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As we move into 2005 the Chicago OTSN each September remains the number one source for out-sourcing bands. The rarest of these finds is my WWII bicycle band from the Netherlands; thanks to Michael Henry a fellow architect/designer from St. Paul Minnesota who speaks German and has traveled extensively in Europe. On one of these trips he went to Holland and found the maker of this wonderful 54mm. Dutch band on bicycles.

The cycling regiment was formed during WWII as a mobile infantry in the brief struggle against Hitler's panzer in 1940. in which the band laid down its instruments to take up guns. There is no longer a cycling regiment but in the post war years someone in the Dutch defense department had the idea of reforming the band. The new band has attained enough popularity to have been asked to perform in several European cities.

Without a hint of a wobble, they steer with their elbows and play in prefect time, wheeling around in intricate exercises responding to the shouted orders of their bandmaster. The band appears to consist of four files and six to eight ranks depending on who is available. The uniforms still match those of WWII conscripts to the cavalry regiment.

My toy band consists of 10 figures representing the instruments in the band such as cymbals, bugles, glockenspiel, side drums, bass drum, horn and music director. To my knowledge the Dutch maker only made four for the North American market circa 2000 and I'm lucky enough to have one of them. I hope you enjoy these pictures.

Until next time — Remember the fun is in the search!

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Previous Articles by Bill the Bandman:

Article #1 - OSTN - A Great Find

Article #2 - History of the Trumpet

Article #3 - I Have them All!

Article #4 - The Difference Between Tubas and Euphoniums