Drumbeat: One of the biggest banding events of the year

Pride of Ballymacash on parade in Waringstown
Pride of Ballymacash on parade in Waringstown

Over 50 bands turned out in Waringstown on Saturday night

The accordion bands of Blackhill and Mosside were early in the procession, while in flute Stranocum, Ballinteer and Dervock Young Defenders were among a strong line-up.

On Friday evening Maghera Sons of William Flute were the organisers in their south Londonderry home town, with the night beginning with the Pride of the Raven Flute East Belfast making their way along the short parade route.

In the depths of Co Armagh the Tullyvallen Silver held their annual sports and band evening in the Tullyvallen hamlet outside Newtownhamilton.

Rain didn’t deter a large number of spectators enjoying the proceedings with what was a very relaxed atmosphere.

Staying in Co Armagh, but further east, the model village of Bessbrook held the long standing parade for Bessbrook True Blues.

The evening followed a new route from that used in the past, with it proving to be a great success.

In what was the equal of the largest event ever held by the band, 44 bands were on show, with several making their first ever visit to the procession including Robert Graham Memorial and Goldsprings True Defenders.

On Saturday night the largest banding occasion of the weekend, indeed what will be one of the biggest of the year, took place in Waringstown for the Clogher Protestant Boys.

The competition on the night is always tight, with this year no different.

In the large blood and thunder category all of the country’s main contenders were in attendance including East Belfast Protestant Boys, Gertrude Star, Kilcluney Volunteers, Pride of the Hill Rathfriland, Donaghadee Flutes and Drums and Shankill Protestant Boys; with the first place in the category going to Dunamoney Flute Magherafelt. Other blood and thunder stand out bands included Ballynahinch Protestant Boys, Armagh True Blues, Blackskull Orange and Blue, Shankill Star and Lambeg Orange and Blue who came out top in the small blood and thunder category.

Gertrude Star Flute would like to thank all those who supported their recent band procession in East Belfast, with the street collection on the night amounting to £2382.75.

If you would like to publicise any events related to the large Ulster marching band fraternity you can contact Drum Beat by ringing/ texting 07835624221 or emailing admin@ulsterbandsforum.net, with photographic submissions welcome.