by Melvyn Gallagher
On new year's day, along with 10,000 others, I took part in London's “New Year's Parade” that included many Scouts, Guides and marching bands - nearly 30 of them from the U.S.A. Scout bands in Britain are seen at many public and Scouting events and have a long history from the earliest days of the Movement. Many early postcards chow them leading parades celebrating major national events, to carnivals, funerals and St. George's Day parades. In Scotland kilted pipe bands are seen and also in other lands, such as Palestine.
Before the days of minibuses, when Scouts marched much more, many Groups had their own band or, at least, a small number of drummers ad buglers to set the marching pace. Many stamps picture Scout bands, including a band of 1912 reproduced on the 1972, 25c stamp from Barbados. A 1942 Bulgarian stamp from their “work and joy” set shows a Scout band playing by a tent. A 1969 3D Qatar stamp shows a Scout drum band leading a parade and later 1982 stamps from Anguilla, Barbados, St Helena and Uganda all depict Scout bands. Old postcards showing formal groups of Scouts usually include their instruments and these can sometimes be a useful clue to identifying them as their name was usually painted on the base drum.
I look forward to seeing members at “Philatex” on February 26th where there will be talks and displays of unusual material and an opportunity to add to your collections too.