Officer Alec Tyler
I joined the band when I was nine years old it was round about 1990. I first saw them perform at a school fete and later at the Romford Tattoo. I wanted to joined straight away but my brother and sister wasn't interested (but my mum and dad made them anyway). I have played the snare drum nearly all of my time in the band except for my first year when they made me play cymbals because I was too small to carry the drum.
One of my most favourite jobs I have ever done has to be when my drummers were booked out to play on the players at the Rugby Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford. There was over 70,000 fans in the stadium that night and I have never had such an amazing buzz from a band show.
Over my time in the band I have won a few awards with in the band including the first person to win Sergeant of the Year twice and have been promoted through the ranks to Drum Sgt/Major for my efforts in the band. I have pretty much had the run of my section for nearly ten years with a little help from various people and it has been thoroughly enjoyable to watch the the section grow in to what they are today.
Officer Amanda Freestone
I was initially asked to help out in the library in 2003 as one of the library assistants to Officer Mark Ellis (my Fiancé), and then agreed to help the Band out for World Marching Championships (WMC) in Kerkrade in 2005. I had previously been a member of the Haverettes Girls Band for nearly 18 years playing Mallet Percussion and Euphonium and decided to hang up my plimsoles in 2001.
Once I had agreed to help out, I can remember the Band Director Ian Yeoman saying “well you might as well do the show before the Worlds (July) just to get back into the swing of things”
Well my first show was Aulnay-sous-Bois, a hot parade and then a tattoo, I thought I was never going to make it, I was used to a little white skirt and plimsoles, and now I had a full black uniform, with extra weight … a belt, music bag, pith helmet. WHAT HAD A DONE! I am still in the Band and feel like that on every Band show that I do!
In December 2005, Mark and I announced that we were expecting our first child, due 14th June 2006, so I thought my time in the Band had come to an end. I had a great pregnancy and was still marching in uniform at 7 ½ months, much to the amusement of one gentleman on a show one evening, who called me a “lazy cow” for sitting down whilst the rest of the Band was standing in concert formation. He was very apologetic once I had informed him I was 7 ½ months pregnant. Lily-Rose arrived on 14th June 2006, and very quickly became the newest member to the Band family
In October 2006, the Band travelled to Calella in Spain for Oktoberfest, this was to be my first show back in the Band after having Lily-Rose, and it was spectacular … I hadn’t been feeling too good on the day of the first show, but put it down to the hangover from the night before (being pregnant and a young baby alcohol and I hadn’t seen each other for quite a while J). As we formed up to march through the town for our show that evening, still feeling rough, I don’t remember a thing until I found myself surrounded by people in a shop! I seemingly had blacked out and fell into a shop without, I hasten to add damaging my helmet or instrument! Little did we know at the time I was pregnant again! So in December 2006 we announced we were expecting our second child on 5th June 2007. WOW, this was surely the end of my time in the Band. Poppy May was late and born on 12th June 2007, and as Lily-Rose did, she then became the newest member to the Band family.
During my time in the Band I have been awarded my Musician’s Badge and Star and promoted to L/Cpl in 2007. In 2008 I was promoted to Corporal and awarded the Peter Richardson Endeavour Award, and in 2009 I was promoted to Sgt, and in 2010 I was awarded the Sgt of the Year Award.
With lots support from my Mum, Dad and his wife Charlie and Scott, I am still able to continue to play in the Band, and the girls even come out on a few shows through out the year and enjoy being looked after by the staff of the Band.
I one day hope to see my daughters maybe follow in our footprints, and get as much enjoyment out of begin part of such a great organisation as I do.
Officer Osman Dervish
I joined the band in 2001 at the age of 14, pretty late considering some of the ages that other people had joined at. I decided to join when I saw a presentation about the band, and was thoroughly impressed when I saw them on a Thursday night. Luckily I had already been taking music lessons at school and could play the cornet when I joined, this meant that as soon as I had learnt how to march, I was in.
While I joined at a young age, I became instantly hooked and have enjoyed every moment with my "extended family", both in and out of band. In this regard, the band has offered me the opportunity to go to some truly remarkable events, such as The Lord Mayors Show in London, and meet some unbelievably amazing people, including the former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher.
I have made the most of it through my involvement in the main band and also as a Monday night instructor, grounding the new recruits in the basics of marching etc. I am both happy and proud to be a member of the best youth marching band in not only Great Britain, but in my opinion, the world. I was promoted to BSM in 2011 and Officer in 2016.
Quartermaster Frank Yeoman
I first became involved with the band in 1978 when we moved from the East End of London to Elm Park. It was after my son Ian had joined the band that I started to help out in any way I could, and being very enthusiastic I got involved in many things.
It was in the later years that I was approached by Mr. Peter Richardson and was asked if I would become the Band's Quartermaster, this I accepted with pride. With this position I became an officer within the Band and later the liaison between the Fundraising Committee and the Band.
There are many projects that I have been involved with within the organisation and I will continue to serve this Band with pride and honour.
Assistant Quartermaster Mr Bert Waite
Bert first became involved in the band in 1964 when his son joined the band. He was made an Officer in 1966. After many years in the Band, Bert took a break from the band in 1992 and returned in 2000.
Since returning, Bert has been Assistant Quartermaster to Frank Yeoman. Bert loves everything about the band and looks forward to many years more with the band.