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Cecil Carter and the Gislingham Band Book Cover Cecil Carter and the Gislingham Band

The Gislingham Band - compiled by Alistair Govan

ISBN: 978-1-902019-04-8

(Old ISBN: 1 902019 04 0)

94 pages, paperback, 146mm x 208mm.
21 Colour, 7 Sepia and 28 black and white photos

Published by Greenridges Press, June 2002.

Price: £ 12.95
(minimum, donations to the band are very welcome)
Postage and Packing:

About the Book

The Gislingham Silver Band is the only village band remaining in the county of Suffolk. Its stalwart member is 88-year-old trombonist Cecil Carter and the 100-page colour paperback is a popular edition of a ĎThis is Your Lifeí style book presented to him in December 2001.

Cecil joined the Band as a young man because he fancied the daughter of one of the bandsmen. She later became his wife. The Band needed a trombonist and he taught himself to play the instrument from an instruction book - there was no one who could give him any tuition. From that time onwards, the Band became a vital part of his life.

He says: "In December 1998, I decided to retire as Secretary, a job Iíd been doing since 1932, but of course I didnít pack in my trombone playing with the Band. Iíve managed to get through three trombones since I started playing in 1929. I donít think Iíll be buying a new one. My first trombone cost me three pounds and ten shillings. The last one I bought was in 1980. It cost me £218. Today, I note on John Myattís Brass Instrument Specialists price list, that a Bb trombone would cost me £700.

"I donít think Iíve improved much over the years, but Iíve enjoyed performing and seeing our Band continue and strengthen at a time when so many of the other Brass Bands have closed through lack of support. Over the years we have never been too ambitious. We have never entered the world of Brass Band Competitions, but have achieved a great sense of satisfaction from enjoying what we play, in the company of like-minded people. Our small Band Room too has been a great asset and our charges have remained realistic. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why we are still in existence."

In his Foreword to the book, Geoff Davies writes: "Cecil Carter, one of the Bandís greatest benefactors ... has given unstintingly of his time and cash for nearly three-quarters of a century. We hope his fine example and commitment will inspire old and new members, and supporters, to sustain the Gislingham Silver Band well into the future."

Rehearsals are still held in the Bandroom on Mill Street, Gislingham every Tuesday from 7.30-9.30pm, and anyone interested will be made most welcome. The Musical Director is Ron Wright, husband of Sheila Wright, author of "Bon Corage Mes Amis!" which been published by Lťonie Press.

The Band currently (March 2002) is booked for five engagements during Queen Elizabeth IIís Golden Jubilee Weekend celebrations, and, already, 20 engagements during the year.

It is with regret that we record that Cecil Carter died on May 25th 2003 in West Suffolk Hospital, aged 90 years, exactly a year from the day the book was launched. He had been associated with the band for 74 years. Ron Wright, the band's musical director, said "Half of Cecil's life was his farm and family. The other half was the Band".

Contact Details

The book can be obtained from Mr R Wright, Musical Director, "Kisumu", The Street, Wickham Skeith, Eye, Suffolk IP23 8LP. Please make cheques payable to "Gislingham Silver Band". This is a limited edition.


Copies of the book are available from either Ron Wright or Anne Loader Publications.

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