Serving with the Blues

ISBN 1-84683-011-7
by Peter Bradbury
Adventures of a former RAF Bandsman whos served with No.6 Regional Band MEAF and the RAF Central Band in the 1950s
In this charming and entertaining autobiography, Peter Bradbury looks back over an eventful life in which music has played an important part. He was, perhaps, always destined for a musical life, following in the footsteps of his father Tommy, a founder member of the RAF Squadronaires dance orchestra, which was well-known in the 1930s, 40s & 50s, when they entertained many thousands of servicemen and women and members of the public.

During World War II, as young boy, Peter was evacuated to Lancashire, where he lived with his great aunt Betsy and great uncle Walt and their daughter Ruth. He became very attached to his substitute family, and they, in turn, treated him as one of their own.

Peter’s musical career got under way when he joined the Royal Air Force in 1953. After basic training at RAF West Kirby, he attended the RAF School of Music at Uxbridge to train as a bandsman and the following year was posted to join No.6 Regional Band, Middle East Air Force (MEAF) on an overseas tour.

Over the following two years the band performed ceremonial duties and concerts in Egypt, Cyprus, Malta, Aden and Kenya, which are recalled in course of the narrative, along with many incidents and high jinks which occurred during off-duty hours.

After leaving the RAF Peter pursued his ambition to be a professional jazz musician whilst engaged in a wide variety of civilian employment, maintaining his military music links by playing with Territorial Army bands. Later he worked with young students to form his own dance band.

His musical memoirs will entertain any fellow musician and will be of special interest to those who also served in military bands.