There was a time when there hadn’t been a band in the Southwold and Reydon area for over fifty years, since the last one had been disbanded in the mid 1920s. Then one day in the early months of 1981, a man with a very loud voice had a very bright idea…

John Barber was (and still is) Southwold’s much-loved Town Crier. On that day in 1981 he called together three of his local friends: Mr. Joe Hughes, a military musician; Mr. Dutta Doy, an ex-sea cadet drummer and drum major; and Mr. Ray Palmer, a former bugler in the Suffolk Regiment. He asked them to help him form a new – and long-overdue – local marching band. Mr John Adnams offered valuable financial support, which allowed them to purchase instruments.

With Mr. Hughes taking on the role of Musical Director, the four men set about recruiting members. It was then that they had a second bright idea. They approached Mr. Stannard, another local man who ran a thriving youth club in Southwold’s Stella Pesket Hall, and within days they had a full set of young recruits, ready and raring to start playing music.

It was an ex-army man named Mr. Frank Mortlock who took over the drill and discipline of the corps of drums, showing the players how to march in unison. It just so happened that both Mr. Mortlock and Mr. Barber’s fathers had played together in the previous band, a happy coincidence that was made even sweeter by the discovery that Mr. Doy’s father had been in the local T.A. Regiment at the time, which had frequently met with the band for drills.

The newly formed Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums began practicing twice a week – something we still do to this day, more than thirty years later!