Allstars got a police escort on their capital adventure

The Ryhope Allstars jazz band on the march.
The Ryhope Allstars jazz band on the march.
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The jazz band scene has responded in style to our appeal for memories of the past.

Last week, we reported on the Ryhope Allstars and how they were still going strong after forming in the 1960s.

Nan Self gets a trophy  from Councillor Wares for her services to the jazz band scene.

Nan Self gets a trophy from Councillor Wares for her services to the jazz band scene.

Susan Metcalf currently runs the band after taking over from her mum, Nan Self.

This week, she recalls the time when Ryhope went to the first World Championships in 1974 at Alexander Palace in London.

Susan said: “At just 13 years old I can remember the excitement of going all the way to London on a coach with the rest of the band.

“This was a big adventure for such a young person and never being outside of Sunderland.

The Ryhope Allstars, just before setting off for London.

The Ryhope Allstars, just before setting off for London.

“I remember travelling in the night and getting into London very early in the morning and the driver getting us lost in the centre of London.

“We ended up stopping a police car to escort us to the bed and breakfast we had booked.

“We marched along the embankment for our parade and we were so proud to be part of this big event.

“Then we all went to Alexander Palace to do our display and there were hundreds of bands.

The Ryhope Allstars as they are today.

The Ryhope Allstars as they are today.

“It was so exciting and I remember we didn’t do our display until late in the night which again was exciting.”

But how did the Allstars do?

Susan can’t remember and would love to find how they fared. Get in touch if you can provide the answer.

To this day, the Allstars are still taking part in major championships, with the next one at the Newcastle University Sports Centre on August 27 and 28.

Anyone who would like to join a still-flourishing organisation, especially youngsters aged from four to 16, is invited to come along to a practice session on a Sunday, from 2pm to 4.30pm at Seaham Youth Centre.

And if you have memories to share, on jazz bands or any other topic, email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk.