For many, 2021 looks set to continue the same way that 2020 left off. However, John Perry of Ibstock Scout Band has had an awesome start to the new year - being named on the New Year's Honours List for services to Scouting in Leicestershire!

John joined the cubs at the age of seven and the band at the age of ten, then at the age of eighteen he was asked if he would be the band master. This was an obvious choice as he played violin in the county orchestra and solo cornet at Ibstock miner's welfare brass band. John accepted and, following his heart, finished with the other two bands - ignoring the fact that these other bands offered him a greater chance of personal advancement. He then held this position with great success from 1965 to 1997.

In 1980, due to the age and health concerns of the then-group scout leader, it was decided they should retire from Scouting. John, who had fulfilled his role as band master brilliantly, was formally asked if he would be group scout leader - he duly accepted and became the first person ever to hold both offices at the same time. He held the post for five years from 1980 to 1985.

At the age of fifty, John decided it was time to retire from his endeavours with the band and take a back seat. However, this was not to be as nobody in the band had his musical knowledge or could arrange music for the band. So, a new position of musical director was created and offered to John, which he again accepted. The idea was that he would just write the music at home and would give it to the new band master - this did not happen for very long! John is now seventy one and still goes to band practice every Monday night to help teach the youngsters how to play the music he writes. John has held this post since 1997.

All at BYBA extend our congratulations to John and wish him every success in the future!