I was visiting my friend Angela in Deal last weekend, and while there, met her old friend Germaine. Germaine was at art college in Canterbury in the '70s, in various bands (including Red Roll On, a punky women's band in which Barbara Gaskin played keyboards). Naturally, we ended up talking about the scene in Canterbury at that time, and at one point I asked if she remembered The Polite Force, a band involving Dave Sinclair (ex-Wilde Flowers, Caravan, Matching Mole) and Graham Flight (ex-Wilde Flowers), as well as a young guitarist and Canterbury Scene enthusiast called Mark Hewins who I'd interviewed for an episode of Canterbury Soundwaves, about all the various projects he'd been in, playing with Hugh Hopper, Gong, Richard Sinclair, Elton Dean, Lol Coxhill, Steve and Phil Miller et al. This rang a faint bell for Germaine who thought one of her bands may have even shared a billing with the band.
There's been a battered old euphonium in Ange's front room in all the years I've known her, and I'd never previously given it much thought — her house is full of all sorts of fascinating clutter. But suddenly, for no reason I can recall, I remembered an anecdote Mark had fired off at me (one of hundreds, during our interview session) about how he'd played euphonium with Richard Sinclair's short-lived "Sinclair and the South" band, featuring Bill Bruford, in UKC's Rutherford College dining hall, c. 1978 "and have the photos to prove it!". I was struck with an overwhelming intuition that this was Mark's euphonium. Ange admitted she couldn't remember how she'd come to possess it, but it would have been at some point in the late 70's when she was hanging around with the musician crowd in Canterbury. So she took this photo and sent it to Mark (at the time compèring the Jazz Festival in Margate, where he now lives), and he confirmed that YES, this was his euphonium! It had gone missing around that time, and he couldn't remember the circumstances either.
Mark and Angela have since been in touch, had a good long reminisce, and he should be reunited with his old horn later today, after 37 years! He even has a tuba-playing cousin who's going to clean it and re-felt the valves for him.
I just found this, from some of his online reminiscences: