Our history

The City of Coventry Corps of Drums was formed in 1947 as a military style marching band. It's main aims were to give it's members the opportunity to learn to play an instrument and whilst at the same time have fun and make great friends. This ethos is still at the heart of the Corps today.

In the beginning

The City of Coventry Corps of Drums came into existence in 1947 after being a direct descendant of the Wing Band, 84th Squadron (City of Coventry) Air Training Corps, which was set up in 1945 by printing firm boss, John Parbury and had a first class record for training youngsters in musicianship.


Its first headquarters were in Cow Lane, Coventry. It was here, some 100 boys came together each week to pursue a multitude of hobbies and interests. Amongst them was a band of lads who wanted to march and play music. The Corps first musical director was Flying Officer John Major, a well known figure in local music circle.


When the break was made with the Air Ministry as it was then known, because they could not authorise a mainly musical organisation, a crisis developed, but happily the band survived. The Corps became an independent organisation and it was then decided to create a new Voluntary Organisation to be called the Coventry School of Music.


The idea was in the mind of Mr John E. Parbury O.B.E. to form what was then a unique organisation covering as many aspects of the field of music as possible. After considerable effort and a great deal of time a Constitution was devised to cover the basic principles of administration for such an organisation.


By this time, several prominent citizens within the City whom included; Dignitaries like the Town Clerk, Sir Charles Barratt, Walter. L. Chinn O.B.E., M.A., Director of Education, Coventry Hippodrome’s managing director, Sam Newsome and Ted Pendleton, Chief Constable. They were all persuaded into taking an active part on the Management Committee by John Parbury, to urge the formation of various musical groups, which the Corps of Drums was a founder organisation.

We've come a long way

Since it's formation in 1947, the Corps has had an esteamed history and has played for many people all over the UK, including the Royal Family and overseas in France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway and the United States of America.  


Read more about our history over the last seven decades.


50s & 60s     70s & 80s      90s

You can also take a look at our older memories gallery to see more photos of the Coventry Corps of Drums over the years.