Whatever Happened To -
The Imperial Parade Band


24/05/10 - Alwyn Smith has sent me a couple of pictures and asks, "Do you think your readers might be able to name the individuals and add any other information. These musicians - it looks like The Imperial Band - were parading in Yorkshire Street, Rochdale in August 1972. I've never known the reason for the event. Thank you".




My Thanks to Peter Vickers for this filmed recording of the band

Pete tells me - The drummers were John Rothwell snares, Frank Caunce bass drum. Keith Moore played Eb clarinet, Pete Vickers is playing tenor horn, Dwight Gidney was the third trumpet player, don't know who it is in the pith helmet!

24/05/10 - Hi Fred,

Re Rochdale 1972 (one year before I did a Parade there) The Trombones are certainly Derek Galloway and pretty sure Dave Donohoe. No idea of the Marshall - not me !!

Cheers - Dave Woonton

24/05/10 - Hi Fred. 

The two trombones look like Dave Donohoe and Derek Galloway to me. 

Viv Fisher

25/05/10 - Dear Fred,

The trombone player behind the marshal's right shoulder must be Derek Galloway.

Allan Wilcox

25/05/10 -

It is obviously Dave Donohoe and Derek Galloway on trombones, and Pete Smith on Sousaphone, pity I did not have this with me on Saturday evening when we attended Daves 70th birthday party, I could have asked him if he remembered the event.

Cheers, Carole Fletcher

25/05/10 - Hi Fred,

Definitely not Pete Smith. He didn't start learning to play any instruments until about 1991.

Regards, Janet Rodger

26/05/10 - Hi, Fred, 

I asked my Rochdalian friend if she recognised the Imperial Band. She didn't and she disputed as to whether it is Rochdale. - "I don't think this was taken in Yorkshire Street. Before they built the new market and precinct, all the buildings were of red brick. I'd put money on it. Old Rochdale was red-brick, viz the Reed Hotel and the Queen Anne building that was Lloyds Bank at the bottom of Yorkshire Street. All the buildings at the top end, which are intact, are in red brick". - G.


26/05/10 - Dave Donohoe has added a few more names to Alwyn Smith's mystery parade band picture. The saxophone player was Robin Clark, and the second sax hidden behind Dave was Rod Chambers. The drummer on that occasion was Arthur Hetherington from Rotherham, and the Band Marshall was Dave's late brother Mike Donohoe. Dave hadn't seen the photographs before, so he is going to pass them on to Mike's children. Arthur Stead also emailed to say, "My diary entry for Saturday 5th August 1972 states "Rochdale Parade, Spread Eagle, 2pm to 4pm". I'm the trumpet player with the specs and white topped cap and I think Martin Sharp is the other trumpet player. Can't help with other musicians but agree that it is Derek Galloway and Dave Donohoe on trombones. I don't know what the occasion was.".

 26/05/10 - Hi Fred

Regarding Alwyn Smith's photos of the Imperial Band at Rochdale. My diary entry for Saturday 5th August 1972 states "Rochdale Parade, Spreadeagle, 2pm to 4pm". I'm the trumpet player with the specs and white topped cap and I think Martin Sharp is the other trumpet player. Can't help with other musicians but agree that it is Derek Galloway and Dave Donohoe on trombones. I don't know what the occasion was.

Best wishes, Arthur Stead.

26/05/10 - Thanks Fred. 

Noticeable in the group are two young boys dressed identically. Are they band members' offspring, or were they inspired by the occasion and just wanted to get involved? 

Alwyn Smith

26/05/10 - Hi, Fred, 

Here's my Rochdalian friend's location of the Spread Eagle.  - Harry Isaacs

Glad I was right about Yorkshire Street. The Spread Eagle (we used to go there with the OU) was a big pseudo-Tudor pub on the right of what was Cheetham Street. Part of the street still exists. It is on the left, a broad street about halfway up Yorkshire Street. It used to lead to St. Mary's Gate, the Sally Army, and The Baum, where the pub is in the building that housed my grandmother's ironmonger's shop which they opened when she came back from Canada. Next to the Co-Op museum. All red brick. 

Brings back memories, this does. - G.

26/05/10 - Fred,

Now you have set me rooting! Firstly I am sure the specs peeping around the sousa belong to Frank Caunce and as the Imperial Band was organised by Dwight Gydney I am sure he is hidden in the crowd. The snare drummer would probably br Jean Clark as she was then and now to the biggest task... for me to find the 8mm silent film of either that event or one dated very close to it that had me playing tenor horn, we all wanted to get into the act. The original hat bands were manufactured from "Imperial Leather" soap wrappers, times were hard then.

I will begin the search and if I find the film I'll transfer it onto DVD or suchlike and see if we can display it somehow. Don't hold your breath though we have a busy schedule.

27/05/10 - N.B. Pete has now found the film of the Imperial Band and hopefully, one day, we will get it on the site with a bit of luck

28/05/10 - Fred,  I'm going to have a go at the copying this morning  but I have just spoken to John Rothwell and he has slides of the parade that I'll copy after week-end, when he gives them to me. He confirms that the specs were the property of Frank who was playing Bass drum!  Watch this space. 

Pete Vickers

31/05/10 - Hi Fred,

I would just confirm Arthur Stead's opinion that I am the third trumpet player alongside Arthur and Dwight Gidney. It was the first parade I had ever done, and I was very grateful to Keith Moore who invited me to join the band. I am rather ashamed of my cap, which was an old busman's cap which had to be pressed into service. I subsequently bought a proper one at the naval outfitters on Canal St, N.O.


Martyn Sharp

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