Have You Filled in Your Survey Form Yet?

We sent all members a survey with the last Blue and the Gold asking about your opinions of the Association. If you haven’t done so already, please can you fill it in and send it to us as soon as you can. The more replies we get the better we’ll know what you think and want – it’s your Association, and we need your help to steer it in the right direction. You can reply anytime up until 31st July so don’t feel it’s too late.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Cenotaph March Past 2020

A message from Paul Sargeant, RAFMuSA / RBL Representative…

For only the second time in the Association’s history we are planning to participate on Remembrance Sunday again this year, at the Cenotaph in London on November 8th.

In the current circumstances you may be wondering, like me, whether the Remembrance Sunday ceremony will take place at all. However the latest update I’ve received from The Royal British Legion is that we should still submit our application in the required time frame. I have been assured by the RBL that they will keep me informed on a regular basis as to any changes or cancellation plans.

If you would like to join our contingent, you can apply online using the application form. Alternatively you can download and print a paper application form, fill it in and send it by post (the address is on the form).

Please apply as soon as possible. I will keep everyone informed of any news I receive from The Royal British Legion

– Paul Sargeant.

New Publication

Graham Hopwood has recently had a book published called “My Life of Music”. He started singing at the age of six and is still singing at the age of 72. He has played with 44 Salvation Army, brass and RAF bands and sung with 3 male voice choirs, and has also been a Salvation Army bandmaster. The first part of the book recounts his musical life before joining the RAF, the second part describes his time in the RAF Music Services and musical life after demob. The book has 126 pages, over 30 colour photographs and over 30 black and white photographs, and has been published in a limited edition of just 50 copies.

If you would like a copy, the price is £12 plus £2 p&p. Please send a cheque for £14.00 payable to Graham Hopwood to:

10 Beamsley House
Bradford Road
West Yorkshire
BD18 3BL

Inaugural Concert featuring the Band of the RAF Regiment

UPDATE: Unfortunately this concert has had to be cancelled due to poor ticket sales. We are reviewing the possible reasons for this, but we hope this will lead to us being able to arrange another concert more successfully.

We are excited to announce that the RAF Music Services Association will be promoting its first ever concert on Saturday 2nd November 2019, Music in the Air, featuring

The Band of the RAF Regiment*

at the Salvation Army Hall, Boscombe in Bournemouth.

Come and hear an exciting and varied programme of music guaranteed to impress. The bands of the Royal Air Force are rightly regarded as being among the finest Military Bands in the UK, and they perform all over the UK and internationally – you will be guaranteed a memorable evening of music and entertainment.

For more information and to buy tickets, go here.

All proceeds from the concert will go to support the work of the RAF Music Services Association.

The Salvation Army Hall is at 76 Palmerston Road, Bournemouth, BH1 4HT. View on a map.

*The Band of the RAF Regiment plays by permission of the Air Force Board of the Defence Council.

RAF Germany 30th Anniversary Commemoration

A Memorial Service and commemoration was held at RAF Northolt on 11th February 2015, the 30th anniversary of the tragic road accident at Langenbruck, Germany, in which 19 Musicians from the Band of the Royal Air Force Germany, an RAF Policeman and their coach driver lost their lives. Here are some photos of the occasion

The Blue and the Gold Delayed

The winter edition of The Blue and the Gold would normally have been sent to you by now, but it’s going to be a little late this year because Norman Blow recently spent a month in India. We are now planning to print it on 31st January, and all being well it should be posted some time the following week. Norman tells me there are 36 pages including the covers, so it should be worth the wait.

In the longer term we are considering changing the publication dates from Summer and Winter to Spring and Autumn. This would have two advantages. If we send the Spring edition in March we could include the details and application form for the reunion, thus saving postage from not having to send them separately. Secondly the Autumn edition in September could include reports and photographs from the reunion while it’s still fresh in everyone’s mind. What do you think? Let us know using the comment form below.

Talking of the reunion, it’s now confirmed that it will be on the 7th July at Northolt, with dinner on Saturday 6th, probably at the Barn Hotel again. So put those dates in your diary, we’ll be sending out full details and an application form in a newsletter in a few weeks time.

Website News

You may have noticed that since this website went live, three or four months ago, very little development has taken place. Now that the reunion is over, and some of my other commitments are winding down a little as well, I hope to be able to spend some time adding new features. I expect we’ll have some photos from the 2012 reunion to display, and I’d like to develop a “where are they now” page where members can advertise for information about friends they’ve lost touch with. There’s also the possibility of making back numbers of the Blue and the Gold available for download, and several people have made other suggestions. So there’s lots to look forward to.

In the meantime I can announce one new item. Tony Fowles has taken a number of recordings which our members would find interesting and transferred them onto CDs. These are available (to members only) in return for a small donation to cover his costs, so do log in and head to the Members’ pages to have a look.

A New Website is Born

The first item of news here has to be this website itself. This is a new site published by the Royal Air Force Music Services Association, and as I write there is still a lot work to do before it can be considered ready for public consumption. The Association has been in existence for some 25 years, its purpose being to provide a means for ex-Royal Air Force musicians (whether they were full time bandsmen or members of the many voluntary bands) to keep in touch with friends and colleagues from their service days, and with the contemporary RAF Bands and currently serving members of the Music Services. It’s now time to start taking advantage of the Internet to facilitate these objectives.

The site has two main aims:–

  • To make information about the Association available to anyone interested, including the Association’s purpose and its activities, and to help advertise the Association to anyone eligible to join.
  • To provide a source of information about the Association and its members which is private and available only to the active members, to help people make contact with old friends, for example.

I’m sure these aims will grow and evolve as the site develops, in ways which are impossible to predict. We hope it will become an ever more useful resource for the membership, and will serve to publicise the work of the Association to a wider public.

Before we get there, though, there is much work to be done…!