Band in Belgium

Friday, 29 July 2022 14:54

I have had the pleasure and honour of being an attendee (a ‘hanger on’) for all of the Bands international sojourns. I was there in Germany when I lost my 3 year old daughter causing much rushing around the hotel in a panic and running up and down the streets. We found her in the Principal Cornet players room where she had wandered in whilst his wife was attending her sleeping child. I was there in France when we were given very strict orders not to take photographs of the backlot of what was then EuroDisney resort before the band played on the Disneyland main stage (more impressive to me than the concert they gave in the gardens of Notre Dame). I was there when the band played on the edge of Lake Guarda swallowing midges with every breath, but with the stunning lake and mountains as a backdrop. I was there when the band played Catalan favourites in the park in Barcelona and drew what was probably their most amazing and stunning response from an audience we had ever witnessed.

But nothing prepared me for the wave of emotion that eminated from all those present at the Menin Gate when the band struck perfect and stunning chords of Abide with Me to precede the playing of the last post.

This unassuming band. This group of boys and girls that come together for just two hours a week to practice. This group of businessmen and women, of policemen and teachers, of artists; made a sound that filled cathederals and left people sobbing in Ypres. As someone behind me in the crowd at the Menin Gate said ‘Tell your band they have done Fairlop Proud’.