Veterans Day Parade, Brentwood

21st June 2008

In 2007, John Wyndham MBE, Band Director of The Royal British Legion Youth Band Brentwood saw the band at a TYMBA Contest and was so impressed with the standard and professionalism of the band that he invited the 17thto play with his band at two Military Tattoos. The first one was to be in Brentwood and the second at Haileybury School, Hertfordshire playing additionally with The Minden Band of the Queens Division.

It was going to be a lot of hard work, but the band were up for the challenge. Leaving Tonbridge in the afternoon they travelled to the TA Centre in Brentwood where the evenings show was being held. After a good rehearsal for both bands it was time for a spot of dinner courtesy of the TA Chef who came in specially to cook for the 90 performers. Great sausages.

Once dinner had gone down, both bands headed back to Brentwood’s band room where they got changed into their uniforms and prepared for the evening Tattoo. At 7.25pm the massed bands were given the word that the Mayor and the Brigadier had arrived and the massed bands marched back to the TA centre, each playing a march. It was an impressive sight with Brentwood’s bright red uniforms complemented with that of the sky blue shirts of Tonbridge. The massed bands could be heard approaching the TA centre and the anticipation in the audience was growing.

The Fanfare trumpet team from Brentwood opened the Tattoo and then the 17th were first to perform their unique routine of drill, light infantry marching and bugle playing. The 250 strong crowd especially liked the light infantry and the band’s performance was met with strong applause.

Brentwood were next on and an eighty strong band almost filled the entire arena. They gave an immaculate display and a particular crowd favourite was a static piece - Lord of the Dance, which opened with a solo flutist. The sound filled the arena beautifully and it was met with a well deserved applause.

It was now time for the massed bands. Senior Bugler, Ben Racher marched across the arena and played the bugle call, Fall In and the massed bands entered the arena to Mechanised Infantry. The red and blue uniforms looked very smart together as over 80 musicians filled the arena. The massed band then played Second Fanfare, Evening Hymn, Sunset and the National Anthem. The Brigadier then complemented the massed band on a terrific evening of fine music and precision marching. The 17th left the arena first to Swing March and paraded back to the band room with Brentwood playing a march each.

Once the band was changed it was back to Tonbridge to prepare for the following days tattoo.  They would have to do it all again, this time with The Guards Band.



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