London Stedfast Association & BADOTSA (Bugles & Drums of The Stedfast Association)……………………. And my former connection with them! 

(Please note, I am no longer a member of LSA Management Committee having stepped down due to poor health.......although I remain a Life Member; and also stepped down from BADOTSA)

As mentioned on a previous page the Association was launched at The Royal Albert Hall Show of 1983 as part of the BB Centenary Celebrations. Three BB stalwarts, Arthur Flitter, Reg Moss and Sir Douglas Lovelock were the inspiration and founders.

 

Certainly over the years the Association has ‘morphed’ itself in a variety ways from what was (I think it is fair to say) an Association of reminiscence to what it is now - a fully functioning participant in the ‘wider BB family of today!’ Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with reminiscing about the past but with the drastic decline in numbers of boys joining the BB since probably the early 1980s and those staying on to become officers/staff, many ‘old boys’ especially those with certain skills acquired when they themselves were boys/officers, decided to get actively re-involved.

                                                                                                    

Obviously everyone is different. Everyone’s BB past is different and we are of differing ages, which makes it both interesting and fun because every generation seems to think ‘their moment in time’ was the best. Who is right or wrong? The reality is we all are – because your time in the BB is what hopefully helped to shape you into the person you are today!

 

I guess that I got a lot more involved back in late 1999, when the Association magazine the ONLOOKER (more on the ONLOOKER on other pages in this site) sought contact from former bugle band musicians to form a bugle band with a view to participating at a ‘one off’ event organised by London Stedfast to celebrate the Millennium. Having been a member in both the 5th London’s Bugle Band and Silver Band that played at numerous BB events in my time including the Royal Albert Hall, Wembley Arena, Tower of London, Horseguards, Crystal Palace, I made contact with the appropriate person.

 

On the afternoon of Saturday 1st July 2000 in the lower grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea (home of the Chelsea Pensioners and the Chelsea Flower Show) in front of many spectators, including ex BB boys/men and their families, a bugle band consisting of 55 former London District former boys entertained those gathered.

After the event I contacted a mumber of those who played in the one off band into joining some kind of band on a regular basis (rather than it being just a one off event). I arranged our first practice in Autumn 2000, and ran the band until I stepped down in March 2010. The band these days is known as the Bugles & Drums of The Stedfast Association (BADOTSA).

The 'One  Off ' Band!

Special Pin for the year 2000

 

 (Me) Giving the Drum Major final instructions before moving from the assembly point - Lord Mayor's Show 2006

 

 

In 2007, in conjunction with the John Bates (who sadly died on 9th March 2011), the pair of us undertook the mammoth (perhaps silly - as it was just the pair of us) undertaking of organising a joint event to celebrate in 2008 the twin Anniversaries of London Stedfast Associations 25th and the BB's 125th.

On Saturday 31st May 2008, on what turned out to be (in the main) a warm day, 3500 people including participants attended the event which was held at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham. The event was unique in a way as there were 3 official arenas which had different items throughout the day including 11 bands of different genres; and two other locations geared towards the younger boys/girls attending including a magician. CLICK HERE to see some images.

 

 
The what was a supposed to be a ‘one off’ bugle band has become a well respected and much seen band, which has already featured twice in its short existence (2006 + 2009),  in Novembers annually televised (on BBC1) Lord Mayor’s Show Parade. The band made their 3rd appearance on Saturday 8th November 2014. and 4th on 11th November 2017.

 

The 2009 Band at Lord Mayor's Show with my wife Deborah (right) acting as a banner carried as she had done in 2006

 

 

For the 2009 Lord Mayor's Show  - I designed and made a 'Baldric' (proper name for Drum Major's sash)

 

 2009 Drum Major wearing the finished Baldric at Lord Mayor's Show

 

 

Promoting 'Stedfast Federation' with
the late John Bates - Brigade Council -
Dublin 2009

 

John joined the band at events when he
could - either carrying a colour or playing
the cymbals, as in Dublin 2009.



John (right of picture) as part of Colour Party
  - Lord Mayors Show 2009


Having 
given up given up the running of the bugle band I did remain involved for London Stedfast as their Events/Publicity Co-ordinator. However due to health issues, I decided to step down from this remaining post at the end of the 2011 membership period (officially stood down at the LSA 2012 AGM).

Finally, during the 1980/90s the BB lost it's way (boys left and new ones did not join or stay the full term) and indeed lots of Company's closed; meaning a whole generation or so , of potential Stedfast members were lost................ So it would be nice to think that any former 'BB' boy (or family member etc) whatever your age is (as long as you are over 18) viewing this site would follow in my footsteps and join London Stedfast today!!

PS1: If you played in a Bugle Band, why not make contact with The Bugles & Drums of The Stedfast Association (BADOTSA).

PS2: I had reason to make contact recently with John Neil, John Montgomery and John Cooper all from the Glasgow Stedfast Association over something Paul Hern from BADOTSA has asked me to assist him with, and discovered they do a very informative range of information leaflets, including one about 'The Glasgow Boys' Brigade Battalion' part of the 16th Battalion Highland Light Infantry in WW1'.

 

In addition to their 3rd appearance in the Lord Mayor's Show in 2014; around 75 members of BADOTSA travelled to Belgium on a Mini BandTour.  The tour was based at Ypres and several engagements were carried out by the band to remember the thousands of BB Members who served in WW1. They also played at The Somme Battlefield too - See the dedicated pages on this site.


I have scanned with John Coopers permission (Thanks, John) the leaflet which contains a list of all the leaflet titles and cost excluding P&P (see below). Please contact John Cooper on 01415805875 or J.cooper4953@ntlworld.com should you wish to order some.



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You can access both the London Stedfast Association's web site and indeed the one for the Bugles & Drums of The Stedfast Association (BADOTSA), by clicking the appropriate links!

London Stedfast Association link 
(Click Here)

 

These days there are other Stedfast Association branches in the UK/ROI and in several countries overseas and details can be found by contacting London Stedfast.

 

Bugles & Drums of The Stedfast Association (BADOTSA) link (Click Here) This site contains several excerpts of recorded ‘live’ footage so please ensure your speakers are turned on.

Nowadays the band represents not only London Stedfast but also is viewed as a ‘National Band’ representing ‘Stedfast’ as a national body.

BADOTSA would love to hear from potential new band personnel especially those in the 18 - 25 age range as they are key to the continuation of the band in future years (band is open to male/females aged 18+). Details of how to contact BADOTSA can be found by clicking the above link.


Also click HERE to visit BADOTSA 'Facebook' site


Stedfast Federation 2010 hosted by London Stedfast

Event layout of The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, that I came up with for the 2008



One of a number of 'promotional' items I designed


 BADOTSA  - BBHQ Felden Lodge - February 2016


 To view the band in the Lord Mayor's Show Parade 2017, in the City of London click the arrow on the photo below!


See 'News' page for link to watch other clips of the band during the parade.


You can also find photos and videos of the band going back to the year it was started (2000) by clicking HERE