Just thought I'd drop you a line or two re the above which you may
find relevant to add to the website. It was a real treat for me this
year to attend the Reunion as I had the pleasure of bringing my daughter
Sarah and her husband Antony, Heather, (Sarah's mum) and her husband
and, of course my wife Pam.
thought it would be nice for Sarah to see what her dad used to do
all those years ago and promised them a terrific night and, may I
add, we were not disappointed. We duly arrived and were asked to make
our way not to the mess as usual, but to the Gym, which was something
of a surprise and quite unexpected, however the arrangement seemed
to work fine because once people had been served in the bar (which
was staffed by members of the band, thanks boys) they moved away
into the gym thereby leaving room for others to be served straight
Having downed our first drinks we busied ourselves by meeting up with
friends and colleagues from yesteryear in my case namely Scotty, Len
Lewry, Dave Seed, your good self, Hookey Walker, Derek Usher,
John Hillier, Graham Hoskins, Chris Davis both ex PDM's. Rod Williamson
(who I hadn't seen for years) and Mick Howarth, I think the
last time I saw Mick was certainly 28 years ago or maybe even more
than that. Dave Stockham, Paddy Mailey and Chris Preston to name but
a few were also there and more than a few tales of times past were
discussed over a few pints in what was a wonderful friendly atmosphere,
to those who I have forgotten to name, sorry boys , it's an age thing.
It was soon time to be seated and we all made our way to the seated
area in the gym which this year was not, as last, opposite the main
doors but across the gym, with this in mind we didn't get to see the
band march in but they had already formed up to await our being seated,
once this was completed the Bandmaster WO11 Powell started the performance
beginning with the Fanfare entitled Star Trek Generations, a stirring
piece of music with plenty of percussion and additional accompaniment
from the Timps and Keyboards situated at the side of the arena. On
completion of the Fanfare the Drum Major gave the order to Quick march
and the Beat Retreat commenced.
Following the tremendous performance given by the band last year I
promised my guests a display they would remember for a long, long
time (although I did somehow think that the bar had been set so
high last year that to top it would be a formidable task).
The display the band gave was, as always exemplary (although I
think last years was just that little teeny bit better) but hell,
who's complaining, to see a display of this caliber outside you'd
pay more than just a few pounds. The band started with the quick march
The Captain General and during this I felt there was something missing
once the trio commenced and on a quick check couldn't see a Euphonium
anywhere (I found out later that at this moment in time there
isn't one under training), anyway the overall effect wasn't too
The drill was terrific and the display by the Corps of Drums just
gets better and better, it's a bit like listening to Riverdance performed
on side drums.
The evening hymn (When Shadows Fall) Sunset and Britannic
Suite are what makes the whole thing great and worthwhile and I'm
sure would have brought a little bit of dampness to the eyes of even
the hardest Marine such was the performance, and, I might just add
that Col Grace told us during his talk afterwards that some members
of the band had only been in the band for one year, a tribute to the
musicians, their instructors, Bandmasters and Professors alike.
My guests said they thoroughly enjoyed the display and my daughter
said "Is that what you used to do Dad?" I said "yes,...................................
but not that good" (well it's a little more difficult when
I shall leave the account regarding the Remembrance Service at the
Cathedral to someone else to complete other than to say Col Grace,
the orchestra and choir gave us some wonderful music some of which
took me back to my days on the yacht when we played for the Sunday
church service in the Royal dining room.
Once again a great weekend was had by all and I look forward to seeing
everyone again next year.