Sixty glorious years

By staff reporter in Local People

Sixty years ago, with just a few second-hand drums and bugles and an idea, Gloucester Scout Band was formed.

The group has come a long way since then - seeing generations of families pass through.

And one particular founding member stil marches to this day - and was orchestrating the band’s 60th anniversary celebrations last Sunday.

While the rest of the founding members have moved or passed away Colin Turner is still teaching youngsters to play instruments as well as march during parades all year round. His daughters Ruth and Joy lead the cub group and perform in the Scout band with their brother, Mark.

"It is a true family affair," said Joy.

"My family has been involved in scouting since the beginning. Ruth had her first birthday on a cub camp. We both went along to all the camps and band events to watch. At that time girls weren’t allowed to perform in the band until they were older and in Guides.

"When I started in the band I was already quite experienced because I had been playing a trumpet since I was a toddler."

Colin says he can’t see himself quitting any time soon - "I have been here too long now" he said.

"I don’t play so much now - I only really play to teach the new ones coming in. I can’t remember the music as much as I could when I was younger! I do need to have it in front of me these days.

"But I still march. Just yesterday I marched three miles."

The anniversary celebrations, held at Murray Hall last week, featured cine film of past scout performances, pictures dating right back to the beginning and examples of the ever-changing uniform.

It was an opportunity for scouters, past and present, to reunite, recollect and share stories of the Gloucester Scout Band’s journey.

During the afternoon there were performances from the current band, the ’Blast’ band which is the band of adult players and a very loud performance of both bands combined.

Colin welcomed two founding members and friends to the event but said sadly there are a few that have died.

"We are missing some now, each anniversary picture of the founding members from 1957 seems to highlight those that are no longer with us," he said.

However, Colin said it is important to look to the future, not the past. "It isn’t about the founding members. We have had our time. It is about the current band. The young children we have now are our future. They will keep the Scout Band continuing and they will all be here to celebrate our 120 years, I hope they mark the date in their diaries!"

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