Eastwood couple who met in town's carnival band excited for huge reunion event

It was love at first sight for Ivan and Pauline Dunstan when they first clapped eyes on each other at an early practice session of the Eastwood Arcadians carnival band back in 1976.

By Lucy Roberts
Friday, 24th June 2022, 3:57 pm
Updated Friday, 24th June 2022, 3:57 pm
Ivan and Pauline Dunstan with daughter Debbie.(middle).
Ivan and Pauline Dunstan with daughter Debbie.(middle).

At one time, there were about 100 carnival bands across the region, including the Heanor Lions, the Ilkeston Toreadors and the Hucknall and Titchfield Nomads.

Ivan told how he joined the Arcadians when they were being started up again after being disbanded, and a call for members was put out through the Eastwood and Kimberley Advertiser.

He said: “I have always been a lover of band music and wanted to be a part of something like that growing up.

Ivan and Pauline Dunstan on their wedding day.

“When the opportunity arose to be in a band, I just jumped at the chance, and I never regretted it.

“I met Pauline early on – someone had told her I was very rich, which wasn’t the case, but we just hit it off.

“We got together more or less straight away, and the rest is history!”

Ivan and Pauline spent many happy years playing in the Eastwood Arcadians – Ivan on the side drum and Pauline as a marcher and bugle player.

Ivan said: “I’ve such happy memories of our practices on Tuesday and Friday nights in Eastwood Comprehensive School.

“We also did a lot of marching practice on Eastwood Football Ground to get it right.

“I think it was just that feeling of community and togetherness. Everybody from across the generations was in the same boat.

“Being together and growing up with the same people for year after year, you got so close as friends and those friends are still around today.”

Now the couple, who later married and had a daughter, are urging support for a large-scale event celebrating the colourful carnival bands which once lit up the area with their spectacular marching, music and costumes.

Called Banding Together, the event on July 24 is being organised by Peaky Blinders actor David Chabeaux as a fundraiser for his film and social change project, Moz’s Band.

The film is called Moz’s Band after David’s grandfather Moz Ward, whose inspirational leadership led his own band, the Derby Serenaders, to three European and 23 UK marching band titles and an appearance on the BBC’s The Generation Game.

The Banding Together event will feature all the fun of the carnival with stalls, stands, inflatables, beer tent and candy floss, plus walking football, ‘A Parade of the Band Uniforms’, live music all day, and a prize raffle.

There will be a giant cinema screen showing archive film footage of the bands in action back in the day, and the chance for people to contribute to a unique ‘history of banding’ mural recording their precious memories.

Ivan and Pauline, who turn 70 next year, are looking forward to the big celebration event which they hope will rekindle the joy carnival bands brought to so many.

Ivan said: “We truly did have some incredible times in banding – I’m really looking forward to the day.”

Do you have fond memories of your days playing in a carnival band?

The Banding Together event is being held at Borrowash Victoria Football Ground in Derby on July 24, from noon to midnight.

The event aims to get people back together from old carnival bands, as well as families and other people who would also enjoy the occasion.

Proceeds from the day are going towards the ‘Moz’s Band’ film project.

Tickets for the day are already selling fast and are available by calling 07437 160832, or by visiting mozs.band/tickets

An early bird ticket of £7 is available until the end of June, and under-12s go free. The on-the-door ticket price is £10.