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"Take This Hammer ..."

This miserable-looking child is that of a key Stompers band member during the Dark Days of WW2 ... the stick in his left hand and - even more - the hammer in his right hand give the definitive answer as to his identity ... he could only be a fledgling drummer! Judging by his expression he has been soundly chastised by his elders and betters - possibly even receiving a well-deserved drubbing - for damaging his mother's saucepans beyond repair in attempting to emulate Gene Krupa, whom he saw briefly in a wartime newsreel about USO (the American equivalent of ENSA). It was bad enough that the pans were so badly wrecked by an extended drum solo (never a good thing, even now), but even worse that they were actually destined for delivery to the local Spitfire factory as part of Lord Beaverbrook's 'Saucepans Into Spitfires' campaign. Sadly, Mrs Coad's saucepans had been rendered completely unfit for any further use in the war effort, and thus did John contribute to the unfortunate delay in the arrival of VE-Day. He certainly didn't deserve to be at that street party in 1945 ...


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