LEICESTER MERCURY - Peaky Blinders and Hollyoaks star wants to hear your stories for his carnival documentary

Nick Dawson

29 Oct 2021

An actor who has starred in Hollyoaks and Peaky Blinders wants to hear from former members of Leicestershire’s colourful carnival bands.

Writer and director David Chabeaux is creating a documentary to tell the story of how the flamboyant marching bands - , such as the Hinckley Hussars or the Melton Mowbray Toy Soldiers - helped bring communities together and put the East Midlands on the map.

The performer, 45, is originally from Derby, and he is making the film in memory of his grandfather, Maurice “Moz” Ward, who led the Derby Serenaders Showband, and whose music inspired thousands of others in carnival groups across the region.

Mr Chabeaux said: “I was two days old when my mum and dad took me on the Serenaders band bus for the first time.

“My granddad taught me to read and arrange music as well as to play the trumpet, the euphonium and the trombone.

“I have never known a belonging or a community like it. I miss what it means, and I particularly miss the Serenaders. I can only imagine how many of the thousands of other members of the bands we used to come across at events and competitions feel the same way.

“I want to celebrate that in my documentary but also promote and preserve the legacy of Moz, my grandfather.

Mr Chabeaux’s documentary will feature behind-the-scenes and archive footage and photos to tell the story of his granddad’s involvement with the banding movement and look back at the competitions, stories and performances of other UK bands.

But he will also reflect on how the demise of the banding movement in the 1990s has left many members, including his father Brian, with a huge sense of loss, and how in today’s world people lack the togetherness and sense of belonging that the banding movement provided.

David has already raised £35,000 towards the documentary and pre-production of the film is now complete. He needs to raise £250,000 in order to complete the filming, which will also involve contributions from the USA, South Africa and Scandinavia, where marching bands are still extremely popular.

If he gets the funding then he hopes to hold the premiere in his home city of Derby, perhaps as early as next summer.

If you would like to share memories or otherwise engage with the ‘Moz’s Band’ film project, visit www.mozs.band.