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Alan J. Scott (Pen Portrait)

‘AJ’ Scott probably deserves a punch on the nose but I have fond memories of him. He was the mastermind of numerous pranks played on younger, and more gullible band members and I was particularly susceptible. Even though his humour was quite cruel, I idolized him.

'AJ' Scott when he wasn't terrorizing anyone (1974 Cyprus)

He was close friends with Dave Seeley, Bones, Ken Kane and Steve Eccles all of whom were probably around 8-10 years my senior and either lance corporals or corporals. I remember being invited to AJ’s house in Munster, accompanied by his ‘gang’ where they plied me me with alcohol and then told me some German women were shortly about to visit and that they didn’t like men in Y-fronts. They suggested I go into the bathroom and put them on back to front. Naturally, I did as they suggested. Later, they played some marching music and had me practice around the living room. I believe Taff Shipp may have been with us, he joined the band on the same day I did, 17th of September 1973, I believe, but after a couple of years at Junior Leaders, all gullibility had been removed.

They were up to something (Steve Eccles, AJ Scott and John Macavoy. Cyprus 1874)

I can’t even remember when ‘AJ’ left the band but I certainly missed him. I think I inherited some of his sense of humour. He was one of those ex-comrades who simply seemed to vanish off the face of the Earth. There were rumours he moved to the USA and I vaguely recall it may have been Seattle as I seemed to remember trawling phone directories for his name when I once visited there.

if only they'd known...

I’d kept a chart of recording my ‘solitary shufflings’ in the showers, in an eight man room you didn’t dare do it in bed and the thunder-boxes were just too smelly. I recall my record in one day was 10 which might not be exceptional for a 17 year old but where I found the time and the privacy was amazing. I must have lived in the shower stalls which is not the best of locations given they had no doors.  When I went home for Christmas leave 1974, ‘AJ’ and his friends mailed the chart to my parents along with a very nice letter explaining I would want to ‘keep up my practice’ as I had worked so hard all year.

During Christmas 1974/75, Alan MacDonald, Robert Fox and Paul Kinley arrived in Cyprus and I was told ‘AJ’ had them ‘sign’ for cracks in the floor, creaking doors, and any cracks or chinks in windows.

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Sports Afternoon in the King’s Head, Richmond

Circa 1975. On a Wednesday afternoon, ‘sports afternoon,’ we (Taff Coleman, Woolie, Lofty, Pete Middleton, Daz, Adrian Dawson), used to go into Richmond. Adrian, Pete and Woolie had cars. Usually, we had pate and toast or a ploughman’s lunch in the King’s Head though if we were early and had not eaten in the barracks, we would eat in one of the numerous cafes and restaurants around the square. I remember a place that sold pork chops, gravy and mashed potato and the Bell Nook springs to mind, probably because of its name which we changed to ‘bell end.’ I think it may have been a pizza restaurant.

The quaint 'square' which gives Richmond, Yorkshire, so much of its character

Often, we’d then go to the auction room which was in one corner of the square near the Chinese take-away and Barclay’s Bank. We bought all sorts of things there, a piano, a Baby Belling cooker which consisted of one hotplate, a grill and a tiny oven, electric bar heaters etc. There was a friendly old lady who worked there who took a liking to us and would refer to us as ‘my boys.’ The auctions were held on a regular basis and I went to  a few and I remember the shop, which was stepped the further you went back into it, was enormous with all sorts of curiosities.

The King's Head, Richmond, Yorkshire - still there in 2006.

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Photo Task (2) The Ice Cream Store – Calgary (in process)

Sometime in the mid 1980’s we went to Calgary and stayed at a barracks in Calgary itself, as opposed Medicine Hat. We may have stayed in both locations, I’m not sure but we certainly stayed in a large barracks from which it was easy to get to town. A 15 minute or so walk from the barracks and there was an ice cream shop which sold the most amazing homemade ice-cream.

Calagary (198?) Eddy, Chris Wilkie, Lofty Elwood, Pete Middleton, Taff Coleman

This photo was passed to Facebook via ‘Smithy’ though I’m not sure if he took it. Those shorts certainly look severe and in the photo, far left, is Eddy. I’m sure Eddy wouldn’t mind me saying, but he was a man of contrasts; not the best looking of guys, in my  opinion but seemingly gifted with a golden tongue that could enamor him to the most beautiful of women – often in droves. And could he waffle!!!

Eddy could never control his spending and had blown all his money within a few days of arriving in Canada. Mick gave me a loan on his behalf and I had to accompany him to meals and pay from his ‘allowance’ and each day I had to give him pocket money. This forced Eddy into the role of a sort of prostitute and for the duration of the tour he would clean your boots, iron your tights and do almost any other job  to earn your loose change. Poor Eddy! We quite took advantage of his poverty and I can vaguely recall we made him do some shit jobs, not out of necessity but for entertainment. I can’t exactly recall , but I have a feeling Phil Watson was behind one or two. I remember Eddy would go to the PX, which was probably a 20 minute excursion in the heat of a prairie summer, to buy us coke or snacks and we would let him keep the change . So, one of our nasty entertainments was to compile a shopping list which left the most meager amount of change, and I mean like 10 cents, and see if he would go and get it – and poor Eddy would. And if that wasn’t humiliating enough, I remember Phil making him clean his boots as he lay on the bed wearing them.

This then reminds me of the night club I went into, when he was broke, and where he had meet a woman and temporarily moved in with her. She was an older woman and completely in love with ugly, no money Eddy. I recall we went back to her apartment where Eddy had made friends with her rather nasty cat – but that’s another story.

Can you add any more information or clarify anything which I can assimilate?

What was Eddy’s name?

Any details on him?

Lofty

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Philip ‘Taff’ Coleman (Pen Portrait) in process and experimenting with format

Taff Coleman (details ?)

Service – 1976-92

Instrument – Euphonium

Final Rank – Staff Sergeant

Family – married Caroline in 198?, children Kyle, Lewis, Harriet. Re-married Oct 23 2010  (Janette)

Current Location Taff died Dec 1st 2010 (FTW)

Taff was born in South Wales in 1957.  Quite often we got to meet relatives of band members as they would visit but I don’t recall meeting his mother, (Thelma), father, or sisters (Shiela and Carol). This is a little surprising as Taff’s first marriage, to Caroline, was in Osnabrück, around 1982 (?) but I cannot remember his relatives from that occasion probably because my parents were visiting at the time. Indeed, my parents also attended his wedding.

He joined the army in 1974, and trained as a bandsman in Bovington where he was a Junior Leader. He joined the band in Catterick as a euphonium player around 1976 (?) replacing Robert ‘Foxy’ Fox, who was killed in a car accident in 1975-76(?). Shortly after arriving in Catterick, the regiment was posted for it’s lengthy stint in York Barracks, Osnabrück (West Germany).

Taff saw subsequent regimental posting to Tidworth (84-86 ?), Paderborn (86-?) and by the time he left the ranks, (1992) he was a Staff Sergeant.

When did Taff leave the regiment? I’m guessing around 1992?

Where were the band stationed after Paderborn (and the amalgamation) and when did they leave Paderborn?


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Call for Information on Taff Coleman

I’m trying to compile some information on Taff. If you read his Epitaph, it’s clear that despite our friendship, I know little about anything other than his military life. Do you have any information on where he was born, spent his childhood, any old photographs, information about his parents, his life at Junior Leaders, his next of kin or children? Etc, etc.

Nick

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Photo Task (1) Trip to the Baron’s

I’m selecting photographs with Taff in them and  linking them to his epitaph. If you have other photographs please forward them. I’d appreciate any information on this photo.

Trip to the Baron's. Dougie Reed, Bob Hallet, John Adye, Twiggie, Taff Coleman, Bob Pochin and Stevie Ruddock.

When this photo was taken, I remained in barracks getting ready for a taekwondo competition. I remember Martin (Hitler) was with me. Not too long after you all departed, we decided we should have gone and so set off to some forested place with a cavalry trumpet. The idea was to sound the regimental Call from somewhere in the forest and hope for a response. What a freaking dumb idea! The forest was enormous, as far as the eye could see. Naturally, the idea failed and we returned to camp. I think we missed out on a fantastic booze up. So, some questions.

Who took the photo?

I estimate this trip to have been around 1978?

Who went?

What memories do you have?

What was happening in the photograph

Do you have any other photographs from this trip?

What does a Baron  look like? I always wanted to meet one.

What was the Baron’s name and where did he reside?

What was Twiggie’s first name? His real one?

Thanks

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Posted in Band, Osnabruck 76-84? | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments