2009 - Oct 2012: Green Scarf articles

The Green Scarf is our quarterly magazine at 1st Hook Scout Group.

Each section of the Group writes a report about the activites they have taken part in during the previous term.

Mine start here from February 2009, and the most recent article is shown first.

Unfortunately the October 2012 issue was the last one produced, and our group's Green Scarf magazine is currently on hold at the moment.
I will add any new articles once it restarts again.


Green Scarf Article – October 2012


As I am writing this article we are practising hard for this year’s Hook at Home concert. If this issue comes out beforehand, we look forward to seeing you there, but if it comes out after the concert I hope you enjoyed the evening.


Well what a summer season we’ve had. We played at the Group Summer Fayre, and also had a stand at the Family Camp to let people try some of the instruments. A couple of weeks later we played at Nork Park in Banstead for their Music Day. The highlight of our summer has to be playing at The Olympic Park though. What an opportunity!


The paperwork we had to sort out beforehand was rather overwhelming, and we had a few problems at the accreditation centre on the day as someone in their admin department had entered birth date information the American way rather than the UK way, which resulted in a nail-biting extra two hour wait for 10 of us (myself included!) before we could head off to join the rest of the band at the park. It was all worth it in the end though. Such an amazing day, and although the delays in the morning lost us a lot of time we had intended to use to have more of a look around, we made it to the bandstand as planned, and played to a crowd of about 300-400 people in the sunshine.


We received so many wonderful comments from people who had watched our performance, and many of them said how nice it was to see so many youngsters involved and evidently enjoying themselves. When we were asked to leave the stage after our time slot the crowds even started boo-ing as they wanted to hear more!!


On behalf of all the band leaders, I would like to thank all the bandmembers who played on the day, as everyone behaved impeccably in spite of the delays and problems we encountered,  and they made us all very proud to represent both the Group, and Scouting as a whole. I would also like to thank Chris Rogers and Chris Mould for driving the minibuses for us. Thanks also to Chris Mould and Neil Findlay for taking so many photos at our Olympic Park performance. (Chris, you still haven’t given me your memory stick yet by the way....!).


Copies of articles from Chessington Chat as well as The Surrey Comet have been put on the band notice-board if you haven’t seen them yet.


I must mention our ten new recruits who took part in our first ‘Beginner’s Band’ course before the summer break. They all started with the main band at the beginning of September, and have begun learning their instruments and brushing up on their drill and music knowledge. They are all enthusiastic and are enjoying being at band on Monday evenings. It was great to have some of them come down to support us at this year’s Surbiton Festival at the end of September as well. They did a fantastic job with the bucket collecting, and I hope they felt part of the band even though they aren’t able to play along with us just yet.


After our Hook@Home Concert on 27th October we have a few more events coming up: -

Saturday 10th November – Lord Mayor’s Show, London (we are number 117 in the parade)

Sunday 11th November – Remembrance Parade, Cobham

Saturday 24th November – Group Christmas Fayre

Saturday 8th December – Christmas Carols in Kingston supporting The Rotary Club


A special thank-you to Graham Tucker for playing the bass-drum for us at church parade. We had a lot of members away at a wedding in Ireland which left us rather short of players, and Graham was ‘persuaded’ to help out, so thanks again Graham. I will also add congratulations to ex-band member Oliver Donoghue and his wife Niamh on their recent wedding. Many best wishes from the band.


Lastly, I am asking if any of our parents/supporters/readers can spare some time helping out with the band uniforms. We have around sixty to look after, including all the spares, and Anne Bridger would like to ease back on her involvement as she has done it for quite a while now. It wouldn’t need to be every Monday night, but some more help looking after everything would be much appreciated.


Green Scarf Article – June 2012


We were approaching our Annual Concert and Awards evening as I was writing my previous article, so I will begin by mentioning that first of all.

We welcomed all of our younger members for their first full concert on stage with the band, and they all did very well. We played a well-balanced programme of music, with some popular marches alongside concert band pieces too. Each year it gets harder to choose the music for the programme, particularly as we have well over 120 pieces in the music library, and try to use different pieces each time whilst at the same time keeping in one or two ‘old favourites’.

Well done to all of our award winners for 2012. As a unit of mixed ages and abilities, the band works so well as one big team and the leaders and instructors are proud of each and every one of them.


We were asked to play at the prestigious Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst on 1st April, for South Berkshire District Scouts’ St George’s Day Parade. The sun shone as we led the parade across the famous front steps of the academy. After the event lots of people came over to say how smart we looked and how nice it was to see so many youngsters playing in the band too.

Three weeks later we took part in our own St George’s Day Parade for Royal Kingston District Scouts, and although the sun shone for the march to the church beforehand, we did get a little damp on the return journey!


At the beginning of May we were invited to play at The Medicine Garden in Cobham, for their first Food Festival. Thank-you to the parents and supporters who came, it was such a shame that the rain dampened proceedings, but of course the band played on, and we received many comments on how good we sounded and again how nice it was to see the younger members playing too. They liked us so much we have been invited back again, but are waiting to confirm dates to fit around other commitments.

The following weekend we took part in the second Kingston Borough Bands Tattoo. It was good to see our members mixing with members from the other bands taking part, and to watch and listen to the different styles and levels of music and marching in comparison with our own. Well done to everyone, particularly to all our youngsters who learnt their first marching routine. It is not an easy task to march whilst playing in a normal parade, but to do a full marching display makes it even more challenging, so well done to all of you.

We had no time to relax as the very next weekend we played at both Esher May Fayre and 2nd Hook’s May Fayre on the same day. Thankfully the sun came out, and it was great to join forces with our friends at Surbiton RBL at 2nd Hook’s Fayre to play music together.


Confirmed events coming up: -

10th June – Joint church parade with 2nd Hook

23rd June – Celebration Parade in Epsom

30th June – 1st Hook Summer Fayre

15th July – Music in Nork Park, Banstead

29th Sept – Surbiton Festival

7th Oct – Joint church parade with 2nd Hook

27th Oct – Hook@Home concert

10th Nov – Lord Mayor’s Show

11th Nov – Remembrance Parade, Cobham

24th Nov – 1st Hook Christmas Fayre


We will also be having a base at this year’s Family Camp in July so people can come and try some of the instruments. We are also waiting for confirmation of the date and time for the RNLI Regatta in Kingston in September as well. Please keep an eye on our ‘Where to see us’ page on the group website for up to date information.


Whilst the main band has been preparing for all these events, some of us have also been involved with the start of our new Beginners Band for an hour each Wednesday evening. We have 11 youngsters and are teaching them basic drill and marching, as well as illustrating music theory and the instruments we use within the band. They are all enthusiastic and are making excellent progress. They have already been able to try a few instruments in order to help them choose what they want to learn once they join the main band. We will continue working with them until the end of the summer term, and they will hopefully be joining the main band in September as new recruits.


Lastly, I would like to officially welcome Ken Scrimshaw as a member of our band support team. He has followed the band for many years, but has recently come forward to help with quartermaster duties, as well as being an extra pair of hands on a Monday evening. He also comes to events to take photographs for us too – so a warm welcome and thank-you to Ken from the band.


Green Scarf Article – Band – February 2012


As the previous issue of Green Scarf came out, we were just about to hold our Hook@Home concert. A huge thank-you to everyone who came to support our pirate themed evening; and thanks also to those who helped with both the preparations and the running of the evening itself. Even Jack Sparrow’s lookalike made an appearance too, to the delight of some of the younger members of the audience. I should also say well done and thank-you to all the beavers and cubs who designed portholes for us too. We had them displayed along each side in the main hall, and they attracted lots of comments from people during the evening.


Once the concert was over, we went back to practising our marching for the Lord Mayor’s Show. The BBC coverage of us was quite good again, and we had messages from several ex-bandmembers to say how good we looked and how it brought back memories for them of their time in the band.


The next day we took part in the Remembrance Sunday in Cobham, and had several comments from people there who had seen us on television the day before and how great it was to see all the youngsters participating too.


Two weeks later we played christmas carols at the Group Winter Fair, again involving more of our new younger players, and in December we played carols for the Rotary Club outside the Bentalls Centre in Kingston, as well as at Surbiton Station a couple of days after that with 1st Hook Guides and Brownies too. Although both occasions were rather chilly, we raised lots of money for the Group and thank-you to everyone who came and played or supported us. It was very encouraging to see lots of the younger members there with us on these occasions too.


Since we started back in January, all eleven of our new recruits have been passed out to become trainees as they continue making good progress with their drill and music. Well done to all of you, and we look forward to you moving up to become full members of the main band very soon.


We have had a well-structured rehearsal programme throughout January and February with regards to running through and choosing music for the concert and this has helped the youngsters learn primer parts where required, working alongside the rest of the main band. All the young trainees have been fully involved and will be on stage for the whole concert at Epsom Playhouse on 4th March. Look out for them on the day and please give them lots of encouragement for what will probably be a pretty nervous experience for them. If you still haven’t bought your tickets yet, please contact Julie Shortland as there are still some available. You can always come down and see her at band on a Monday evening from 8.30pm onwards, or give her a call on 020 8224 0069.


Once the concert is over we will begin learning our marching routine for this year’s Kingston Borough Bands Tattoo on 12th May at Tolworth Recreation Centre. Again, all of our youngsters will be involved, with many of them taking part in their first marching routine. If you enjoyed the event in 2010, please do come and support us again. There are more bands taking part this time, and it is great to see all the youngsters interacting with other bands and seeing the different styles of music and displays, before we all join together as one huge massed band for the finale of the event.


Our diary is starting to fill up as we head towards the summer, and I keep an up to date listing on the Band pages of the Group website so do check to see where we are appearing over the next few months.It is not easy to list all the events in every issue of The Green Scarf as there are often last minute requests from organisations, and sometimes events are also cancelled due to events outside our control, so it is best to check the listing on the ‘Where to see us’ page.


Green Scarf Article – October 2011


The band has had a break over the summer this year, giving us a chance to have a rest after a long run of engagements in the last few weeks of term.

We played at St Paul’s School Fair as well as our own Group Fair, and then headed off to Herefordshire for the Bromyard Gala weekend. Some of our younger members came on the trip for the first time and were somewhat overwhelmed by the size of the event, but everyone enjoyed themselves. On the Saturday evening, Bromyard Scouts spent some time with us at the school where we were staying, and we had a fun evening of games with them as well as letting them try the instruments and have a fun drill session too. We also took part in the Music in Nork Park event in Banstead, and played at Steadfast Sea Cadets in Kingston too.


As soon as we started back again in September, our thoughts were on our Hook@Home concert on 29th October – I hope you’ve all bought your tickets - and we started planning the music and themes we could use. As you’ll notice from the posters around HQ, we chose a nautical/pirate theme this year for a change. This meant we could use a similar music list for events in September such as the RNLI weekend in Kingston and also the Surbiton Festival, giving the younger members more chance to learn their parts and join in on their main instrument rather than playing cymbals, in readiness for them playing at the concert.


At the beginning of October we joined 2nd Hook Scout Group for church parade, and we are now practising music for the concert. We have a much younger band at the moment, and are trying to involve the youngsters as much as possible to help them gain more experience of playing with the main band sooner than they would have done in previous years. Needless to say they are all making excellent progress, which you will see for yourselves if you are coming to Hook@Home.


Once the concert is over, we will be brushing up on our marching skills for this year’s Lord Mayor’s Show on 12th November. Look out for us in the BBC coverage – we are number 53 in the parade. Let’s hope the television cameras are kind to us again this year!

The next day we will be on parade for Remembrance Sunday in Cobham as usual, followed a couple of weeks later by playing Christmas carols at our Group Winter Fair.


In December we have also been asked to play in Kingston for the Rotary Club, as well as at Surbiton Station with 1st Hook Guides for their carol-singing too, for which we will be splitting the bucket collection 50/50 with them.


For those who may be unaware, Rob Cooke has now stepped down as Bandmaster and will now be our main percussion instructor, with Jason Low taking over the role of Bandmaster. Paul McLean has also joined me as an Assistant Bandmaster.


Finally, I would like to say congratulations and best wishes to Rob and Clare Cooke on the birth of Oliver, and also to Tracy and Graham Bishop on the birth of Hayley. We look forward to seeing them join the band when they are both old enough!

Green Scarf Article - June 2011


In my last article I mentioned that we'd had a pretty quiet couple of months, but this time around it is somewhat different..!

We took part in a joint church parade with 2nd Hook Group in March, and also have another one coming up on 12th June. We held our annual concert evening at Epsom Playhouse at the beginning of April. Unfortunately, we had to move the date we had planned originally due other bookings at the theatre, meaning that our concert fell on Mothering Sunday. Our audience numbers were down slightly, but never the less, a huge thank-you to everyone who came. Judging by the feedback we received afterwards, the audience enjoyed the evening as much as the band did. All the new recruits did really well in their first appearance on "the big stage", and congratulations to all our award winners this year.
At the concert long service awards were presented to Anne and Ray Bridger, for 25 years and 40 years respectively. Congratulations to both of them.

Due to a certain Royal Wedding, this year's St George‟s Day Parade fell on the Bank Holiday weekend, and although I was away myself, I am told that the Band looked smart and did the Group proud. Well done to our younger new recruits who marched with the Band for the first time on what is a very long parade for us. Although they were somewhat tired afterwards, they all enjoyed being part of the occasion.

There is no doubt that our highlight over the last month or so has been our trip to Belchamps Scout Activity Centre in Hockley, Essex. They were celebrating 75 years of Scouting at Belchamps and invited us to take part in their big weekend. The weather stayed mostly bright and sunny for us, and there were certainly plenty of activities for our members to try, including quad-biking, bungee running, laser clay pigeon shooting, assault courses, and many others too. The band played several times during the weekend, and had very positive feedback from the people who saw us. We played on the main stage as part of the closing ceremony, and entertained the crowds while all the participating groups gathered together. A big thank-you must go to Dave Ashton and Kieran Voong for keeping us fed and watered over the weekend, and also a huge thank-you to all the band members who went. Everyone had fun, and despite the early morning wake-up call on the Saturday for some of us(!), the leaders enjoyed themselves too.

As I write this, we have just played at Esher Fair as well as 2nd Hook's Group Fair on Saturday, and it was great to see lots of our younger band members taking part. Thank-you to the leaders who helped out at the AGM the following day too.

Looking ahead to the next few weeks, we will be playing at St Paul's School Fair as well as our own Group Fair, and then head to Herefordshire for the Bromyard Gala weekend. We also have Music in Nork Park in July too, so our Band diary is rather full for the summer season.

Date for your diaries – 29th October – Hook@Home – A nautical/pirate theme this year! Tickets will be on sale in September, so look out for posters and info.

My final note is more of a plea for help. For the last few years Anne Bridger has overseen the care of our uniforms, including making sure new band members are fully kitted out when necessary. She is looking for one or two (or more) willing volunteers to assist with the general uniform care, with a view to eventually handing over the job to someone else. We already have helpers who regularly wash and iron shirts for us, and more people who help with sewing and repairs, but if anyone reading this can offer their help it would be appreciated. You do not need to come up every Monday, but as the youngsters grow they need new trousers or new shirts, and this can sometimes be an overwhelming task to keep track of for just one person as you can probably imagine.

If you think you will be able to help Anne in any way, or would be interested in taking on the job of uniform care for us in the future, please call or email her, or drop in to have a chat one Monday evening, and I am sure she can give you an idea of what is involved.
Green Scarf Article - February 2011

We held our Hook@Home concert at the end of October, and I believe we raised approximately £900 for the Group, so well done and thank-you to everyone involved in the organisation as well as the various jobs on the night. Thank-you to those of you who came along and supported us as well, I hope you enjoyed the evening.


A couple of weeks later we took part in The Lord Mayor’s Show in London, and I think it was our best television coverage for a few years. We looked very smart in the overhead camera shots of us. Well done to all our younger members who were taking part for the first time. Everyone enjoyed being involved, despite the long day that it is. I must also say thank-you to our team of flag-bearers who marched proudly behind the band. At least the weather was an improvement on 2009!


The next day we played in Cobham for their annual remembrance parade. Although some of our younger members are often tired after doing the Lord Mayor’s Show the previous day, we usually have a good turnout for this engagement, and it is always a moving and poignant service too.


At the end of November we played carols at the Group Xmas Fayre, wearing our new polo shirts. Several people commented on how smart we all looked in them. Two weeks later we played carols in Kingston for the Rotary Club while they held a bucket collection, and have recently received a cheque for £300 from them. Despite the cold, many of the passing shoppers commented on how nice we sounded, and also how good it was to see the younger players involved too.


Since we started back again in January, our new recruits are all making good progress, although we have said goodbye to a couple of youngsters due to their increased levels of homework etc. Anyone who takes a glance at the progress chart on our notice board will see lots of things being ticked off as people pass various tasks we see as basic elements of being in the band. We are hoping to pass out a group of trainees in the next couple of weeks, so fingers crossed for them. It’s not just down to learning music and knowing your left and right, we expect people to be able to take care of their music folders and make sure they know about looking after their instrument, among other items too.


As we look ahead to the next couple of months, we of course have our concert at Epsom Playhouse on 3rd April – there should be a ticket order form elsewhere in this issue. We are currently working on some new pieces of music for the concert, and Ray has scored what we call ‘primer parts’ for the younger trainees so that they can learn some of the new music alongside the senior members too. These are simplified parts, to give them a chance to learn the pieces at an earlier stage. Once they are competent with the primer parts, they will be moved on to the regular music parts.


We have group church parades in March and June, and St Georges Day parade in between. In May we will be playing at Esher Fair and 2nd Hook’s Group Fayre. We’ll also be heading down to Essex to take part in the 75th Anniversary celebrations at Belchamps Scout Activity Centre. We will be playing while we are there, but our members will get the chance to try a mixture of scouting activities and watch other performances over the weekend as well.


I have an up to date list of our engagements on the band pages of the group website, so do have a look at the ‘where to see us’ page for a full list of what’s coming up.
Green Scarf Report - October 2010

As the previous Green Scarf went out, we had played at the Group Summer Fayre, and soon after that we headed up to The Bromyard Gala in Herefordshire. Some of our new youngsters joined us for the trip, and everyone enjoyed themselves during the time away. The following weekend we had some of the band members at the family camp to let people try some of the instruments too.


At the end of July we took part in an event called ‘2012 Together’, which was aimed at raising the profile of youth music activities up and down the country, and we joined forces with Surbiton RBL and Kingston & Malden bands to play outside Surbiton Station. Whilst the event was well received by our supporters as well as passers-by on the day, unfortunately I don’t recall seeing coverage in the local press, which is a shame.


As we headed in to the summer break, we took the opportunity to have a meeting with all the older members of the band, alongside the leaders and instructors, to get their thoughts on what we are doing and if we can improve anything. Some good ideas and suggestions came out of the meeting and it was very constructive. We plan to have another one in the future.


We started at the beginning of September by welcoming a new group of recruits, which has made us re-think the structure a Monday evening somewhat, to enable us to manage the large number of young trainees we now have. We currently have close to thirty recruits/trainees in three different groups, so as you can imagine it took some considerable time working out a schedule to ensure that all three groups would get the mixture of instrument tuition, drill and section work that will help them to progress in the band. At the moment everything has been working out very well, and those of you coming to our Hook@Home concert will see just how well the youngsters are doing.

The band played at the RNLI weekend in Kingston, followed by the Surbiton Festival weekend too. Thank-you to the parents who came along to support us for these local events, it is always good to see you, and I’m sure it makes you proud to see your son/daughter playing in the band.


At the beginning of October we played at what turned into a rather wet church parade and forced the powers-that-be to dismiss everyone at the church after our service. Thanks to Sue Craig for offering to take the instruments back to HQ for us, it was a big help, and thanks to the parents who also took the youngsters back to HQ as well.


As you are probably aware, the end of October sees us performing in our Halloween Hook@Home concert. It is always a fun evening with a relaxed atmosphere, and at the time of writing there are less than 10 tickets left, so it looks like we will have another sell-out concert. It gives us a chance to choose some tunes which the youngsters are able to play, along with some familiar favourites. So, as it will have already happened when you’re reading this, I am sure it will have been another successful one, and I hope you enjoyed yourselves if you came to watch. I would like to thank Andy Cooke and his team for organising things this year. Thanks also to everyone who helped out on the night itself.


We have plenty of events coming up, beginning with playing at the opening of the new HQ for 1st Surbiton Scouts. This is followed by a ‘double’ weekend for us, with the Lord Mayors Show on Saturday 13th – we are number 49 in the parade so look out for us on the BBC coverage - and then we have Cobham Remembrance Parade on Sunday 14th. We will be playing at the Group Christmas Fayre on 27th November, and will also be playing Christmas carols in Kingston with the Rotary Club on 11th December. After that we will be taking a break during the holidays, with our last band night being 20th December, and will start back again on 10th January.


Can I take this opportunity, on behalf of all the leaders, to thank the band members for their hard work in recent months. We have a large group of young trainees, and your support and your help with tuition is greatly appreciated. They are all making good progress and that is a credit to the teamwork within the band itself, and not just the leadership team.

Green Scarf Report - June 2010

At the end of March, we held our Annual Concert and Awards evening at Epsom Playhouse. We played a varied programme of music, with plenty of old favourites mixed with some of our newer pieces. With the new trainees from 2nd Hook joining us during February, we felt that they should be involved in the concert wherever possible, so we featured them alongside our existing trainees for the percussion item. Everyone did very well, and not only did the audience ask to see the item again after their first performance, they were also asked to do it a third time as an encore at the end of the evening too! I’m sure you will join me in congratulating all our youngsters for what must have been a daunting prospect for them, being one of the main events in our band calendar. As far as I am aware everyone enjoyed themselves and they continue to make excellent progress with their music and marching. Well done to all our award winners this year too, you should be very proud of your achievements.


As soon as the concert was over, there was no time to rest, as the next night we began learning our marching routine for Kingston Borough Bands Tattoo. For a lot of the band members, this was their first routine. There are only a few of us ‘oldies’ left who remember the competitions of the past, where we strived to be 100% perfect in turnout, drill and music. (Some of you reading this will remember being part of that too).


In between marching rehearsals, we took part in the District St George’s Day parade in April, which is a long march for the younger members, and although it was a hot day, everyone played well.


Our KBBT routine began with the popular ‘Royal Salute’. Next came ‘The Thunderer’ and during this piece we positioned the trainees in a front block to feature them playing while the rest of the band performed a drill display. Our next piece was ‘Band of Brothers’ which apparently caused quite a few headaches for Chris and Alex whilst they were writing the routine, due to the changes in time signatures and tempos. After a short drum solo we went into our fun piece ‘And All That Jazz’. I will confess that when we first tried some of the manoeuvres for this during our rehearsal weekend at Polyapes, there was nervous laughter from the older members and “Are you serious?” was a commonly heard phrase too......Well, hats off to Chris and Alex for some great ideas which featured fancy footwork at times, but nonetheless we did it, and the band had fun learning it too, although some of us evidently have better co-ordination than others! Our final piece was ‘Olympic Fanfare and Theme’. The last note sounded and the audience applauded us while we all breathed a collective sigh of relief. Thanks to Chris Rogers and Alex Bailey for writing the routine for us. Well done to the whole band too - particularly the youngsters - who picked things up quickly and worked hard while we were learning the routine. The massed band finale was a fitting end to a brilliant day, and I would like to add our congratulations to the KBBT committee for organising such a successful event.


The following week we took a few instruments along to the Group Open Evening to let people have a go, and the next day we played at the 2nd Hook Fayre together with Surbiton RBL, and the weather stayed warm and dry for us as we entertained the crowds. This was followed by Esher Fayre the next weekend, which was another hot and sunny day. We had a lot of youngsters playing for this event and they all did very well.


As we roll in to June, we have a joint church parade with 2nd Hook on 13th and also 1st Hook’s Summer Fayre on 26th too. If we have enough people to play on the day we may be able to perform part of the marching routine, but at the time of writing we aren’t sure if this will be possible yet.

On 3rd/4th July we are heading off to Herefordshire for the Bromyard Gala weekend, which is a popular event with the band members. Apart from it being a fun weekend away in the countryside, there are lots of activities and things to see at the Gala, and the band is always popular with the thousands of people who go to the event each year. We will also be taking part in the Family Camp the following weekend, with some of us taking instruments for people to have a go on, and there may be some drill fun too.


We will be continuing to meet on Mondays during the summer break (apart from the bank holiday), although these evenings are optional and more relaxed. We start back on 6th September, when we look ahead to the Kingston RNLI Regatta and Surbiton Festival. For those of you who may not have heard, we have been asked to take part in the Lord Mayor’s Show again in November, so let’s hope we make it on to the BBC coverage this year, and that it doesn’t rain for a change.....


Lastly, I would like to thank all of the band members, on behalf of the band leaders, as you have all worked extremely hard during the past few months during what has been a very busy schedule.



Green Scarf Report – February 2010
It seems so long since my last article. As I recall, we were fast approaching our Hook@Home Concert, which as anyone who was there will agree, was another successful evening. With it falling on the date of 31st October, we of course adopted a Halloween theme. We had a sprinkling of fancy dress (and not just from the kids...) Congratulations to Angel Dyson who won the fancy dress competition. It was an opportunity for some of our younger members to take part in their first concert. They all did very well, and we hope they enjoyed the experience as preparation for this year’s annual concert at Epsom Playhouse (more details later in my article). In November we took part in the Parade of Remembrance in Cobham, which was closely followed by the Lord Mayors Show. Well done and thank-you to our extra rank of flag-bearers who marched proudly behind the Band. Now you know just how long the parade actually is....! Unfortunately it was a very wet day, with a constant battle against the wind and rain for most of the time. When we eventually got back to HQ later on, the younger members were already asking if we would be taking part again in 2010. You really can’t knock their enthusiasm that’s for sure!

At the end of November we played carols at the Group’s Christmas Fayre, and also played carols at Surbiton Station one evening in December too. This was to support 1st Hook Guides and various other local Brownies and Guides, and we received a cheque for £286.16 which was half of the money collected whilst we entertained the passing commuters.

To round off 2009 we again took part in the Community Christmas Evening at St Paul’s Church. Unfortunately several of our players suffered with the flu bug which caught so many people around that time, and it meant that we didn’t have as many players as we had originally planned, but the Band played on nonetheless, and the church was completely full.

After a brief break for the Christmas holidays, we returned in January already thinking about our forthcoming concert at Epsom Playhouse on 28th March. With our repertoire in the Band library being well above 100 pieces of music nowadays, we are faced with so many to choose from when putting the concert programme together!
Tickets are now on sale of course. We look forward to seeing you there.

Unfortunately, after a great deal of thought and consideration, our friends at 2nd Hook Band have made the tough decision to close down their band activities.
As a result we recently welcomed six new youngsters who have all chosen to continue their music and marching tuition with us here at 1st Hook. We are also fortunate to gain some extra instructors too, which is already proving to be a big help. They have all fitted in straight away, and I would like to welcome them to the family of 1st Hook. We hope you enjoy being part of it and decide to stay.

Finally, I would like to appeal again for some help. As I mentioned previously we are looking for a couple of people to assist Anne with looking after the uniforms. For example, checking through them after engagements and keeping track of any spare kit etc. This doesn’t need to be every Monday evening, just whenever you can spare some time to help us out.

We are also looking for people to help Ray and Andy look after the instruments and other equipment. You don’t need any experience, and I am certain that if you are able to spare any time then Ray will find you a job to do!

Green Scarf Report - October 2009

We were looking ahead to the summer at the end of my previous report, and just before the break we travelled to Herefordshire for a weekend away at The Bromyard Gala. The weather was kind to us during the weekend, being hot and sunny most of the time, although the rain came as we got to the end of a couple of our performances, and also when we were trying to load the minibuses for our return trip home! For many of our younger members it was their first trip away with the band, and although there were a few nerves at first, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. After speaking to various people they were eager to return again as there is so much to see and do at the Gala. Well done to all of you, and yes they have already booked us again for next year! Thanks to Roy Watts for driving one of the minibuses for us during the weekend, and also for helping out as a quartermaster on the trip too.


September always seems very busy, and as usual we had the RNLI Regatta in Kingston, closely followed by the Surbiton Festival. Both events were an opportunity for the new recruits to play cymbals out on parade with us, and they all did very well. We joined forces with our friends at Surbiton RBLYMB for the Surbiton Festival, with the two bands playing together in both the parade and the static performance outside Surbiton Station. The bands were well received by the crowds on another warm and sunny day.


As I write this, we have just taken part in the Deanne Jackson Memorial Concert held by Surbiton RBLYMB. We had our own section in the concert, and despite having a reduced number due to other District activities, we played a varied selection of music finishing with Instant Concert, which was a popular choice with the audience as always. This was followed with a massed band of both Surbiton RBLYMB and 1st Hook, with the final piece ‘The Gael’ from the film ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ proving to be the real highlight of the evening, particularly with it being one of Deanne’s favourite pieces.


We are currently aiming towards Hook@Home at the moment, with just a couple of rehearsals to go before the big night. With the concert falling on 31st October, it promises to be something very special, so I hope to see you all there for an evening not to be missed!


As we head into November, we have Remembrance Parade in Cobham and also the Lord Mayor’s Show in London the following weekend. For once, the two events are on separate weekends, and anyone who has taken part in the Lord Mayor’s Show will tell you it is a very long walk! Look out for 1st Hook on the live BBC coverage on 14th November; we are number 100 in the parade.

At the end of November we will be playing carols at the Group Christmas Fayre, and we will also be playing outside Surbiton Station with 1st Hook Guides on 8th December, helping them to achieve one of the targets in their centenary year celebrations. We have also been asked to play in the Community Christmas Service at St Paul’s Church again in December too, so it seems the run up to Christmas will be busy for us.


I would like to mention wedding congratulations to Tracy & Graham, and also Rob & Clare. Best wishes to you for long and happy futures.


My final comment is really an appeal for help. Firstly, we have a growing number of uniforms which need a lot of looking after. We already have help from Sue Benham and Anne Rogers washing and ironing the shirts for us, but could really do with a couple of extra helpers to check through things after engagements, as well as keeping track of spare kit in preparation for new members, sewing on badges etc. Anne Bridger is looking for help on the odd occasion you could spare an hour or two on a Monday evening. This doesn’t need to be every week, just whenever you can spare some time.

Secondly, we are also looking for quartermaster(s) to help to look after the instruments and equipment. You don’t need any experience, but although Ray now has Andy Nicholls helping him out, they still find they don’t have enough time to get to all the planned repairs they need to do on a Monday evening.


If you are able to spare any time to help with either the uniforms or the instruments, please contact Anne or Ray, and I am sure they can find you a job to do!


Green Scarf Report – June 2009

In my previous report, I mentioned that we only had a couple of rehearsals to go before our concert evening at Epsom Playhouse, so it seems only right that I should begin this article with a brief mention, although it seems so long ago now.

We played a mixed programme, with a good selection of our popular requests, as well as a few of the Band’s favourites. The new choir piece this year was ‘Only You’, made famous by the Flying Pickets, which was our first ‘a capella’ piece (‘a capella’ means without accompaniment for those who don’t know). The new recruits joined in for the choir piece too, with it being their first public appearance with the Band,and well done to all of this year’s award winners. It was another successful evening, raising just over £1,000, and I seem to recall that our arrangement of ‘Abide with Me’ was the main talking point afterwards.


Onwards and upwards....We visited Apache Beavers at the end of February, and gave them a chance to try out the instruments, before getting them marching in preparation for church parade and St George’s Day parade. We definitely found a few budding musicians for the future! We recently visited 1st Hook Guides too, who were keen to try out the instruments and hear about some of the events that the Band takes part in, so we may have more new members joining us over the next few months. With our current young recruits, they are all making excellent progress in both their music and their drill, and we hope they are enjoying being part of the Band. Keep up the good work everyone!


April saw us performing alongside our friends at Kingston & Malden and 2nd Hook Bands for St George’s Day Parade. Once again the sun shone for us, and all three bands played ‘The Thunderer’ together outside the church afterwards too. Well done to our new trainee drum major Sam Michaels, on his first parade out in front leading the way. A week later a small group of us headed over to Cobham RBL to lead a short parade for them, as they held a service at ‘The Tilt’ to dedicate a new memorial to those who gave their lives in WWII. A very moving ceremony, and with the sun shining on the cherry blossoms it was certainly a memorable day.


During May we had the Group’s AGM, giving all the sections a chance to demonstrate their skills to parents and fellow Group members, as well as holding the actual AGM itself, and although I was not able to be there myself, I hear everything went well. The Band was asked to play at Esher Fayre the day after the AGM, and as I write this we have just played outside Sainsbury’s in Surbiton, as they are celebrating their 140th Anniversary this year. Due to the very short notice we invited just our older members, and had some help from a few of our friends in Surbiton RBL and Kingston & Malden bands, so thanks to those who came and played for us. We were able to have a bucket collection while we played, which has raised approximately £120 for Group funds. Not bad for 1 hour’s playing! Just another way of raising money – there may be more events like this in the future too so watch this space....


What does the Band have planned for the summer then? I can assure you that we will be as busy as ever, with a joint church parade alongside 2nd Hook; the Group Summer Fayre; and also a return trip to Herefordshire for the Bromyard Gala at the beginning of July. This is always a popular weekend away for the Band, because aside from the arena marching and bandstand concert performances, we always ensure that the youngsters have fun with games and activities on the Saturday evening during our ‘downtime’. It gives everyone a chance to get to know each other, and build the bonds that make us such a good team. 


Green Scarf Report – February 2009


Since our last report, the Band has been busy as usual. November saw us leading the Remembrance parade in Cobham, and then playing a selection of carols at the Group Christmas Fayre later the same month.

In December we played Christmas carols for the Kingston Rotary Club on what was a cold day in Kingston. We wrapped up warm and helped them raise much needed funds, getting lots of excellent comments from the shoppers who stopped to listen to us too. Just before Christmas a small group of band members played in the Community Carol Concert at St Paul’s Church. This was a well attended evening, with all sections of the local community taking an active part in the service. The Band alternated with the church organ to play the carols sung during the service and it was wonderful to see so many people involved. I believe there are already plans to hold a similar service for Christmas 2009.


We restarted in January and welcomed six new recruits as a result of visits to our cub packs during November/December. I am pleased to report that they are all making good progress in both their drill and music tuition, and we hope they are enjoying being part of the Band. We held a music evening for Cheyenne Beavers in January which showed quite a few potential recruits for the future too! At the end of January we held a morning workshop for the new recruits and younger trainees, which gave them some extra music tuition and drill time, and this was followed by an afternoon rehearsal for the senior members to make some final decisions on the choice of music for our forthcoming concerts.


The Band held their annual inspection the following evening, during which various County and District representatives listened to the Band and watched them perform, before inspecting all of the band members to see how well turned-out they were, both individually and as a whole. The Scouters were evidently impressed with the high standard of both the music and the turnout, as we were once again presented with a grade ‘A’ certificate, which enables us to represent The Scout Association at national as well as local events.


Once the inspection was finished, we took a short break and then played in what was our fifth mini-concert for Royal Kingston’s ScoutLink Group. The ScoutLink members have always enjoyed coming to these concerts and often join in by clapping along to the music. It is also an excellent forerunner to the Band’s main concert at Epsom Playhouse.

As I write this we only have a couple of rehearsals left before our concert on 1st March – I hope you have all bought tickets - and we are also due to visit Apache Beavers to run a music evening for them. Let’s hope we can spot some more potential musicians as we did with Cheyenne Beavers!