Gordon “Kippy” Keepance
Gordon Keepence (d. 1984) led the Kings Korner Band in Carnival parades for 35 years. Despite his regular attire of uniform and kilt he was neither an ex-guardsman nor Scots but a true Pewsey lad; nor did he play an instrument although he had been known to wrestle with an accordion on occasion.
There was, however, one item of his regalia that he was entitled to wear and that is the three stripes and crown on the sleeve of his tunic denoting a Flight Sergeant. This he earned during RAF service as an Air Gunner in Lancaster bombers where he went on to attain the rank of Warrant Officer.
How then did he become leader of the KKB? – It was because as one of many from the old Coopers Arms gang who tagged along with the marching band playing comb and paper, Kippy rose through the ranks again to the status of Drum Major.
The KKB was not his only involvement in Carnival for he was never far away from any of the fun and games that took place over the years but it was for his tossing off his baton into the air at the head of the band that for which he will always be fondly remembered, things have never seemed quite the same without him!