Geoff Weller – Coley

Hi Dez
I used to play the cornet in the Spring Gardens Band, along with Derek Watkins and his Dad. His Dad Ted taught me in order to encourage Derek to learn to play.  They lived with Ted’s Wife’s  Mum, Mrs Gladys  Chapman, in Parnell St.  The Spring Gardens Band conducted by Ted’s father George was quite succesful, playing in National Competitions in Kensington Town Hall, Brighton Pavilion etc.  We also played in the Forbury Park and the Caversham Promenade on Sunday Evenings.  And we also played in some of the London Parks on Sunday afternoons, which made Sundays very busy.  We played at Elm Park before and at half time at the Reading FC games.  We also played at the Forbury on Remembrance Day which was always freezing cold.  The other thing we did on an annual basis, where you may have seen us was at the Corpus Christi procession from Reading Abbey, if I remember correctly.
As for your escapades in the Simmonds Yard.  We had access by climbing over the gate in Parnell St and as you say it was full of beer crates, and there was a similar pile of crates up against the unused gate in Parnell St.  We lived almost directly behind the Malt Houses in Bright St.  Happy Days!

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