I followed dad, and my dad's dad, into learning an instrument and joining a brass band, and dad and I had many years in the same band and so many great times shared with this interest. This photograph would roughly be around about the right time, the story is from 1980 about a particular competition that we were playing at and, oh well, you can read the rest! LOL
Berks Lane Kit
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Family Hand Drawn Words
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I don’t have many photos of dad and I and our involvement together in brass bands in my younger years so this one is precious. There is a story though, that must be told and go down in the Wills family history.
The Geelong City band travelled to Mount Gambier by bus for the three day band competitions over the Easter weekend many many years ago. Road trip! Mum stayed home with Trevor so it was just dad and I and a bus load of musos off for the long weekend. Probably a few hours into our journey mum walked into the bedroom at home and saw dad’s three crisp white shirts still laying on the bed ready to be packed. Bear in mind this was in the days before we had a mobile phone. There was nothing she could do to alert us as we were on our way.
We arrived in South Australia oblivious to the fact dad didn’t have his white shirts. More panic when he realised late Thursday evening, long after the shops were closed, that they were missing. With the Easter weekend upon us dad desperately needed at least one white shirt to get him through, and of course there was no one his size at band to even lend him one. So on Good Friday the band rang around the supermarket managers in town until they found one that would open their doors that morning just for dad so he could purchase the biggest shirt they could find. Which was no where big enough but it would have to do in a pinch.
If only people knew that the smartly decked out brass bandsman before them marching down the centre of the road playing his tuba had the back cut out of his shirt and the arms all ripped, just so that the front looked nice and neat and his cuffs were showing!