Boosting morale

Historically used to lead troops into battle, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers’ army band has cemented its place in the future of the Army Reserve as a morale-boosting unit.

Members of the band joined the battalion in Cyprus for their annual training camp, where they performed a series of concerts throughout the region.

The band’s director of music, Captain Kevin Crook, from Druridge Bay, said: “It’s all about keeping the morale up for the boys.

“Sometimes they are out in war zones and they have nothing, and I think the morale element is still very much there.”

Trombone and euphonium player Peter Long, 43, from Warkworth, has been in the band for seven years.

“I stopped playing for 15 years and I wanted to get back into it. No one sees what goes on in the army so we are the public face of the battalion.

“I have been to Cyprus lots over my career and I love coming back.

“I played at the amphitheatre six years ago and it’s nice to come back and do it again.”

The band can still be mobilised and given tasks such as driving or decontamination, as they are all military trained.

Captain Crook added: “The band is making music and they’re getting paid to do their hobby.

“We have members that have been doing this for 30 years, which shows how much they love it.”