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36. Post-war decades remembered, by Mike Tyzack
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38. Early memories of Coventry, by Muriel Wells
39. Family memories of Burt West

Band life with Derick Parsons

Here is a super photo of a band rehearsal for a concert, taken around 1941/42 at what was then the 'New' Hippodrome, which had only been built about four years earlier. The people on stage comprise the Coventry School of Music, and the Bugle and Drum Corps.

The band
If you look carefully, you can spot Derick just to the bass drummer's left at the very back row by the pillar. "...playing tenor drum with twidley pompoms on sticks and all that."
The Hippodrome in 1939
Approaching the Hippodrome in 1939.

Derick can now give us a nice anecdote associated with this photograph....

"I remember Joey Brown, who played the xylophone, was one of the acts that was on the bill on the day of the show. He was a huge round man, and I came up to him in the corridor of the theatre to squeeze by him, and asked for his autograph. He told me to go off in no uncertain manner, if you know what I mean! Not a very sociable person to children at all."

This teasing partial view of the Hippodrome on the left would've been seen by everyone approaching from Trinity Street. The image does little to give away the fact that, once inside this grand old theatre, you were sitting in front of one of the largest stages of any theatre in England.

Derick also remembers that the conductor in the dark uniform was Mr. Major, and the man sitting to his left was J. Parbury of the printers. Mr. Parbury might have been a sponsor but Derick is not absolutely sure about that.

If anyone does have any more information about this band, or even happened to be in the picture, we'd love to hear from you, so we can fill in more names and dates.

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Brian Porter, A Coventry Kid
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