Performer wants his cornet back

Ernie Gerrard at home on Wednesday with his empty cornet case, the contents having been stolen.
Ernie Gerrard at home on Wednesday with his empty cornet case, the contents having been stolen.

A MUSICIAN who has been playing with Arbroath Instrumental Band for 60 years is hoping to be reunited with his cornet after it was stolen in the street.

Ernie Gerrard, who is 85, was waiting to be picked up by a fellow band member on Monday night at around 7 p.m. on the corner of East Abbey Street and Abbot Street to go to practice.

As Mr Gerrard had a lot to carry he placed the blue bag containing the £1,000 silver plated instrument on the ground while waiting for his lift.

He then turned his back for a second before realising that the cornet had been taken.

And with Arbroath Instrumental Band’s gala concert being staged next Friday in the Webster Memorial Theatre, Mr Gerrard is desperate to be reunited with his instrument.

He said: “Somebody must know what has happened to it.

“I went outside at 7.10 p.m. to wait for my lift which was coming at 7.15 and I put the cornet on the ground as I had other things to carry.

“I was just walking back and forwards waiting and as I went round the corner for the last time I noticed it was gone.

“It cost £1,000 to buy two years ago but now they probably cost £2,000.”

Mr Gerrard first learned to play the cornet when he was just 14 and during the Second World War played with the Dance Band and the Condor Brass Band as the Arbroath Instrumental Band was defunct during the war years.

He also learned to play the euphonium and trombone winning many competitions and hardly ever missing a concert. Fortunately, he has an old cornet which he will be able to play if the stolen instrument is not found in time for the concert next week.

But he fears the quality of it will not be as good.

Mr Gerrard added: “I have another cornet from long ago but I definitely want my new one back as it is much better quality.

“I will probably have to play with that one but even if I didn’t have a spare I’m sure the band master would do something so I didn’t have to miss out.”

Police in Arbroath confirmed that Mr Gerrard’s cornet had been taken and officers said they are keen to re-unite the instrument with him.

Any who can assist them should contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222.

Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.