Search

Honours list joy for Hornchurch band leader

12:00 12 January 2014

Ian Yeoman

Ian Yeoman

Archant

After being awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for services to music and youth development, Ian Yeoman told Sam Gelder about his 35-year involvment with the Royal British Legion Band & Corps of Drums Romford.

The band outside Winter Palace in St Petersburg.The band outside Winter Palace in St Petersburg.

It’s not every day you receive a letter saying the Prime Minister is putting your name forward to the Queen for inclusion in her New Year’s Honours list.

So when Ian Yeoman, director of the Royal British Legion Band & Corps of Drums Romford, opened his mail on November 18, he was understandably shocked.

The 44-year-old, of Vicarage Road, Hornchurch, will receive a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to music and youth development, having led the band to gold medals in the World Music Contest on two occasions.

“To say I am proud and ecstatic would be an understatement!” he confessed,

Ian (far right), as sergeant, in a photograph from the 1980s.Ian (far right), as sergeant, in a photograph from the 1980s.

“As a royalist, this is a very proud moment for me.

“Being recognized nationally and by The Queen for the 35 years of work I have put into this great organization is amazing.”

Ian joined the band as an enthusiastic nine-year-old in 1978 after watching the Havering Tattoo held in Romford Market.

Initially he played the bugle in the ‘B Band’, but took up the cornet privately and before long was part of the main band.

In 1984, at the age of 14, he became the youngest ever sergeant and by 1994 he was made bandmaster to Leslie McWilliam.

And Ian, who was made director in 2002, reserved special praise for the men who helped him on his way.

“I would like to thank Bert Waite who taught me to march and play my first 5 notes on a bugle.

“But most of all I would like to thank former band directors, the late Peter Richardson BEM and the late Leslie McWilliam, as without their teaching and guidance I would not be where I am today.”

Ian’s work with the band has resulted in major successes.

Since 1993, the band has won double gold medals at three World Music Contests, held every four years in Kerkrade, Holland – most recently in 2009.

Marching bands from all over the world compete in the event, which the band qualifies for by winning the national competition.

Ian said: “We spend 6 months training for the world championships and every time we go we bring home gold medals for marching.

“We have earned the reputation of being one of the most successful UK traditional marching bands today.”

As well as competing, the 70-strong band also travels and performs around the world, and have played in Spain, France, Germany and Canada.

But Ian says his proudest moment came when the Russian Embassy flew the band out to St. Petersburg for the Royal Regatta in 2011.

“That was a proud moment – it must have cost the Russian embassy about £70,000 to fly us out.

“Performing in New York in the Marine Tattoo in 2004 was also a really proud moment.”

The youngest band member is nine, and with an average of 17, Ian say it is rewarding to see the children grow up to be “great” adults.

“It gives me a lot of satisfaction. Being in the band helps prepares the kids for the big wide world.

“I am very proud of the band and it is a pleasure working with them week in and week out. They are a credit to the borough, the country and the Royal British Legion.”

Most recently, the band performed on ITV’s Text Santa show with Robbie Williams in December.

Other performances include Surprise Surprise, Let’s Dance for Sport Relief and the British Comedy Awards.

The band is currently looking for new members aged 10 and above. If you play or are learning a musical instrument and are interested, call 01708 734954 after 7pm on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00
John Brouder, NELFT NHS Foundation Trust chief executive

A £12m grant is set to train talented graduates as social workers to help people living with mental health conditions.

Yesterday, 12:00
Tower blocks, Napier and New Plynouth house

The “forgotten flats of the Mardyke Estate” could soon be demolished and replaced with modern, affordable housing.

Yesterday, 10:00
Linda Borg, Maureen Ballard, Janet Abbott, Manvir Kaur and Charlotte Oxby

A retired district nurse will join hundreds of women for a moonlit walk through Romford to support a charity close to her heart.

Fri, 16:56
A motorcyclist has been taken to hospital after a collision in Southend

A motorcyclist from Upminster has been taken to hospital after a collision in Southend.

Fri, 13:40
Upminster Windmill is having its entire cap removed, including fantail and sails, for the first time since 1803, as part of the continuing resotration programme.

Today is a historic day for Upminster’s 213-year-old windmill.

Fri, 12:13
Tricia Dear, mother of 16-year-old Paddy Dear who died after falling down a cliff on his school trip.

“In your mind, you know that so much time has elapsed that hope is drifting away.”

Fri, 11:22
Best man Robert Naughton, Donald Naughton, Lucy Rayner and Bishop Trevor Mwamba. Photo: Claire Still/BHRUT

Due to a serious illness, a couple together for 20 years, brought forward their wedding and held it in a hospital’s intensive care unit on Wednesday.

Fri, 10:24
Collier Row fire

More than 20 officers and firefighters were called to the scene in Collier Row Road just after 7pm last night.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe