ABOVE: Tom Walker, who provided this information writes: “[The] photo was the postcard from the 1970 trip. I’m to Mr. D’s left, and my brother Rob is 2nd from the left, front row (clarinet) and directly behind Mr. D on the euphonium is my other brother Barry.
Dartmouth – King Arthur and his Knights Return
The 1968 tour of Europe was so successful that when Arthur returned to Vancouver, he immediately began readying plans to go back again in two years. In 1966 Arthur and his boys had begun a five summer love affair with the sleepy English seaport of Dartmouth. Dartmouth was like Glochamorra to Arthur and his boys. It was as though it came to life for two weeks, every two years in the summer when the band arrived. Whether it was because they were treated like celebrities each time they marched into town, or because of all the girlfriends the boys had there over the years or because it was like returning home to a welcoming family after touring on the continent, where they didn’t speak the languages, they didn’t know for sure but they loved it.
Dartmouth is a beautiful, historically significant seaport on the south coast of England in Devon. There are two ways to arrive in Dartmouth. One is by ferry from the Kingswear side of the Dart River. The other is from the main highway above the town and then down a winding road and along a main road into the centre of town.
In 1970, Dave Mackenzie, had returned again as manager. He and Arthur, decided they would make a triumphant entry into Dartmouth, like King Arthur returning to Camelot. They would park their bus above the town and march the band down through the centre of town to the band shell and park on the boat quay. This, they thought, would allow people to hear the band coming long before they saw them, thus instilling excitement and enthusiasm for their pending two week engagement. Over the past few trips to Europe, a pattern had developed whereby the band would book ahead to play the carnival for two weeks at the end of June in Dartmouth, then head to the continent for a whirlwind, “If this is Tuesday, it must be Belgium” trip through six or seven European countries arriving back in the UK for the month of August where they were booked to play concerts throughout England and Scotland, ending up in Dartmouth the last week in August for the famous Dartmouth Royal Regatta. Excerpt from: By Jove What A Band!
ABOVE: Playing by the Dartmouth Boat Quay and waiting to march through Dartmouth.
ABOVE: Photos courtesy of Bill Gumbleton Top Left: Bruce Miller, Iain Petrie, Wayne Briscoe, Larry Borsa, on the bus, Jeff Sears, taking a rest from the bus trip, Dave McKenzie