley Barracks York. initially to function with The Band of the Yorkshire Volunteers at the Colour Presentation of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions Yorkshire Volunteers in June 1977 however prior to this Harry Brooking became Drum Sergeant and Bill Crook became Drum Major following his successful Drum Majors course with HM Royal Marines Deal.
I have always had an interest in drum/bugle music and was a member of The Sea Cadets briefly and for many eventful years was a boy scout with 11th (Holy Trinity) Troop Huddersfield. We had the fortune to have an excellent Scout Master called Fred Holmes he was a real disciplinarian we had a good scout troop and band however Fred was not popular with all boys and pressure from the parents committee forced Fred out—a real mistake we all looked up to him, it went down hill after that as far as I can recall.
Following the colour presentation in 1977 the band and drums got stronger and we did many jobs either combined or as a Corps of Drums nearly every weekend. Annual camp alternated between UK (usually good old Thetford) and Germany where 1Yorks took part in NATO exercises.
Bill Crook eventually retired from Drum Major around 1984 and Don Fairclough took over we still had a strong Corps but the commitment was beginning to tell and we have to thank understanding wifes/partners that we could join in the first place. Alas a medical condition precluded me from continuing with 1Yorks but I an thankful for the experience and proud to have been a member of the Exclusive Club.
My best pal Peter Duffy became Drum Major near the end and we were able to take part in the colour Presentation of the 4th Battalion Yorkshire Volunteers at Encliffe Hall Sheffield I think the date was 1988 Following options for change the Yorkshire Volunteers is no more I think that’s sad I can remember going on Crusader 80 with I believe up to 1000 ranks covering 4 or 5 rifle companies, anti tank and HQ company and we were good thats how I want to remember 1 Yorks.
I took up playing again after quite a gap! following contact with Bob Cooper briefly played for the West Yorkshire Fire Service Band and now attend The Yorkshire Corps of Drums when I can, the standard of playing is very high and was amazed when played along side Steve Ward former Senior Drum Major Household Division—my favourite march guess Captain Nicholls.
Having listened to many a trombones while marching in the band I took up the trombone some three years ago had lessons with a former member of The Royal Airforce Band Dale Barraclough and have rose to the dizzy heights of Grade 5 I am still learning this beautiful instrument but cut common” always confuses me--but I have an excuse I am 54 next.
I currently play bass trombone with Golcar Band Huddersfield they have been kind enough to nuture me along and my fellow trombone player John Cawood is always on hand when I need sorting out. During the week I try and find time to sell industrial nonwovens representing. The Freudenberg Nonwovens Group with plants in Kaiserslautern, Weinheim, Barcelonia, Colmar and Novetrate.
My epitaph should read, “He tried his best but could be a bit grumpy”
A Member of
The Yorkshire Corps of Drums
p1 Band & Drums Yorkshire Volunteers representing the city of Leeds at a parade in Lille-France
p2 Reveille Corps of Drums1st Bn Yorkshire Volunteers Vinsebeck West Germany 1982 R & R weekend, Drum Major Bill Crook, Cpl Barry Rawlings, Cpl Roger Slater & myself (all other ranks were under canvas.
p3 Yours truly with "drill pigs" Coldstream Guards at Navesmere.
p4 Inspection of the Band & Drums Yorkshire Volunteers by HRH The Duke of Kent at the presentation of the Colours to the 2nd & 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Volunteers.
p5 On exercise West Germany Crusader 80, Drums platoon provided drivers to the MT section and the guard for the main TAC Echolon.