The 2011 RM Band Reunion
by Derek Usher
All photo's on this page by Derek
I'll preface my thoughts here to say that I will ALWAYS enjoy this time, regardless, as it's all about daft old "bandies" getting together to reminisce over the good old days & enjoy a great night out.
thanks to the organisers who did what they could in their efforts
to help make our evening enjoyable. (Now here comes my 'BUT'!)
If no one agrees with me, then fine, it'll mean I've been over-picky
& ungrateful. Sorry in advance. However, contrary to both Jem
& Olly's well written articles on the Noticeboard, I can't help
feeling that we were short-changed somewhat this year, - literally!
- Sorry both, but if I'm on my own with my opinion then I'd be very
surprised indeed. (Even the entrance fee was upped to
20 quid this year - which I didn't begrudge, until I discovered what
we were (NOT) getting for that 34% increase!)
I thought it was really disappointing to lose out on the comfort of the chief's mess to a ships reunion. (Was anyone aware of this, prior to our reunion?)
my oppo Dave Stockham & I had both brought our wives to the 'shindig'
for the first time, - only because we'd told them just how much they'd
enjoy it & particularly the band performance before the serious
drinking commenced! - I know this isn't totally about wives &
girlfriends etc; but, none the less, they paid for their tickets and
felt let down. The evening for them, failed somewhat on all fronts.
- (So much so, it'll just be old Dave & I again next year, - which
will mean we'll drink twice as much as we should, with no controllers
telling us otherwise!!) - But I'm convinced that had they
come along in previous years, then they'd have gone home with entirely
was a concern was the wide open high roofed gym' that proved cold,
dark, draughty and uninviting for our ladies. It was also dangerous
in the more dimly lit areas leading to & from the tiered seating
area with ill fitting temporary chipboard flooring. (Elf 'n' Safety?
What happened there then?) All made worse if the only place
to sit was near the wide open doors due to the limited seating!
as good as any senior band - in my opinion, - was also very bulk standard
beat retreat stuff. No surprises, no fanfare trumpets, nothing too
risky this year. The 'bar' reached its peak last year & this year
became another "cut back!" - I just felt somewhat cheated
in a way, as I know that could have been a lot more impressive. I've
witnessed the excellence - as we all have - year after year &
always look forward to it. I just wish we hadn't oversold it to our
wives prior that's all for although they enjoyed it to a degree, they
weren't exactly blown away. (Maybe it was the missing Euph'
that did it for them?) But in truth it almost seemed as if
it had been deliberately downgraded from that 'bar' following all
of the complaints thrown at NG earlier in the year for wanting to
cram the whole reunion into one single day! But perhaps that's a bit
As always, the church service was second to none again. But if I have to be really picky, in my opinion, the orchestra wasn't exactly on a par with last years, due essentially to one or two string tuning issues that tended to make one wince occasionally! (I've not done that before!) But then, young Hannah Wheyway's brilliant Bruch Violin Concerto G Minor No 1. Op 26 more than compensated for that to be fair. The choir was spot on too & such a joy to listen to.
said all of this, I still wish that that I'd saved my money this year,
as I enjoyed the next morning's get together at the RMA club just
as much, - if not more so! I'm just curious to know what we were really
getting for the extra fiver this year that's all. Or did I miss something?
- Sometimes they say "less is more !"
I would wish to divulge to our readers that Derek was acutely reluctant
to have his thoughts aired and the above text was (prior to my
editing) sent to the guestbook which has to be approved by myself
in order to deter inappropriate entries. I am confident that most
of us applaud Derek's point of view as it is just that. Just
criticism doesn't do anyone any harm and perhaps for those who are
prepared to listen to his comments, bearing in mind that both
Tony Oliver and Jem Tugwood have reiterated similar points of view,
will think hard about how to rectify some of the more dissatisfying
aspects of the alternate venue. On behalf of all our contributors,
I respectfully suggest that should this recent event be a 'one off',
then we would welcome the return to status quo for the 2012
reunion. I tend to agree with Derek, if one was introducing
one's family for the first time and with the anticipation we all must
have experienced over recent years, then this year was somewhat disappointing
and unfortunate. I can emphatically say to Derek, that he'll NEVER
Richard Valentine -1996 - 2012 © - All rights reserved