Gilbert (or Gil as he's known) was born in South Molton into a musical family
where his father (Jack) was the conductor of the South Molton Town Band,
and he along with his brothers were taught to play a musical instrument
(probably from about the age of 5 or 6).
He started to play the euphonium, but at that age he found it a bit heavy
to carry, so was given a tenor horn to play instead, which has been his main
instrument until in 1968 when took over the baton from his father to conduct
the band. He continued to be the Musical Director, until 1985 when
he moved to Exeter to live.
Because brass banding, and South Molton Town Band had been his lifelong
hobby, he replied to an article in the North Devon Journal in 1987/8 saying
that the band was in need of a musical director, and offered his services
until a new MD could be found. During the year or so that he was acting
as MD, his wife Carol, learnt to play baritone, although she has since
transferred to tenor horn. A new MD was appointed after a year or so, and
there were 2 or 3 MD’s since then, but he has been the band's regular MD
again now for the past 10 or more years.
Gil and Carol still live in Exeter, some 35 miles away from South Molton,
and travel there at least twice a week. South Molton Town Band has been
his lifelong hobby and passion, and feels a very committed member of this
very talented organisation.
The band take the name of South Molton
throughout the Southwest and beyond, and he feels they are a great
ambassador to the town and an organisation of which he is honoured
and proud to be a member.
In April 2012, he was honoured to receive Citizen of the year award from the
Rotary Club of South Molton, in recognition of outstanding service to the community.