"Ivy at Grimethorpe" (Colliery)
(Remembered by James Scott-
May 2004 - 4barsrest.com)

A very rare event for me to go into print in letter columns! But after reading about lady players with Grimethorpe, I can't resist informing Helen (?) and the other ladies that they are all about 60 years too late!

When I was a teenage solo cornet player with Grimethorpe, a young lady cornet player named Gracie Cole often played with the band - the reason being that she had just won the Alex Owen competition, and of course her prize entitled her to choose her teacher. She opted for George Thompson, who was MD of the band at that time.

Gracie later played trumpet with the wartime Ivy Benson's All Girls Band and the Squadronaires. Later she married the Ted Heath trombone player, Bill Geldard. She was a brilliant player at a time when girl brass players could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Denis Wright composed a solo for Gracie called "La Mantilla" which I remember her playing on a broadcast with Grimthorpe, with the composer conducting.

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