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Having run through the usual contacts to no avail, George had to start almost from scratch. One fixer who specialised in small "starter" jobs got him a few Sundays on bandstands in parks. Once he'd proved he could still play without making a mess of it, the next step up was the circus. While the star performers swung on the trapeze, or paraded and tumbled around the sawdust arena below, the band blared out their nightly repertoire at full volume. To say it was literally a hard blow was an understatement, and if George's critics had doubted his ability to make a come-back, they owed him an apology. But, by then, decent gigs were jealously guarded and the best he could get was a combination of club work and the London music hall. So, he played where he could - the Edgware Road Metro, Churchill's night club, The Cafe de Paris, and The Bag o' Nails to name just a few.

Towards the end of the fifties he struck it lucky. Initially deputising, then scoring a full-time job playing for Bud Flanagan's Crazy Gang Show, he became a regular at London's Victoria Palace Theatre for many years to come, continuing on later with the Black and White Minstrels. He was back, playing music for an appreciative audience, as well as notching up his second Royal Command Performance; and if not exactly "swinging" as he had been in the 40's, he was with his old mates again, doing what he loved best. The accent here truly was on "old" because, by then, they were all getting long in the tooth, a situation they were well aware of, having to preserve the illusion of lingering youth by applying a bit of black boot polish to their greying moustaches and washing their thinning hair in Grecian 2000. This kept them in the pit a little longer, but the winds of change eventually caught up as promoters opted for younger players who didn't need to disguise their ages and could stay the distance.

George retired earlier than many of his associates, but they all followed soon enough. A few might have been relieved to hang up their instruments, yet nearly all would have looked at them in fondness, reflecting on the undeniable reward of bringing pleasing melodies and harmony to audiences that would have been lost without them. Old soldiers, it is said, never die: they simply fade away. Old musicians never will, because their music lives on. George had been both, so he probably figured he had it covered. If not, the trumpet was there still and maybe, if he could take it with him when it was time to front up at the pearly gates, there might be a fixer on hand to get him a gig or two accompanying the angels’ choir.

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