Bournemouth Youth Marching Band

Amici Per Musicam - Friends Through Music


The Band was formed in September 1989 as the Talbot Corps of Drums, St John Ambulance.

The Band Instruments were purchased secondhand, many from Potters of Aldershot. Some were loaned from other Bands and some were donated to us.

Band Meetings were initially held at Winton Junior School. We met in the main school hall. Membership gradually increased over the next couple of years from 15 to around 30.

Each year the Band had an annual inspection, also known as the MOT. In just 2 years we achieved the National standard. This allowed us to represent the organisation througout the UK and to participate in national events.
The First Band Inspection (MOT)

Our first performances included a school fete, the Yellow Buses Open Day at the old Mallard Rd Depot and the County First Aid and Nursing Competition held in Wareham.

Bournemouth Yellow Buses Open Day

County Competitions, Wareham

The Band was involved with fundraising to purhcase a minibus and this was well used over the next 10 years.
Minibus Handover, Bournemouth

The Band uniform was an enhancement on the St John black NATO style sweater with a white pilot shirt and embellishments such as a red cap band and red lanyards.


Just a year later the Band was invited to form a massed band with Surrey Corps of Drums for the Lord Mayor's Show in London.In the following year the Surrey band attended our Band Camp and we gave a joint performance in front of the bandstand in Bournemouth Gardens.

Massed Band in Lord Mayor's Show

Bournemouth Gardens

In 1991 the Band entered into a sponsorship deal with Post Office Counters to support out first performance tour abroad and to provide us all with tour jackets.

Presentation of Tour Jackets

Almost from the start the Band joined the Traditional Youth Marching Bands Association. Over the years we took part in a number of their annual marching band competitions including Aldershot, Totton, Hornchurch, Hickstead, Halesowen and Rubery.

Some more regularly than others.

Many trophies were awarded to us over the years and we were always especially pleased to get General Musical Effect as well as winning of course.

Aldershot Contest

A performance tour to Europe every 2 to 3 years was a regular feature of the the Band programme. These were 10 day tours and took in 3 or 4 locations, staying in hotels and youth hostels. The first three Band Tours were in 1992, 1994 and 1997. The Band was always very well received. The Tours included both marching and concert performances in town centres, cultural venues and theme parks.


Every Tour was rewarding and each one became more ambitious. Each Tour brought unexpected challenges but that was all part of the fun and left the members with lots of stories to tell.

A popular feature of each Tour was, and still is, the daliy awarding of the Ancient Order of the Wooden Spoon. This is made to the person who has done something silly the day before. They then have to carry the spoon with them for the next 24 hours.

Konigswinter Germany

Boppard, Germany

Versailles, France
Konigswinter Germany
Konigswinter, Germany
Cochem, Germany

Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium

The Band continued to grow in numbers and capability. The oldest instruments were gradually replaced as funds became available but many were still well past their sell by date and they were becoming increasingly expensive to maintain.

The Band relocated to Glenmoor School for Girls where the facilities, accomodation and outside space available to us was better than at Winton Primary. The Garden shed came with us and thanks to the efforts of some parents it was moved on the back of a lorry fully assembled.

.In the 1998 Bournemouth Carnival we revealed our fancy dress uniform, Snow White and the 30+ Dwarves. This costume was also used for several theme park performances abroad.

Bournemouth Carnival

DeEfteling, Holland

Each year, usually in the spring, there was generally a Band Camp either at a local campsite or futher afield at a school. The Band Camp weekend was used to finalise and work on the Band music and the marching display for the coming summer season.

A popular booking for the Band was Thrope Park, A parade in the morning and then the freedom of the Theme Park. These photos are from June 1998 and 2000 respectively.
Thorpe Park
Thorpe Park

In 1999 the Band applied for and was awarded a sizeable grant from the National Lottery enabling a brand new set of instruments to be purchased.


Also in 1999 the Band participated in the last ever Royal Tournament at Earls Court. This was a graet honour for the Band that can never be repeated.

Earls Court, London. Royal Tournament

Earls Court, London. Royal Tournament

Our 1999 tour was our most ambitious to date and we travelled all the way across to Austria and Italy. Whilst passing through Germany we witnessed the full eclipse of the sun using the special safety glasses.

Seefeld, Austri
Salzburg, Austria

Bressanone, Italy

When the St John units in Bournemouth and Poole relocated to the new HQ in Discovery Court, so did the Band. And at last we had a decent band store.


In 2002 we undertook our first paid tour abroad for a weekend of performances is Aulnay and Mezieres near Paris. This was a great experience playing alongside mainly adult bands from around the world including Russia.

Aulnay, France

Mezieres France
Aulnay, France

Also in the same year the Band led the Queen's Silver Jubilee Parade through Windsor..Another incredibly great honour for the Band marching past the Queen.

Windsor, Queen's Silver Jubilee Parade
2002 was a busy year as we also ran a Band Tour.
Disneyland Paris

Valkenburg Holland

Phantasialand, Germany
Spa, Belgium
There was a Band Reunion, celebrating 15 years in 2004.
Band Reunion
Carnivals were becoming the bread and butter performances for the Band. The first photo is from Ferndown Carnival in 2003 and the second from Swanage iin 2006, Bournemouth also 2006 and finally a very wet Gillingham in 2008.
Ferndown Carnival

Swanage Carnival

Bournemouth Carnival
Gillingham Carnival
The Band gradually rose up the TYMBA leagues from the Novice Class to the Championship Class.The photos below sre from the 2003 Totton Contest and TYMBA 2003 National Finals held in Cannock.
Totton Contest, Southampton

Totton Contest, Southampton
TYMBA Finals, Cannock

Concerts were becoming an important part of our programme. Here's a photo from a Concert in Bournemouth in 2004.
Concert, Bournemouth

In 2005 the World Marching Showband Contest was held in Kings Park Football ground in Bournemouth and we were fortunate to be selected to take part.
Bournemouth World Showband Championships
The Band was increasingly used by St John for national and prestigious events including the Lord Mayor's Show and St John's Day.
London, Lord Mayor's Show
Lomdon, St John's Day

In 2006 the Band was booked for the passing out parade of Bad Lads Army near Wareham. This was the last programme of this popular prime time TV series and the Band was able to spend some time with the actors (the Officers and NCOs).

Bad Lads Army

Also in 2006 we participated in the Midsomer Norton European Marching Band contest This involved arena displays, parades and concerts. We were delighted to be awarded most entertaining band trophy. The event included an evening Mardi Gras fancy dress procession.

Midsomer Norton Mardi Gras
Midsomer Norton
One popular annual event was the Musicmakers festival held in Kings Park each June. Here we had the opportunity to play alongside many bands from Scandinavia. This photo from 2006.
Kings Park, Bournemouth

An unusual booking in 2007 was a Morris Minor Rally at Avon Heath.
Avon Heath

in the summer of 2010 the Band played with the Army Band of the Light Cavalry at Kingston Maurward near Dorchester.

Kingston Maurward

It was around this time that the Band became increasingly confdent and proficient playing in Concert style  This aspect of the Band's activities continued to develop over the following years.


As a result of the concerts the Band's repertoire greatly increased. Our music was now updated reguarly for the various upcoming events.

In 2012 the Band moved to the standard adult St John Ambulance tunic style uniform with band embellishments such as white lanyards.


In the new uniform we led the annual St John's Day parade in June 2012 and the Band members had the opportunity to meet the Duke of Gloucester outside St Paul's Cathedral.


Gillingham Carnival
London St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathdedral

London Lord Mayor's Show

The last Band Tour as a St John Band took place in August 2013.This was to Paris and included concerts in Disneyland.and Luxembourg Gardens.

Disneyland Paris

Paris Luxembourg Gardens

In 2013 we reformed as the independent Bournemouth Youth Marching Band.  We once again started from scratch in terms of instruments, uniforms and finance but now benefitting from the years of experience.The Band adopted the blue and gold colours of Bournemouth for our uniform and the new Band logo.


Initially we met at the Butchers Coppice Activity Centre. We had a close relationship with the Bournemouth Scouts at this time.


Shortly after this the Band was registered as a Charity.


Our first performance as BYMB was at Blandford Carnival in September 2013. This had been a regular booking for many years.

Blandford Forum Carnival

Taunton Carnival

In June 2014 we took part in a Massed Bands event with local brass bands in Christchurch organised by the Royal British Legion.
Christchurch Quay

The Bournemouth Childrens Parade was a major booking in 2014 from the Pier to Meyrick Park.
Bournemouth Pier

In 2015 we were granted permission to use the Bournemouth coat of arms for our cap badge but in the event this was not pursued due to the difficulty making it into a cap badge.

Our relationship with the Ferndown Royal British Legion flourished and we were now working closely with the Branch especially around Remembrance and other special commemorations. Our Remembrance Concerts were usually sold out well before the day. 

Pictured are the 2015 amd 2018 Remembrance Concerts. There's also photos of the Weymouth Festival of Remembrance 2016 and 2017.

Ferndown Remembrance Concert
Ferndown Remembrance Concert

Weymouth Festival of Remembrance
Weymouth Festival of Remembrance

In 2016 a brand new set of drums was purchased replacing those we had borrowed when setting up the Band. Storage was a problem though and we were lucky to aquire a large store room at office premises on Ferndown Industrial Estate.


2016 was also our first Tour abroad as BYMB with performances in Diksmuide, Ostend and the Menin Gate in Belgium and Disneyland Paris. Unexpectedly two of our members also performed the Last Post at Tyne Cot Cemetery.

Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium

Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium
Tyne Cot Cemetery Belgium
Also in 2016 the Band participated in the Kingston Band Tattoo rekindling memories on the long gone but not forgotten Kingston Contest.

Kingston Bands Tattoo

Providing musical support to Bournemouth Scouts, St George's Day, April 2017
Bournemouth St George's Day
Carnival performances continued. Here is a selection of photos  - we see the Band in Chard Carnival in October 2016, a very hot Swanage Carnival in July 2017,Lyme Regis Carnival in August 2017 and Bognor Regis Carnival in 2018.
Chard Carnival

Swanage Carnival
Lyme Regis Carnival

Bognor Regis Carnival

Also Concerts. Here we are in St Clement's Chuch, Poole and St Paul's Church Throop for the 2014 and 2016 BYMB Spring Concerts.
St Clements Church, Poole

St Paul's Church, Throop

Another popular booking was the Wimborne Folk Festival. Here we are in the main arena in 2016.
Wimborne Minster

During 2018 we joined Brass Bands England and the Band relocated to the Howecroft Community Centre.

We moved to a tunic style No1 uniform in 2019. This was after a huge fund raising and design effort by members and the Friends of BYMB group.These are tailored and made to measure and represented a large investment by the Band.  

We had the great opportunity to particiapte in the Victory Tattoo organised by the Royal Marines Band Service.

Victory Tattoo, Portsmouth

The 2019 Band Tour took us back to Belgium and the Rhine Valley.
Ostend Belgium

Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium

Bad Krueznach, Germany

Phantasialand, Germany