The 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band is a concert and marching band
based in Eastleigh, Hampshire. The band is made up of members of the Scout and Guide Associations from all across Hampshire, and regularly performs in concerts, carnivals and parades all over the country and abroad.

The Band rehearses every Thursday evening from 18.30 - 21.00, and the Merlins on alternate Fridays from 18.45 - 20.00 at the 14th Eastleigh Scout Hut in Allbrook.

 

Band History

In 1968 the Group Scout Leader (Bill Hogg) was determined to start a band. He took all the money that the Group had at the time (£50.00) to George Potters of Aldershot and told them he wanted to start a band. They asked “how much have you got”, and when told £50.00 they laughed and said “come back in 2 weeks and I will see what I can do”. 2 weeks later Potters provided 8 Eb trumpets. The percussion section was made up of a bass drum loaned from the Salvation Army and 1 brass side drum; the cymbals were borrowed from any band they could at the displays they attended.

The first display was Eastleigh carnival. The first bandmaster was Josh Bowmaker who was poached from the Boy’s Brigade band and led the band until 1972 when Trevor Dacombe took over as bandmaster. In 1974 Ian Cole took over and has been dedicated to the band ever since. The band prospered and money was raised to provide better quality instruments, which enabled the band to take part in many prestige events and competitions with great success. Because competitions started in April the band were often found practising In January at the Pirelli car park in Bishopstoke. You probably wouldn't have recognised them because of the amount of clothing that had to be worn to keep the cold out, but determination pushed the band on.

The band continued to attend prestigious events and were regular visitors to the Dell where they performed before the match and at halftime, often with the majorettes. One of the bands' claim to fame is being filmed whilst performing at the Dell; this film was often shown on the children's television programme "play school".

The band was initially a scout group band but in the early 1970's was opened up to the 4th Eastleigh guides and later to other members of the associations outside of the group. In addition to the main band a cub band was formed playing brass side drums and kazoos. In 1981 the band were invited to Eastleigh's twin town of Kornwestheim in Germany. This was a very successful trip and the first of many trips to Germany, although the later trips were to Assmanhausen.

At the beginning of the 1980's the band had a change of direction and went from the traditional style to the American show band style, this continued with some success until 1984 when the restrictions of being a scout and guide band proved to much for many of the members. It was decided that the band would split the majority of members forming the "Senators Drum and Bugle Corps". The band was left with 12 members and could have gone the way of many other scout and guide bands at the time and closed, but for the dedication of the Band master (Ian Cole) and the Assistant Bandmasters (Tony Cole and Ian West) who pulled the band back from the brink of extinction.It took a long time to build the band back up but this was done with some success and in 1992 the band became British Youth Band Association National champions. The band has continued to prosper and competed in many National and European competitions winning bronze, silver and gold awards.

The band are well travelled flying the flag for Eastleigh. As well as travelling to Germany the band has taken part in the Battle of Flowers in Jersey and has travelled all over England. The Band has also played at the Royal Albert Hall and has performed outside St Paul's Cathedral. During the St Paul's performance the band played "Jesus Christ Superstar" whilst unknowingly being watched by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, who later commented “I did not write it to be played like that.” OOPS!

The Band has always put Scouting and Guiding first and supports as many Scouting events as they can including Gang Shows and St George’s day parades. They will also do their best to support any charitable event whether it is for the benefit of the Scout and Guide association or for the benefit of others. The band has played to many celebrities, as well as Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber the list includes Arthur Askey, Roy Castle, The Suns page 3 girls (fully clothed), Buster Merrifield, Lionel Blair and Michaela Strachan. Many of the band members have also had great success in other local and national bands and orchestras. The Band has had many members pass through it's ranks and go on to be professional musicians. In the early days Mark Biddlecombe, a snare drummer, was 1 of only 6 recruits to be accepted in to Her Majesty's Band of the Royal Marines and the only one selected for training in the percussion section.

The band is only one of three Scout Bands left in Hampshire, and the band remains to be thought of as one of the top Scout and Guide Marching and Concert bands in the country.  It has always been the bands policy to make instruments and uniforms available to loan to members and that all new members will immediately join the band to learn by experience.  This policy will continue and with the dedication of the members and the many volunteers that support the band the future is assured and we look forward to supporting many more young people and charities over the next forty years.  Such is the fame of the band that a quiz question on BBC radio Solent was “what is the nickname of the 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide band” The answer of course being .....

THE SPITFIRES !!