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Sadly 1st Northfleets Band has passed into the history books (for now)...but please read a little bit of its history below!

History of the Band

To my knowledge there has been a band at the 1st since 1910 when records show there was a small drum and bugle band, although the band in it's present form hails from 1936 when Bob Dalley joined the group from the Salvation Army troop and brought with him, in spirit at least, the dedication to run a bugle band which was the formation of what we still have today.

We have had many leaders that I know of, Malcolm Rand, Jim Terry, Shane Dickman, and have changed our instrumentation a couple of times. New drums in the sixties, although we still have a couple of rope drums, as well as an autographed pig skin from our last "real" bass drum with the name Ralph Reader on it. New Bell-lyre in the 70's and our latest purchase was with the aid of EBay, 11 trumpets in total, cheap cheerful but playable, and given that our last purchase of these was in the 80's at £125 each, 11 for £150 was quite a bargain.

Over the years the band has competed in many local and national competitions, even when its leaders have moved on, some forming other bands, we have always stood shoulder high with the best.

We have performed at venues such as Stamford Bridge, for the National Scout Band Championships, and The Royal Albert Hall for the National Youth Marching Band Championships.

We have had gains and losses, and during the mid 80's had limited success at the Kent County Youth Band Championship, drum major and best drill and deportment winners, with the aid of John Preece and Kamaljit Bains assisting running the band.

Our biggest loss was that of Jill Chamberlain taken from us by Cancer at the age of 42, one of the saddest days in the bands history, and a great loss to the group. She was our bass drummer, uniform manager, cub leader and a shining light that everyone loved.

The other band in the district, the 11th Gravesend, folded and became the Marauder Corps then Black Nights, but we still continued on proud to be a Scout Band.

The band is now a district band, and recruits from at least 3 sections and groups, including guides, and is proud of the fact that it ties together many aspects of scouting. We are currently trying to involve Dartford Scouts, desperate times!!!!!!

We have never wandered from the traditional military style, and are proud of that fact.

The uniforms have changed over the years, into something a bit bland if I'm allowed to say that, no Berets, no lanyards, but it's called progress.

Kevin Braine,

GSL and Former Band Master

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