A new book by a Colchester bandsman is bound to bring back memories for our many members all over the country who love their brass bands.

Written by lifetime bandsman and local historian David Cawdell and entitled “Grandad played the Cornet” the book traces the history of brass bands, bandstands, band uniforms and band contesting with stories about the thirty or so bands that once played at village fetes and Harvest Festivals around Colchester. There is a very interesting chapter on dating old band photographs. The self-published book has over 100 photographs of bands and bandsmen. It is available price £6.95 plus £1 postage and packing direct from David at d.cawdell@btinternet.com

The phenomenon of the British brass band is the largest example of amateur mass-music making the world has ever seen. In the 1880's there were 40,000 bands in the UK. Every village and hamlet had one, towns had several, cities had dozens. Now there are only about 3,000. Read why they flourished and then disappeared.

David Cawdell has spent over 60 years in the brass band world both as a player and conductor. He was trained in the Salvation Army and later served for several years in the Band of the Irish Guards, taking part in ceremonial duties such as Trooping the Colour and the Festival of Remembrance as well as overseas concert tours to Canada, America and Australia. Now he divides his time between local history research, giving talks to groups on a variety of interesting subjects and conducting operatic society shows.

More details on 01206 540403 or email d.cawdell@btinternet.com