The third piece of the jigsaw is the Regimental Band of the Irish Guards. Nigel Clarke began his musical career as a military bandsman (trumpet). His time in the Army coincided with that of a tuba player, Brian Bennett. Brian now lives in West Malling and, indeed, very kindly put us up for the night with the most extraordinarily generous hospitality (that’s his house in the background). Brian plays the tuba in the Eynsford Concert Band. (Confusingly, so does his twin brother, Steve.) The Eynsford Concert Band’s musical director, John Hutchins, was also in the Band of the Irish Guards. By now the coincidences should be becoming clearer! Nowadays John plays trumpet for the Phantom of the Opera in the West End, but he also plays with groups such as the Royal Opera House Orchestra (Convent Garden), the English National Opera and the London Chamber Orchestra. He also teaches and he also conducts. We saw him in action when we arrived, since he and Nigel first went through rehearsals with the band and then John took some workshops with young children. He’s clearly a natural, imparting his great enthusiasm about all things musical. For the final connections you’ll have to await the next posts….