by Jem Tugwood
The 2011 RM Band Reunion
Please forward any of your own collection from the weekend.

Hi Dickie,

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.

I 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 away.

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 noticeable.

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 you're pissed!!!)

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.

Best wishes


Richard Valentine -1996 - 2011 © - All rights reserved