Harry Mortimer

It was as a young cornet soloist that the legendary Harry Mortimer O.B.E made his first visits to Kettering - the traditional home of the band.

He was invited by Bandmaster Eddie Munn of the Kettering Salvation Army Band and he remembers the occasion with great fondness as he recalls the event in his introduction to the G.U.S. Bands Golden Jubilee Brochure from 1983:
"It was a happy evening, the forerunner of many more, with my father, (Fred), and Stanley Boddington sharing the conducting, and one of the founders, Fred Felton, conducting the opening march. We had no solo spotlight that night, the soloist from each band joined forces so that each 'solo' was in fact a duet".

In the years after the war it was the custom for bands to have resident bandmasters and to hire the top conductors to put the final touches to contest preparations and to conduct at the Nationals and The British Open.

Harry Mortimer became one of the most popular of conductors, seen on stage with many bands. The likable and brilliant cornet player had played many times as a guest soloist with The Munn and Felton Band and jumped at the chance to become Professional Advisor after the war, a position he held for a decade. John started playing the cornet at the age of eleven in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.