In recognition of Mother’s Day last weekend here is something else that all generations of Concord share – the reliance on and appreciation of the unsung heroes of the organisation which is the Concord Mum.
Like any other voluntary organisation the corps has always had a team of instructors/leaders who are responsible for the hands-on teaching of the members, but what can sometimes be forgotten is the contribution that is made by those in the background, some of whom are often unseen by the majority but nonetheless keep the organisation running.
From the very beginning of the corps in 1984 we relied on the many, many hours of unpaid and sometimes unacknowledged effort that these ladies put into keeping the show on the road.
I still remember in the summer of ‘84 all the ladies sat outside the ATC headquarters, sewing spats, gauntlets and cummerbunds helping to transform our uniforms into the “drum corps style”. Many Hands made light work and in a short time we were all kitted out with a temporary uniform which essentially lasted until our first major re-design in 1992. Even though the brass and percussion look remained very similar for those years our colourguard had an ever evolving look both in the summer and winter which required major seamstress skills along with a mind boggling array of different flags – this was when we regularly marched a guard of around 20 members so a typical summer/winter season = 40 uniforms plus over 100 flags each year! All of these were designed, measured and created by a small group of ladies who spent so much time behind their sewing machines. This continues to be the case now as our current uniforms and flags are still created by our volunteer army.
There were and still are so many other jobs being filled by this group of wonder women – including running the tuckshop, collecting subs, being chaperones, selling souvies, handing our headache tablets and even driving the truck ! Many of them turn up to every rehearsal and fundraising event as well as every performance lending their support where needed and always fiercely loyal to the members.
I think the above picture was taken around 1986 at the Coldflow Car park and shows just a small number of the many Concord Mum’s
Back row – Sheila Offiler, Mavis Worral, Judith Marsden,
Front Row – Margaret Jarvis, Fiona Battey, Joan Wilkes – I’m afraid I cannot recall the last lady.