Born into an extended brass band family in Yorkshire Mark took up the cornet aged six. He progressed through the band with some success and in 1976 applied, guided by a military band cousin, to the Regimental band H.M. Scots Guards. Delighted to have been accepted into the Brigade of Guards Mark spent his first year at the Guards Depot, Pirbright, where drill and military musicianship were paramount. The second year saw Mark at the Royal Military School of music, Kneller Hall, Twickenham, initially under Lt. Col. Trevor Sharpe, where the focus changed to music and concert etiquette.
On leaving Kneller Hall he joined the band. The next nine years were spent on public duties, guard mount at Buckingham palace and Windsor Castle, the Queen’s birthday parade (trooping the colour (the spin wheel is easy, eventually), tours of America, Canada, Kenya, Cyprus, Australia, Northern Ireland and Scotland, the Queen Mothers 80th birthday parade, the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer and a host of other major events.
Mark left the military in 1987 to join Kent Police as a constable, serving in Sevenoaks, Sevenoaks rural, Motorway patrol, Maidstone and finally working with the North Kent crime group. Throughout his police career Mark maintained a keen interest in playing although now once again within the brass band world. Having retired he took up the baton with Whitstable brass to help them through a bad patch. A retirement from conducting announcement by the MD of Marks principal band, UK Paper Band Sittingbourne where he played Bb and Eb soprano cornet prompted an invitation for him to take over as MD of the band.
Mark says “Alison has been at the front of the band for 15 years, she has left a huge hole and big shoes for me to try and fill. I am delighted she is still within the band and still a good friend I can call on for help, guidance and advice.”
A Selection of Band Members