New Lease of Life for Big Drum


Gerald Thirst setting the step on Remembrance Sunday, November 1992

Not much attention is paid to big drums - until they are 'thacked' well, and then they gain the attention of everyone. Stalham Bands present drum was manufactured in August 1939, by Hawkes, to replace the older and larger drum which probably dated from the turn of the century. The older drum was tensioned across with rope and leather sliders, the new drum had the metal bolt tensioning system. It has served the band well over the past 60 years, and in the Autumn of 2000, I decided that as it was beginning to show signs of wear, it needed an overhaul.
In the event, a thorough examination, revealed a different state - it fell apart.
The glue had dried out over the years, reducing it to kit form.
It was one of those times, when you wish you had left things well alone!
In the event the reconstruction and repainting took over three weeks to complete.


The worst stage was the re-stretching and mounting of the skins, closely followed by all the gold scroll work and lettering.

Remembrance Sunday, November 2000, was its first outing - I think the final coat of paint was dry!
Date for next routine overhaul, 2060, now where's that diary?

Tim Thirst

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