The Blue Avengers
1979 - 1985
Starting life as the 1st Preston BB and becoming a mixed youth band in 1976,
taking the name of St David’s Trumpet and Drum Corps from the church were
the Corps was based. The unit Competed on the newly formed British Youth Band
Association (BYBA) competition circuit for the next couple of years before disbanding
1st Preston BB Band, Kendal Competition,
St David’s Trumpet & Drum Corps (The Blue
1983 saw the introduction of 'G' Bugles rather than
the traditional Eb trumpets opening up the Corps musical programme, the next
four years saw the Corps advance through the BYBA league tables, gaining promotion
from Contest to Championship and finally the Premiership Class in successive
Blue Avengers BAe/EE Sports Day 1984
Avengers 1984 -
The Corps first step into Drum Corps was taken during the 1984 Winter Guard
circuit. A victory in the 'A' Class finals at Wembley was the taster required
for things to come.
By this time the ‘World of Drum Corps’
was public knowledge, and the natural progression was achieved in 1985. Membership
of the activity in the new 'A' Class, with other well established, and larger
Corps was seen by many as the highlight of their Corps involvement, and at the
end of our first year in membership many faces left to be replaced by younger
personnel. This period also saw a change in direction, when Mark Gutteridge,
who had reformed the Corps in 1978, stepped down to be replaced by the Corps
musical arranger Ian Blundell.
With the change in style now complete and the Corps
becoming established within the Drum Corps membership, the Corps changed its
name from the Blue Avengers to the Avenger Corps.
Corps 1985- 2004
Avenger Guard Wizard of Oz Production.
The Corps gained Charitable Status in 1987 and this
co-insided with the forming of a joint Directorship between Ian Blundell and
Mark Gutteridge. This kept the Corps steady over the next few years and the
Corps sought to become an active member in the new Drum Corps set-up.
Preston Guild procession 1992
During 1993 the Corps changed its Management set-up.
Andrew Gutteridge took over as the Corps Director, having direct responsibility
on musical and training issues, with the Board of Trustees taking a more active
role in the Corps Management. Back in competition, the Corps participated in
both in the Winter Guard and Summer Circuits. The next few years saw the Corps
competing all over the U.K.
Little Shop of Horrors 1995
The Corps was now marching a much younger outfit
and had chosen to take a step backwards in order to secure a longer term move
1995 Birmingham Alexander Stadium
The summer season of 1997 saw the Corps win the Drum
Corps United Kingdom, Junior Class Championships in Northampton. This was a
major step forward for the Corps, which was now also competing on the British
Youth Band Circuit and once again performing at local fete’s and events.
A return to the British Youth band competition circuit
was the Corps choice for 1998 entering the Contest Class. This proved very popular
with members and spectators, and the Corps achieved some outstanding results
throughout the year. Victories at the Midlands and Northern regional championships,
with further sectional achievements at other contests, resulting in the Corps
reaching the BYBA finals for the first time in its history. The Corps went on
to finish a very commendable overall third with the Percussion section becoming
national champions in their class.
1999 saw the Corps return to Drum Corps United Kingdom,
Junior Class. Keeping the initiative on young members the musical program was
designed to let new members develop whilst advancing the ability of more experienced
members. Competing around the country in regional events the season concluded
at the National finals in Northampton. The Corps finished runners up in their
class, with the Colour Guard winning their section outright.
From 2000 - 2004 the Avengers colour guard
continued to strengthen
with it's new recruits and new programmes, climbing up the winter guard tables and improving
on an annual basis. However, in the same period the musical side of the Corps
declined and in 2004 the decision was taken to close down the Drum Corps and
concentrate all the organisations resources into the performing arts. This
change resulted in changes to the organisations constitution and a name change
to Avenger Performing Arts.
Performing Arts 2004 -