The Harpenden Corps of Drums was previously known as the 4th Harpenden Scout and Guide Band but became independent in 1980 to be called The Harpenden Corps of Drums continuing to wear a scout type uniform but with the addition of a peak cap. The band continued to use non valve brass instruments. At this time the corps was in the Contest Class for marching band competitions but promoted to the Championship Class in 1981.
In 1982 it was decided to become an American Style Drum Corps style band. They were now playing valve ‘G’ brass instruments, nearly playing a full range from the piccolo trumpet to the large contra base. They were now wearing a very smart burgundy coloured uniform with white hat and accessories. The corps then became known as The Ace of Herts.
In 1983 the band was promoted to the Premier Class in competitions following a very successful season including winning ‘Best Drum Corps Style Band’ at the International Festival of Marching Bands at Wembley Arena and runners up at The British Youth Marching Band in the Championship Class Finals. This was also held at Wembley Arena.
In 1984 the band then joined ‘Drum Corps of the United Kingdom Association’ competing in their competitions. We even ran our own one at Garston Stadium.
At this time the corps had a strength of 70 young people with an average age of 14 years.
The band continued to march in parades and at fetes etc. to raise funds. The corps was also asked to play at two American Football matches, one in London and one at The International Bowl, Milton Keynes.
Photo shown is from this second Milton Keynes game and shows Jim ‘Sticks’ Baker as the Field Commander conducting the corps from the podium. Photo appeared in the You supplement of Sunday Mail on the 7th October 1984.
Sadly the band had folded in 1986 and the instruments stored in Harpenden Council Hall.