Drumbeat: Band celebrates a massive milestone

Dempsey with some other young Shankill Star members
Dempsey with some other young Shankill Star members

Even though we are now into September, band processions are continuing across the province, with every county of Northern Ireland still hosting large events.

Even though we are now into September, band processions are continuing across the province, with every county of Northern Ireland still hosting large events.

Last Wednesday night Movenis Rising Sons of William Flute were the host band in Garvagh, where 20 bands made their way along the short parade route. Hanna Memorial Flute Bushmills and Benvarden Flute both were in fine form.

The band who led the Garvagh evening, Edenmore Flute, hosted their own traditional band procession on Friday night in their home town of Limavady.

The occasion saw the band mark the incredible 125th anniversary of their formation, an incredible achievement that helps to illustrate why Ulster bands are so ingrained into many communities.

The landmark was celebrated in a flowing procession of 26 bands, led by an Edenmore ‘Auld Boys’ ensemble; while also included several other Limavady bands including Star of the Roe, Ballynarrig Pride of Orange, Ballyquin Loyal Sons of Ulster and Aghanloo.

Elsewhere on Friday night the Omagh Protestant Boys were the organisers in the Co Tyrone ‘capital’, led by the exemplary Churchill Flute Londonderry. Exceptional crowds gathered despite poor weather and other distractions, with the turnout of 37 bands including first time visitors Pride of Knockmore, Sons of Ulster Portrush and Steeple Defenders.

In North Down the Bangor Protestant Boys were organisers in what was a well organised and relaxed parade. Highlights included Newtownards Protestant Boys, Crimson Star Comber and Robert Graham Memorial. Yet another Friday evening procession took place in Carrickfergus for the Ulster Grenadiers Flute. A new parade route proved popular, with East Belfast Protestant Boys and Bessbrook True Blues among those who travelled to take part.

On Saturday afternoon the Shankill Road was packed to capacity for its annual memorial procession, with bands from across Northern Ireland, Scotland and England on show.

Highlight of the afternoon was the appearance of the latest member of Shankill Star seven-year-old Dempsey, who is currently winning her battle with cancer. Dempsey bedecked in her new uniform received a great reception from the crowds and fellow band members alike.

The Braniel Flute held their first ever band procession on Saturday night in their local area, with a strong turnout a positive building block for future years.

If your band wishes to publicise an upcoming event you can contact Drumbeat by text or ringing Drumbeat at 07835624221; or visit our facebook page and leave a message.